So it's the middle of winter, my Mum was about to remarry (a small family wedding with the grand kids invited), and my daughter had grown considerably in just a month or two! I knew I could manage to throw together an outfit for the little man who hasn't really grown in ages (who is still drowning in the size 8's I bought him at the end of summer in preparation for the cooler months!) but the girl hardly has anything in the wardrobe that fits her. It's a good thing she's at school and wearing uniforms, as I can (just) manage to keep her clothed and warm for the weekends!
I had a quick look around the shops (hard to do with a boy who often screams at the idea of leaving the comfort of home, and is a nightmare to go clothes shopping with - those clothes racks are too tempting for him to go hide under!). However it's really tricky to buy warm things in the middle of winter (the shops seem to change seasons to spring earlier every year!), and now that she is well into an 8 (sometimes a 9 or 10 due to a broad chest, but then they are too long) she is in the "teenager" category, which is often not suitable for my sweet (not so) little 5 year old girl.
So I did a call out in my favourite facebook group for inspiration - PDF Sales and Promotions. The specs were: has to be comfy, formal but could be worn to a not quite so fancy event without looking over the top, warm, and a pattern that goes up to at least 10 (since she keeps on growing and some 8's have small chest measurements). The top contenders were both from My Childhood Treasures - the Elke dress, and the Colorblock Dress. The decision was tough but I went with the latter. It was perfect!
The pattern is designed for sweater knits, but I chose good quality (read expensive!) Ponte instead to make it a little more fancy, and so it would fall nicely, lighter for twirling etc. I worried afterward that perhaps I should have sized down to account for the thinner fabric but glad I didn't. There was plenty of room for a long sleeved top underneath for the cool, wet day, without it looking too big, plus I know she'll get to wear it again before she grows out of it in the blink of an eye like she does!
I topped it off with a headband (just used a hand drafted pattern for a basic headband with elastic in the back) and fabric flower (free tutorial here). The flower was meant to be made from t-shirt fabric but I used the leftover grey Ponte to make it match. It stuck up a little bit more that I wanted but still looked cute. I was going to edge the petals in silver glitter glue but forgot to buy it in my dash through Spotlight.
Then the night before the wedding I decided that Austy couldn't just wear any old shirt, but he had to match her. Of course! This was my Mum's wedding we are talking about, they needed to look special! So I sat down to sew him up a new long sleeved shirt (Lenni from Ottobre 6/12). Let's just say I have learned my lesson - a shirt may be ambitious for one after work evening of sewing - especially when it has sleeve plackets! I have made him short sleeved shirts before (and think I may have made him a long sleeved shirt years ago for his uncle's wedding but have no recollection of it - in my baby brained half asleep state!) but the sleeve plackets on this one drove me insane! It took me an hour and a half just to work out the pictures. Once I got it though, it was an "ah ha!" moment and the second one took me 5 minutes. I had also regretted my decision to use a contrast top-stitching thread several times - it shows up wonky lines (from being tired) and took time to keep changing threads, but in the end I am glad I went with the charcoal stitching. It matched the buttons perfectly. I used just a plain shot cotton for the main fabric and some leftover charcoal spotted fabric from the baby quilt for the inside collar stand, sleeve cuffs and front placket. Looks so cute with the top button undone and the contrast peeking through.
Then there was still the tie to make (a free download from Ottobre - designed for 5-7yr olds). I whipped it up, rather rushed and bleary eyed as my bed was calling me, and finally hit the pillow at 4am! The tie was a bit short, I had thought I could get away with it with my small 8yr old, but not quite. The tension issues I was having in the early hours of the morning (too tired to fix - I just sewed it up anyway) meant that the tie twisted easily, but it still looked cute, and helped coordinate the two kids' outfits.
The kids were adorable, and it was well worth the late night (although I need to remember how long that shirt took so I don't put myself through that again!). We made it to the wedding on time (just!) and the kids were very well behaved through the long, catholic ceremony. A few people from my new Step-Dad's family thought they were twins! The wedding was an early one, with a lunch reception, which meant there was time for a much needed nap at the end of the day while the kids watched a movie next to me on the couch. Aaahhhh....