December 18, 2014

The Adele Dress from Violette Field Threads

I have had this little dress to share for a good couple of months, and it seems highly appropriate that I share it this week.

Sydney is my city. I was born in Melbourne, but we moved to Sydney when I was eight and I grew up here, and have not left. I love Sydney for so many reasons. Sydneysiders were given a very bitter pill to swallow earlier this week, with the events that unfolded in Martin Place. I tear up every time I think of the tragic outcome, and of the fact that three little children will be without their mother this Christmas, and for every other Christmas. But I will not let these events detract from the love I feel for this great city, for it is a wonderful city and I feel lucky to have grown up, and to have my children grow up here.

I made Zoe this little dress a couple of months ago, when Violette Field Threads were having their fall style off challenge. I knew I had no chance of winning the challenge, you pretty much have to be an incredibly amazing photographer to win, but I have been meaning to make this pattern for ages, so it was a good excuse. It is the Adele dress, which is made from knits and has some adorable little ruffles down the back of the skirt.

I had to drive through the city one Saturday morning to pick up basketball uniforms (a long story….lets just say my husband is one of the most enthusiastic children's basketball coaches I have come across), and so we stopped off at Blue's point on the way.

Blue's point is one of my favourite spots to sit and look at Sydney harbour. It is on the north side of the bridge and the view is spectacular. Sydney harbour is breathtaking, the photos don't do it justice, and it sparkles in the sunshine.

Anyway, we got down to Blue's point that morning and of course Zoe was delighted to find a little dog in the park. She had a great time tossing his ball around for him.

But of course, eventually it was time for the dog to leave and that was it for Zoe. Sulky face, no nice photos and crying about the little doggy being gone. So we resorted to the playground to cheer her up while I tried to get some shots of the dress.

The Adele dress is a very sweet little dress. I modified the pattern slightly, instead of the bustle at the back, which creates the top two ruffles, I added a ruffle directly onto the other two ruffles and joined them to the top piece of the back. I also added some ties, as there is a little peter pan collar around the front (it's adorable) that I wanted to coordinate with the ties.

I was a little concerned when I saw that sizes 2 and 3 were grouped together. I know on growth tables that the axial growth between 2 and 3 is smaller than some of the other sizes, but it is still a decent difference, so I was expecting it to either fit her (she is a size 2, but a big 2) with no room for growth, or to be massive.

The fit was actually really great. It is fitted, but not too tight, which will allow for growth easily, and the length was just below her knees, so I hemmed it a little shorter, which is great for all the sewers of size 3 people out there. It meant it would fit her well through Summer and transition through the first couple of months of Autumn with leggings underneath.

The instructions were very clear and straightforward and the pattern was easy to print and put together. It's a really great little pattern that I would definitely recommend. I used a cotton/lycra knit that I picked up for some ridiculously cheap price at The Remnant Warehouse, and my favourite fabric from the Jennifer Paganelli Beauty Queen line. It was a little tight going over Zoe's head - so I added a quick opening to the back using the method I've described in a tutorial here.

Anyway, I loved taking photos of her here, but I did find it challenging. I am using my camera in full manual mode now,and it is a bit beyond me still. I was confused about whether to photograph her, or that spectacular background, so I ended up not really getting a good shot of either and the sun was bright and strong, which made the lighting tricky. Still I am determined to get better and am doing loads of reading about photography these days. There are so many things that remind me of Sydney in these photos - the obvious ones, and then the not so obvious ones.

I love the sandstone steps leading down into the water. You can see that some have been lovingly replaced, but others are original, carved  I assume, by the convicts who worked so hard to make Sydney what it is today, and it really takes me back to learning all about Australia history when I come down here. And that water - such a pretty pretty colour, and the yellow sand that is found on all of Sydney's beaches, encased by the sandstone walls. I really do love it here.

Anyway, Zoe was being a real 2 year old, and there were no good photos happening, so I gave up and put her in the car and off we went through the city to pick up the basketball uniforms. The uniforms were in a street lined by huge trees. I absolutely love these trees, they are everywhere in the city, and as a child I was fascinated by them. I took Zoe to walk in them and she said "I think I would like to have my photo taken in the trees and I would be a good girl and smile nicely," so I whipped out the camera and she posed beautifully for me!

Anyway, a lovely dress and an even lovelier city to live in.
Happy Sewing,


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