Baby Boarding School Dress

9:55 PM

I made my little baby girl a new dress for fall.
The look reminded me of The Little Princess film and the little girl's boarding school uniform dresses, but obviously more modern.

I chose to keep the dress monochromatic to try to further spotlight the contrasting buttons and let the details of the design be the focus rather than a fabric print.  
Actually, this is made out of a gray microfiber sheet I bought on clearance during back to school sales.

I wanted to design a dress unique from the usual baby dresses, mainly the skirt sitting on the true waist rather than the typical empire (skirt starts between armpits and waist).  Rather than gathering the skirt, I put inverted pleats across the front and back.  

The neckline was inspired by Sugar City's Village Frock
The gathered neckline is only on the front, and I used a facing/ lining to take care of the raw edges without having to top-stitch anywhere.  My elastic around the buttons is too thick, but I had dyed white elastic months ago, and it was the thinnest gray elastic I had.  

I had designed the dress to have the buttons function to get the dress on and off, but it ended up fitting Ellaria well according to the measurements I took, but I forgot how babies heads are large in proportion to the rest of their body.  The first fitting I did manage to get it on her head, but in the end it was too close for comfort.  So I ended up hand sewing the whole button placket shut, so they're all faux buttons.
I just put a zipper in the back so it can open down to the waist to get her in and out more easily.
She's just got a big noggin!

So here's the whole dress thanks to Dad holding her hand. 
It's a challenge to find mustard baby tights.
So I just bought a white pair of cotton tights (they were more expensive, $3.00 for one pair but they are thicker than nylon).
I used Rit dye, in a new color called Golden Yellow which is more of a mustard compared to the other more Lemon yellow.  Because the tights were the natural fiber cotton, they took the dye really well.  These were in the dye bath 10 minutes.  I am loving the versatility of using dye to get what I want lately!

I don't think she cares one way or the other. 

 But we think she's sure cute! 

Headband made like this one, but has knit leaves and a yellow button center.

 We were taking these photos and usually my 3 year old son is a big helper with things like this.
But he was being a pill had earned himself a time out for making a "sad choice".  
He was pouting and bawling about wanting to hold Ellie, and sneaked in his stool bringing his hurt feelings with him. 

After his time out, we eventually did let him hold Ellie.
This photo speaks tons on their relationship.
I really hope RJ always adores his "sweet sis" as much as he has so far.  
{He used to call her "my chubby girl" but it's faded out, as we all hoped that nickname wouldn't be long term for her sake}

She did get happy again once released from his hug.

I do have to admit it is fun having a daughter to have an excuse to sew the occasional little dress.

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  1. It's adorable. Great job. The elastic really isn't noticeable at all.

  2. Amazing dress- it is so hard to find "mature" dresses for babies. This is a perfect photo shoot!

  3. Beautiful dress! How did you get such great lighting for your photos?

  4. You have done such a beautiful job of this outfit....and I love the colours.

    I've had trouble matching tights (and other things) for my girls too but never thought of dying...terrific tip. Thank you.

  5. that. is. adorable. I hope by all the periods I used I conveyed how much I like this dress! First, grey and yellow-always cute. Then the buttons! and the cute face! love it all. :)

  6. The lighting was just in front of our biggest window on an overcast day with the white quilt draped up on the coffee table.

    It worked out great to dye the tights. I actually read on the package after, that you can dye nylon, but you basically boil it in the dye bath and the high temperature helps the dye set. That's my next experiment, the nylon tights are cheaper and cooler for next summer.

  7. I love your blog! And this cute little dress (and set, etc) it's absolutely adorable! Keep making those things to inspire us!

  8. So gorgeous! The dress is amazing and I love all the pictures! She should be in vogue, grey and mustard is so cool! :)

  9. This is so cute! I love the yellow and the gray together! She is so cute and I love that he wants to hold and play with her :)

  10. Jessica you have outdone yourself once again! What an adorable dress and baby girl! She is just as precious as can be and what a model she is already. The pictures are wonderful. Your creativity is such that it is very NICE you have a little girl. I used to have two little girls who were so fun to sew for. Now they are mothers themselves...thanks for sharing all of your projects. You brightened my morning!

  11. Jessica, that came out cute! I LOVE sewing with sheets - all those yards of already done hems! :)

    I just realized yesterday that I wasn't following your blog when I saw your dinosaur tail at Made by Me SHared with You. But I'm following now! :)

    Janice DeFluiter

  12. The dress is darling, Jess. It is fun to watch sibling relationships develop.

  13. That dress is gorgeous, and I love those yellow tights! I need to play around with dying things sometime soon too.

  14. Ahhhh! So cute. I love this, the pleats, the neckline, the yellow tights. LOVE the yellow tights. I must pick up a few pairs and some dye. Love it!

  15. Ellie is the cutest. I especially love the dyed tights. It opens up so many possibilities.

  16. This is SO adorable! I just love your ingenuity in dyeing the tights! Both of your little ones are super cute!!

  17. beautiful dress. beautiful baby. thanks for the tip on the tights. i have been looking for a pair of mustard tights for me but haven't had any luck. I think I will try dying some!

  18. She is a doll! All of your dresses are awsome.
    I've never succefully died anything...

    We like "We Love Colors" for tights. They don't have really little ones, but they do have 6-12 month sizes.

  19. All Adorable! The little dress and both kids!

  20. Adorable. I love this dress so much!!!

  21. Christmas dress for baby:- Cute and amazing. That baby is looking very pretty and sweet. Thank you for sharing...

  22. I love this dress SO much. I want to have a baby girl and then I want to make this dress.

  23. Love the boarding school dress. my kids wore a polo and cords, with one of a nicer hoodies and clean sneakers. Their school is very casual so i actually looked more dressed up that most of the students

  24. What a nice dress .Your baby is looking like a doll .So cute And the dress you designed must be appreciated .It looks how much you love your baby and care for her .These baby dresses makes our baby like a baby doll .Seriously your baby is much cute than whatever i say .

  25. Love the comments! They made me laugh out loud...only because they made em think of my own children and the relationship that they have!


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