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well, here we are!  the final day already!  you have probably come to appreciate two things this week, first, that this is a highly adaptable, versatile, solid, must-have pattern, and two, man, can i ever botch a basic pattern that i have made repetitiously.  the latter is no better demonstrated than in this final geranium, one i dreamed of for months, debating fabric choices, searching high and low, finally importing this gorgeous nani iro double gauze straight from japan, all for the honor of clothing my daughter on the great occasion of her third birthday.IMG_0548 i don’t care to estimate how much time i spent just staring at the fabric after i selected it, moving it all about, putting the pattern piece all over and trying to visualize what the dress would look like based on their final placement (the fabric is not uniform throughout, which is kind of exciting).  did i want a saturated flower bodice, or skirt?  could you appreciate the flower bunches in the bodice if they were flush with a solid flower skirt and leaking into it?  i thought not, and opted to make the bodice solid flowers, so that the bunches of flowers could be more appreciated on the larger surface area of the skirt.

i also wanted to keep the selvedge intact, because i loved the way some tiny little flowers fell into it.  so beautiful.  cutting the skirt the way i did meant i would also have writing front and center in the selvedge hem, but i think it looks kind of cool, and since bean calls my mom nani (and i her mother before that), having “nani” written right there on the dress has some nice sentimental value.

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only after all of this had been decided, the fabric had been lovingly washed and carefully dried, the pattern pieces placed cautiously and precisely to make a beautiful one of a kind garment, and to preserve as much fabric intact as possible after cutting, only after all of these hours just thinking and planning did i make my first cut.  and as soon as i made that first cut, the portion of the skirt on the fold, did i realize that in all of these hours of scheming in dreaming, i 100% failed to realize that i wouldn’t have even remotely enough fabric to cut the rest of the skirt and maintain a fluid print.  i stared at my fatally wounded japanese import watercolor painting fabric totally devastated.  i’m pretty sure i actually gasped and said, “no!”  how could this be?  eight geraniums completed before this one, and i never considered how much fabric i would need?  i had just been cutting and cutting out of yards on end of fabric, fabric without prints or directions, and it just never crossed my mind.

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but this was the fabric i selected for my daughter’s birthday dress, and dammit, this would BE her birthday dress.  after considering my options, i decided the gathered skirt would have to be only slightly gathered, losing several inches from the width.  that would have been fine, unnoticeable actually, had i planned it that way before chopping it up.  but now, my slightly gathered skirt would have a random, off center seam, costing me even more of the width, right up front where everyone can see it.  a french seam, but a seam nonetheless.  i SEETHED.  i hate that seam every time i see it.the rest of the dress came together fairly uneventfully, but sloppily, like it was trying really hard to fail.  the bodice is weird and bunchy in the left armpit…i have no idea why; that never happened before.

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but, in spite of my SEVERE error, the fabric speaks for itself and is so lovely.  our kids don’t often get new things, so birthdays and christmas can be very overwhelming.  we try to spread gift giving throughout the day.  it’s a purposeful technique for me to surround a sewn garment with some fanfare so bean gets excited and willingly wears it–the method has never failed.  so, after awaking from her nap on her birthday, i peeked into her room to ask if she was ready for her next gift.  she gleefully nodded, an excited smile spreading across her face.  i brought the dress to her, with colors and patterns that will mesmerize even a toddler.  she grasped it, feeling how soft and light it was.  i said, “do you want to wear it for your party?!”  and she looked at me and said so earnestly, “well, i really love it mom, but i want to keep wearing this (gestures to her stained carters outfit).”

i did appreciate her remarkable reply, justifying her reason in a way that would preserve my feelings before shooting me down (is she really only 3?) but, WHAT?!

after a few more rounds of negotiation, she agreed to wear it before dinner, and then change back into her mass produced shirt to eat.  not surprisingly, she forgot all about those plans once the festivities started, and ended up in the dress the whole night.  given how i babied this fabric, it stood up just fine to this

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and this

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and this

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and this

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and somehow escaped without a single spot.

anyhow, i could save a wrap up post for another day, but…i’m already here, so we might as well call it a day.  a week, actually.  if you’re not convinced to buy the pattern (if you don’t already own it), there’s little more i can do to that effect.  even with all the mishaps (that are totally avoidable with minimal attention), i’m sure this week has demonstrated that the sky’s the limit and it will pay for itself very quickly.  i hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my geranium successes (and failures)!  i leave you with a bunch (a vase?  a bouquet?  a pot?) of geraniums:

geraniums

7 Comments on last geranium and wrap-up!

  1. They are all beauties, I love them all such great fabrics and styles and I love how footloose and fancy free your daughter is in them! Thanks for sharing and how wonderful that your mom brought back all those gorgeous fabrics for you (did she take an empty suitcase along to fill up?) :)

    • oh, thank you, nancy! they are fun to make, and evidently, fun to wear. my mom did bring an empty suitcase, actually…she’s very indulgent of my hobbies :)

  2. I’ve been eyeing those double gauze fabrics – was it tricky to sew with? Did you line it all the way through the skirt?

    • hey rebecca! fancy meeting you here :) the double gauze is totally straight forward to sew (provided you don’t hack it to pieces first). it is soft and light to the touch, but is still cotton and sturdy enough to sew with a regular foot and needle, no bells or whistles. i only lined the bodice. if it were something for me, i might have wanted to line it because the white is probably a little translucent, but the skirt is loose enough that on a kid, nothing seems to show through. it’s so pretty! get some!

  3. What a wonderful series of dresses! Maybe I’ll have to buy the pattern as well, they’re amazing, and it’s a very versatile collection!

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