Saturday night I tucked my daughter in to bed. I said goodnight and stepped out of her room. As soon as I got the door shut I hear “Mommy?” I go back in.
“Mommy… You make me a mermaid?”
“A mermaid?” I ask
“Make me a mermaid with a mermaid dress”
“Ok, go to sleep sweetie” I shut the door.
“Mommy I help you make it, it be our project?” awwwwww
“Ok, goodnight sweetie”
Normally I might have blown her off and told her we’d talk about it tomorrow. I couldn’t do it this time. She had just come home from preschool the day before with this heart meltiness. Mermaid dress is a go.
I am not a fan of working with costume fabric. I usually avoid it at all costs. I knew I could work out something that would meet her mermaid needs and not make me cry while making it. I decided to go with knit and turn to my Swiss Army Knife of patterns, the BurlapButton Charlie Mack-a-doodle. I love this pattern, and its companion the Tummy Topper to pieces. You can get them both in a bundle here. I have made play dresses, tshirts, and a tooth fairy costume from it. The combinations are endless and its a perfect canvas to get creative. It’s so versatile and easy to make and looks completely adorable every time. I decided to use the Mack-a-doodle bodice and drop waist. For the skirt I would use this awesome mermaid skirt tutorial from Girl Inspired.
The next day we set about to make our project. I printed out the pattern in her new size, she ran off with the pieces.I cut out pieces of fabric, she decorated the dog with them. I sat down to sew, she dumped out all of my buttons and trim and pushed half of it under the bed. Despite me being completely frazzled the whole time, she was super proud of our mermaid dress.
I thought it was cute, but there were a few problems as a result of my distracted sewing. I cut out two back bodices instead of a back and a front. The skirt ruffles I gathered up the wrong side.I knew I could do better and now that I was really in to the project I wanted badly to create what I originally had in my head. I almost immediately cut out new fabric to sew up a second one after her bedtime.
The new dress turned out perfect =) I love the colors and the fabrics which I got from the amazing L’ouiseau Fabrics. I love how the flutter sleeves echo the ruffles on the skirt.
Despite the skirt being maxi length, the front slit for the mermaid goes above the knees so she can run and jump around without any problems.
She was over the moon about this one and it made me very proud. I let her wear it to brunch on Mother’s day. The hostess said that she liked her dress and she looked just like a little mermaid. My daughter replied beaming ” I am a little mermaid and this is my mermaid dress my mommy made” Mission Accomplished =)