Weddings don't come up very often in our little family, so I wanted to do something special for the little ones in our family to help celebrate. What better way than to make the girls special dresses for the occasion.
Because the girls were going to be all dressed up, we needed something for my son as well. He was pretty easy...we found him a "daddy" shirt, and he asked for a tie. Finding a tie for a 5 year old proved impossible, lol - so I found a narrow one in a local store, and altered it to fit him. He looked so cute!
For the girls - I asked them what they would like... "Sparkly party dresses" was the response. Hmm. Ok... What colour? Well, one wanted aqua, one wanted purple, and one orange. Ok...
So the hunt started for fabric. I got lucky and found a crepe backed satin in the requested orange, purple and aqua. A complete fluke that I could get the right colours all in the same fabric! But it wasn't sparkly. Hmm again. Then I came across some soft light draping glitter tulle. Magically, again in colours to match! It was obviously meant to be!
For the pattern, I knew in my head what I wanted to do - and the Perfect Party Dress by the lovely Jen of Tie Dye Diva Patterns was a great basis. The fit of her patterns is always right, and I had one shot at this. My two nieces live elsewhere, so I was going on measurements from a couple of months earlier when I last saw them.
Instead of the standard skirt for the dress, I added two layers of the glitter tulle over the satin - creating a three layer skirt, instead of the single layer the pattern asks for. It took a little time to get the gathers all right - but it was worth it.
I knew I wanted to piece some of the tulle into the bodice, so I opted to not use the sash for the front for a simpler look - and just to have the two satin ties which could be tied either back or front of the dress. I used the lining bodice pattern pieces for both lining and outer.
I wanted the tulle over the top of the shoulders both front and back - for an accent, and to tie into the tulle skirt overlay. The tulle is terribly hard to photograph - so isn't showing to it's full extent, but it has a lovely glittery light sparkle all over it.
I used three copies of the bodice front and back pattern. One standard for the lining. One I cut diagonally from centre front/back to the side seam and retained the shoulder section (making sure to allow extra for the seam allowance). The other I did the reverse - keeping the bottom section.
I cut a piece of satin, and one of tulle from the shoulder pieces for front and back, and then pieced them onto the bottom sections. This then gave me a standard full bodice front and back, to continue the rest of the pattern as normal (omitting the sash front). Why did I do this, rather than just sewing a piece of tulle on? Because it's transparent, and I didn't want to see the tulle seam on top of the satin below...
I used some gorgeous crystal buttons on each of the dresses - completely see through to pick up the colours of each of the dresses. You can't see the sparkles so well in the photos - but they are just stunning.
I made each one a matching tulle flower which I attached to a small alligator clip for their hair, roughly following this tutorial.
The tulle needed a lot more layers (12 all up) than the tute recommends, as it is a lot thinner fabric.
So happy with how they turned out. They fit well, and the girls loved them. It was pretty cold back home where the wedding was - about 7 degrees, so we needed to layer tops and leggings underneath!
They still looked gorgeous - my 4 year old niece, 8 year old daughter and 6 year old niece, all busy with their activity packs at the wedding :) Super good idea from my new sister-in-law!!
It wasn't ideal photo weather for little girls, so didn't manage to get much in the way of photos, so I managed to convince my daughter to dress up again when we were back home. And yes...you can still run in a satin and tulle party dress! :)