Did you all know I’m in a sewing competition this week? Over at Frances Suzanne, I joined three great bloggers / sewists and sewed my version of the Oliver and S Croquet Dress. When Ashley and Emily asked me to compete, I knew I was going to say yes right away, but I also had this little butterfly feeling in my stomach! And then I saw that I would be competing against a friend of mine. Oh this is fun, but man this is hard.
Want to hear about this dress? Immediately when I signed up to sew, the Croquet dress was begging to have embroidery added to it. But I thought that wouldn’t be enough FLIP, so I made a few other changes. My girl (who is just a month shy of 10) loves anything that is made out of knit fabric. So I knew that I would have to use some knit fabric. I had this organic cotton knit fabric in my stash…just a yard of it and it was just the right amount. I cut out her size, size 8. The front yoke and shoulder pieces were cut out just as the pattern is. When it came time to cut the rest of the dress, I decided I just wanted an a line dress. I widened the top dress piece (pattern piece 7) and added an inch of width at the fold line. I also extended this piece down so that the dress would hit at my daughter’s knees.
I changed the sleeve pieces, thinking that I would love to have cap sleeves. Things aligned perfectly when Dana released her newest pattern, the first day dress. I just snatched the cap sleeve piece from that pattern, cut two out, just like in the first day dress pattern and got to sewing. I lined the armhole of the dress with a piece of knit fabric, one inch wide.
Last change was the gathering. I prefer pleats to gathers, so I just made a simple inverted box pleat. And then I did a bit of hand embroidery along the front yoke and shoulder pieces. I’m entirely new to this embroidery thing, but found out I love it! It’s just like doodling with a needle and thread. I wanted this white embroidery to pop on the dark blue fabric, so I threaded my needle each time with three strands of embroider floss. I would just free hand draw my design with a white chalk pencil and got to sewing. The neckline is stitched with a blanket stitch and all of those flowers were created with this tutorial. A few long car rides for summer trips helped me finish up all the embroidery on this dress!
When my girl put on her dress a couple Sundays ago, her first comment was “this is so comfortable”. Translation…she’s going to be wearing this one a lot. This is by far my favorite thing I have made for my girl! The more I sew, the more I realize I love to take my time on a project, thinking about all of the details. I sew because I enjoy it, and this project had me slowing down and enjoying the whole process. Thanks Ashley and Emily for having me FLIP the Croquet Dress!
So the competition part…you can head on over to Frances Suzanne and cast your vote. You don’t have to vote for me…find your favorite version of the Croquet Dress and vote! Okay, now I’m a bit nervous! I might just have to stay away from my computer all weekend while the voting is going on! Gah!