Thursday, 29 March 2012

take that, Dora the Explorer!

I think I've mentioned before that Anna's favourite dress is a Dora the Explorer dress that was given to us amongst a big bag of hand-me-down clothes last year.  As much as I love hand me downs, I don't love licensed clothing very much so I had put it to the back of her wardrobe, planning to refashion it by appliqueing over the Dora picture.  But Anna discovered it before I did and has pretty much worn it on high frequency ever since.

And this is the offending garment:


For a licensed clothing garment it isn't so bad really, it only has one small picture of Dora and her trusty sidekick Boots on the front, it's red cotton and not a neon coloured polyester and it has some cute white crochet detail to the shoulder.  Plus it does this which is a favourite past time of late:


Perhaps why I dislike it so much is that her favourite garment isn't something I've sewn for her.  How dare she prefer a hand me down dress made in a sweatshop in China over something lovingly handmade by her own mother? So I decided to challenge Dora in the favourite dress category.

I let Anna choose the fabric from the stash, and she chose a pretty floral cotton drill which is probably a bit too heavy weight for the style but at least it will withstand a lot of wear and it helps give it a very flared finish due to its stiffness. 

Using McCalls 4817 which I bought one time when sewingpatterns.com had a 99c pattern sale - even with their exorbitant shipping charges the overall price was still cheaper than what I could get here in Australia, this is my challenger to the title of favourite dress:



The back has a little bow tie detail which is nice, but doing the gathers on those three tiers nearly drove me nuts - the bottom tier is 1.6m wide. In fact doing the gathers annoyed me so much I went out and bought a ruffle foot shortly after sewing this!  I made a size 2 pattern except I used the length of a size 4 pattern since Anna is a bit of bean pole and the fit is pretty good.

And how does one accessorise a pretty dress like this? With frilly socks and purple Converse high tops of course!


Anna has now declared this her favourite dress now and has worn it frequently over the last fortnight.  In fact Dora only gets a look in when this dress is on the clothesline so I'd say that's a win for me! Isn't this the face of a happy customer?


p.s still pregnant.  Sigh.

36 comments:

  1. That's a really good turnaround. And the dress is lovely.

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  2. That would be my favorite dress, too, if I were lucky enough to have it. I love how you beat those global marketers at their own game!!!

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  3. So cute - love the high tops.

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  4. Just sooooo cute. And such a lovely dress. I wish my mum would make me pretty clothes!

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  5. Awwww...she looks so cute in her pigtails and new dress!!
    Great job!

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  6. Just keep sewing.... didn't Anna take her own time too?
    Anna looks soo pleased... nothing like a child's smile to help you remember why life is good! Pretty soon there will be two!
    Any thoughts on what you think the baby might be?

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  7. Good on ya Mum, so cop that Dora!!!! Anna is gorgeous. I'll swap you two grown up boys for one girl. 1.6 metres, ruffles, gathers, whatever - what bliss - sorry.

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  8. That is really pretty. Anna looks so cute!

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  9. That dress is beautiful, and Anna looks so cute in it... love the hightops. Hope the baby puts in an appearance soon. Wouldn't it be nice if there was an eject button?

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  10. Congrats on having made the new favourite dress! I'm still trying to make my son something that he prefers to hand-me-downs. Ah well, he's 5 - I've got time...

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  11. Cute dress, and your daughter is adorable!

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  12. Her new dress is so damn cute!

    Thanks for the mention of the Sewing Pattern website - will have to keep an eye out for the 99 cent sales.

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  13. Ha! I love it! The fabric is adorable and all that gathering paid off. Yeah, I hate to gather as well. But it sure does make for a cute dress. She sounds so spunky - I love it!

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  14. Oh, so CUTE! What a pretty, happy girl in her pretty new dress.

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  15. Es un vestido muy bonito...espero que tengas a tu bebé YA

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  16. Sooo cute- and I just love the way she accessorises!

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  17. Anna is just precious and the dress is adorable!

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  18. So cute! I'm pretty sure I have that pattern (bought years ago, I'm sure) and I'm going to have to try it out.

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  19. What an adorable, stylish little girl you have!

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  20. The dress is adorable, and so is little Anna!! She has good taste in fabric, the end result is so lovely. And yes, I hate gathering also!!!

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  21. Congrats on taking down Dora! That's impressive :) The dress you made is really cute and I can see why your daughter loves it. It's similar to my favorite dress style (also tiered, and also prompting me to get a ruffler foot :)) from last year, but sleeveless, which I really like. I think I will try to make my daughter one like this.

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  22. Adorable! Last year I made then-5yo DD what is practically a ball robe, with expensive materials and a few couture techniques thrown in (and I did consider her taste, too). She liked it just fine, but when she inherited a slightly tattered all-polyester fairy dress a couple of weeks later, my gown was out.Out.Out. I was so disappointed! Luckily, she rediscovered my dress a year later, it still fit and she wore it quite a bit. I try hard not to take it personally, and to be happy she's developing her own taste. Which is pretty much Hello Kitty, all the time!

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  23. I also made my daughter that dress when she turned 5. It was worn until the end of this summer (she is nearly 8). It was definitely a favourite dress! Your daughter looks absolutely gorgeous in hers.

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  24. Very pretty dress for Anna and she certainly looks very happy.

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  25. My, she is a pretty one! I love that cheeky grin in the last shot! Do you know someone with a motorcycle to take you for a ride over a rough road?

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  26. Good work! Man, I hate Dora...I had a great moment this morning when I was trying to talk my five year old into wearing something a bit warmer and I realised I was talking her OUT of a dress I made her which she really really wanted to wear! Duh...
    p.s. it will end...

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  27. Congrats! You totally rock and Anna looks happy.

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  28. Glad Mum power won in the end! Love the converse shoes and frilly socks with the dress.

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  29. There is such a thing as a ruffle foot! Why am I the last to know...
    Great frock, here's hoping for labour.

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  30. I like the clothes you make her, but remember this: even Julia Child liked to eat out!

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  31. Ha! You have triumphed over character licensing, no mean feat. Adorable dress, and it looks very twirly. I have only heard silly things to bring on labor, like walking with one foot on the curb (kerb in British, don't know if it's the same in Australian) and one in the street.

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  32. so cute. I love Anna's sweet face

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  33. Sweet dress for a total sweetie.

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