A Butterfly Maxi

Out of the blue, one day Maya asked for a “long dress that goes to the floor”.  So I went on a search for a maxi dress.  I have several, but they use at least 2.5 yards of fabric.  As you may recall, I am trying really hard to use the fabric I have sitting on my shelves.  I don’t have more than 2 yards of many.  So I had to find a pattern that only uses 2 yards.  My search led me to one of my favourite designers, Boo! Designs.

This is the Shirred Dress pattern.  It can be made in a top, dress or maxi dress length.  Perfect!


This was such a simple dress to put together.  It has a separate bodice piece and cute flutter sleeves.  Like the Grace top I posted about here, I decided to line the flutters instead of doing a rolled hem.  Pure laziness, really.  But I like them better this way.  One thing I must add is that I ended up shortening the straps a bit.  She wore the dress a couple of times and I really didn’t like how low it went so I just folded it over a bit and stitched it in place.  These photos were taken after I shortened the straps.


Some days I LOVE my sewing room.  I have a nice big table, decent floor space, nice shelves to hold all my fabric and a great desk for my sewing machines.  Other days, like when trying to cut fabric for a maxi dress, I wish I had more space.  But alas, the fabric got cut and I “think” it was pretty straight.


The bodice of the dress is shirred, so there are no closures whatsoever.  There’s also no difference between front and back, so Maya can easily dress herself without her having to worry about putting the “tag at the back”.  Bonus.


If you’ve never tried shirring before, the instructions are great.  They really walk you through every part of it.  This was my second time shirring.  The first was on this dress, also by Boo! Designs and also one of Maya’s favourites (quite possibly still her favourite).


At first I was a little worried my little girl would be lost in all the fabric.  But that is not the case at all.


She can even twirl! (Of course she wouldn’t actually twirl for a photo because, well she’s 4.  Enough said.)


This is a size 4.  The fabric I used was “Aflutter” from Michael Miller’s “Emma’s Garden” line.  Next time I think I will make the straps a tad bit shorter, the dress is quite heavy with all the fabric and pulls it down a bit.  The only modification I made was to use the width of the fabric for each the front and the back.  As you may recall, Maya is on a “twirl” kick, so the more it can twirl, the better.  And there less wasted fabric this way too.  Win, win!

An Origami Oasis Grace and Cousu Gauchos

I think I may have mentioned before that I try to let Maya pick out fabric when I think of it.  This was one of those times.  I had this Origami Oasis fabric sitting on my shelves, and Maya picked it.  I love border prints, but I sometimes struggle to find the perfect pattern to showcase them.  I didn’t have any trouble with this one.  I’ve wanted to make Maya a Grace Dress by Boo! Designs for quite some time, and this was the perfect opportunity.


I knew I wanted to make the Cousu Gauchos (by Terri and Sew Straight and Gather) because the photos I saw of them were so perfect.  They are not frilly, and they look like something I would totally wear.  So naturally I had to make them for Maya.  It worked out perfectly that I had some turquoise twill hanging out in my fabric stash that goes perfectly with the Origami oasis print Maya had chosen.


The Grace is such a sweet pattern. I love the buttons on the back and the flutter sleeves.  I think this is the perfect way to showcase a border print whether it is in dress or tunic form.  It went together really nicely.  This is the third Boo! pattern I have sewn.  The instructions are fantastic and I love the line drawings (instead of photos) in the tutorial.  The Grace pattern starts at 12 months and goes to a 6.  I still have (hopefully) another 2 years out of this pattern.

Not sure what she's doing here.

Not sure what she’s doing here.

I decided to make the tunic length because Maya has SO many dresses.  She loves dresses, and I love her in dresses.  But sometimes a top just makes more sense.  I figured since it’s a “twirly top”, she may go for it.  Here’s hoping.


I love the back of this top.  Those two buttons are so stinkin’ cute.  Everything about this top is adorable to me.

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And those flutters.  I’m not usually a “frill” lover.  But I love me a cute flutter sleeve.  Instead of doing a rolled hem on the edge of the flutters, I lined them.  I much prefer the look, and I don’t have to change up my serger.

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The Cousu Gauchos can also be made as trousers, but Ottawa weather is crazy.  One day is -20 and the next is +20, so I figured she would get more wear out of her “short pants” than out of “long pants”.  I love these!  I love the flat front waistband, the slight flare at the hem and the darts in the front.


I remeasured Maya before I made this little outfit because it had been a while since I had done so.  She still measures a straight up 4 for mostly everything, so that is what I made for both the Grace top and the Cousu gauchos.  BIG MISTAKE!  The Gauchos are too small.  She can get them on and from mid thigh down they are perfect.  But above that they pull a lot and are way too tight.  My gut was to make the bigger size, but my measurements told me otherwise.  I am very disappointed in the fit.  :(  I’m going to try to save them, but I haven’t determined how yet.  I’m still too sad.  This is the first thing I have made that is too small.  I’m hoping it’s my measurements that are off, because I love the look and I would really like to give them another chance.  Just maybe not this year.

You can see the pucker in the pocket here.

You can see the pucker in the pocket here.


There was a time not that long ago that I would look at things in the store and think that I would never be able to make something like that.  Now, I find it really hard to buy things for Maya because my mind is constantly thinking how I could make something like it.  I don’t sew to save money.  I sew because I love it.  And I hope I always do.

Love this border print

Love this border print