My grandniece Cauliflower turned 11 this August. I've been making her a dress every other year (on the alternate years she gets a sweater), and it occurred to me this year that this year's dress will likely be the last dress I can make for her. After puberty girls need their dresses fitted on them, and it isn't possible for me to do that given that I don't see her often. After this year she'll just get sweaters from me, and I felt this very last dress needed to be special.
I had a particular tartan fabric on hand that I loved. I'd bought the fabric on impulse years ago, something I try never to do these days, as I am making every effort to buy only what I need and did not and do not need a new dress, but again this was years ago, before I began to crack down on impulse buys, and I will say that the fabric was on clearance and very inexpensive (I think it was under $10 for the 1.9 metre piece), and that I still love it. I wanted to make myself a dress out of the tartan, but I thought that if I picked out a dress pattern for Cauliflower that called for a trim or sections of contrast fabric, that I could squeeze that out of the piece too.
Accordingly I searched for a suitable pattern for Cauliflower's dress, and found one in the McCall's M7680 pattern you see above. I could see option B working in navy with a deep hem of the tartan and perhaps a ruffle of it around the sleeve. I bought the pattern, and I bought a piece of navy crepe for the body of Cauliflower's dress, and I cut out my tartan dress first, cutting very strategically to make sure I'd have a sizable strip of the tartan left for Cauliflower's dress.
I'm pretty pleased with how the cuffs turned out. They look more or less professional. Cauliflower's present will also include the bracelet you see here, which was something of a find as it goes so well with the dress. Although now I'm wishing I'd made her a necklace to go with the dress instead, as it needs a necklace much more than it does a bracelet. I could still make her one for Christmas, I suppose....
And, of course, there had to be a matching purse for the dress. The purse has a tartan lining, and I made the little ribbon rosette you see here out a strip of turquoise ribbon from my ribbon canister and a half-dozen beads from my beading supplies box. Looking at it now, though, I think maybe I should have just left it without the rosette. I also think the rosette might have looked better if it were red. I thought I didn't have any red ribbon hand, only to discover I did after the gift had been given to my parents to pass along to Cauliflower -- it was in a box of Christmas ribbons I had stowed away in the gift wrap tote in the line closet, sigh. If only I'd remembered I had it.