Sunday, 19 July 2009
Butterfly dreams for a princess
It’s a grey damp day today, so no butterflies dancing in the meadow here. But we still have some to look at as you can see.
This is fabric from the Moda Daydreams range, which I bought from JB Quilting to make a dress for my daughter, Princess Bunchy, as she likes to be known (Bunchy is Milly-Molly-Mandy’s friend, and you can find her here). This little princess has an aversion to sugary pinks, and favours shades of blues and aquamarine – butterflies and dolphins are also a big part of her life, but I have to say that I have never seen any dolphin fabric which rises above the level of caricature and cartoon. Maybe you know otherwise, but butterflies seemed to me to be a more aesthetically pleasing choice for a pretty frock.
The pattern names for the Moda fabric are disappointingly unimaginative – Dots, Butterflies and Flutter (for the small print), but when twinned with the colourway name, then perhaps there is a bit more magic: Dots Breeze, Butterflies Breeze, and Flutter Breeze have a bit more of the air of a butterfly meadow about them, and there is even a colourway named Grass to complete the effect. It is difficult to find pretty cotton dressmaking fabric nowadays (and almost impossible on the high street) as it seems that not many of us are dressmaking for our daughters any more, but I have found patchwork and quilting suppliers to be the best place to look. And the cotton is pleasingly hardwearing – perhaps not so good for something that needs to drape, but it works well for dresses and skirts for little (and not so little) girls.
The dress pattern is called Miss Madeline, and came from Samantha at The Handmade Dress – and I can highly recommend it. I am not the greatest or fastest needlewoman, but I made this between lunch and bedtime on a Sunday, with interruptions, and some visitors in between. No zips, no facings, no tricky bits – and really clear instructions. I bought a paper pattern, which arrived very quickly, and no enormous international postage supplement either, but you can also download it as a PDF. I just wasn’t sure if the foolscap/A4 divide across the Atlantic would be significant in printing it out, so I played safe.
You will notice that there is a skirt, too, made from this pattern (Simplicity 4206), and embellished slightly. I have a confession to make: I bought the first lot of fabric, took it shopping to match the thread (that was quite tricky), and promptly lost some of it somewhere in the higgledy-pigglediness of our house (I told you that it wasn’t a very well-regulated household)! A bit of a senior moment. I was at an impasse – I knew that the only way to find the fabric, was to buy some more to replace the missing pieces, and so I did, and so, of course, I found the rest. Which is why I had to make a skirt. Waste not, want not.
And there is still enough to make a couple of bags – perhaps the Buttercup by Rae, or even the pleated tote, by Artsy-Crafty Babe. So all’s well that ends well.