Ginny made this dress for her younger daughter's birthday back in November—Beatrix is only a week older than Julia—and I was, to put it mildly, smitten. I knew Julia would be, too; what could be better than a dress lined in flannel, with a hood and pockets? My girl would be in heaven.
I had two yards of Flower-go-round Maiden (one of Anna Maria Horner's Loulou Flannels, quite possibly my favorite collection of flannels ever) that I bought on one of my trips back to Maine last year. (I never can seem to visit without a stop at Alewives, and I never seem to leave Alewives without yards and yards of fabric, and perhaps a pattern or two. It's an addiction, I tell you...)
As soon as I saw this dress I knew why I had been saving that gorgeous flannel all these months: it was perfect for the lining. But I didn't have anything in my stash that I loved for the outside.
Clearly, a trip to my favorite local fabric shop, Elmwood Village Fabrics, was in order. Sandy is a genius at coordinating fabrics; she always comes up with something I never in a million years would have put together myself, but which looks amazing. (She also helped me pick out fabric to go with the fabric I already had—actually one of a set of drapes I found at a yard sale—for my nephew's birthday present. Totally off the wall, but it is going to look so cool for a newly four-year-old boy.)
So I can't take credit for the fabric combination here—this was the third or fourth bolt to come down off the wall, and I just about yelled: That's it! And Julia was in love. (George still isn't quite sure about the loud colors and the large scale—"too busy," he calls it—but he's learned over the years to just smile and nod...)
The dress came together remarkably quickly—I would have finished it in a day, from tracing the pattern to snipping those last stray threads, but I ran out of thread while sewing up the hood and had to wait until Saturday to run out to the chain store in the suburbs where I could get another spool of the same color. I'm not sure if the pattern runs a little small or I just have a massive four-year-old; I made a size 5 in the hope that she could wear it next fall, too, but it fits her just perfectly right this minute.
Julia has worn her brand-new winter dress three times so far this week: to the hockey game on Sunday ("Mama, do you think Sabretooth will love my new dress?"), on Tuesday, and then again when we had friends over on Wednesday ("Mama, I think my friends will love my new dress!"). So I think it's safe to say that her winter dress is a hit, all around.