Monday, March 22, 2010

It's easy being green...

...and pink!
For Pony Girl's birthday dress this year, I gave myself a wee challenge. I wanted to make something unique, fun, lovely, and I wanted to make it using almost entirely recycled materials.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I did not sew the original pattern I started with, the one mentioned in an earlier post. I did use another pattern from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love,, the Feliz Dress. And what a happy dress it is!

I channeled my inner Scarlett O'Hara and made the dress from the curtains. Not my curtains but, rather a formerly loved curtain from a thrift store that I found for $2. Originally a massed produced piece of decent quality, of cream background with pretty embroidered swirling flowers. I did on more than one occasion refer to the dress as "Frankly Scarlett!" The under-dress was cut from a piece of fabric that was given to me and I think used as a tablecloth or some such usefulness. The trims and ribbon were recycled from grosgrain present wrapping from the past or vintage pieces from my collection. Even the bits of elastic were cast offs from other projects. Only the thread and clothing labels were new but, also part of what I already had in my stash. Oh, and a little vintage doily from my grandmother.

I did not make any modifications to the pattern (shocking I know), I followed it precisely. It made up just a treat, and the design of it accommodates for a little growing. In fact, she will be able to wear this for a couple of years I imagine.

As I was putting it all together, the dress suddenly implored me to add butterflies! Oh yes, butterflies in the garden indeed. So, I took my fabric paint and mixed a color that was tricky as can be, I grabbed a butterfly stamp, a crafty sponge brush, and I proceeded to apply paint to the stamp then stamp to fabric. A wee butterfly landed upon a flower and looked so sweet I added some company, repeating my steps for each one. It was time consuming but, such a joy to do! Then each butterfly needed to be heat set for longevity.

In the end, Pony Girl was absolutely pleased and looked like a dream in her new frock. I found that the challenge I had undertaken of creating a special dress from recycled materials wasn't in fact, all that challenging. Actually, it was a blast! When I thought about the total cost of the dress, including the pattern, all told I had spent under $5.00. Also, I proved to myself once again, that it is indeed easy being green...and pink. Now that is awesome!



I shall return day after next to share more thoughts on green and other colors, talk of the utmost challenge and 'living local'. Until then my friends, go dance in the garden and look for butterflies!

13 comments:

crzylady said...

It is even more lovely than I imagined! I adore the pattern and if you ever feel like tackling an adult sized one let me know I'll be happy to be your first commission (altho I won't ask you to hand paint/stamp butterflies) :)

katieb said...

The dress is adorable as is she!

Floss said...

She looks so good, and wow, the butterflies, and the fact that it's all recycled, and that it will grow with her! All of it - wow!

Yes, the pink flowers on my post are Hellebores - I had two plants, one of which seems to have given up on me (we have such dry summers) but this one is going great guns! I am so proud of it...

Michelle said...

Just gorgeous!!!
and the fact that it cost only $5...is just amazing...
The butterflies do make it just so cute thou...

CHILDHOOD MAGIC said...

I love this dress! Your girl is so cute, her personality really shines through in all of your photos.

lifeshighway said...

Stunning! I love that dress, from the beautiful butter fabric, the stamped butterflies, the adorable design and the doily! What a lifetime treasure.

june at noon said...

What a special dress, and a lovely model! Glad she had a special day.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

A most beautiful dress of the utmost kind for a darling little girl!

harmony and rosie said...

How self-satisfying is that? Just think your creation would cost a fortune in the shops and you made it for next to nothing. I absolutely love what you've done, it looks so clean and fresh and oh so different. Love the added butterflies too - I'm not surprised PG looks so thrilled!

Mom L said...

Most definitely awesome! Girl and dress! Pony Girl, you are one lovely creation!!

Nancy (Henry's grandma) in Iowa

Pia K said...

it's adorable!! and so is wearer:) and what a lovely story, so so well done you. pink and green is my favourite colour combo so this certainly got my stamp of approval;)

ecoMILF said...

the dress is stunning and i can tell she lovvveess it too. especially love the little doily at the back. how very feminine. xo m.

diane said...

i love it! pony girl is absolutely precious as always. and all for under $5 is amazing.