Ah, summertime!!!! This year is our first official year of "summer break". I love summer -- from the relaxing days without a schedule to the sweet little dresses designed to keep my girls as cool as possible in this humid NC heat.
What better way to kick off the summer than with participating in the Ellie Inspired Summer Blog Tour! I've gotten the chance to participate in the last several Ellie Inspired blog tours, but this one is special. This tour is sponsored by Riley Blake Designs -- eeks!!!! I adore their fabric!!
So then comes the question.... which came first? The fabric or the pattern?
I actually picked out the pattern first. This is the Dixie Dress -- a sweet. summer frock that can be worn as a halter or criss-cross ties. My girls love to wear dresses. especially in the hot, hot summer so I knew this would be a perfect choice. I actually had this pattern in my
Next came fabric!! After speaking with the rep from Riley Blake (Hi, Julia!) and getting the list of the possible fabrics, I spent hours mulling over my decision. Yep, I'm that indecisive. Haha. I had a few choices at the top of the list that were fun and whimsical (like the Sunglasses fabric or the Unicorns -- don't tell my 6 yr old I passed those up!), but I thought I take a little fancier approach. I kept coming back to this fabric line - La Vie Boheme and I just loved the gorgeous flowers. It also had colorways that would compliment each girl so they could coordinate, but not be an exact copy. I chose TEAL for my 4 year old and CREAM for my 6 year old.
I have to admit though, the teal colorway caught my eye first. My blue-eyed blondie looks fabulous in this color!
I wanted to showcase the two different styles of ties. This is the halter version.
And here is the criss-cross back. At the current time, they are just tacked in with safety pins as she'll likely wear it more as a halter, but I wanted to show you both possibilities. If you want to use this style (and permanently sewn), you'll need to have the child present during sewing so you know at what length you need to fasten the straps.
This bodice is perfect to showcase a large print or an embroidery design.
If you've been following along for the past couple years, you've heard me talk about mixing sizes due to both of my daughters having very slim measurements for their ages. Height-wise they are fairly average (my oldest is on the low end for her age). This pattern contains a finished measurements chart that includes ease. This means it will be a couple inches (typically - for woven) larger than your child's chest measurement. This pattern has elastic in the back bodice. Note: The finished measurement is measured with the elastic fully stretched (so please take this into consideration).
I've sewn several dresses from Ellie Inspired for my youngest (normally a size 2 width), but when looking at the pattern piece, it looked a bit narrow at the top to me. So I decided to try a size 4. After bribing my 4 year old with chocolate chips for a fitting, the 4 was not quite as wide across the chest as I'd prefer, but not scandalous. Depending on how I situated the bodice, it was either high on her neck or low under the arms, but I really didn't want to start over. So I increased the SA across the top of the chest (essentially lowering it by 1"). I had also tried the original bodice on my 6 year old and determined it would be perfect if I added a 1/2" in width to the center to widen the chest coverage.
After talking with Laura of EI, it was determined that my file I was sent last spring was the wrong file.... I am glad that I followed up my sizing concerns though, with the designer instead of simply thinking (and telling everyone) that the sizing is way off. (NOTE: I have received the alternate copy and it is 1" wider in the bodice :) )
Even my girls were shocked... haha
|The length was spot on though! Couldn't have gotten this more perfect!|
One of my favorite things about this pattern is the deep 4" blind-hem. It gives the skirt great structure at the bottom and the blind-hem (or handstitched) is a perfect when you don't want your hem stitching to show. If you've not yet mastered (or tried) the blind-hem, it's actually mind blowing once you wrap your brain around how you position the fabric. It seriously makes you want to blind-hem ALL.THE.THINGS!
|It's always a contest... LOL|
I am so glad I went with my gut and chose the La Vie Boheme line. I decided against using any coordinating prints as accents because I knew the main print would shine on its own. I was also very happy to find a flower that I could fussy cut to take center stage on each bodice. Thank you so much for this gorgeous fabric, Riley Blake!!!! I hope you love the result as much as I do.