Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Princess Dress and Party

  Gaiw turned 5 in December!

  She's still delighted by all things princess, so for her birthday I made her a fancy dress.

  I used this pattern but added puffed sleeves (I wish I'd made them puffier!) instead of the cap sleeves. I actually bought the pattern, but Stef, the designer is a friend, and refunded the cost with a sweet note, which pretty much made my whole week!

  I used pink satin and tulle from Fabric.com for this dress... the pattern has some pretty generous fabric requirements, but I was able to get the outer and lining of the dress from just 2.5 yards of satin! I decided to add some extra layers of tulle to the skirt so it would be super-fluffy, so I used a full 4 yards of 108" wide tulle for that. I also used some heavy-duty white tulle from Jo-Ann's. The satin ribbon is from Hobby Lobby and I had the trim and snaps on hand already.

  I changed the sewing order of the bodice a tiny bit because I changed the sleeve type. Aside from that and the extra layers of tulle, the only change I made was to skip the top-stitching around the waist seam. Or to be more accurate, I initially top-stitched but with so many shifty, fluffy layers, I bent a bunch of my pins and the seam was all over the place! So I picked it out. It probably would have worked if I'd hand-basted first, but in the end I decided to just leave it.

  I love the pickups on this skirt! But unfortunately the whole bows keep escaping up into the casings, so next time I think I would do two separate casings for each pick up.

  I used more of the trim around the sleeves, and did the lower section of gathers with elastic thread in the bobbin as usual:

  I used KAM snaps for the back instead of the recommended covered buttons and buttonholes... they look really cute, but the bottom snap is perpetually coming un-snapped, so buttons probably would have been better! There's also a bit of a gap where the top of the skirt meets the bodice... I think a hook and eye right at the waist seam would help.

  Gaiw absolutely loves this dress though... she's worn it at every possible opportunity! It's showing a little wear already... one sleeve has torn a bit and she and her sisters ripped big chunks out of the tulle because they wanted veils. But she doesn't care a bit!

  I also put together a fairly quick and simple party for her... I made a cake and ice cream, threw together some fabrics and decorations I had on hand, and made some crowns. Here's the cake:

  As usual with anything more than a very basic design, this was really tough for me, and didn't turn out nearly as well as I'd imagined it would! I froze my cake layers first but someone turned the heater way up and everything thawed before I realized why. So the towers were very tippy and crumbly. And the frosting wanted to melt on the outside... but that works anyway because it adds to the stone effect a little! I had planned to use sugar cones for the roofs of the towers but I only had two on hand, and there weren't any this time of year at the stores closest to us. So I improvised with a lot of aluminum foil to make the other two tower roofs!

  For the crowns, I slightly modified this technique. I used a spray-on fabric stiffener, so I coated the pieces of lace twice before painting them. I also let them dry completely after painting both sides, before forming them into a circle and gluing, because they were a little floppy when the paint was wet. 

  I used a DecoArt Dazzling Metallics paint in Glorious Gold and Rich Espresso, and Ceramcoat in glitter silver. That glitter one was definitely everyone's favorite... and since it was in the paint it didn't flake off everywhere, as glitter is wont to do!

  I loved making these... they were a lot of fun and I think they turned out beautifully! Although I couldn't figure out how to capture how sparkly these were in a photo! All of the materials for these were from Hobby Lobby.

  I made a quick sign with some torn watercolor paper, gold Pearl-Ex, and pink cardstock, all things I had on hand, to set in front of the crowns:

  I prettied up the table where the cake and crowns were by adding some fabrics... that adorable gold-dot knit is from Hobby Lobby (although it could have done with a steaming before I used it), and the thin pink satin was given to me a while back. And of course ruffle fabric for the backdrop!

  I added a little bowl of chocolate-covered almonds to the table at the last minute, and I also made plain vanilla ice cream that I didn't include in any of the photos, as well as some coconut milk ice cream for one sister-in-love who is allergic to dairy:

  The ruffled streamers were leftover from a baby shower a few years ago:

  And so were the pomanders:

  And that's the entire extent of the party! The crowns were the favors and I didn't plan any games. I've been ridiculously short on time to create lately so this was about all I could get done in time, and still be able to finish the girls' Christmas dresses. But the important thing was that Gaiw liked it, and she did. =)

  Gaiw is a very interesting little girl... she's always thinking big thoughts with her sparkly eyes wide and you never know what she's going to blurt out next! She's a little butterfly, always flitting from one thing to the next faster than I can follow.

  She's been surprising me lately by doing chores without being asked to... even making her sister's bed one day! And she loves to wrap toys up in old boxes and gift them to people.

  Gaiw loves her fruits and vegetables... salad remains high on the list of requested foods for her! But she's also quite fond of sweets!

  She absolutely loves art and spends hours each day creating vibrant pieces portraying adorably funny little people, and writes, 'I love you!' on almost all of them. =) We love our Gaiw -our family just wouldn't be the same without her!

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. Happy birthday Gaiw! That dress is a little girl's dream! And the crowns are awesome.

    1. Thank you! I agree, I would have loved that dress as a little girl! =)

  2. Wow! What a great dress!!!!! And the crowns? So pretty!!! Your parties for the girls are always so adorable.

    1. Thank you! I was really happy with how well the crowns worked! I was pretty disappointed that I didn't have more time to put into this party but it was fun anyway. =)

  3. What a beautiful dress! You did a fabulous job setting up that party. That cake looks amazing!

    1. Thank you! She's been wearing that dress pretty much non-stop since I made it, so it was definitely worth the effort! =)