Monday, January 18, 2010

something in the genes

No kidding, we measured Tsia the other day and she's grown an inch in the last two months! So this dress hem is just basted (and rather sloppily, at that) because there's an extra three inches in there, just waiting to be let out.

Ok, so let's just preface this post by saying that the love of pink or of sparkles was not genetically handed down through me or Todd. Or not directly, anyway. It didn't manifest itself in Tsia until preschool when she started playing with other girls who love pink, so maybe it's a passing fancy? I can only hope so, but a sparkly princess dress has been frequently and strongly requested, so Mom and I got busy during my visit home during the holidays. I thought I might get away with a more sophisticated selection of fabric, and I had almost successfully placed a lavender and gold sari-printed satin in our shopping cart when Tsia revolted. She wanted the pink with sparkles. And not just one pink fabric with sparkles; both the dress and the sheer accent fabrics needed to match! Yikes.

We used a McCall's pattern that I can't seem to find online, but it was in the pattern book the other day so I know it's still in print. There were about 18 views, which made the sewing seem more complicated than it actually was. I did make some adjustments to the bodice since I could tell from the measurement chart (and the photo on the envelope) that it would be too wide on her. Then I did the cutting, pressing and pinning, and Mom did almost all the sewing so it went really quickly. We returned home a few days later with a nearly finished dress; it just needed to be hemmed.

That, of course, took me another two weeks.

Mom found a matching veil in her stash of dress-up clothing for grandchildren (I love that she has this--we all got dressed up one night and had a blast!). And now what a happy kid we have, prancing around in her princess dress!

But here is the funny part, the part that makes my simultaneously proud and cringe. Turns out there was a vision for the pink dress. It wasn't just about any pink dress. She wanted a pink dress like her doll's! I get it, the designer vision thing. She's got the dress, she's happy, and I feel better for letting her have her way.

Thanks, Mom. That over-skirt construction was really weird, but it totally worked out.


  1. I love the expression on her face in this picture. Sheer pleasure!

    There came a day for me, too, when my daughter developed an opinion of her own about what clothes and shoes she liked and didn't like to wear. *sigh* And she's only 6.

  2. She looks joyous! What a lot of work for a dressing up costume. You are a very kind mommy.

    We buy that kind of thing ready made and cheap at the big supermarkets here (England). It works out fine since my daughters don't give a toss about craftsmanship or things being well finished. They just want the "bling."

  3. Wow what a great dress. My friend found that the "pink gene" skipped a generation - her daughter loves girly pink stuff, my friend doesn't but Grandma is very prone to frills and girlyness...could this be the case for your family??

  4. The dress is great. The pink thing took me by surprise too, it seems instinctive. Thankfully my little one (nearly 5) is growing out of it and making more choices. A x

  5. That face!! Absolute delight! We have a lot of pink requests at our house too.

  6. Oh dear! This is darling! I love it! She looks the model of princess-dom. Sometimes being a girl requires a little pink and some sparkle. Fun fun.

  7. My 4-year-old granddaughter's favorite color is pink. Maybe it's a generational thing? She also loves dressing up in pretty, sparkly clothes. On her birthday list: play makeup!

  8. My daughter is going through the whole pink sparkly thing. I keep her out of the mall just so she can't see them and be tempted. Although she still finds them in the fabric store.

    I just sewed/appliqued her a cool pair of jeans if you want to check them out:

  9. Oh Liesl I feel your pain. I am supposed to be making a glinda dress, like the one she wears in Wicked, the musical, with 'many blue sparkly bumps'. However, I'm not quite the designer you are so my plan was to modify (for the kazillionth time) the tea party dress. (First it was a dorothy dress, then the elphaba dress, and now to become glinda's dress!) However, seeing this pattern, makes me think that it is a closer match. Hmmm...

  10. I think Tsia's got the "tall and slender" gene, too!

    In my family, we all have the "Hobbit" gene.

    I feel your pain: I harbor this secret desire that my little sister Johanna (who is 19 years younger than I) will want to grow up and work with me at the shop and that she will love sewing as much as I do.

    So far no nibbles, though.



  11. Okay, so not just pink, but BRIGHT. FUSCIA. PINK!!!!! Now I am completely understanding your reservation. Alas 'dark pink' has developed into my daughter's favorite color as well (fleeting moments of personal taste?). However, there is nothing sweeter than seeing your little girl with that "truly princess" expression and overall feeling as she prances around in what she thinks is the most beautiful gown in all the land.

    What a sweet memory to involve your mom, too.

  12. i do not have a little girl, instead twin boys. but i understand this a bit. i always wanted them to play dress up, but not of any particular (ahem) disney character. enter toy story and a handed down buzz light year outfit and (ahem) twins and only one outfit (yep, one) and rain and i clicked away in amazon and ordered a woody outfit pronto. i do not trust myself to sew something like that quite yet. now, we wait, a few days they say...please let us make it without further mishaps and all costume parts accounted for.

    makes me long for the simplicity of a beautiful sparkly princess dress. she looks lovely. :)

  13. oh goodness. it must be hard to sew for kids who can express their own opinion. we are not at that stage yet.

    but boy is she happy!