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Quick "tween" dress for a special occasion

I don't post a lot of kid makes these days - and to be honest, I don't make many!  When they wear school uniform 5/7, there isn't a lot of additional clothing required.  It's also possible I would far rather sew for me, as I don't grow out of things...

However, we recently went to a winter wedding in New Zealand and couldn't find something for Isabelle to wear that was both warm and appropriate.

This posed the challenge of what you should make to wear to a wedding in the middle of winter!  For Isabelle (aged 11) I knew that something with a bit of sparkle but still fairly young would be right.  She would also need sleeves!

Here she is running around at the world's most spectacular wedding location:

The bodice of the dress is a combination of the Made by Rae Skinny Flashback Tee on the top, with a RTW top she liked the fit of.

I used a simple jersey for comfort (from Spotlight) which had some glittery dots on it.  I underlined it with a plain white ITY for warmth, as well as adding a panel of strange, stretchy metallic mesh (also underlined with the ITY).  She made the design herself in terms of how the mesh was used.

 You can see the fabrics best in the shot above.  The original intention was to make the top panel out of just the mesh, but it definitely wasn't stable (or warm!) enough.

I used the By Hand London Circle Skirt calculator to add a full circle skirt to the bodice, as well as some 1/8" elastic around the waist to cinch it in a bit.

This is probably the best picture of the finished dress:

She was pretty happy with it.

And here we are as a team - looking a teensy bit cold :)

It's an interesting age to sew for.  The fabric she chose was more junior than I expected, but she then wanted a sort of "cold shoulder" vibe with the mesh panel. 

She was also way more into the styling of this than she would have been even a year ago - making sure she chose a belt, boots, hairband and bag that picked out colours in the fabric.  Waaay more effort and thought than I put into most of my outfits!!!

She also found some uber cool fingerless gloves to wear which were pretty awesome.  I would love to say I knitted them, but I can't because I didn't!

Here she is again because the location was amazing and I love her :) 

Ciao for now!


  1. I love this dress - and I'm already looking forward to what her version of a fancy dress might look like year by year as she grows up!

    1. Yeah - she has a very particular taste, which is pretty cool. It's so interesting when your kids like things you don't or know things you didn't teach them!


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