not a dress for anya

Anya's seventh birthday is today. We're spending the day as a family doing what she likes, opening presents, eating her menu choices, and generally taking it easy. I feel a little guilty for not having invited her friends over for a party, but this close to the holidays I just couldn't get my act together. (We've had some illness here besides, so it's probably just as well.) When things calm down after the new year, we'll try to organize a sledding party with cocoa and treats afterwards.

One of the big events coming up for us is my friend's wedding next weekend. We're flying to a nice warm, sunny place in the southern U.S., which I am very much looking forward to. Anya has outgrown her dress clothes from last spring, so I set out to find her something new. 

Have I mentioned that Anya is extremely persnickety about what she wears? Not in the way lots of little girls are, either, where everything has to be pink or frilly. In fact, Anya is quite the opposite! No pink, no purple, no dresses, no skirts. She does not like people making assumptions about her just because she is a girl (we have this in common, she and I). I love this independence she has, and I don't like wearing dresses much either, so this is all just fine by me except that when we have a Fancy Event like a Wedding, there are basically zero options available in the stores. 

I offered to make Anya a top she can wear with black pants or leggings and plain flats, and this she agreed to. We chose a pattern and went fabric shopping. She wanted something shiny and red, so we got some red satin and even some silver-colored thread for embellishment.

Here is the finished top:

I used the Ice Cream Dress pattern from Oliver & S, which comes with instructions for a blouse-length version. I have come to appreciate how well-written these patterns are, and also how well they fit. I did a lot of careful measuring before deciding which size to make, and it paid off. The top fits her beautifully!

Ooh! The button is so shiny and pretty!!
While the pattern is fairly uncomplicated, sewing with satin is decidedly not. It's just so dang slippery! I had to cut out the pieces twice because the pattern kept sliding around when I tried to trace it; good thing I had the foresight to allow a bunch of extra yardage in case of screw-ups. What ended up working the best was tracing the pieces on freezer paper, then ironing the freezer paper on the fabric before cutting out the pieces. Also, the fabric slipping around made it difficult to sew. Even on my new machine with a built-in walking foot, some seams were so wonky I had to take them out and hand-baste everything together before sewing them up. (I know on my old machine it just would have ended up looking crappy no matter what!)

You know what, though? The effort was well worth it. Anya's new top fits and looks lovely on her. I haven't added any silvery embellishments, but I might do that yet. As pleased as I am with how this turned out, I think I'm done sewing with satin for a while! 


Renee said…
I love it, and yes, the girl's stuff in stores is only for the girly-girl. This top really suits her!
Anonymous said…
Oh, what a cute little model.

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