However, the girl also pretty much only wears dresses, and requested a short dress with pockets that she could run in for Sports Day. So I adjusted the Bimaa into this cute, sporty tunic dress that was perfect for all of her activities!
I sewed the shawl collar option in a soft green jersey (literally the only green knit fabric I could find in Nippori last Monday--note to self, do NOT go fabric shopping on a national holiday in Japan!) trimmed with a white knit with a rainbow weave in it from Girl Charlee. My daughter is 4.5, and usually wears a size 4 in RTW. I wanted the dress to last a while, so I cut out a size 5 but used the size 4 for the wrist cuffs to make sure the sleeves stayed up off of her hands.
To extend the top into this dress, I cut a gentle curve in the front bodice piece. At center, the bottom edge of the bodice curve was 2.5 inches from the neckline, and it curved down to 3.75 inches away from the bottom of the armhole at the side seam.
For the back bodice, I just cut it off straight across at the same spot as the lowest part of the curve, so that they matched at the side seam. Like I said, this was 3.75 inches from the bottom of the armhole at the side seam.
I have done this style of half-circle pockets before, using this tutorial. I think they are just darling, and a fun way to showcase another fabric. This time I didn't add an accent color, so I just topstitched the opening to keep it neat. Just make sure that your pocket fabric isn't too see-through, since there's only one layer there.
The fun thing about this dress was the shape of the skirt. I actually cut it wider at the top than at the bottom to get the gather at the bodice seam and the sweatshirt look at the bottom. For the band, I used the band from the Bimaa pattern but I cut it about 2 sizes larger than the size I cut for the bodice.
When cutting out the front skirt panel, I mimicked the curve I had cut into the bodice, but cut the top of the skirt wider than the bodice so I could get a little bit of gather. I added about an inch while it was on the fold, so the skirt front was a total of 2 inches wider than the bodice (14 inches wide total for mine). Then I narrowed the skirt back in slightly towards the hem, so that the bottom of the skirt was about the same as the width of the bodice. My skirt was 12 inches long from side seam to the bottom (then I added the band which gave it a little more length).
I put in the pockets first on the front skirt panel, then gathered the top to fit the bodice, pinned, and sewed it to the finished bodice piece. For the back piece, since I wasn't dealing with the curve, I just stretched the bodice piece while I sewed the skirt on, which worked fine. It seems that I unintentionally cut the back skirt piece a little narrower as well, so there wasn't as much extra fabric anyway.
For the rest of the assembly, I just followed the Bimaa pattern directions, which are so great and easy to follow.
Here are some action shots from Sports Day--Go Green Team!
|Zig Zag Course|
|Some of our own sports action|
And the amazing thing to me was that she chose to wear the green dress the day AFTER Sports Day as well! We'll see if this pink-and-purple girl will give it any more chances as time goes by, but for now I will call it a success!