poppy dresses

about a year ago i made the ambitious decision to take both nora and etta to the fabric depot in portland.  

sidenote: never tell my sister you are giving her a few child free hours. she will get on her ipad and start searching for the malaysian airplane or something (it was march '14, remember what a thing that was?). focused on that, she absent mindedly gives you directions to the opposite side of portland and you spend an extra 40 minutes in the car listening to her daugters sing frozen ballads. (like i said, march '14.)

all three of us immediately fell in love with this poppy print. envisioning the garden party dresses by oliver + s, we also picked up some coordinating solid fabric, and two very fun flower buttons.

then i started a new job and this fabric sat in my stash.

and sat.

and sat. 

and sat.


until finally this spring i found the time to trace, cut, and sew a garden party dress for nora. 

around this time nora discovered texting from her parents phones & ipads (we have awesome conversations btw, i particularly enjoy her liberal use of emojis as of late). when i sent her a picture of the dress in progress this was the response: 

adorable right?

afraid the shorter flutter sleeves of the garden party dress would cut off the poppies in a strange way (okay maybe i just felt the sleeves of the ones i saw online looked strange), i initially made this dress with the sleeves from the croquet dress

why the croquet dress? when the garden party dress was introduced liesl mentioned she started the design with the bodice of the croquet dress. having ample fabric i figured it would be worth a try. while they fit, i ended up reverting to the pattern and doing the garden party sleeves. (for more on this see the thread on this over at the oliver + s discussion forums) 

of course by this time those fun buttons we had picked out had been used on other dresses. so i used some solid green one from my stash.

for the secret sissy buttons i found some awesome vintage mother of pearl ones from etsy.

what is a secret sissy button? a few years back when i took nora to the store and she declared some random button was 'the most beautiful thing in the whole world'. with nap time fast approaching and a meltdown eminent i bought it and sewed it to the inside hem of a dress that otherwise wouldn't have a button. #liberalartsproblemsolving

now secret sissy buttons are required on all dresses. also it's an excellent way to use up mismatched, left over, random buttons.

then aunt maggie dropped the ball again and couldn't find the time to sew etta a dress for another month. eventually, with the help of a blueberry porter from the shipyard brewing company, i got around to it. 

by this time all this was done our family vacation in oregon was only a few weeks away, so i figured maya would also like a dress out of the poppy fabric. wanting to mix things up a little (and knowing that maya has a different style than the older girls) i opted for another bubble / playtimeplaydate combo all by, you guessed it, oliver + s.  

as expected nora and etta loved, loved, loved the relaxed girly garden party fit and i can see this becoming a staple style for them. 

my mom loved having almost all of her granddaughters in matching dresses (yes mom, i'll make neela one too) and the girls enjoyed being 'identical cousins'.

enjoy your dresses girls!


aunt maggie