Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I wish I may

This summer was full of special events for Isadora. There was an outdoor summer wedding and her grandparents’ 50th anniversary party at Longwood Gardens – not to mention her own September birthday! So she had the perfect excuse for a really special dress.

Once the humidity kicks in, it’s so hard to beat the heat. But I really think a dress is the best way to be comfortable and still feel nice in the summer. I looked at fine cotton voile and a not too fitted dress that gives her plenty of room to breathe.

I found this dandelion print before I even met with Isa and knew it would be perfect for her. The airy orange and pink design spoke to me as the summer heat set in. Full, saturated colors show up so well under the harsh sun, but the ivory backdrop keeps it light. It turns out Isa loves wishes! When I showed her this swatch, she didn’t want to see anything else.

The bodice is both lined and underlined in ivory cotton voile and thoroughly finished by machine and by hand to be smooth and soft against the skin. The full, pleated skirt is lined in cotton voile and finished with French seams. I wanted a little extra fluff to fill out the long full skirt, but I didn’t want too many layers to weigh her down in the heat. Instead, I attached a tulle ruffle to the hem of the skirt lining, creating a kind of petticoat. This gave shape to the skirt but didn’t add any bothersome layers to her body or hips. The tulle sits between the dress and the lining, so there is only soft cotton against Isa’s legs.
It’s hard to imagine a party dress without a big sash and bow. Here I finished a very wide piece of pumpkin colored voile with a tiny hem and hairline seams to create a laissez fair sash with a soft, full bow.
The dress and sash fabric have a silky finish that is a pleasure to wear.

 A little extra wish sits on the shoulder, where I embellished the dandelion design with some hand embroidery. A few long stitches and French knots make it look half blown away already. And there it is - the prettiest summer occasion frock a girl could wish for!