Practice Flower Girl Dress (An Update)

Fairy Tale Dress Pattern
After my first attempt at a flower girl dress, I reverted back to my go-to pattern maker of choice: Oliver + S, with the fairy tale dress pattern. It irks me that I didn’t have enough foresight to order the paper version when it was on sale, but the convenience of an instant download was a life-saver! With less than 2 weeks until the wedding, I am seriously running out of time.

So you might wonder why I chose the fairytale dress, when it doesn’t seem to meet the criteria I was looking for in a flower girl dress (circle skirt and v-back detail). Here are my reasons:

  • circle skirts are overrated – although twirly, the movement and drape make it difficult to straighten out for photos. A gathered skirt behaves predictably and cooperates with the camera.
  • the v-back modification is rather simple – draw an angled line and shorten the zipper.

What I gain: a wonderfully fitting bodice and impeccable construction of an Oliver + S pattern. I’ve also been combing through the fairy tale dress forum to glean useful tips on sewing the dress. There are some great discussion about things that I need to know that I didn’t know that I needed to know. For instance, creating a one-piece skirt, instead of cutting out 3 separate pieces. Brilliant!

I don’t have time to make a practice fairy tale dress, so I just made a muslin of the bodice to get the perfect fit for Froo. Size 6 with an added 1 1/2″ to the length (long torso) and 1/4″ removed from the centre back piece.

I considered adding the tulip cap sleeves because they are so darn tootin’ cute. I made a pair of sleeves, had a bit of a hiccup trying to figure out the construction, added a thread for discussion, and within a matter of minutes, I had helpful people offering suggestions! The internet is one of my best sewing tools! I then sewed one sleeve, had Froo try on the dress and took a FaceTime poll with the in-laws. Sleeveless won by a landslide. I unstitched the sleeve and now, I’m almost done making the BEST DRESS EVER. Seriously, after this dress, I should stop making dresses, because nothing will ever be as awesome. Except maybe another fairy tale dress with tulip sleeves…

I realize that I can’t very well post photos of the finished dress before the wedding, so I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of the fabric:
Flower Girl Dress Fabric
Isn’t it gorgeous?

I am both scared and excited–the makings of a nervous wreck. It is such an exhilarating feeling! I still have a mini ring bearer suit to make and perhaps, finish the grey suit. At this point, I think the plaid shorts are good enough perfect for the rehearsal.

I hope you’ll visit again! The next time you’re here, I should have the actual flower girl dress and ring boy suit to show you!

Practice flower girl dress for Froo

Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
I had a style of dress in mind for Froo’s flower girl dress. It would be ivory (as requested by the bride), but I wanted it to look like this dress I made for her. Simple enough: sleeveless, with a v-back opening, lowered waistline and a circle skirt. So the challenge: attaching a circle skirt to a woven fabric, with double layers to sandwich tulle for fullness. Yeah, no.

While searching for a pattern, I saw this beautiful eyelet dress by iCandy, made from the Georgia Twirl dress pattern by Shwin Designs. For Froo’s practice flower girl dress, I decided on a lightweight cotton voile in bright coral pink. I figured it would be worn again if it were pink, as opposed to ivory.

I sewed up a size 6, without any modifications, except added length and a couple layers of gathered tulle. Oh, and a top layer of matching lace!
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
For the tulle, I cut 4 layers of the bottom skirt piece. I sewed 2 together, making an extra wide skirt. Afterwards, I layered both skirts together to gather the waist and sewed it to the back of the front skirt piece.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The skirt on its own is very full and swingy, but the tulle adds a fullness that elevates the dress from “regular princess” to “fairy princess”. An important distinction, I’m told.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The back has a v-back opening with a button closure. One thing I didn’t realize before buying the pattern is that the skirt is completely open at the back. Not a huge problem–since the circle skirt is wide, it covers really well when overlapped. There are also optional instructions to tack the skirt in place.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The dress is too big at the bodice, even though I brought the bodice in an inch at each side. I could have moved the buttons over, but then I would have lost the v-back detail. In this instance, style won over fit.
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress
The actual flower girl dress fabric is ah-mazing. So excited to sew it up, but a little scared, too. While I love this practice flower girl dress and I can see the potential with a better fitting bodice, I’m not sure if the fabric will work with the open back detail. I might have to try another pattern!

