After about a month of slowly sewing, I finished Delia's special dress. She calls it her Marie Antoinette dress, or her Felicity/Elizabeth dress, after the American Girls. I took my time and I have to say, it came together really well. There were some good vibes with this sewing project. I had some issues with Sadie's Guinevere dress, but Delia's dress had no such surprises, which was nice.
I used McCalls 5414 and she was smitten with the photo on the pattern, so insisted on the same colors. This happened with Sadie's dress too, so I just sucked it up. I did suggest not using the bows on the bodice, which were really garish and she agreed, so we used a ribbon/bead detail I had seen in various books. We are learning about Mozart, the 1770s, and Felicity in Virginia right now, so the timing was perfect to research details for this dress.
I went all out for this one—the bodice is both underlined for stability and lined, and the skirt is also lined and has a crinoline sewn in it that can be bunched up around the hips to make it really full on the sides, which is fun. I added ribbon bits and buttons on the sleeves and made a matching bag with the same detail. Then I had to make a choker and pinner cap as well. I had a ridiculous amount of fun sewing this dress and deciding on the trims. I really tried hard to add all the details before the skirt and bodice were attached, because it's a bear dealing with this much dress through the machine. I used buttons instead of a back zipper which gives it a little more wiggle room. Fitting for a 6 year old's body is so funny and sweet—it's like dressing a hotdog.
All the fabrics came from Fabric Depot, thank god for the sale! This required more than 5 yards of the green fabric alone. Delia came with me to pick out the fabric, she was so patient. I really am amazed how into this the girls are. It's awesome and surprising. I remember being a pretty impatient little thing, especially when it came to Mom sewing for me.
She wore this dress when we did our play recently. There are plays you can perform from the American Girls books and the girls are obsessed with putting them on. They are usually kind of serious plays which makes them that much more funny when chaos ensues. The best part is when Sadie asks if we can work on our blocking. Liddy (3.5 years old) always has a part and lines, too, which is priceless. She emotes like nobody's business! My brother was our special guest this time and played the part of the Angry Loyalist with much flair and wore a tricorn hat which was way too small. We do the best we can.
I love how the dresses both Sadie and Delia chose for me to sew are so them. They are different people of course, and their dress selections really reflect that and the magical creatures that they are. Now, for that baby. I'm still tempted to dress her up and not let her decide. Hmmm.