First Birthday Dress~Finished

UPDATE: And look at it now.

Viv "eating"Aunt Peggy's chocolate pudding. Surely a some got in her mouth.

Viv “eating”Aunt Peggy’s chocolate pudding. Surely some got in her mouth.

first birthday dress for Minnie fan

first birthday dress for Minnie fan

Our precious granddaughter Vivian Rose recently celebrated her first birthday with family and friends at a party in her own back yard.

Cousins Laurel and Alastair

Cousins Laurel and Alastair

cupcakes CR

The weather was chilly and windy, so Vivian Rose was bundled up with heavy tights, a long sleeve shirt and sweater.  Even so, she moved at her standard  lightning speed and almost outran the adults trying to keep her out of the duck pond.

Vivi blue eyes bd

The birthday girl holding court in her Minnie tent.

the birthday girl holding court in her Minnie tent, wearing her beloved jewelry

DisneyWorld is a favorite outing for the family, so in the early planning stages of her birthday celebration, Minnie Mouse was the designated theme, for both the party and her dress.

Minnie Mouse, the famous rodent, redolent in  red and black.  Hmmmmm….So The First Birthday Dress was not to be  Kathy Neal’s lacey Mary Claire,  not PBJK’s  smocked Corrine Elise, not Primrose Lane’s feather stitched  Brooke?  Sigh.  But in no  time at all I was really into it!

minnie balloon

When I realized that Minnie now is often featured wearing pink polka dots– PINK!????–I knew I could work with that!   I ordered pink polka dot  Pimatex, pulled from my stash some white pique, a tiny black and white gingham and all the other goods.  My faithful Brother ULT 2003D has some suitably sized Minnie designs that I  substituted for the butterfly embroidery on Wendy Schoen’s  Baby Butterflies pattern.

goods VR 1 dress

The black entredeux and Swiss trim I had planned to use did not work out.  That was a bit of a disappointment because that black entredeux is the nicest, cleanest, most perfect entredeux I have ever seen.  Using it in the traditional manner of its definition, “between two,” was just plain messy.   When the “two” to be joined were white pique and white Swiss trim neither white or black Madeira Cotona thread  rendered an acceptable look.  So this sweet Swiss trim whose entredeux holes accommodated black floss was used.

Minnie trim buttons

Selecting the size for a new pattern is always  tricky.  Vivian Rose is a big girl who wears off-the-rack clothes in sizes 12 month, 18 months and 2T.  So I chose the size 2 option for the dress and it was too large.  But my Rebecca loved it anyway and plunked Baby Girl in the dress for the festivities.  It was a very chilly day so she had to wear heavy tights, a long sleeved shirt under the dress and a sweater.  When the wind picked up, she added a fleece parka.  Still, she was adorable.

I enjoyed adding the little details to the dress.  With GREAT effort I  replaced Minnie’s little pillbox hat with a bow and embroidered three hairbowed rodents down the front of the dress.  Tiny black buttons fill the spaces between Minnies.  More of these same buttons are perched at the peak of each pinstitched scallop, mimicking mouse ears.


At the back of the back opening, I added the little Minnie silhouette.  I often remember Elizabeth Travis Johnson’s admonition to add something special to the back.

silhouette cr

Please excuse these awful pictures–it was one of those impossible days.  The weather was much like the day of Vivian’s party, cool and very windy, so the dress rarely hung straight long enough for me to snap a pic. When I decided the pictures had to be retaken, it began to rain.  When I moved the photo session to the back porch for the natural light, the batteries in the camera died.  Frustrating!

All  things considered, I was pleased with the way the dress turned out.  Now, if we can just get this little girl to accept a hairbow by the time the dress fits, she will be an even more adorable mini Minnie.

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