Monday Outfit: The Recital Dress That Wasn’t


Good morning! Instead of the puffed sleeve shirt 2.0, I made a dress for K this past weekend for her piano/voice recital. Except…I didn’t finish it in time for the recital itself. I’m a little out of practice and failed to whip up this very easy dress in the two hours I was able carve out, though I got really, really close. These photos were taken on Sunday, a day after the recital, when I got around to hemming the dress and adding the gold flower button.

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K didn’t mind and happily wore the dress I made for her winter recital. The night before the performance, her nerves jangled and jostled her into a state of agitation, and we almost had to call her teacher to cancel. But she persevered and oh, it was wonderful. She played a jazz piece duet with said teacher and sang “A Whole New World” from the movie Aladdin. I sat agape at how confident she seemed onstage.

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I’m prone to tears anyway, but I held back sobs not only with K’s performance but with all the other ones too. I loved experiencing the unique personality of each performer. From classical to folk to broadway musical, there was a lot of variety. And there’s just something about the earnestness of a recital that always gets me choked up. Sigh. K’s going to be so embarrassed of me as she gets older.


The pattern is from this book, and I’ve made this same dress in a gorgeous sateen a couple of years ago (she still fits in the dress!). This time I tried it with a slippery, silky, hard to control rayon. It’s a rather chipper print, don’t you think? I had to recut the front bodice because the fabric had shifted too much with my first attempt. I also fully lined it with a beige cotton lawn fabric, and both K and I gave the final result a thumb’s up!

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Alright, I was premature in declaring my manuscript done since my editor promptly sent it back with more text edits, so I’m wrapping it up today. Then it’s on to photos and final illustrations! Here’s K praying that I get everything done in time…


16 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: The Recital Dress That Wasn’t

  1. I just attended a piano recital by 4 of my grandkids. It was so fun. I couldn’t have been prouder of them. Even if a mistake was made they pulled it together and just went on with the rest of the piece. I know you are so proud of K and it is fun to see all the hard work (on both your parts) all come together and for K to shine!

    1. I love recitals! I’m always so impressed with how brave the kids are and those shining, proud faces when they’re done — nothing like it! Thanks, Karen. 🙂

  2. I’m glad K made it to the concert! I can imagine you holding back the (happy) tears. I was like that with my son’s performances. I miss them!

    The dress is fabulous. I can see her dancing in it. The fabric is gorgeous. If I saw it in the store I would’ve be sorely tempted!

    1. The fabric is really lovely, Melissa. I just might have enough to make a little tank top for me :-). Today, K and I were accidentally matching in our striped dresses and many people commented on it. K liked it. 🙂

  3. So pretty, I love the colours. The one time I attempted to sew a dress with silky fabric I had to hide the fact the fabric moved around quite drastically by sewing a ribbon around the waist! It did the trick and my daughter loves it but I haven’t been tempted to try it again!

    1. Slippery fabric is super challenging, and I’ve read somewhere that using tissue paper or starch helps, but I couldn’t be bothered and didn’t have enough time. 🙂 I’m hoping to master the rolled hem on silk one of these days…thanks, Karen!

  4. A proud mama is a wonderful thing. My two started ballroom dancing classes last night and I was a little teary as they tentatively box stepped around the studio together. Anyhoo…it’s our job to embarrass them just a little bit!

    1. Love that they’re taking ballroom dancing, how fun!! Yep, what’s a childhood without wanting to pretend your parents are strangers sometimes? Thanks, Evie!

    1. The fabric is so pretty in person — I just wish I could remember exactly what the fabric content is. It feels like rayon and I have a lot of it so it can’t possibly be real silk…I was quite proud that I got the fabric to submit after a few attempts. Thanks, Shelley!

  5. Congrats, K, on a job well done! It’s true bravery to soldier on with a recital despite the jangling nerves. I’ve been there, and have respect for her confidence!
    And that fabric, Sanae! So gorgeous, and so very right for this pattern. Despite putting on the finishing touches after the recital, it was well worth the effort and I”m sure will become a favorite for K.

    1. Thank you, Lucinda! K does love the dress, and it was good practice to work with such slippery, fiddly fabric! 🙂

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