I first saw the Debbie Bliss Spanish Dress in a local yarn / fabric store when my daughter was pregnant. We both fell in love with this little dress and with so many gorgeous fabrics available, the possibilities are endless. We were lucky enough to get the pattern in the store and gleefully took it home to store it for later when this little unborn baby has her first summer as a toddler.
And this is our little toddler’s first summer.
I have a very small stash of fabrics (and rather a large stash of yarn). I don’t sew a lot since I do not have a sewing area set up in my house. My sewing area is my dining table and it is not very convenient to the people in our house for me to sew.
I found this gorgeous Beatrix Potter fabric in my stash but I didn’t have any yarn to go with it. The fabric is so pretty and I didn’t want to ruin the dress with the wrong colour bodice. I definitely wanted to use this fabric, so off I went to the local yarn store and found the perfect colour yarn, a beautiful soft ball of Sublime cashmere, merino and silk. Yummy.
I also had a piece of cotton fabric with cute little cats in my stash and I was lucky enough to have the perfect bamboo yarn to match. So of course I had to make a second dress.
The bodices were a very quick and easy knit. It felt so satisfying to complete something so pretty in such a short time. I love the way the little frill is knitted at the hem of the bodice. I think that is what I like about Debbie Bliss patterns, the attention to detail.
But of course, once I had completed the knitted bodice, I had to put them aside until I had the opportunity to get the sewing machine out.
But my time did come and a few weeks later I had the sewing machine out on the dining table, the iron and ironing board set up and my sewing paraphernalia waiting patiently, and of course the family out for the day.
The skirts were so easy to make. The pattern was not terribly clear but I used the Ravelry site and read the comments of those who had already made the dress and got the answer to my biggest question.
How do I attach the skirt to the bodice? Of course. The answer to that question was to hand sew the skirt to the bodice. I know some people may have fancy sewing machines that would sew the knitted bodice nicely to the gathered cotton skirt without puckering the bodice or leaving unsightly stitches but mine is a very basic machine. I don’t mind hand sewing. In fact, this little toddler dress was made with so much love and hand sewing is a big part of that.
To see these little dresses being worn with such happiness makes all the hand sewing worth it.
UPDATED February 2015
A note from Mia.
Nana just can’t help herself. She keeps making me these cute little dresses. Here is another one she made. I really like this one. It has ladybugs on it. She made another one exactly the same for Ruby’s first birthday. (Ruby is my mummy’s school friend’s baby.) This is me wearing my ladybug dress in the car at the Devonport wharf in Auckland.