Someone is feeling the fancy vibes pretty hard. I sewed up this super fancy mint and cream birthday dress for my newly 6 year old girl, and it even has a zip and a silk bodice. Totally legit, right?
(fabric and dress pattern details will be rounded up at the end of the post)
A gulf usually exists between what Clover loves to wear and what I enjoy spending time sewing. Lately I think it’s resulted in my sewing less for her, and just buying things here and there as she needs them. But a strange magic worked its way through the two of us, and her birthday dress seems to have been an actual collaboration that we both appreciate.
My newly 6 year old has that princessy thing ingrained in her someplace safe from the sideways glances and outright disapproval of the rest of the family. She’s the only one who wants to hit the pink stuff aisle at Target, and is granted time in it from her companions with a begrudging “fine, but we don’t dawdle.”. She’s counter cultural in a family with no girly girls.
So when I took her into Finch and asked her to tell me the things that she might like in her dress, I was really surprised and delighted when she told me she liked this mint Art Gallery solid that I’d been wanting to use for something for a long time. And there was just enough left on the bolt for her skirt.
I wanted to go classy/fancy for her dress, and the silk/cotton ivory colored fabric on the bodice seemed like just the thing. I love that Nicole stocks things like that in Finch. Something I’d never hope to find in….ahem…. most fabric stores.
The confetti fabric for the collar was a gift from Kristin ala the Skirt as Top blog. It’s Nani Iro double gauze. Apparently I’m lucky enough to have friends who do things like giving away Nani Iro. She’s one of those people who can spin a gift box of joy together with all sorts of little elements tailored to your personality. I’d been hoarding the confetti for something special, and a 6th birthday silk dress seemed pretty special.
Annie got the rest of the nani iro. It was just the perfect amount for a matching skirt on a doll dress. Her little lined bodice is the silk blend, and collar is nani iro. Is it weird that I’m slightly jealous of my daughter’s doll’s dress? Annie, you minx.
Both dresses got wrapped up and presented to Clover on her birthday. She was utterly delighted. Total mom win. Sometimes as a parent, very infrequently even, you feel like you’ve really nailed it and done something well. Clover’s birthday felt like that. We didn’t go over the top, didn’t have a big themed party or extravagance. But we did try to hit key points that we thought would give our girl joy.
Looking fancy as hell with her doll, being one of them.
One reason I chose this dress pattern was the invisible zip. It seemed an extra thread of fancy in a sophisticated little birthday dress. And everything even seems to line up! It’s a birthday miracle.
Under all that top fabric is an underskirt made of white shirting AND a layer of tulle netting sandwiched between for extra oomph. This dress does not lack in oomph, I will tell you. It defies gravity.
Little sister showed up to photobomb our shoot. Both girls were done up in curls because Clover had requested to have her hair curled for her birthday, and it’s the way of the younger sibling to crash their older sibling’s party. She may not be girly, but she most certainly is not going to be left out.
So then she stole her sister’s Halloween dress and jumped into the photos. I’m crazy in love with these sister photos. Omg.
Violet is wearing the most ridiculous rubber Spiderman necklace from the dollar magic section at Target.
These girls here are what you might call “spirited”. And they do a lot of things that are somewhat humiliating in public. There are many moments where I’m left a little speechless and wishing I could pretend that the freak show happening around me isn’t mine. I’m pretty sure all the stores we frequent have a few employees who either feel a little sorry for me or else have a lot of things to say about how they’d parent my kids differently. Lol. (but not always. they can turn up the outgoing charm pretty prettttty hard) But other times I also get to step back and realize in awe that these are my little people, who I get the magnificent gift of raising and spending life with.
They’re so weird and wild and nerdy and hilarious and unique. Both of them. And I’m grateful for my tall, skinny, bookworm and self-professed nerd (with the utmost pride) newly 6 year old girl. Who loves princesses. And Legos. She tears through books every chance she gets, builds intricate scenes with legos, plays a mean game of dress up, takes care of her baby brother, and remembers just about everything. She even likes math.
Lately I’ve been watching the companionship unfold between these two girls. Left to their own devices a lot of the day, and with pretty much zero TV time during weekdays, they’ve developed a little world and culture all of their own. They can disappear for hours at a time and be found happily burrowed someplace playing a game or pretending. The sound of their little feet stampeding to slam their door shut when they hear me ascending the stairs with their baby brother….it’s actually kind of heart warming. I’m grateful to be granted the privilege of staying home with them. They get to be kids together. It’s pretty awesome.
I’m exhausted a lot of the time, don’t get me wrong. And there’s a lot of self doubt and mental pains over the decision to keep my kids with me, rather than do the socially normal thing and sending them to school. I can’t even say or prove that they’re better off with me or equally as well off as if they went to school with the experts every day, because you really can’t know. But I do like to at least count the blessings of the way we’ve felt led to do life.
Happy birthday, Clover! I’m glad you’re my nerd.
Dress pattern : Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House sewn in a 4t width/7 length
Annie’s dress: A hack from a pattern in the Storybook Toys book where the doll pattern came from. I used a pattern for a different doll’s dress and made it into a sleeveless, fully lined version with an opening in the back
Clover’s bodice is Kaufman radiance silk/cotton blend from Finch. I don’t see the particular color listed in the online shop, but there’s a taupe and red.
Skirt is Art Gallery solid in mint from Finch. I definitely took the last of it or I’d recommend it. There’s a coral that I like too though
Collar is confetti dot double gauze – gifted to me from a friend