The Sephira Zen Birthday Dress!

Before I get all sentimental, because that post is "due" in two days, I just wanted to share with you all Sephira's first birthday dress!  
The dress itself was inspired from a shirt I saw in a Japanese pattern book. 
I of course did a test run dress (I just can't bring myself to make muslins... if I'm going to make something and buy fabric then I want it worn, for crying out loud!), which I was so damn smug about, it actually put me in a better mood every time I thought about it!  
If that fabric looks vintage, it's because it is.  It's another fabulous "Maxine" fabric!  
Now!  In the words of DJ Lance:
 "Let's do it. A break it down!"
The dress is, at it's core, derived from my peasant pattern.   With some shirring here and some binding there (including mittered neck binding), and add in some oh la la seams (yeah, you know it: french seams) and you've got one stinkingly ridiculous adorable chibi frock!  (at least I think so!)
Sorry for the undies shot.  I couldn't resist!!
destroying fabric depot...
...just kidding ;-)
 Do you notice the little headband?  I had some extra bias left so I made one of my patented "oh my god that was easy" adjustable headbands.

Don't you just want to eat that little face for lunch?! 
Oh and you can see the shirring the best in that photo too, lol.
But let's take a second (or more ;-) look at the actual birthday dress!

Are you drooling over that blue fabric?  I was.  It compliments my little Sephira's blue eyes so beautifully.
It was my first (and later second to get more, hahahha) trip to Bolt, an adorable fabric boutique in the Arts District of Northeast Portland on Alberta.  I had been dying to go for a while now, but couldn't afford the splurge.  I got to meet Heather from Well Crafted.  I first saw her stuff when I was looking at this Japanese Pattern Craftlog and I was so impressed!  Then I learned that not only did she live in Portland too, but that she worked at Bolt
You know how you hope to seem put together and awesome when you meet new people?  Well, my girls were against me.  Azriella was running out the front door while I was trying to introduce myself and Sephira was nonstop crying (even though  I hid and nursed her for a couple minutes!)  Jon tried to help.  But it was futile: we looked and sounded like crazy people.  I guess it's fair warning to any and everyone we may potentially meet:  We travel in a pack almost always.  And we are loud... almost always, lol.  What can I say? We both come from loud vibrant families!  We play hard with our kids so thusly they are a rough and rumble bunch!
It was a hilarious mess in my head: these sweet quiet Portland ladies, all poised and put together: insert wilderbeasts (aka, us).  Sigh*  What are you gonna do?!

 How do you like my sparkly cupcake applique?!  I feel like a novice when it comes to applique, but I am really proud of how it turned out!  (especially the red cheeks!)

I made a crap load of bias tape (it took most of my Sunday morning).
And speaking of bias tape, take a look at my hem:
 How do you suppose I made that hem??? 
That's all.  Just some ol' fashioned fairy dust.
I'm just kidding!!! No!  I made (da da da da da da daaaa! {insert jazz hands}):

Two toned bias tape!


Yes, I was torn on which color would win the "hem honors", so I decided that it was a tie between red and pinky coral!  
"Well why would you need bias tape for a hem?"
Well, sometimes you need to hem a curve.  And if you want to make it a little more interesting than just a narrow hem, then what are you options?  Bias or trim, right?  The bottom of this dress is curved so naturally bias tape is a great idea.  (Secretly, call me backward crazy, but I was "lazy"not feeling clipping and turning and pressing the hem on the test dress, so I made matching bias tape for that too!  Silly right?  That's my approach to lazy ;-)

Would you like to make some??  The finished width after the center is folded is 5/8" (if you need something different, you are going to have to do some finagling yourself.  If I do this in the future in a different width I will be sure to post it here.)
 If you were to make a different width keep in mind two things:
  1. the two to one ratio is important otherwise you won't see the other color
  2. seam allowance needs to be factored in.  I would suggest a seam allowance no bigger than 1/4", unless you are factoring that in too.
Keep in mind that you need to keep the seam allowance pressed towards the red side.
 Folding the coral fabric in about 3/8" instead of to the center as well will ensure that you see it sufficiently from the other side.  Not only that, but you also can attach it the ol' foolproof way: attaching the wider side to the underneath first and then stitch the narrow side afterwards,  This will ensure that you catch both layers!

If you aren't into making it yourself, I think I am going to start making some to sell in my Etsy shop, so keep a look out.  I'll post when it's ready!
 Other things I made (because you know I don't just stop at the dress):
They look a little weird on the hanger, but they look soo damn cute, trust me!
stripey ruched leggings... maybe I'll make a tute if you all are interested ;-)
easy peasy headband with lefover bias.  Too thick for an eyelet so I made a tiny buttonhole instead.  And the bow? the middle isn't sewed to the band so I can move it wherever I please!
Tiny sandals I super modified from Ashley's sandal tutorial

Hot pink vinyl soles!!
 So what do you think?  Does it say "Yeay!  It's my 1st Birthday!!"?  I hope it does.  I can't believe it doesn't have one ruffle!  Don't worry, Azriella's birthday dress will more than make up for it.
 Happy dress makes me so happy!!!
Now here are some pics of something else I made for Azriella, and awesome layered skirt.  Super fun, mix-matchy prints, ahhhhhhh just my cup of tea!  And a chartreuse shirt?  Does it get much better?!

Here we are at this last Thursday on Alberta:
Can you see the prints?!  "Robot butterflies", flowers, and mushrooms
look at those curls!
Awe, I love my little girl sooooooo much!!!
 Somehow, I got suckered duped into wearing the Bjorn instead of my SweetPod carrier I made.  Oh well, I made a cover for it too so that it's not just some boring looking Bjorn!
*blush* I've got her heart and she's stolen mine!
 That's all for now, but don't worry, there'll be more very soon!!
One more day till her birthday!!!!!!

7 awesome sauce comments:

  1. Everything in this post is amazing. That dress is ADORABLE, the two-toned bias tape is so clever. Have you seen this?

    It's a printable bias tape maker you print onto cardboard, glue together AND IT ACTUALLY WORKS. I never made bias tape before but now I do ^_^

    I want to see photos of your rainbow hair!

  2. Yay, love the keyhole dress and that's great you got to Bolt and met Heather! She's only been there once when I have, but it was definitely fun to chat a bit. I usually venture over there during my kids' naptime - when I bring Em she usually decides she MUST have some fabric that's way too expensive to indulge her with...but sometimes I have to. ;)

  3. I super duper love your blog, thanks for showing the birthday dress!!!!
    I may attempt the bias tape, but need the bias making thingymajig to arrive...!
    Thanks again, brilliantly written, funny and informative - everything one crafter can hope for! Jane x

  4. this is freaking awesome!!! I flipped when I saw your two toned bias tape - I love it!!! I mean, such a great idea - and one I never thought of! I love it!

  5. Still am loving this two toned bias tape! I simply needed to feature it as one of today's top patterns over at SewSet! Thank you so much for sharing!

    - Jess

  6. Oh, Kat, these shots from you and your gorgeous family are just too sweet... :)
    And the vintage fabric is to beautiful, just as the dress is! (The dressES ARE, but I would prefer your test run ;))
    And the idea to make two tones bias tape is brilliant, and I will totally use this in future projects! (Unfortunately I will have to wait some time, before I can start, because we have just moved from Germany to Brazil, and my beloved Janome only works with 50 Hz, and I will have to wait for a converter.......)
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Two-toned bias tape for your shop. get onto that.

    Also I remember this was one of the first things I remember you making and looking at Azy's outfit and going "damn. I want her to dress me!"


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