A Second Birthday Dress

This little one turned two last week. Her birthday unintentionally took on a kitty theme. Jenny's Birthday Book made its first appearance at our house last month when we pulled it out for Silas' birthday celebration. (I totally lucked out and found a first edition in pristine condition for 88 cents at the thrift store!) She loved it so much that she wouldn't let me put it away and has insisted that it stay in regular reading rotation. She recites snippets of the whole thing, which may be the most adorable thing ever. "Up the stairs...go to sleep," is her favorite phrase from it.

Then, of course, there had to be a kitty birthday dress. The pattern is the ever-popular Geranium by Made by Rae. I love it so much! I already have a second one cut out for her Easter dress. The main fabric is Here Kitty Kitty by Alyssa Thomas of Penguin and Fish for Clothworks. The accent fabric, Bubblegum by Cloud 9, was a lucky perfect match found at JoAnn's. I wasn't necessarily intending to use an accent fabric, but I had less yardage of the kitty fabric than the pattern called for and was shy the flutter sleeves. I loved how it looked so much, I added some patch pockets and flat piping as well (inspired by this and following the tutorial here).

My first attempt at buttons! My machine does have a buttonhole setting, but it's the 1960's version of "automatic" so there's still lots of room for user error. I kind-of want to put buttons on everything now.

The patch pockets are perfect for holding Lego people, which both she and Silas call their "babies." She wasn't quite sure how pockets worked, but after a brief demonstration she saw their potential for holding all manner of treasures. There is a shortage of pockets in girls clothing. I think all dresses must have pockets from now on.

Here she is pointing to her favorite kitty; the "big one."

I actually finished sewing this up a full week before her birthday. Can you imagine?! Not staying up all night the evening prior? Why, that's unheard of!

And how could I resist making her an actual kitty to hug and snuggle? It's made from a pair of her wool baby socks that no longer fit (following this tutorial). It's stuffed with wool roving and even the embroidery is done with vintage wool crewel yarn. That's a lot of wool!

Giving her kitty some "huuuuuuuuuugs!"

I recently organized my fabric stash. It's lovely to see it all stacked up and color coordinated! Having it out where I can see it everyday has inspired me to actually use it. So, I made myself a pledge. For this summer season I'm not buying the kids any clothes at all, not even used. Whatever gaps they have in their hand-me-down wardrobe will be filled with mama-mades stitched from my stash. When I declared this plan to Steve he chuckled and muttered something along the lines of, "I'll believe it when I see it." I presented him with the kitty birthday dress completed a FULL WEEK before its deadline, but somehow that was not convincing enough evidence. So, I guess it's time to get to work...

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