Audrey loves the idea of dressing like her father. They have similar baseball caps, similar pique shirts, similar shoes...so she was excited when I told her she would have a dress to match her daddy's tie. Phew! Because I was crazy about this madras patchwork fabric and would have been sorely disappointed if she didn't like it for some reason. Their Daddy may have gotten a bit more than he bargained for when he asked for the tie, because Scarlett got a matching dress too. Truth be told, I had the dresses planned already, so I warned him, he was signing up for some photos... What a sport.
First, Audrey's dress. I loved the idea of doing something generous with this blur of plaid. Typically I guess one would go for a more simple fabric when thinking about ruffles, but I loved the idea with this patchwork. As often happens, I had this dress in my head and then went to look for patterns.
I ended up using Simplicity 3512 as a starting point. It has a mock wrap bodice but I made this one functional. I also cut down the neckline so the wrap closes at the waist.
The pattern has a cute godet skirt but I wanted more fullness so I added a full skirt based on a vintage pattern in my collection. It's probably about four times the fullness of the waist. So cute!
I made the ruffle a bit taller. I wish I hadn't run out of fabric or I might have added a bit more.
To make the wrap function I added buttons down the diagonal. I chose a light tortoise shell button. I think this madras plaid would look fantastic with khaki, such as a khaki poplin suit (hint to my husband). I was thinking about pairing the dresses with the girls' gold Saltwater sandals from the wedding, but went with white instead to coordinate with their daddy's seersucker. Pretty preppy. I have always had a soft spot for preppy. What do you expect from a product of the eighties?
The dress doesn't have a wrap skirt, but instead I created a placket opening at the top of the skirt.
The other half of the bodice buttons closed at the waist. Because I fully lined the dress it was a bit tricky figuring out the construction but I only had to rip out one little seam. I felt lucky there wasn't more trial and error! And I was worried about the fit--Audrey's clothes are looking so large to me now! But thankfully it fits, with some room, so hopefully it will work next year too. I really need to get a dress form to eliminate some of the guesswork!
And for Scarlett, I went a completely different direction: a simple apron wrap dress. I love these lines on her. I love the apron tie in front! (That's two fingers for "two years old.")
I remember my mother wearing something like this. I can picture it: a light denim apron dress with a faded red t-shirt underneath. It was so effortles and still chic. She wore it when she might have otherwise worn jeans. She had good legs.
It looks pretty cute on Scarlett too. I had seen a pattern in my vintage collection for a dress like this but when I went to look at it I realized the envelope was empty! Such a bummer. But then I made my own pattern and it was even more fun!
The vintage pattern tied around the neck. I made mine with a criss-cross. A little easier to wear I think, though this dress could easily be worn that way too, especially by a child who could tie it herself.
I'm working on the pattern for this to share soon. (UPDATE: the Apron Wrap Dress Pattern is here.)
Would have been nice if I'd made these dresses earlier in the summer. Oh well. Hopefully they won't be too short next summer and I'll feel a bit ahead of the seaon for once!
Here's to the ritual end of summer. Hard to believe! I guess I better start thinking about Fall...