The dress in the first picture below was originally worn by my brother's daughter, then my sister's daughter and more than a few months ago, we were given it so that my daughter could wear it too. I assume it is at least about 15 years old, if not older. It is a special piece for many of us in the family.
However, since I was given the dress, I just could not bring myself to put it on my little one, as I've always felt a bit anxious about ruining it. So, instead, I convinced my sister to take some photos of Miss Junior in the dress for keepsake and also make another dress for her using the same pattern. When I say the same pattern, don't get me wrong, we had no pattern, up until my sister and I got together a few weeks ago and after some hours' work, frustration and endless laughter, we came up with one.
We simply laid down the original dress on some large pieces of paper, traced lines, then put the paper pieces together just to see that it looked awkward, and did it all over again, possibly a few times! Well, lets not get too much into detail, the idea is that eventually, our pattern making worked and worked wonderfully!
We upcycled an unused and unwanted shirt for the top and used a new leftover fabric for the skirt. My little one was not quite enthusiastic about the dress most likely because of its colour, until, she got to choose the applique. We showed her some options but as soon as she saw the blue and yellow flower with a smiley face, she knew exactly what she wanted. She is often pretty decisive like this and I love it about her, well, most of the time.
I am truly in love with the dress at this stage. It suits Miss Junior's personality and body type so well. She loves dancing in it and cannot stop watching her twirling skirt in the mirror as she turns around.
We altered the original pattern a little and made the skirt a bit longer by adding an inch to each skirt piece to suit her better, used a ribbon at the back instead of fabric, used three buttons only and sewed up the rest of the dress until the last skirt piece and used an iron on applique on top as opposed to using pockets. Thanks to this project, I tried my hand at making a buttonhole on my sewing machine for the first time too and it was not as scary as I thought it was.
If you would like to see my previous 'From Mama to Bubba Series' posts, click here for No 1 and here for No 2.