I’ll need to work this out soon–the wedding is only a couple of weeks away! I’ll try to keep you updated with my progress. I’m fully prepared for some late night frenzied sewing until everything is done (and perfect). I’m not a perfectionist, by no means, I just want both Froo & Boo’s garments to reflect a careful detail to fit, fabric and style–not simply that it was handmade by mommy. Besides, it’s easy enough to buy ready-to-wear, but this is Uncle E’s wedding–we are all so excited!

Thanks for visiting!
Froo's Georgia Twirl Dress

Practice Suit for Boo

Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
My brother-in-law (aka “Uncle E”), is getting married in Vancouver this September! The hubs will be a groomsman, while Froo & Boo will be the flower girl and ring bearer, respectively.

I’m super excited about the wedding, but I must admit, I have a bit of anxiety about Boo running walking down the aisle and performing his ring bearer duties. I decided to channel that anxiety into sewing a suit for Boo, but I wanted to make a wearable muslin first, to make sure it fits.

I’m especially worried about Boo in photos. With the going rate of wedding photographers these days, I’m not sure Uncle E will appreciate moments like this:
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
I’m totally dating myself, but the photographer at my wedding shot in film. So what am I thinking? This cute face might require oodles of shots, but it’s all digital and completely worth it! The hubs thinks I’m a crazy doting mommy.
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
For the suit jacket, I used the Blank Slate Basic Blazer pattern by Melly Sews. I used it once before, but modified, to make Froo a fitted blazer for the Project Run & Play competition. Since Boo is a large 3 year old boy, I sewed up a size 4, without any modifications. The only thing I left out were the welt pockets.

The fabric is a cheap, brushed grey canvas. It has a soft, flannel-like feel to it, but I found it in the duck cloth canvas section at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco. It’s quite heavy, making it more appropriate for a winter suit.
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
The lining is a lightweight shirting cotton in a green/brown plaid. Although I like that the lining is soft and gives the blazer a hipster vibe, I think I should have used lining fabric: the silky smoothness would help ease the jacket on, especially through the sleeves. At one point, I had to bend Boo’s long arms like a pretzel to get the blazer on.
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
I used large brown leather buttons on the front. For a practice blazer, they are the most expensive part of the suit!
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
The sleeve buttons are purely decorative. I used the same ones on the dress I made for my niece last year. They are my favourites and I’ve plumb run out. I’m glad we’re going back to Vancouver, so I can pick some up at Dressew. Not sure why, but I’m always drawn to these shiny buttons. Plus, they are only 49 cents for a 3-pack!
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
I’m so glad I made a muslin! Usually, I feel that it’s a waste of time and fabric to make what will only become a practice garment. However, I didn’t realize just how big my boy is. He hasn’t been around on ye olde blog since his 3rd birthday, but the blazer is on the verge of being tight and short in the arms. Not the fault of the pattern–it is excellent, with great instructions. Neither is Boo to blame, so I guess it’s on me–I should have taken his measurements beforehand!
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
Boo’s dress shirt is from Crew Cuts, shorts from Janie & Jack, shoes from Sperry Top-Sider and his bow tie is an oldie. It will be replaced with an ivory satin one, that I will make from the fabric that will become Froo’s flower girl dress. I’m very excited about Froo’s dress. Very, very excited.
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
I’m hoping to make the Oliver+S art museum vest and trousers to complete Boo’s 3-piece suit. I’m a little behind on time, so I’ll get to those after I make the actual ring bearer suit. Besides, I’m confident that the pattern will work out perfectly and I think it would be cute for Boo to wear his grey suit to the rehearsal dinner.

With the right motivation, I’m sure Boo will be a decent ring bearer. In Boo’s world, motivation is defined as: anything sweet and sticky, usually appearing in a lollipop form. Now all we have to work on is separating Boo from his hippo…
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
I’ll end with a rare moment–Boo showing his “serious” side:
Boo's Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns
Thanks for visiting on the day of my 2nd blogiversary! The next time we meet again, I’ll have a practice flower girl dress to show you!