Monday, August 19, 2013

first Geranium

So, I may have created the ugliest Geranium ever...

Briar Rose clovers

Briar Rose arrived on the very day I quilted and bound Tilt-a-whirl.  Perfect motivation!  This new collection by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics is definitely a winner.  Personally, I love that many of the prints have subtle story features, like the crickets hidden in these clovers.  They're not so "novelty" that it's limiting. 

Briar Rose nanny bee & strawberries

I also picked up some strawberries and Nanny Bee in the coral, which I chose for Aria's Geranium dress.  I was thinking that its saturated color won't show stains and that Aria loves to wear bright, warm colors.  But, well, I wasn't expecting it to read so orange in person.  Sooooo orange.  I decided to line it in Kona pomegranate in hopes of bringing out the "red" in my imagination.

Geranium dress in Nanny Bee

Unfortunately, that only works in my imagination.  In real life it really is orange, not exactly the best color on Aria (she and I have similar coloring, so I guess I'm also projecting that I wouldn't wear that color).  That, and I feel the print is maybe "young" for her?  Not sure how to put my finger on it.  I think it's a beautiful fabric - don't get me wrong - but that this is not the best application. 

Geranium dress for Aria

Ok, so maybe I have a thing or two (or ten) to learn about making clothes.  Like, when working with a somewhat classic/traditional dress pattern and even including ruffle sleeves, choose a modern or simple fabric if your child is almost 9 years old.  Yep, the ruffle sleeves really push it over-the-top.  I did love the ruffle look in the solid gray version that Rae made.  I'm convinced it's all about my particular situation here.

Geranium in Nanny Bee

But, hey, my buttonholes all came out perfect.  At least there's that.

Aria's pear tree

Fortunately, Aria loves this dress.  For all of the "I'll choose better next time" I'm feeling, she loves it, wore it Sunday and will be wearing it to her first day of co-op homeschool tomorrow.  She's been wearing only dresses all summer, unless absolutely necessary, so she can definitely use something new. (Watch out - if your child re-reads the Laura Ingalls Wilder series like 5 times through you may be headed towards a dress obsession.)

childhood

And so, freshly picked pear in hand, off she runs! 

I'm going to insist, adding to Friday's post, that it's also OK if you don't like everything you make.  In daring to be honest with yourself, you create space to learn from and move ahead.  I'm not happy with this one, but my next two (or three!) geranium dresses are going to leave me smiling.  You'll see!

P.S. you can find Briar Rose at these shops:  Intrepid Thread, Sew ModernFresh Modern Fabric, Lark Cottons, Fabricworm, Pink Chalk, FabricBubb and Fat Quarter Shop.  And, in Canada at Mad About Patchwork and Fabric Spot.  

P.S.S.  This post represents my honest opinions.  But, for full disclosure you should know that Briar Rose fabrics were given to me by Windham Fabrics at my request.  Alrighty then, carry on, carry on.

61 comments:

  1. I think the dress looks wonderful and it looks beautiful on Aria. At the end of the day the most important thing is that she loves it so I'd call that a success.

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  2. I guess it just goes to show how everything is subjective, because honestly, I'm not really seeing the ugly here. But I agree with you, it's important to make peace with the fact that we're not going to be crazy about everything that comes out of our sewing machine. I think it takes a lot of pressure off the process when every project doesn't have to be a masterpiece.

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  3. you know, there is something about orange that is so hard to capture on the screen. even when i set my exposure and white balance correctly, my oranges are never accurate. when i made this (http://www.stitched-together.com/2013/07/the-geranium-dress-fully-lined-with.html) geranium dress for indigo, i nearly lost my mind trying to get the oranges right. i actually never got it exactly right - this print, as you probably know, is much more subdued than in my photos. soo frustrating.

    i like that you gave your honest opinion about the dress. i feel, in the garment sewing world, that i really don't see that much. it sometimes feels like there's this unspoken rule that if it's not a big box pattern or print, then it's rude to do anything other than gush about it. i try to be honest about what i've struggled with in a pattern, if nothing else to help other sewers avoid my mistakes. (i can never bring myself to use 'sewist'. it's kind of like how i've lived in texas for over 7 years and still can't say y'all.) :) anyway, i don't follow many blogs, so i may not have an accurate portrayal of what is going on in the garment sewing world. but that's just an impression i get and it's hard because i definitely would never want to hurt an artist by my impressions of their work. at the same time, i don't want my blog to read like a commercial. i spend a lot of time and care on both my sewing and my photography, so to be censored on the side of only being uber-positive feels a bit unfair. i don't know.... it's tough....

