An Octopus Birthday Dress


Well, if I was late in posting about C's birthday dress, it's only fitting that I was late in actually making O's birthday dress.  But here's the thing - she didn't even care.  Not because she didn't want one (because she most certainly did), but because she understands that handmade things take time and this is a girl who loves handmade things.  Truth be told, the littlest one often refuses to wear the things that I make for her, but O is a grateful recipient who loves when I take the time to make something just for her.  And that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

You know what else makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  This kid.

She is amazingly observant, has a ridiculously good memory, and a great sense of humor.  But you know what I love most about her?  Her zest for life.  She is full of joy and a joy to be around and just when I think I couldn't love her more, I do.

But before I get too sentimental, here's a little about this dress.  The pattern is the Caroline Party Dress pattern by Welcome to the Mouse House.  I cut out a size five bodice because O's a slender little thing and I cut the length of the skirt somewhere between the recommendations for a size 5 and size 6.  I wanted the skirt to be very full so I cut the width of the skirt the entire width of the fabric and just gathered it when sewing the dress together.

The fabric is a cotton lawn from Cotton and Steel and it's just as lovely as everyone says it is.  O picked it out because we had gone to an aquarium a couple weeks ago and we both fell in love with an octopus named Melanie at the aquarium.  When she saw this fabric she immediately yelled "Melanie!" and I knew that it was a done deal.  I debated about adding some additional elements to the dress (piping!) but in the end I decided to let the craziness of an octopus dress speak for itself.

I was originally going to with a solid coral cotton for the lining fabric but when I went to the fabric store I saw this Michael Miller print and was instantly smitten.  I did have a moment when I thought it might violate some laws of nature to mix a safari animal with an ocean animal, but O assured me that it was okay so I went ahead and added the zebra print.  I used a zipper that I just had at home so it's a bit shorter than the recommended zipper length but she's able to get the dress on just fine.  Also, I don't know what my problem is lately, but zippers have become the bane of my existence.  First my problems with this project, and then I could not get the seams to line up straight when installing this zipper.  I swear I ripped it out and sewed it back in about five times, each time thinking "I won't let you best me, zipper!"

And that's when I realized that I was talking to a zipper and that probably falls outside of the norm of socially acceptable behavior.

PS - The littlest one, of course, also wanted in on the action and considering that she was wearing a little bubble skirt that I made ages ago for O, I was happy to oblige.  Man, those are some cute little legs.


  1. My! What a pretty dress!! :)

  2. A beautiful birthday dress! Love the fabric (and animal combo!) and that's such a nice looking pattern. I may have to give it a try some day.

  3. Oh, I ADORE this fabric, and what a great dress! I think you did right to just let the fantastic fabric speak for itself without any other adornment, it just sings! And I can't believe our babies are SIX now!? Right? Isn't O about Joe's age? So incredible. I am really enjoying six. Joe is hilarious and generally pretty cooperative even! Crazytown.

    I use a little chalk to mark the seamlines on my invisible zippers now and it has helped a bit. That is the tricky part, though!

  4. The octopi (is that right?) are totally perfect for that pattern! And damn, if your kids aren't the cutest. Happy birthday, O! Six, woo-hoo!!

  5. Yay, happy birthday O!! 6 is such a great age, I dunno, I just love "kid-dom" that 6 brings. It's super fun. I love the octopus dress so much! Melanie is a hilarious name for an octopus.

  6. Thought I'd already commented.... Love this dress, and what a fabulous little six year old. Happy birthday!

  7. What a fabulous octopus material and dress! LOVE! Great photos too....the joy! Your little one is so big now.

    P.S. Pop over to my blog if you want...New CD giveaway! xoxoxoxo


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