The Allure of the Hummingbird

Along with so many others out there in Blog Land, I too have succumbed to the allure of the Hummingbird Dress by Rabbit Rabbit Creations.

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

I mean, what do my girls need more that another summer dress???  Haha.  But . . . with a perfect pattern like this, how could I resist?

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

After reading in a blog post about sewing little girl dresses out of vintage sheets, whenever I have a little extra time before picking the girls up from school, I’ll stop by the local thrift shore and check out what’s on the racks.  I’ve been amazed by what I find in there for about $3 a pop.  If you really look, you can find the cutest prints on the softest stuff that’s been washed jillions of times.  And one sheet is enough to make at least two dresses.

These particular sheets had been sitting in my stash for a while, waiting for the right dress to come along.  I can’t get over these strawberries — don’t they take you right back to 1976?

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

One advantage to a print like this, aside of ultimate cuteness, is it’s ability to hide ketchup stains.  Bet you can’t find ’em!

Both of the sheets I used probably have a little bit of polyester in there, which gives them this gorgeous, flowy drape.

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

This pattern offers three different skirt fullness options.  For Lulu (in the strawberries), I opted for ultimate fullness.  Kiki prefers less drama, so for her I opted for medium fullness.

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

I couldn’t believe that I happened to have a piece of broadcloth the perfect compliment color for Kiki’s straps, as well as the same color as her hair.  Sometimes, dresses are just meant to be.

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

I came into a bit of trouble when it was time to attach the skirt to the bodice.  The method given in the instructions seemed pretty much impossible to achieve.  So, I googled to see if anyone else had run into the same problem.  Wouldn’t you know, I was not alone.

There’s an amazing tute on Glitter + Wit that will show you how to easily achieve a lovely enclosed seam!!!  But, do yourself a favor and read through this tutorial before you sew, so that you don’t have to grab your seam ripper and backtrack like I did — because in this alternate method, you need to attach the skirt before inserting the elastic.  Thanks, Tasha!

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

Erin from Hungie Gungie also mentions that  1/2″ needs to be added to the height of the bodice piece (and lining), as it doesn’t quite match up with the front bodice.  Quite right!

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

When I sew this dress up again, I’ll follow Rachel’s advice and will raise the neckline up a bit and will add 2 inches to the back bodice, as it sits a little bit tight.  I wonder if she also added 2 inches to the elastic as well — probably so?

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

Also, be sure to choose your size according to chest measurement.  For the six year old Kiki’s bodice, I cut a size 4 width and size 6 length.  Lulu (4) got a straight up size 4.

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

On a sticky summer afternoon with the cicadas singing, when the fish are jumping and the cotton is high, you can’t do better than fall for the allure of the Hummingbird!

Hummingbird Dress, Rabbit Rabbit Creations, Vintage Sheet

 

 

The Geranium Dress – The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

Made By Rae’s Geranium Dress is what really got me started compulsively sewing for my girls about four years ago.  The first time I poked around the internet looking for patterns, I came across this beautiful version from Gail.  I was completely smitten by the silhouette of the dress and her sophisticated choice of fabric.  It was as if the clouds parted and I saw all the possibilities out there for kid sewing.

Since then, I’ve made at least a dozen Geraniums for my own kids and their friends.  Every time I think I’ve exhausted all the options in this pattern, I think of something else to try.

Here are the ones that have made it into the blog . . .  (There are more out there!!!)

Well, it just happened again . . .

On the occasion of Kiki’s sixth birthday, I decided that she needed a dress that is as grownup as she is.

I took a look around and found this very awesome version of the Matinee Dress from the Crazy Tailor.  In its original form, I think that the Matinee Dress is a bit too low in the back for my taste, but the Crazy Tailor did such a nice job of raising the back up just enough – and that bow!  How awesome!

I thought for a moment about buying the Matinee pattern and hacking it in the same way.  But then it occurred to me that I could do the same thing with, wait for it, the Geranium.

While dreaming this up, I also remembered this Geranium from Girl Like the Sea, which has a similar shaped back.  I didn’t need to be convinced any further.

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

It was easy as pie to scoop out the back of the bodice and tuck in some ribbon before sewing the bodice and lining together.

Kiki’s choice of fabric (chosen from a selection carefully curated by your truly, ahem) was from Michael Miller’s Brambleberry Ridge line – Flight on top and Shimmer Reflection on the bottom.  I was very impressed that she bypassed the pink and chose the mint colorway.  I think she’s growing up, guys.

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

In case you can’t see it clearly in the photos, the gold birds and dots are all metallic and shimmery.  Very fancy!

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

The flower crown is all Kiki’s doing.  This flower crown kit was one of her favorite Christmas gifts this year, and she’s had so much fun making and wearing her own crowns.  She decided that her handiwork would be the perfect accessory here.  Too true!

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

Now that the Geranium is available up to size 12, I’m definitely going to keep it handy.  Who knows what will come out of it next? . . .