When Kristina and I were at a thrift store a few weeks ago, Kristina spotted this vintage JCPenny gown and fell in love with the delicate sweet pea fabric design.
Having grown up a portion of my childhood with a sweet pea tangle outside the window of our house, I am partial to sweet peas too! I studied the gown for awhile, trying to figure out how to make something useable for Kristina out of the worn gown.
When I finally made the decision to purchase the gown, I was not entirely sure I had all my ideas figured out, but I had enough of an idea that I thought it was worth bringing the gown home. Kristina was estatic.
After some digging around online, I found a tutorial for a Pillowcase Dress. I figured that the idea would work for a nightie too, and given how very warm our upstairs can get at night, it seemed that a very light weight and airy gown could be just the ticket for Kristina for this summer.
I took my ruler, and made the cut, ridding the gown of the upper portion that was worn, after I measured Kristina to get a rough idea of the appropriate length.
On the sides where the seams were, I measured and marked and then cut to create the armhole area.
After creating a casing front and back, and threading elastic through to gather the fullness, Charity sewed the bias tape on for me. (She’s much better at that than I am!)
I raided our stash for the ribbon, and after a few other little tidying up things, such as snipping long threads etc., we pronounced the project finished!
We were very happy with it, as all supplies were able to come from our stash except for the elastic.
When I was staring at the upper part that I cut off, I felt regret about having to throw it away, as there was still some fabric that was useable. It dawned on me that I could probably make up a similar gown for Kristina’s American Girl doll, Anna Grace! I thought it would be fun to do it as a surprise for her if I could.
With Charity’s great help, I managed to pull it off! I used my doll, Lydia Anne, that my friend, Ann, and her daughter, Amy, gave me back last fall as my “model” and “dress form” to drape, fit and cut since I had no pattern. I used only items that were in the stash, so it was a very economical project!
Lydia Anne was happy to be my model. She obligingly put up with all my taking the gown off and on once it was nearly completion as I kept checking fit. I think she was even more happy when the gown was done, don’t you think?!
It made me very happy to be able to be creative again . . . and to do something that made Kristina happy!
And . . . before I end for the night, I just have to show my “brain storm” for this summer that I’m happy about! I got sick–yes SICK–about all the cups constantly floating around this house! Year round . . .but summers are just over the top! Everyone is always thirsty and grabs a cup, and drinks, and then it gets moved from where they put it (since the kitchen table is used all day long for every thing imagineable and our counter space is limited . . . ) and then no one was sure where their cup was or if the cup they saw was really still “theirs” or if a younger sib had perhaps grabbed it and started drinking from it . . . so they would go get another one. And then another one. . . . and thus the day went. It was truly discouraging to have the constant pile of cups. I finally bit the bullet this spring and did what I had long thought about.
Behold! A different cup for every child in the family!
Even Katya knows that the orange cup is hers and no longer helps herself to her sibs’ cups!
What, you say, there are TWO red cups? Oh yes–that. Well, you see, there were only four colors . . . and so we purchased the next LARGER size of red for Todd. He knows the biggest red cup is his. Besides, the rubber grip on his cup and Charity’s have a different pattern. The smaller cups have circles. The larger, a rectangle. It’s working great. I’m sooo happy! The kids are happy! The dishwasher is happy! No matter where the cup is located at, EVERYONE knows whose cup is whose! That means that 5 children have a total of 5 cups per day that are being washed–plus a few tea cups now and then. We instantly cut our amount of dishes down by easily 75% per day with this one simple change. Less stress, less clutter, less dishwashing soap and water . . . what is there NOT to like?! Now if I could only solve all our problems so easily . . .