The Beachcomber halter and the red Liberty dress- Day 2 of KCW

Today, I present two completed projects for Day 2 of KCW.

(1) The (completed) halter dress. A great Enid Gilchrist pattern, I would sew this again in a heart beat.

The Enid Gilchrist halter dress- perfect for beach combing- my son provided the bucket prop! He had been carrying it around the house full of toys... (as you do)

The Enid Gilchrist halter dress- perfect for beach combing- my son provided the bucket prop! He had been carrying it around the house full of toys… (as you do)

The back... you can see the elastic sewn in for stretch

The back… you can see the elastic sewn in for stretch. Easy peasy. Quick and easy to make… yes please!

(2) The Red Liberty Dress

There are several of these dresses published in different Enid Gilchrist pattern books... essentially a smock dress with a yoke.

There are several of these dresses published in different Enid Gilchrist pattern books… essentially a smock dress with a yoke. This was made for a two year old.

I hate and love this dress. Oh the pain. The pain I tell you…! I think we have all been there. The point at which we realise we have made a mistake that is going to cost an additional time… the subsequent temptation to ignore said mistake (“who will know it’s there but me, really?” “Its a busy design, no’one will see it or care” “She’ll grow so fast the dress will be worn for 5 seconds”) followed by the dim realisation… Its Liberty fabric…  I had visions of myself pulling the dress from the closet and without feeling proud of the time invested or delight at a pretty dress for my daughter would wear, all I would see is the mistake which would grow disproportionately huge before my eyes. And worst of all, the dress might be left on the hanger or worn but quickly covered with a cardigan…. (NOOOO) !

So my friends, I took out the seam ripper and faced my demons. I unpicked those pesky stitches. And what you may ask caused this agony and angst? A wonky, uneven looking bias binding on an armhole on the front of the dress. Okay, we are talking a couple of mm probably. It may sound small but I could just see my daughter wearing the dress somewhere and the look of confusion as other mothers tried to figure out why the dress didn’t look quite right…. (No, no, no)… For me, when I sew, I know I am sewing for my girl and no matter what curve balls life may throw her, she is going to know she is a princess to me. Always. And worth the extra effort.

The original Enid Gilchrist dress illustration

The original Enid Gilchrist dress illustration from “Toddler’s Wardrobe”

Variations to the original Enid Gilchrist pattern: I found the instructions for this wanting: “Most mothers will have no trouble making the play frock, so these sketches deal with the frilled frock…” (EG’s Toddlers Wardobe, “Economical Frock for daughter”). Basically the instructions skipped the version I was making altogether except to say the shoulders were bound with french seams! I omitted the pocket, lined the bodice, I added a slit down the back beneath the closure, bound with self-bias. The last thing I wanted was problems getting the dress on and off. I also used snaps as a closure. Honestly, while I thought they were the best option, I hated putting them on- found it very time consuming and they were hard to line up (anyone with me on that)?! I spent significantly more time making this than I thought I would need.

In terms of fabric, I loved this Liberty lawn and thought it fit in well with the KCW theme of Kids art- the print has a naive beauty… who wouldn’t want to draw endless, bright, colourful flowers…??? Or WEAR them?? I think this is one of my fav Liberty prints.

How are you projects going???

Enid Gilchrist's Toddler's Wardrobe pattern book cover...

Enid Gilchrist’s Toddler’s Wardrobe pattern book cover…

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