A polkadot sundress and retro play suit.

The day before Olive was born (10 months ago or so) I decided I needed to buy a sewing machine.  So I hauled my very pregnant self to Spotlight and soon after I had a brand spanking new sewing machine and a brand spanking new baby. I knew what to do with the latter but the former sat, untouched, for a month while I worked up the courage to turn it on.

One day I bit the bullet, read the manual and  threaded the needle.  Then I left it for another month. Finally I could put it off no longer.  Ignoring the intimidation I felt I just sat down and began to play around.

No one was more surprised than I that I could actually do it. Okay, so I didn’t sew the straightest seams, know all the technical terms or understand things like tension but I did an okay job. And before too long I had my confidence up and if a material was able to be pierced with a needle, I had a go at sewing it.

It was a few months later, talking to my mum about my new-found passion,  that I discovered that my great Grandmother was a dress-maker and milliner. Suddenly I knew where my ability (we won’t be referring to it as skill in these embryonic stages!) came from.  Now, every time I sit down at the machine I think of my great Grandmother and imagine her at hers or sitting by the fire on a cold winter’s night as she hand-sewed tiny stitches on a gown for someone. Well, I’m nothing if not romantic.

Nine months down the track I decided I was ready to tackle some summer clothes for the girls. I was also keen to try some new techniques like shirring, french seams and using bias binding.  I almost went blind trying to sew everything up in one day but I ended up with some things the girls could actually wear.

The beauty of being able to make things yourself is that you can choose colours and patterns you really like. For example, I love black on little girls (yep, must be the Melbourne in me) but it can be hard to find simple black basics and dresses.  So, I made one of Sophia’s dresses (from this gorgeous pattern)  in black and white polka dot.

I couldn’t find a pattern for the kind of old-fashioned  play suit I wanted for Olive so I adapted a couple of patterns and kind of made it up a bit as I went along and I was really pleased with the way it turned out. It really did have that retro feel to it; helped along by the apple print fabric.

Don’t look too closely or you’ll see all the wonky bits!

Do you have any favourite kids’ clothes patterns?


One thought on “A polkadot sundress and retro play suit.

  1. Great work – I have been admiring Olive’s little suit ( I had a similar one when I was a wee chick) -didn’t know you had made it! Also I love Soph’s dress . I made a similar one for Kizza when she was Soph’s age. Andrew’s grandmother Ethne was a dressmaker before she was married ! I guess it was one of few employments acceptable/available for a young woman in those days eh?

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