Monday Outfit: Girly Dresses

Good morning! How was your weekend? We’ve been having a fantastic time with my mom, and also squeezed in some playdates and date nights. I went to see Trance with M, and though the plot twists hurt my head, I thought the movie was pretty good. We also had a hail storm! And power outage! Excitement all around.

Soย I’ve been steadily working my way through the last few seasons of Project Runway (I’m currently watching All Stars Season 1), and I’ve been trying to push myself to try different things.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I don’t really go for the super girly look. I tend to like neutral colors paired with graphic/modern patterns, simple and clean lines, an almost androgynous look at times. Though K is decidedly past her princess stage, she is still very much a girly girl. At school, the lunch lady told me that she’s known as the girl who always wears a pretty hairband or hair clip (why the lunch lady knows this about my daughter is beyond me). And she lovesย all things floral and lace.

Anyway, this week I tried to go girly. First up, this floral Liberty look-alike dress is from this book, and the sheer fabric was a bit of a bear to work with when it came to the frilly parts. I really need to figure out how to use the rolled hem attachment on my serger.

I lined it with plain muslin and have to confess that I couldn’t be bothered to french seam everything. I did do a few where the seams would be noticeable (the neck frill, for example). I can’t remember where I got this fabric because it’s been sitting in my stash forever before I ever paid attention to fabric brands and I think it might be Liberty though I can’t seem to find any proof.

It’s a sweet dress with enough flounce to make it 100% girly. And you know what? I like it. A lot. There are patch pockets too, though they blend in so well with the pattern, they’re rendered invisible.

This second dress was a whole new experience for me. The knit lace fabric was purchased from hereย years ago, and I let it languish sinceย I didn’t really know how I was supposed to sew with this type of knit.

Luckily, I had this book, which is all about knits. And bonus for me, one of the dresses was made out of a knit lace — I learned that the trick is to line each piece with a thin knit and to treat the two pieces as one. The knit lace (lace knit?) is a dusty pink, but I lined it with grey, making the color more lavender-ish pewter.

Not so luckily, I wasn’t very good at this. My knits ended up puckered and stretched out and the dress is huge. In fact, I instructed her to wear it backwards because the v-neck was entirely too low and looked awkward.

The cinching of the waist with the gold belt was K’s idea and was a stroke of brilliance, though it would have been nice if she would have let me even out the bunching. The belt definitely helps because it looked shapeless and a little sad without it like this:

I don’t think I can chalk this one up as one of my more successful garments, but still, it was fun to try a new technique and next time I’ll do it better. Plus, I think it fits the girly bill and even has a ladylike feel to it, don’t you think? I can imagine her at high tea, nibbling little triangular sandwiches and sipping from dainty cups with pinky raised.

I have a super exciting announcement coming up later this week! Also, because it’s spring break and I have a full week of family plans ahead, postings may be a bit spotty this week. I’ll be here on Wednesday for sure though so I hope you check back!


21 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Girly Dresses

  1. Announcement? I can’t wait!
    Knits can be tricky and adding lace to the mix can be even more of a challenge, but the dress looks fab nonetheless! Maybe you could try adding elastic shirring to the waist? Brilliant idea of wearing it backwards, I like it better that way. The first dress… oh it’s sooo sweet! Beautiful job… as always! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. you see, this is why i always ask venus *before* i start a project. she always has the answers! shirring would be good, or since it’s lined it might also take an elastic casing nicely at the waist (though the belt looks so cute). i too love the v in the back! if the top dress is not a liberty, it’s the best imitation print i’ve seen. aren’t grandma visits wonderful? looking forward to your announcement!

  3. Adorable as usual- the floral dress is fantastic! Regarding knits, figuring out the best setting on the serger with the differential feed can eliminate puckering you can get from sewing really stretchy knits like lace. A water-soluble stabilizer like wonder tape can help too. I just watched the craftsy class “Sewing Fashion Knits” and it’s got tons of helpful techniques for dealing with knits. Pretty sure I need to re-watch it as I wrecked a knit top I made this weekend! LOL. Can’t wait to hear what the announcement is, how exciting!!

    1. Awesome resources and suggestions, Robin! Thank you! Sorry to hear about your knit top. You need to post the Geranium you made for C – I want to see it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. K knows how to dress herself up in such young age, by adding belt to the dress, she’s smart and V-neck at back, made her looked sexy :). The floral dress is beautiful, at first (before I read through your post) I thought it’s Liberty fabric, but it’s really nice prints.
    Look forward to hearing your announcement, so exciting!

    1. Thank you, Yeka! K is quite the fashionista! I’m starting to suspect that the fabric may be the real deal. Normally I’m too cheap to shell out that much, but Nancy’s has this amazing annual sale so it might be from that…

  5. Before reading your post, I saw the photos and thought that you had splurged on some Liberty . . . so if it’s not, you certainly have many of us fooled!:) Such a gorgeous dress! And I love Venus’ suggestion of shirring the waistband, though K certainly has a good thing going with the gold belt.
    Glad to hear your mom’s visit is going so well, even if it means that we get a little less of you this week:) And oh the anticipation of your announcement . . . will certainly stay tuned!

    1. Hi Lucinda! I’ve been trolling the Internet to see if I can find that fabric but I’m coming up empty so far. My mom thought it’s probably not Liberty but I’m not so sure. There was a time when I would have plunked down some hard-earned money if it was a decent sale…

    1. Thank you, Lyann! I’m always thrilled when people find my little corner of the internet via Pinterest, my favorite addiction!

  6. I love these both, and I gotta say- that v-neck back is my fave!!! So pretty… She looks like a little guest at a cocktail party ๐Ÿ™‚ Now all she needs is a Shirley Temple in hand!

  7. I really love both of these…love the drape of the first one especially. And the sweet floral print. And I think it’s pretty hysterical that the second one can just be instructed to wear backwards and still work this well!

    1. Neon pink ruffles for sure! My mom brought K a bunch of crazy frilly uber-girly dresses and K went wild, so I need to step up my game. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I really love the look of the lace dress with the gray knit behind it, it’s a bummer that it didn’t turn out how you wanted, but the “V” in the back is actually quite lovely I think. The weather was crazy, I was in Queen Anne during the hail storm. Weird weather.

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