That said, I know that my little girl is growing, and is going to keep growing pretty noticeably for the next few years. So I didn't want to make a dress up dress that would fit her now, and not in six months time. That just felt like a bit of a waste.
To combat this problem, I thought about how to make a dress that would be able to grow with her, so she could wear it for at least a year or two. The best way to address this would be to make a wrap dress, that could expand with growth. I went to my basic Five and Ten Designs bodice and from the size four, I redrew the back pattern piece to make it cross over and wrap around.
I figured this way, while she's still a size two, the back pieces would just wrap tighter and have more overlap, and then as she grows, it will just be less and less. There is still overlap at the size four though, so it should be able to stretch out till at least size five, or maybe even a six if I'm lucky. Could be that this dress will last for four years! That'd be great.
I had a stack of gauzy fabric in my stash, and I asked Sophie which one she liked. I made the skirt pretty long (she nearly stands on it when she runs now) so it will be able to fit as she grows too. To me, one of the essential design features of any pretty dress up dress (especially a Cinderella ball gown type dress) is that the skirt be pretty big and poofy for fun spinning.
This fits the bill. I hate gathering more than ever, and did a lot of hand sewing to get everything in place before I finally stitched it together, but I'm glad I did. It was worth it to see her spin around in it.
I also wanted the dress to be big because I knew she'd just be throwing it on over whatever she was already wearing. I mean - that's pretty standard for dress ups right? That means that this dress is going to get a lot of wear. Sophie was running around the yard in it when I was taking photos. Also checking the dirt and plants and splashing in water.
Here she is rescuing something from under the fridge the next day too. Quality Cinderella moment.
I did some fancy rolled hem stitch on Olivia the Overlocker for the sheer hem. Some of it worked, kinda. It was about twice the width that I wanted, but whatever I tried I couldn't make it smaller. Also, I had about thirty centimetres to go when something started to not work at all, so if you look closely, there is in fact a small amount of dress that isn't hemmed at all. And I was almost out of thread.
After seeing the way that she ran around the garden in it, I think this is an ok decision, because I can see myself re-doing the hem anyway. Also, the bit that isn't done is wrapped under the top layer when she puts it on, so you can't even see it. Win!
Not to be left out, here is Rachel, posing with our Cinderella book. Cinderella in this book wears a pink ball gown, so that's probably why Sophie's Cinderella dress ended up being pink, rather than the "traditional" Disney blue.