Upcycling for KCW

kid's clothes week

It’s Kid’s Clothes Week! Basically a challenge to sew every day for an hour for 7 days. Here is a better description. While I knew it was coming up this month and I was totally psyched about the upcycling theme, I had the dates all wrong in my head. Thanks to my feed reader, I caught that it started on Sunday. Usually I plan out in my sewing notebook what I am going to make. I included what patterns I am going to use, notions and fabric I might need, and whether the pattern will need to be traced. Sometimes there is even a line drawing of what I am going to sew and I let the girls color it in. I am a planner. Can you tell?

Whelp, this time around there just wasn’t time to plan. Luckily I had some sewing projects just begging to be started.

The first I wouldn’t exactly call an upcycled project. But it still counts as sewing I did this week. Delilah has been asking for a “one shoulder dress” for a while now. I’ve had her describe it a million time over and even show me what she meant by one shoulder because it just seemed like an odd request from a four (five next week, eep!) year old.

Once I as pretty clear what she wanted we searched Pinterest together. Yes, she likes Pinterest. If she finds my phone unattended, she’ll open the app and find things “we should do”. I found the Stella Dress from Violette Field Threads and decided that would be the pattern to use. The pattern is a PDF so it does need to be printed and taped together and then traced.  I have this love/hate thing with PDF patterns.  I love the immediacy but I hate all the taping and cutting before I can get to tracing it.

The pattern very clearly says the bodice is designed to be fitted and advises you measure carefully. I measured Delilah and her chest measurement put her at a size four. She wasn’t around for me to paper fit the pattern once it was traced so I just went ahead and cut the fabric. Mistake…more on that later

We bought the fabric that I used for this dress about a year ago. We were at a flea market and Delilah spotted this piece of home decor fabric and said she wanted it to be a dress. There was just under a yard but it was 56″ wide so I figured it could be a dress for a tiny person. She also picked out a vintage apron that she wants turned into a dirndl but I haven’t gotten around to that and probably won’t have time this week. According to the selvage, it’s a Monet inspired fabric that was printed in England. You can see that here on my cutting table/kitchen island. Please disregard the errant sippy that is on the floor. I live with lots of little people who just throw things when they are through with them.

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I knew there wasn’t going to be enough of the Monet fabric for the dress, ruffle, lining and sash so I found this peach satin in my stash. It was a designer remnant I picked up at Fabric Place Basement. And while I don’t know a lot about it, there was a sticker on the middle of it that very clearly says, Dry clean only.

Sigh, see what happen when you don’t plan? You end up making a dry clean only dress for a little kid. I pushed ahead knowing that this would be more of a party dress. (And also knowing the fabric store is half an hour from my house).

I taped and traced the pattern and carefully laid out my pieces to make the most of the print. I meticulously marked fronts and backs of the skirt so that the prettiest part would be in the front. You see where this it’s going right? Delilah comes home from dance with my mom, who is my sewing idol, and I insist that I fit the pieces to her. And what happens? The bodice doesn’t fit!!  It’s to SMALL! My mom says, it doesn’t fit. (Remember that for later that I had a witness). I decided to add the peach satin as a tuxedo stripe on either side of the bodice to remedy this problem. I had already decided to add panels of the peach to the skirt to achieve the desired fullness because there wasn’t enough of the Monet fabric.

So I add panels here and there and get the bodice all put together and put it on Delilah. And it is too big. It is too big by the exact width of the panel I’ve added. What??? Remember I had a witness?? So I take out one of the panels. The other I leave because quite frankly the dress was making me crazy. Mind you it’s not the fault of the pattern, but I am pretty sure my measuring.

Other than my inability to correctly size my child the dress came together easily. I added a lining to the skirt because I wanted to add some body to it. The peach satin is a bit stiff so it was perfect lining as far as adding body. But it did tend to stand up a bit on the front ruffle. I was going to try ironing it better but my mom was kind enough to hand tack it down.

Of course we took pictures before my mom sewed the ruffle down!

Delilah, who honestly poses herself like this, loves it.

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Somehow the dress makes her look so old. Don’t you think?
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And since we were taking pictures, Barrett thought he should get in on it. Looks like I should sew him a shirt next.

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So while not upcycled, it is made from thrifted fabric and home decor fabric at that so I am counting this as a repurpose. (Did you notice the sash is missing?  I ran out of thread…..yes, I sew all the time and yes I have thread that is a close match, but I kind of want it perfect after the time that has gone into it at this point so for now, no sash)

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