Today's post is all about Ella. She's my SIL's 7 year old granddaughter and the one I make the doll clothes for. I've got the new dress to share and a couple of photos from a visit with her yesterday.
First up is the dress. This was one epic dress to make. The pattern is called Opening Night and it has something like 36 steps. But it's so incredibly well written. I'd say that it's better than many patterns from the big pattern companies. I know that the AG McCalls pattern that I have is full of errors, including mis-labeled pattern pieces and spelling errors. This Opening Night dress pattern is incredibly detailed and very accurate. So it was hard and easy at the same time. It's hard because there are lots of pieces and some sewing gymnastics required but easy because the directions are clear and as long as you take it one step at a time and accept that hand sewing is sometimes faster than machine sewing, it will come together without too much of a headache.
The fabric is silk shantung and was donated by my friend, Kim. The company we worked for has a lovely annual holiday event that was a great opportunity to make some beautiful evening wear. Kim loved full skirted dresses and this fabric was from the skirt from one of her party dresses. Silk shantung sews like a dream and has great body for a dress like this. She also gave me a pink silk that I'll use for another outfit at some point.
Hand sewing was critical for this dress. I tried, for example, to do the edge stitching on the sheer fabric on the machine but this dress just didn't need to have that much profanity sewn into it. The story was the same with the invisible zipper. After 2 tries on the machine I sewed it in by hand and was done in 20 minutes. The dress is fully lined and it's hand sewn at the waist and around the inside of the zipper. The lining was some I had leftover from when I used to make my own suits for work.
Ella's grandmother and I have decided to save this dress for her birthday in July. She's even getting some shoes to go with.
Ella was staying with them for a couple of days this week while she's on Spring break so we went to visit yesterday and had a blast.
Apparently Ella was excited for me to come because she had made me a thank you gift and card for making the outfits for her. She was so cute. We had a fashion show with each outfit and combination that I had made and then she gave me this potholder and thank you note. She definitely knows how to work me because she made a point of telling me that my clothes were special and that she kept them is a separate place so that nothing would happen to them. Soooooo cute.
I love the potholder because it brought back so many memories of when I used to make these things by the dozen when I was a kid. I loved getting a new bag of loops whenever we went to the store. I didn't even know that this was still a thing!
We did not go for our visit empty handed. The last time I ordered yarn I found this loop yarn from Lion Brand. The loops are all worked out so that as you "knit" them together you get an image. She loved making it and has decided to use it as a doll blanket. This type of yarn is available in big skeins and adult colors so you could make a giant afghan if you wanted. It's good because it doesn't require any tools other than your fingers but, I have to admit, I hope to never use it again. It's really easy to skip loops so you have to be very attentive. It also sheds like crazy and all that fluff stuck to my pants and nowhere else! I even brought some home with me. But, for kids, this is a fun project and the blanket is incredibly soft and snuggly.
We will be doing another because, in my wisdom, I also bought the unicorn skein at the same time. She got really good at it be the time we finished so the second one should go faster.
PS, Ella is covering her face because I made her. She was happy to have her picture taken but I don't think it's appropriate for me to share photos of someone else's child on the internet. I don't even like to share my own photo on the internet!
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.