Improvisational pleating and birthday lessons... (#1)

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 13:50

Oh it's good to be back!
At last I have a camera again - and I feel like I'm back in the blogging world.

You may have heard about the Improvisational Pleating contest An is running over at Straightgrain...This is my entry, and  if I was being tactical I should probably save this for a week or two, but I'm waaaay too impatient.
Especially as I actually sewed this MONTHS ago, and completely coincidentally to An's contest.

I just couldn't resist this rose-print muslin which was in the 'reduced' basket of my local fabric store.  Honestly it was ridiculously cheap. And also it 'spoke to me'. It brought back memories of a story I loved when I was Missy's age. Did anyone else read My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards? With the most wonderful Shirley Hughes' illustrations?
There's a tale where 'My Naughty Little Sister' is given the most beautiful white muslin dress with rosebuds and a pink sash. Then she gets so worried about getting it dirty that she takes it off and runs round the party in her underwear...This tale proved to be prophetic...

So I bought the muslin with a view to making a 'Birthday dress' for Missy, back in March, but also to create something that was completely whimsical, almost a dressing up dress. A little bit Princess or ballerina, but not a kitsch costume.

Late night sewing ensued ahead of Missy's birthday. (late night, code for; 'don't look at that hem closely - have you tried hemming muslin?')
This is, again, An's Hanami dress pattern, with ta-da, a panel of improvised pleating on the bodice. Honestly, no measuring was involved, I stitched down random folds in the central panel. The dress is completely lined in blue cotton, and ever-so twirly. 
It's a little bit 'Marie Antoinette' no? Or Angelina Ballerina?  Or at least this is how I tried to present it to Missy on her birthday morning...
She loved it - for about five minutes. Until she opened the birthday present from her grandparents; a "Made in China" nylon Pirate Costume...

My 'Angelina ballerina' rosebud muslin could not compete with pirate hat, sword and attitude....Missy was 'Pirate Captain' for the day.
And I was left remembering My Naughty LIttle Sister, who also rejected the rosebuds, and pondering the lessons to be learnt.
There are more 'birthday
lessons' to come... I'll keep you posted.
Happy birthday my gorgeous pirate princess...

PS - what do you reckon to the camera? Photographic advice welcome! What on earth do I do with all these button thingies..?

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


  1. It's so BEAUTIFUL. I remember the story of My Naughty Little Sister, I love the illustrations. That picture brings back memories.

  2. Gorgeous Victoria! Great you've got a new camera - hurrah!!

  3. those pleats are fabulous!! I love this so much!

  4. Gorgeous dress, Victoria! It's great to have you back!
    I have been following your mother to daughter series and loved it. Especially your post. It was so inspirational...

  5. Oh Victoria. the dress is gorgeous, and Missy looks like a real princess in it! Darn pirates!

  6. This is so lovely, really delicate and pretty. she'll come back to it when the lure of pirates starts to fade. Also I think your photography is beautiful.

  7. Such a romantic dress, so pretty! I've been doing some improvisational pleating myself today… Not yet finished, but getting there!

  8. I love the post!! It caught my attention until the very end! One day your daughter will realize wearing your dress is much more fun than the pirate costume! Hahaha

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Oh, I love it, very 'romantic' my girls would love a swishy dress like this....but would also like a pirate outfit equally as much

  11. Beautiful! Both the dress and your little model who wearing it. I love your choice of fabric, so romantic and soft. The pleats made the dress so unique. Love it!

  12. The fabric is so beautiful, and what a cute story it comes with


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you, and try to reply as often as I can, either here or by email. All views, tips, gratefully received...