A Birthday Matinée Dress

My baby girl Hadley is turning two this week!  I took the opportunity to “dual program” as we used to say in my sorority days and graded a 2T version of my Matinée Dress which will be my entry for the signature style challenge for the Project Run & Play sewalong, and of course it’s Hadley’s new dress for her big day.

I say my baby because as my youngest daughter she’ll always be my baby, even though I swear her infancy flashed by so fast I got whiplash.  I guess that happens when the kid is pretty much off the charts from birth on.  She’s been riding the 97th percentile curve and it will be interesting to see where she is at her two year well check.

I hope you’re ready for photo overload.  I took a boatload of pictures because photo shoots with Hadley can be… unpredictable.  And usually involve tears and some screaming.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were many nice shots from which to select.  I took all of these with my 50mm prime lens.

Arden selected the location for our shoot.  There’s an annual historical camp along the river going through our city called The River of Time.  They have vendors and re-enactors representing different periods throughout history, like pioneers, native Americans, different war conflicts, traders, etc.  We had walked through the day before and Arden wanted to go back to the “flower park” which is an area next to the encampment where community groups plant pocket gardens.

The fabrics for the dress are from my amazing new sponsor, Sew Fine Fabrics.  The main fabric is “Abacus” in Pool and the contrast is “Dottie” in Orange, both organic cotton from Birch Fabrics.  I’ve been wanting to try organic fabrics and I’m so happy I was able to at long last.  These fabrics are so dreamy – almost a lawn, but more substantial.  I was peeking at Jodi’s shop and she’s got a bunch of new fabrics, including the Fort Firefly collection – sooo cute!

I decided to add little cap sleeves and I’m really liking how they change up the look of the dress.  I had a bit of fun on Instagram (@jennuinelife) giving peeks and a poll to determine which buttons y’all thought looked best with the fabrics – blue A won!

I also added a band of the contrast fabric at the hem of the skirt which I think was needed with this much contrast between the two fabrics.  I think the band on the bodice would have looked a little orphaned without it.  It took a bit of patient fussy cutting and patient sewing to be sure the dots lined up all the way around and I’m quite proud of my pattern matching on the seams on the hem band – can you spot the two seams?

I have plans to work on a pattern for this dress.  I know, I know, you’ve heard this from me before but I just need to get my plate cleared off enough to sit down and learn/do the digitizing.  I doesn’t help that I seem to have a masochistic compulsion for adding even more things when I’m trying to check things off the list.  It’s just so hard not to jump on every new fun opportunity with all the great projects and events going on in the creative community.  I also need to decide which pattern will be the first and I think this one needs to be it.  I love patterns with options, so I’ll be sure to include the sleeve pattern as well as instructions for a contrast hem band.

After scrolling through the pictures, you can see that Hadley is beginning to show her modeling chops.  She was so cute marching along this little wall.  She kept repeating “walking, walking, walking” as she went.  She was laughing and running after Arden and having a grand old time until they shot off a cannon at the River of Time I told you about.  That really freaked her out and then she was all done and just wanted to be held.  I had plenty of shots by then so all was good.

Aaah!  I just love her little chubby knees in that last shot!

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19 Responses to A Birthday Matinée Dress

  1. Teresa September 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM #

    This is adorable…and I love the addition of the cap sleeves. Super cute dress 🙂

  2. OnceUpona Sew September 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM #

    Turned out very cute, love the additions!

  3. Louise Jozwiak-Fredieu September 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM #

    So precious! The dress is too! Let me tell you, that little Hadley of yours has got to be the cutest ever! i love your new posts just so i can see her! Well, i do like your creativity also. This dress is especially cute. i love the fabric you chose. The contrast is perfect. You were definitely right about putting in a hem of the contrasting material. Also, the little cap sleeves are so cute. Such a cute pattern with the little open back. i love it.

  4. Ellen Price September 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM #

    Very very cute!! She is quite the little model! Love the addition of the sleeves and the blue fabric too!

  5. April Boyer September 30, 2013 at 1:17 AM #

    It’s perfect! I love the contrast bands and the blue button looks great, that was my vote. 😉

  6. michelle @ sewnhenge September 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM #

    Man, I really love everything about this! There really is something wonderful about baby backs 🙂

  7. Renee September 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM #

    Gorgeous dress and great pics!

  8. Olga Becker @ Kid Approved September 30, 2013 at 3:23 PM #

    This is adorable! Gorgeous dress!

  9. Annie September 30, 2013 at 6:06 PM #

    Sweet dress, beautiful fabric choice!

  10. Michelle September 30, 2013 at 6:59 PM #

    Great job! I love how you added the contrast hem this time. It’s lovely, and Happy Birthday to Hadley!

  11. Chelsea B. September 30, 2013 at 8:11 PM #

    So sweet! Great job!

  12. Simple Simon and Company October 1, 2013 at 6:25 AM #

    Oh your Hadley and my Ruth are just a few weeks apart! (And I feel like her infancy flew by as well….why can’t we freeze time for just a little while?) Adorable dress and good luck on delving into the world of digitizing…that place scares me!!!-liZ

  13. sallyavena October 2, 2013 at 3:25 AM #

    What a great looking dress…such sweet lines and colors! I too have one off the charts and she always seems much older to me. It doesn’t help that her 10 year old, petite sister practically hands stuff down directly to her…no waiting in boxes needed, even though she is only 5.

  14. Mmmmm...cookies! October 2, 2013 at 3:01 PM #

    Great fabric combo. I love the colors and all the sweet details.

  15. Zafarani October 7, 2013 at 2:39 AM #

    Love the fabric combo and I love the dress! I feel my kids are growing up far too fast too! My oldest is already over half way through his childhood, which is super scary and weird. Back to the dress, I’m so glad to hear that you’ll be making a pattern for it!

  16. Αθηνά October 8, 2013 at 6:29 AM #

    This is a lovely dress! I like the colors!!! Your daughter is adorable! 🙂

    (I found your blog via Sugar Bee Crafts linky party. I am Athina from Greece and my blog is http://craftaholicenglish.blogspot.gr/ )

  17. Diane W October 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM #

    Can you let me know when the pattern is available? I just love this dress!

  18. stacey April 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM #

    I love the dress! Especially the back band, that is such a unique touch! cant wait for the pattern to be available.

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