Never let it be said that I don’t get my money’s worth out of a pattern. My Family Reunion Dress pattern envelope is starting to look a little dog-eared (although that could be because Elma chewed it a bit one afternoon) and is bursting at the seams with the tracing paper copies for Kitty and Elma’s sizes.
I did mix it up a little bit for Elma’s birthday dress; it is a Family Reunion dress, there’s no change there, but I made view B.
Yes, view B. It has a ruffle on the front not a button placket – I’m really living on the edge there aren’t I!
But the truth is that there’s no good reason not to keep making this dress. It has pintucks, it has the perfect chance to show off beautiful buttons, and now it has a ruffle. I see so many beautiful dresses in the Flickr Group with twists and tweaks that makes me determined to up my technical skills, but at the end of the day, the basic pattern is so very not basic, so handmade not homemade, that I’ll save the bells and whistles for another day.
This version is made from a brushed cotton that reminds me so much of a Liberty print without actually being Liberty (I’ve no idea what it is because I forgot to read the label and it didn’t say on the selvedge), and was a little impulse purchase at what Kitty calles “the Pink shop”, a fabric shop in Leamington with a post-it note pink frontage (Kitty loves it and never wants to leave on the basis of the pink and also the gold shiny button display!).
It might have been an impulse, but it was an impulse with Elma’s name on it; that blue is the perfect colour to bring out the blue in her eyes and it’s soft and warm and snuggly; what more could any little girl want for a December birthday.
The buttons are why I want to call it the Twitter dress, don’t they look a bit like the Twitter bird to you? They called to me as soon as I started looking at blue buttons, a perfect match both for the colours in the dress and my buttonholes. I know you’re supposed to choose buttons and sew the buttonholes later when you can check the size, but I have a horrible habit of catching incurable finish-it-up-itis right before the buttonhole stage, and I figure I can always tweak them if need be. So far, the gamble has paid off.
I can’t really explain why I feel the need to make my girls a birthday dress. It’s not something that my Mum ever did; she made us sundresses and other bits and bobs as and when we needed them, but it’s not a family tradition hardwired into my creative DNA. And then they unwrap it, and try it on, and I know that I’m going to keep making birthday dresses for as long as I think they’ll keep wearing them.