Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Dresses

I love living in Tucson. One of the biggest pluses for me is the weather. I don't like snow. Let me clarify, I don't like cold, wet, snow in such large amounts that you cannot open the front door of your house for days. Or so much snow that the idea of getting in a moving vehicle gives you cold sweats. I prefer to drive up to the snow, visit it for a few hours then come home to my nice warm, dry house and look at it on the mountains out my front window.
But winter is our short season.  Let's talk summer.  Yes, it is beautiful here most of the year, but when summer comes it is HOT!!! and summer in Tucson lasts a long time. And when the temps read 108 and 109, the idea of clothing is enough to make a little girl cry. So the shorts and t-shirts that were great in May are too hot to wear in August and a little variation of the wardrobe never hurts.
But last summer I discovered that for Lilah, there was relief to be found in the simple, cotton, summer dress. She lived in them from July all the way through September (yep, still at least 100 degrees regularly) and was comfortable and (relatively) cool.
So this spring, I decided to arm her with as many light, cotton dresses as possible, because summer is knocking on our door as I type this. 
Plus, it gives me a chance to try out new patterns.  
And she looks so darn cute!

I actually made this one last summer from a McCall's  pattern (M5835) and it was WAY too big. It fits much better this year, and as an added bonus you can throw a t-shirt underneath and it's great for cooler weather.

This is one of my favorite patterns (too bad I didn't get a photo of the back) it's a basic halter dress (Simplicity 5531) and one of the few store-bought patterns I have ever made that fits well without alterations to the pattern. And this is SO easy to make, goes together in about an hour or so. I think you could also add various embellishments to this and make it even more special.

This dress (not the greatest photo--of the dress anyway) is a knock off of a really cute Lydia Jane sundress we got as a hand-me-down. Stay tuned for a tutorial for this one.

The pillowcase dress! Oh this one is a favorite, so easy, so many ways to make variations, and since my daughter is small, this one is made from 3 fat quarters. I used this pattern and tutorial from Little Big Girl Studio with an added ruffle to the bottom, repeated the same fabric as the casing around the neckline (forgot to add my seam allowance--ooops!) and this turned out to be one of my favorites.

And this one, which was her 3rd birthday dress. She chose the purple fabric and the dress pattern for this one, I suspect because it had a purse that went with it. This is a Daisy Kingdom pattern which is actually more of a fall/winter dress, but it's easy enough to make the sleeves shorter. She calls this one her "party dress".

And so, a beginning. I am anxious to try my hand at refashioning and upcycling and break away from the store-bought patterns, don't get me wrong, they are great and really helpful, but sometimes there just isn't an exsisting pattern to go with an idea you have. So let's move on a bit, try something new....exciting? Scary? Yes!!


  1. Cute stuff - can't wait to have a few to show myself. Your model is stinking cute too! But you knew that already! Love you guys!

  2. Love the site and your title! ;-)


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