A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Palm Sunday green

Today is Palm Sunday on the Julian calendar.  It is customary in our church to wear green to Palm Sunday services.  On Friday, Zoia noted with a twinge of melancholy that she did not have a green dress in her closet.  I told her that I would try to sew her one, but cautioned that it would be a tight squeeze to have a dress ready by Sunday morning. In her typical, sweet, undemanding way, she said "Mama, I would really love it if my dress is ready on Palm Sunday.  But if it is not, I will wear something else."

There was no way I was going to fail this child.

Last year I bought the Oliver+S Roller Skate pattern in the larger size range.  I had had my eye on it ever since the pattern came out, but was waiting until my girls outgrew the smaller sizes to buy it.  With only two pattern pieces to cut, it seemed like the perfect.quick sew.

I cut the dress in a size 5, lengthened 1.25".  After it was sewn up, I tried it on her and it was just long enough.  I had planned to add lace trim to the hem anyway, so I just stitched my 1.75" trim to the hem with a 1/4" seam allowance for a total of 2.5" added to the length of the size 5 dress.  I'm really glad I did this as it is a great fit now and should last through the season.  As I was sewing the dress, I thought I might like to add some embroidery to the bodice (or maybe the skirt, I'm not sure).  I didn't have time before the deadline, but I still might go back and add it.  Though the dress was plenty cute without it, and got compliments at church.

The fabric is a Japanese shot cotton shirting purchased from FabricMart a year or so ago. It is iridescent and lovely, though you can't tell from the photos.  The perfectly matching button was a thrift store find, part of a giant bag of buttons that cost about $1.50.  I love buying thrift store button bags - but at this point I've bought enough of them that I need to go through and cull to make my own button bag to donate to the thrift store!  The dress is lined in a very light white cotton shirting, also from the stash.

The dress was an easy and enjoyable sew, but I struggled quite a bit getting the elastic threaded through the casing.  I had had to go out earlier this week to buy 1/2" elastic for Niko's Easter pants, and I guess it had been awhile since I had shopped for elastic.  I didn't pay attention to the type that I bought, and it is some horrid flimsy curly braided stuff that twists like crazy when you stretch it.  I actually did not even end up using it for Niko's pants because it was so awful.  For the dress, I had no other options, and it took me about 40 minutes to get it threaded through the casing, untwisted, and sewn in.  

It was worth it, though.  Zoia is thrilled with her new dress.  I was reflecting as I sewed this how irritating, and likely frustrating, it would have been to have to run out this weekend searching for a green dress in the stores.  One of my very favorite things about sewing is being able to fill a wardrobe need with my sewing machine and my stash.


  1. I agree, filling a wardrobe by making items yourself is so rewarding and less frustrating than searching through stores.
    Love the cotton shot fabric. The dress looks lovely and the lace hem a perfect addition.

  2. What a stunning colour that is on Zoia. The lace at the hem is beautiful, too.

  3. Aww, it looks great, not surprised that you got compliments

  4. It is beautiful! I love her sweet response, too! How could you not finish it in time, when she was so sweet and understanding?! That button was a great find, too! What a great dress!

  5. Ohhh, what a sweet little dress! It's a lovely shape, and the little bit of lace along the hemline is so pretty. Your daughter is so lucky to have such a willing and talented mother like you :)

  6. Sweet Zoia got a beautiful green dress just in time :) I too love thrifted buttons. I may have a few jars of them!


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