Friday, August 13, 2010

Grandma hits one out of the park!

Grandma made the CUTEST dress ever. And getting to see Granddaughter # 1 in the cutest dress ever made the almost paralysing fear over granddaughter #2's hospitalization a little easier to live with.
The cutest dress ever began with a pair of jeans from Better Days Animal League Thrift Store. Granddaughter # 1 is a HUGE Mickey Mouse fan, and when I saw these, I could not pass them up. And for a buck 50, why should I? They had an interesting Tropical Minnie and Mickey theme, although I am disappointed Minnie doesn't get to surf, just hula.

The shorts were on the small side- but not tiny. I took them apart to get as much usable fabric as possible. Sorry, no photos of the deconstruction.

I chose an a-line jumper pattern, size T-2 Vivienne, which is free from Burda. You can print it out- it prints on 6 sheets of 8.5 by 11 paper, which I taped together to make the entire sheet.

I did have to make some changes- since the shorts were small-ish, I had to seam the center front and center back of the skirt- couldn't get a piece of fabric large enough for the entire pattern piece. Also, to my dismay, I didn't have enough fabric to cut the bodice out. But I thought "No Problem- I have plenty of old jeans stashed around, waiting to be made into rag rugs."

No problem- HAH- the denim in the shorts had an odd grayish tone, and the denim in my rag rug bag did not- none of it. But there was part of a white pair that had belonged to my older son- he of the zebra placket bowling shirt picture. As you see, he decorated his clothing in many ways... Still, even the white jeans didn't look right with the Mickeys. But I have a fix for that...

I cut off the legs of the white jeans, and popped them in a dye bath- I use Procion. I was hoping to get that coral color of the flower blossoms, so I mixed a little yellow with magenta. The finished product is not really salmon, but looks OK with the fabric.

And here is the dress. The little charms are Shrinky Dink plastic, and are sewn onto jump rings so they can be removed to wash. But even with the dangling Mickeys, it looked unfinished. A cute bow did the trick. Voila!

Close-up of the dangling Mickeys. I failed to mention it is fully lined- I stuck some unbleached muslin in the dye bath as well, so the lining matches the bodice.

And here is the princess wearing it- When she opened the package after it arrived in the mail, her mother reports she said "Oh my goodness Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Dress!" and had to put it on right away. Thank goodness it fits- but it's a little short. I was worried about it being big enough around, and once again forgot the long-waistedness. Oh, well, a t-shirt and tights or pants will make it last into the fall.

What more could a grandmother ask for?


  1. So cute! If you have/could make any more of the pink, a little ruffle around the bottom would be cute and make it a bit longer.

  2. That's a good idea, Lady Kay- and I think I might have enough of the fabric. Sadly- the outfit is in the midwest, and I am up the road from your sister!

  3. LOL, so her mommy can decide if she wants a ruffle enough to mail it back. Alternatively, if there is enough fabric, some matching bloomers would be cute too - maybe out of the muslin, since it would be lighter than the denim. :)

  4. Gosh, I hope I get a grand girlie so you can make her outfits!!! Um, but not just yet. But some day.

    Do you remember when you were a very young seamstress and made fireproof jammies for my sister's kids?!!! You actually came to my parents place in MO too...Oh, i wish we had some stuff from those days back!

    Uh-oh, tears. Sniff. Keeping the little one in my thoughts.

  5. Willa, that dress is so cute! The picture on your phone didn't do it justice.
    That Mickey fabric was a great find!