Joe and I couldn’t wait for our family vacation with 3 of our 5 sons and their families. This year we selected a place at Edisto Beach, SC that could accommodate the 10 children and 8 adults who planned to go.
This was the first time we have ever had the opportunity to plan a “family beach photo”! Beautiful setting, lots of fun grandkids… time to coordinate some outfits!! With the beach setting in mind (and so many girls), our thoughts were heading towards a maxi dress and a flowy fabric! In searching for a pattern that would suit an age range from 10 months to 9 years and every body shape in between, I found the ideal pattern – Little Lizard King Patterns great new PDF ‘Sorrento’ pattern that is sized for 12 months – 14 years.
A sheer Swiss voile floral fabric named ‘Fragile Beauty’ started to catch my eye as I fluttered around the shop pulling fabrics for our beach maxi’s. Simple & elegant, this voile was perfect for their dresses. Laying out the pattern & fabric, this project was finally starting to take shape. “Fragile Beauty” voile has a creamy ecru background, and one of the first decisions to make was which color to use for a lining. If I matched the lining to the background of the voile, the dresses seemed too dark for young girls and for the look I was attempting to achieve. So, on a whim, I tried the “antique white batiste”, and while it doesn’t “match” the fabric, it lightened the overall final look, and seemed more “little girly” (plus, made a better coordinate with the little boys’ white shirts and khaki shorts.
LINING SELECTION….. This is a picture of the voile shown over both the antique white (on the left) and the cream (on the right) fabrics – trying to decide which would work the best.
UNDER LINED….. Due to the sheerness of the voile, I felt it was important to “underline” the bodice front and back. Underlining is accomplished by putting a layer of the printed voile on top of a layer of the lining, and pinning or basting the two layers together. The new “2-layer” piece would be sewn as one layer. The bodice front and back pieces are also fully lined, so there are 3 layers of fabric on the bodice.
STRAPS/TIES – Another variation – instead of shoulder straps, ties (could use ribbon) were attached at the front bodice and back bodice and tied at the shoulder in a bow. This allowed for minor length adjustments when necessary.
The bodice on our baby’s dress was shortened by at least 3″ – seemed sweeter on one so tiny. Also, with the all of the dresses except the baby’s dress, the skirt lining and voile pieces were the same width and were gathered together. On the baby’s dress, the voile was gathered and attached separately from the skirt lining, and it made such a pretty, airy “fluffy” look for her. She didn’t need the fullness in the skirt, like the older girls needed.
Sweet and simple hair accessories can be made in minutes with pretty little fabric flowers, alligator clips and a hot glue gun!