This is the one that I really wanted to make, and wasn't sure (and didn't really care) about how it would be received:
I'd bought this fabric on sale at The Fabric Store about three years ago. Probably with the intention of making another semi-sheer Fairy Tale dress like my first one.
But since size 5 is the largest size of the first release of the Oliver + S patterns I wanted to sew the Bubble Dress again before it was outgrown (itty little ones here and here).
The Bubble Dress pattern was an easy fit for the fabric, as it's already a fully lined dress. The lining, which I'd purchased at the same time as the original fabric, is a kind of peacock blue acetate. Lovely to sew and work with.
The only seam finish changes I made to deal with the semi-sheer fabric was to snip off the applique strips from the seam allowances to remove bulk (talk about time consuming!). Otherwise they're invisible enough not to have needed underlining or any other special treatment.
The little rosette was an after thought as the dress, for all it's fancy squiggles, was looking a bit plain. It's a strip of chiffon with tiny birds on it that's already gathered onto a stitched central line. I'd bought it at Darn Cheap fabrics one day and the colours were just perfect for this dress.
The shape of the bodice with those curved, cap sleeves is just divine.
The dress and lining are hemmed together with some 1/4" elastic sewn into the hem to give the bubble effect. I considered creating an extra channel of lining fabric to cover the elastic but couldn't be bothered in the end. If you get in under the skirt and look closely then the beige elastic is visible through the outer fabric, but since it's tucked up under it would never be noticeable when worn.
I made the dress in secret and presented it on the morning of her birthday in a fancy box. As I said, this was one that I wanted to make, but of course I was delighted when she oooh'ed and aaah'ed over it. She often gets to go to watch the ballet and this will be a perfect ballet concert dress.
I'm certainly not the first one to use fancy fabric for the Bubble Dress and I'm very grateful to those who've done it before and reminded me of what a great silhouette it is. Also, thanks to Sarvi and Janice who kicked off the "Size 5 Project" last year and planted the idea in my mind of sewing these early patterns before they are outgrown. Happily this one looks like, with added length, it could be made again next year as it's plenty roomy enough.
She's in school full time now, so gone are our days of hanging out and taking photographs at our leisure. These pics were snapped this evening in between rain storms, as the sun was setting. It had been hard to find time for photographs earlier, but also, it's only now that she hasn't got a huge bandage on her chin. If you look closely you can see one last stitch that hasn't yet fallen out.
On Valentine's day she stacked her bike (riding the half pipe at the skate park mind you!) and sliced her chin open. It required about 7 stitches which were done under local anaesthetic. To allow the local to be injected she had laughing gas.
That, my friends, is hands down the funniest thing I have seen to date. She was completely off her scone. She was giggling, trying to pinch or punch me, slurring out "mummy"s and "Oi love you"s. I got the giggles. The doctor got the giggles. Only the nurse kept a semi-stern face as she tried to hold down my drunk, loved up, smash faced little gigglebot.
I'm kind of proud too, that once she'd recovered and was describing the accident to me, she said she crashed 'cause she wasn't going fast enough! Alright, girl, momentum is your friend. Know that!
This next picture goes out to Iris of the Stitched Together clan!
Birthday Dress details:
Pattern: Bubble Dress
Size: 5 (no mods)
Fabric: Appliqued silk chiffon from The Fabric Store