Licensed to Sell, Baby! — Part One

So, funny story . . . I was asked to participate in a holiday handmade sale at our local toddler playspace. It was such a nice compliment to be asked, and I was excited to take on the challenge.  Of course, things almost always turn out to be more complicated and time consuming than originally imagined — and this was no exception.  But, all in all, I’m glad I did it.

Leslie Grayson

Being a craft fair rookie, I had no idea how much or what sizes to make and what people might want to buy (much less how much to charge???). So, I did what I usually do when I have no idea what I’m doing . . I totally winged it (or is it wung it??).

I decided to go with patterns I know, and turned to the tried and true Geranium Dress and Charlie Tunic from Made By Rae. I also threw in a couple of Flashback Skinny Tees for good measure. So I bought the licenses to sell from Rae’s web site and got to work.

(Quick Disclaimer — These photos were taken on a tight time schedule in bad weather, as these duds were going out the door soon.  And, if you have preschoolers, you may know that getting them to pose for a photo in a specific outfit can be a challenge.  Try doing that with, say, six outfits.  You have been warned!)

First up is a 4T Geranium made with Cotton + Steel Mustang in Gold Metallic and Robert Kaufman Chambray Union in Indigo.  This one was Kiki’s favorite.  Luckily, I have enough fabric to make one for her, since this one sold!

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I found some little brass buttons that were perfect.

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There’s just something about those horses!

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Here is Lulu doing her best Statue of Liberty impression (not joking), in a 2T Geranium. (Why do they always find a way to stand in front of the wall outlet when you snap the one photo that doesn’t come out too blurry???)

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The fabric is a nice, lightweight corduroy print I found at the local fabric store last year. I took a cue from Gail and added some flat piping, which helped to break up the print and pull it all together.  I wasn’t sure if the corduroy would gather very well on the skirt, but it ended up working out perfectly!

This one has a homemade Flashback Skinny Tee to go with it in interlock from The Fabric Fairy.  I had designs on making a coordinating tee for each Geranium for the sale — but you and I both know that there was no way I’d have time to do that 🙂

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I’d like to mention that through all my experience with this pattern, I find that attaching the bodice lining by stitching in the ditch never looks good.  Maybe it’s just me, but it’s always a mess on the inside and never quite right on the outside.  So quite a while ago, I made the fateful decision to follow Rae’s advice and hand sew the bodice linings in for a “more professional look.”  She’s totally right about that.  Yes, it takes time — especially when you’re making six dresses (what was I thinking??).  But, it can be done while waiting for the kids to finish their breakfast or watching tv or whatever.  And it’s so worth it to have a lovely looking interior!

Here’s another 4T Geranium that has been named the “Firework Dress” by Kiki.

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The bodice is Cotton + Steel Dandelion in Rust, and the skirt is Robert Kaufman 21 Wale Corduroy in Ginger.  I really got into the cotton/corduroy combo here.  I think it’s a pretty cool look for fall and winter.

I have to say that the most fun thing about this project was putting together fabrics that I like and that I think will look good together — without worrying about the will of the preschooler.  And believe it or not, Kiki (my toughest customer) loved most of these dresses.  She was relieved that this one didn’t sell, and it’s become one of her favorites.

20141121_123410Here’s a 3T Geranium with a bodice in quilting cotton from Joann’s leftover from this dress last fall.

20141121_123906When looking for fabric for the skirt I had a tough time finding a good color match, and I decided that I couldn’t risk buying it online.  I found this dark grey corduroy at the local fabric store — the color is a little darker than I had imagined, and it’s a little bit heavy.  Sewing those pleats through all that thickness was not the easiest job in the world — but hey, you do what you have to do.  I think it did the job in the end.  And the dark color kind of adds to the wintry-ness off it all, don’t you think?

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Nope, not done just yet.  Here’s a 3T in more Joann’s quilting cotton bought last year and not yet used.

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The skirt is more Robert Kaufman 21 Wale Corduroy in Olive Drab.  This stuff in awesome — it’s the perfect weight to give a nice drape while still being cozy enough for winter.

Funny that Kiki is 4 1/2 and this 3T still fits!

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Ok, last one — I promise.

Here’s another 3T in beautiful embroidered corduroy that I found at the fabric store on sale for $4/yard!  (Not sure where Lulu’s other leg is here.  I assure you that it’s turned up since.)

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I never would’ve had the guts to use this fabric for one of my girls, for fear that they’d never go for the dark brown.  It was so fun to go ahead and make it anyway this time!!

I used a little package of pre-made white piping from my stash to finish it off.  And who doesn’t love pearly buttons?

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Wow, I’m exhausted!  I’ll go take a nap and will show you the Charlies and the other Flashbacks next time.

 

 

 

5 responses

  1. Wow, you’re selling! I’m impressed! These dresses are so adorable. Are there any leftovers that you’d still like to sell?

  2. Pingback: Licensed to Sell, Baby! — Part Two « Rosemary Mornings

  3. Pingback: A Geranium Hattie Mashup « Rosemary Mornings

  4. I found you through Made by Rae! I have a question if you have a second. I’ve made a few Geranium dresses, but never knew how to go about hand stitching the bodice lining. Can’t you still see the stitches on the front of the dress? I’m confused about how this is much improved over machine stitching in the ditch. Thanks for your assistance!

    • Hi Caylan — Thanks so much for visiting my site. I’m glad you found me!

      The deal with hand stitching the lining into the bodice of Geraniums, or anything else really, is that you press the raw edge of the lining up, just as the pattern instructs you to do, and then hand stitch it in using a whip stitch from the inside. Your stitches should catch the bodice at, or ever ever so slightly above, the line of stitching where you sewed the bodice to the skirt. Your needle should never go through to the front of the dress. So, your stitches are totally invisible from the outside (and from the inside too, since you’re using a whip stitch). Does that make sense?

      It really does look nicer, I think. And, even though it takes a bit more time, it’s much easier than trying to stitch in the ditch and catch the lining evenly. I stink at that.

      Let me know how it works for you!

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