The “Pet Deer” Dress
Fabric: Pet Deer by Michael Miller- quilting cotton
Pattern: Oliver + S Ice Cream Social dress
Notions: button- from a long dead cardigan.
Time to Complete: 2 hrs
First Worn: May 13 2012
Wear Again: Undoubtedly, worn here with a long sleeved tee for a little extra warmth
Total Price: $0- I have used the pattern more times than I can count, it’s a recycled button and someone else bought the fabric. I guess the contrast cost about $3.75?
My daughter thinks custom-designed dresses grow on trees. My bad. (not really, I love it.) She’s old enough now to choose her own fabrics; our favorite place to go for her fabrics is Voodoo Rabbit. They stock all kinds of fun, off-beat quilting cotton. The last time we went, I told Lila she could choose any fabric for a new dress. I instantly regretted it because she fixated on this weird-colored Pet Deer fabric by Michael Miller and wouldn’t look twice at anything else. It’s not really typical “little girl” fabric, I mean, it’s BROWN! Eventually, I gave in. I had to, after all I told her she could choose. At least the colors suit her. Besides, her godmother thought the whole thing was hilarious so paid for the fabric. What could I say?
It sat in my fabric cupboard for three months. I hoped she’d forget it, but every so often she’d ask me for her “Deer” dress. Sigh. Once again, Sew Weekly encouraged me to accomplish a project I’ve been putting off with this week’s Prints Challenge. Thanks, Mena!
I have every girl Oliver + S pattern in existence. Truly. The patterns are well-written, come in several years’ of sizes and the resulting garments really suit my daughter’s needs. Earlier this week, I explained to Lila that I was going to make her Deer dress, and we should choose a pattern. We leafed through my box of Oliver + S patterns, and she insisted on the Ice Cream Social dress. I have made this one six or seven times for her, and more often than not she reaches for these little dresses before anything else when she’s getting ready for the day. They layer well, too, and turn into tunic tops as she grows. Easy. I tried to suggest another pattern, but she insisted- “I want another one like my Panda Dress.” Ok, kid.
She helped me pin, cut, and sew this dress. Ever since she was quite small, I let her sit on my lap and pull pins, lift the presser foot, and trim threads. This time I also showed her how to overlock/serge and we talked about why we press seams.
My only real input was to choose the contrast fabric. I like lavender next to her face, and thought it might help brighten the dark tones of the fabric. Despite all my foot-dragging, I don’t mind the finished dress. Besides, she loves it. We went out on Mother’s Day to a sushi train in Chinatown South (Sunnybank Hills) and she wore her new dress. As we walked out of the sushi train, a grinning man remarked to me “Well- hipsters are getting younger and younger these days!” I suppose. This dress (and all the accessories) is pure 4-year-old child self-expression. She’s too young to be trying to be trendy. I’m just the enabler.