library dresses for show & tell

most of the time my sisters accept my creations with open arms and indulge me by sending frequent photos. on the rare occasion they make a request for something my nieces actually need i try to oblige. so when my sister abby mentioned over christmas that her girls needed more long sleeved winter dresses i knew that would be part of my january to-sew list. 

having a new years resolution to sew my stash, i was struggling to come up with something i could make with the fabrics i already had.  once i saw the beautiful holiday dress gail made her daughter out of corduroy i remembered the amethyst fine whale corduroy (now on sale) that had been sitting in my fabric basket for two years and decided to use it to make a library dress by oliver + s

over the past year i've become keen on using fun colors and prints for lining and facings, so the right accent fabric for this dress was key. this silver and grey polka dot cotton had been in my sash since the summer and the second i put it next to the corduroy it was obvious to me chairman percy fitzwallace (the cat) there could be no other combo. (victor was skeptical, but what does he know?)

now for the alterations: 

1. my nieces are at the age where dresses that button up the back aren't practical so i did an invisible zipper instead (method in this tutorial). the only zippers i could find were very pale lavender (aka didn't match at all). so i did my first hand picked zipper to minimize how much it showed and and loved the result. i mean tell me this isn't flawless? 

2. i've found that when making the library dress it's easier to line the bodice completely rather than deal with the facings, so i did that. 

3. unlike my other iterations of the library dress this time i omitted the flat piping since the waist band would be a contrasting accent fabric.

4. to make this more of a long sleeved dress i added an inch to the sleeves. 

5. finally instead of the 'fold twice then stitch' hem i did a hem facing and was able to sneak in the polka dots a final time. 

my nieces were very pleased with the final result, so much so they decided to wear them when nora brought in her little sister etta for show and tell. now i may be biased, but who can blame her, that face is pretty adorable.

incorporating little sisters into school projects is somewhat of a tradition in our family. back in the late 80s their mother (my sister) brought in 3 year old me in to french class so she could give an oral report about her 'petite môme' (little munchkin).

of course etta was glad to accompany her big sister to school.

and was even able to her out with the morning math worksheet...

before nora told the class all about her little sister...

so glad you like the dresses (and each other) girls!


aunt maggie