Every time I’ve had a baby I’ve tried to make something that will be uniquely theirs, a keepsake I hope, that was made just for them by me. Well this poses a bit of a challenge because my sewing skills are… well beginner-ish. Kinda like in Kung Fu Panda when Master Shifu asks Po what level of Kung Fu he thinks he should start.
Po says, “Let’s just start at zero; Level Zero.”
Shifu: Oh, no. There is no such thing as Level Zero.
Po: Hey! Maybe I can start on that! (walking over to a little punching bag like object)
Shifu: That? We use that for training children and propping the door open when it’s hot! But, if you insist… (Po goes and gives it a punch and it bounces back and totally takes him out) …There is now a Level Zero
Yep – that’s me! Ok that was a bit off topic, but you get the point!
Anyway, I came across a tutorial for this cute little ruffle skirt on one of the blogs I subscribe to a few months before I had my baby… and it gave me this great idea to make a beautiful white ruffly dress for the blessing. I wanted to start making it before the baby was born, but I decided to wait to see how big she would come. I’m glad I waited, she weighed a good 2 lbs less than my smallest baby up until then! The others were pretty big.
So a few weeks before the blessing I wanted to start working on the dress. I measured baby girl and made sure I had the right stuff. I had created a plan in my head (it all made sense and looked good in there!): I would use a shirt or onsie, make several ruffle pieces out of lace and other pretty white fabrics, sew them all to a piece of fabric, make that into a “skirt”‘ or tube, run some elastic through the top of the tube, and attach that onto the onsie, cover that ‘transition’ area with a pretty ribbon and maybe some accessories, add some trim to the neckline and sleeves and be done! See, it sounded good. Each day I’d tell myself I was going to work on it that night after the kids had gone to bed, but it just kept not happening for one reason or another! Luckily several of the blogs I follow started posting about this company called Ruffle Fabric. YES! Just what I needed. I got on and ordered the two inch white ruffle fabric. It arrived a few days later and it was so soft and light weight!
So now it really was time to get to work. I measured my baby again from about the bottom of her sternum down to her toes and then added several inches because I wanted it a little longer. I also measured around her chest (under her arms) so I knew how long the elastic should be (about the size or barely smaller than the measurement) and how wide to cut the fabric. I think I did 1 1/2 – 2 times as much fabric in order to gather it a little to add a little extra “ruffle” to the ruffles. I cut the fabric to size, sewed a casing at the top for the elastic, folded the fabric in half lengthwise and sewed those edges together up to the casing to make the skirt. Then I inserted the elastic and sewed the edges of that together, tucked in the elastic and finished sewing up the side of the skirt where the casing was. I attached the skirt to the onsie a little bit under the arms. Then I found a ribbon I liked and attached it by sewing straight stitch at the bottom and top of it right over where the skirt and onsie meet. I attached a little trim to the neckline and sleeves – these were by far the hardest part (luckily my mother-in-law had come to visit and is a great seamstress and helped me do the hard parts)!
I ran out of time so no other accessories were added, but I was happy with the way it turned out without them and it even looked close to what I had imagined! Looking back… the only thing I’d change is the trim on the neckline to something a little softer, but I was so happy with this darling yet comfortable dress I had put together for my adorable baby girl.