I love fabric, you love fabric, we all love fabric. But with experience we become more selective about what we choose to sew. Of course, everyone appreciates the beauty of Swiss batiste, linen, silk, Liberty of London tana lawn, Swiss pique’ and more. Most sewists praise Michael Miller, Tula Pink and easy care Imperial. But now I have a new love.
Even though I’ve been on a fabric starvation diet, Nancy Lee Moran’s hand drawn fairytale toile, Whispering Daydreams, had me from hello. I can hear it whisper…”shhh… Pippi Longstocking’s gone heirloom!”
Seeing that scrappy, pigtailed girl and her fantasy companions portrayed so delicately just delighted me. The print is pure innocence and set me to daydreaming. Teamed up with the tiny, fancy dot, also available from Spoonflower, garments for 3 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose danced like visions of sugarplums in my head.
Available in lavender or blue, in three sizes, and in an array of fabric choices, the smallest blue Whispering Daydreams‘ ultra-lawn was my choice. CORRECTION: The MINIATURE size (2″ figures) was used. Of course, I couldn’t wait to lay hands on it. When I opened the package, I was not disappointed. It truly is a fine lawn.
I’ve always been curious about fabric and its designers. Have you read the story behind Michael Miller? Sarah Jane? After getting acquainted with them, I have wanted to explore the origin and designers whose fabrics call to me.
Reading up on Nancy Lee Moran, this fabric, and looking at her Pinterest page, I discovered that she had collaborated with b.b. flockings. Whispering Daydreams includes some of b.b.’s dolls and drawings from her stories. Step into another world by visiting b.b.’s blog. So interesting!
I hadn’t decided on a pattern before ordering yardage. Finally, I chose the Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen) Violettes Bleues pattern, which pushed me off my no-more-patterns wagon. (I have been riding –and falling off–several wagons lately.)
This pattern is an adorable little girl’s play dress and panties pattern in sizes 6 months to 3 years. The play dress features a gathered neck edge bound with bias binding with ends extending into ties for the back opening. The yoke gathers are secured with a holding band, allowing the yoke to form the puffing effect. Narrow capped sleeves are gathered and bound with contrasting fabric and pleats beneath the armhole provide added fullness. The shaped Madeira hem is attached with the Point de Paris stitch by machine but could also be worked by hand. The matching panties feature elastic waist and legs. Optional embroidery adorns the front of the dress (template included).
What a sweet and easy pattern this is. For the dress, there are only 3 pattern pieces–front, back and sleeves. There are no buttons or buttonholes. I love the Madeira hem, but for a more casual look, that is not necessary.
My only complaint is that it does not go beyond size 3. Vivian wears a 3 now so I won’t be able to use this when she sizes up.
It’s hard to see in the photo, but the background of the dot fabric includes very, very subtle gray squiggles. They add a nice bit of texture to the pattern. After cutting the Madeira hem, there was not enough left for the Violettes Bleues bloomers. Children’s Corner Jackson has a nice little pair of bloomers which I like and have used before.
It requires much less fabric, so I went with that.
It took a long time to select the fabric for the bias binding and trim above the Madeira hem. At least 12 blues in my stash were rejected, so I made a trip to the fabric store to buy this blue. I experienced significant guilt for being so fussy and again falling off the no-more-fabric wagon, but Whispering Daydreams deserved the right trim. Oh well.
The original plan was to pinstitch the Madeira hem using the same dark blue thread as the binding. You know how I love pinstitch! But even that strong blue did not offer enough contrast between the two light-background prints. Spaghetti bias, made with my Fast Turn tubes and helpful Tiger Eye was used to outline the scallops.
Having used spaghetti bias to echo the scallops on Vivi’s Christmas dress (scroll down the post to see scallops), I decided to use that technique on this dress. I learned all about spaghetti bias and applying it with temporary glue in a great class with Kari Mecca.
I think Vivi will like this dress. She is a big fan of easy on-easy off. Her mother will appreciate the quick ties at the back rather than buttons. All the blues in the print will compliment her big blue eyes.
So my recommendation is to check out Whispering Daydreams and Violette Bleues pattern.