Friday, May 13, 2022

An Easy Calico Dress

 I made Genevieve a first-day-of-preschool green calico dress and then lengthened it as she grew taller and then saved it for the little sister who wore it to literal shreds.

Mending fabric that is shredding due to age or heavy wear is like bailing a leaky boat. I've become a savvy mender by inspecting items carefully to make sure I can truly extend their life with mending. Here the fabric was giving out at the bottom of each tuck and I had already mended a three-corner rip that had torn open again. 

So, the middle of the green dress went in the piece bag, the top was discarded, the buttons put back in the button tin, and Phoebe said sadly, now I don't have a calico dress.  

That is an easy fix!


I had a length of navy calico just barely enough for a Phoebe dress - I almost wrote "little girl" but Phoebe is just not very little anymore (and when you look at little Genevieve wearing the green dress - oh my heart! my little girls!). 

I planned to use the same dress pattern as the green calico, but apparently I had gotten rid of it at some point. I used a Style pattern a neighbor gave me when she cleaned out her sewing stuff. I added some rick rack and juicy red buttons and that is a very smart summer dress. 

Phoebe has been helping me set up garden beds and plantings all week long as she quarantines for COVID reasons. She has a pepper plant named Rosalind now. She gets to read books with her pasta and pesto and watercress lunch.  A good week to be at home wearing an easy breezy calico dress!

20 comments:

  1. Hi Leisha G here ! Love the new dress , and love how you make clothes for Phoebe ..

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  2. Leisha again . I remember Genevieve in the green dress ..: such a sweet dress and pity it's past it.. I have several pairs of favourite cotton track pants that are so threadbare and many holes ... I'm wondering if I can repair them ...

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    1. Leisha, thank you! As for mending favorite clothes. . . I do sometimes put in the effort for something very favorite and if I want the patches-on-top-of-patches look. My husband has a pair of work jeans that I have mended probably a dozen times, basically now a humorous experiment to see how long I can keep them functional!

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    2. My husband has work pants like that too! He basically looks like a walking quilt of old Carhartt and it's a game to keep them up :-)

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    3. Love it! That's my kind of game :)

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  3. Very smart, indeed! And how nice for Phoebe to have this lovely time at home.

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  4. Margo, my dearest, I love everything about this post. And at the risk of sounding egocentric, Phoebe reminds me in someway of myself as a child, but you’ve allowed her to be herself, that is priceless. I see what might have been……but is all behind me now, and all has been forgiven. I was an exuberant child and my mom didn’t know what to do with that. 💙💙💙

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    1. Love you, auntie, and glad you have the freedom for exuberance now.

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  5. The new dress is just as fun and breezy as the old one. I'm so impressed that you make clothes for your family and yourself. I never learned those skills.
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    1. Thank you! I started making clothes because I couldn't find in the stores what I wanted to wear and the first clothes I made as a beginner did not match my vision either, haha. I have not tried very hard to pass this skill on to my kids. . .interesting to muse about the skills we acquire and why. . .

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    1. And frock is such a fabulous word - must remember to use it!

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  7. I also enjoy sewing clothing for my family, but absolutely no sleeveless dresses for my little girl!

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  8. Oh that's so cute! I understand the part about wearing the fabric down to where it's too thin to use! Would love to see a tour of your garden when you get your beds set up!

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    1. Thank you! I could do a garden tour soon - while I'm still enchanted with it, haha.

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  9. What a sweet dress. Those little girl days fly by so fast. I often use iron on interfacing to reinforce fabric where it is wearing thin.

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    1. Lana, thanks for that great tip with the interfacing! I will add it to my mending repertoire.

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  10. Awwwwww. What a warm and fuzzy post! I love it. Gosh they're growing like weeds (echoes of my reply to your recent comment on my blog). I love the new dress. Finally giving up on a mending (and re-mending) a beloved garment is real bittersweet for me. I know it was well loved, but I am sorry to see it go. Though, I know it will pop up here and there again. Like Matt's fav green corduroy shirt that became so many different small things after it was done being "just" a shirt.

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    1. Love your expression of how a beloved clothing item lives on! It's fun to trace the journeys.

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