Julia was invited to a birthday party this weekend, and this meant some last-minute sewing was in order. (It simply wouldn't do to have gifts and party clothes finished in advance, would it?)
After much deliberation and more than a few hours looking through every book and pattern in the house, Julia decided that for the birthday girl, we should make the dress-up cape from Meg McElwee's Growing Up Sew Liberated. And a few weeks ago we visited our friend Sandy and chose some really funky fabric and a pink flower button.
The pattern calls for 60-inch-wide fabric, but the fabric Julia chose was only 44 inches wide. But the fabric is busy enough and the cape drape-y enough that I thought a seam up the back wouldn't be too distracting, so I added a half-inch seam allowance to the center edge of the pattern and cut it in two pieces. Next time—and there will be a next time, because Julia has decided she wants a cape just like this one...—I'll pay better attention to the design on the fabric; I didn't match it up well enough and the pattern does a funny repeat that I don't love. (No one will notice this besides me, because of the way the cape drapes. But it bothers me.)
I wish I could say that I thought of all this when we bought the fabric and so was well prepared when I sat down on Friday—because of course after I washed and dried and pressed the fabric, I didn't touch it again until Friday—but the truth is, I didn't even notice that the fabric wasn't wide enough until I was ready to cut it. Thankfully Sandy had just enough of the Amy Butler on hand (and plenty of the green for the lining) when I went back on Saturday morning to buy another yard of each.
While the new fabric was washing and drying, I made Julia a new skirt to wear to the party, so it wasn't a complete waste.
Strictly speaking, Julia didn't really need a new skirt, but I had a pattern I wanted to try and some stash fabric I thought would would look really cute—and I had some time on my hands while I was waiting for the new fabric to dry.
I found this pattern—the Wrap-up Skirt by Marina of Wink Designs—last month while browsing Etsy for cute spring patterns to pull myself out of a little mid-winter funk. I found just what I was looking for in Marina's shop, and Marina was wonderful with troubleshooting help when I had trouble printing one of the patterns I bought. (She also has a sweet blog that you can read here.)
The pattern couldn't be easier to put together: It's a simple elastic-waist skirt with a wrap panel added to the front for a faux-wrap look, tied with a contrast bias binding. It is adorable. And, as you can see, Julia is pretty happy with it, too.