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  4. I was so surprised to read you did not like the dress. I think it's wonderful and Aria looks so pretty in it. Sometimes we can be our harshest critics. Looking forward to seeing more of these dresses you make.

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  5. I like it and I think that little girls her age should still be wearing ruffles and loving them! I just bought my nearly 8 year old ruffle lace socks and she loves them. I don't think it looks too young and I think it is great when kids are happy not looking like adults.

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  6. I actually really like it and think it looks great on her.

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  7. I know exactly what you are talking about. Most prints can't be used all over for a dress after you reach a certain age. Oh, and then the color volume near the face needs to be taken into consideration, too. I choose to make the larger pieces of fabric in a coordinating neutral or solid. Your dress is still gorgeous.

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  8. She loves it. That is what is important. She looks adorable in it. They just grow up too soon.

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  9. It is a very pretty print, but I think its maybe that its a medium scale print? A large or very small print would probably be better at your daughter's age. Or if you had used a lighter colour for the top and the red for the skirt and ruffles, that might have been more pleasing to you. But it is for your daughter, so if she loves it, its a win.

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  10. I think it's plenty cute! My girl is really little, but I cut hers off as "tops" and she wears them with leggings or (gasp) jeggings, and that cuts the sweetness a bit. In early spring I layered cardigans over them and I liked that look even more. I don't know how much Aria lets you "style" her these days but you might like it better with just some little styling touches like that.

    She looks so dreamy-sweet in it, though. I'm glad she likes it. I love that she loves Little House--it's a very Little House kinda dress!

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  11. Ok, this is the first time I've had to do this but I'm going to have to tell you you're wrong. :) That dress is just absolutely adorable! Color and all. :)

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  12. I like the dress too. But where I live--metro Toronto--I've noticed that most all "little" girls wear dresses with leggings.
    Sadly, I believe this is because of the potential perverts who are lurking in parks and playgrounds. It's a sad commentary on modern life but the leggings offer some protection. Your girl is older and her dress is longer so it doesn't need leggings.

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    1. Yep, just saw on our local Boston area news about a Bus Driver who followed a woman and her daughter around a store and when they were distracted he took a picture up the little girls dress with his cell phone. Caught on security cameras. Yuk!

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  13. I like the dress on Aria and from here the colour is nice on her. Well done. :)

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  14. What a darling dress. I really love this fabric.

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  15. She looks beautiful in it - and if she likes it, that's a plus too

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  16. I like it so much that I think I want to make one for my daughter in that print! Thanks for sharing even if you aren't that pleased - at least your daughter is though! The worst thing when making clothes is having the kids refuse to wear them.

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  17. I think it's adorable! But I can see why you would think its a little young. I used this print for a quilt back; when I ordered it I thought it would be my favorite print from the collection. I do like it, but the pink strawberries are my favorite.

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  18. I agree with Aria, I love the dress. Though, I love orange. :) I think it is adorable and totally appropriate for an almost 9 year old. I don't think it's ugly at all!

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  19. I LOVE the dress and she is adorable in it.

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  20. The dress and Aria look LOVELY! The print is charming and quite nice for a 9 year old - I prefer this print over Bratz-like clothes.

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  21. I really like it too, but honestly our opinions don't matter - only Aria's! And she loves it. I think this is a success story.

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    1. Well that's a nice way to look at it. You're right in that if Aria likes it than it is a success story in some sense no matter what. Thanks for the perspective!

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  22. I love it, and I really love that your daughter reads Laura Ingalls Wilder. ;)

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  23. I'm really not seeing what you are seeing ..it's a beautiul dress and a lovely colour(I love bright colours) your daughter looks gorgeous in it.xx

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  24. maybe she enjoys being a little girl still - I'm with Aria!

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  25. Rachel you are so funny! This dress is darling on Aria...and not in a "too young for her" way. Have no fear, as a middle school teacher I can tell you that Aria will let you know in no uncertain terms when she has outgrown this style/fabric.

    ps...I read the Little House books over and over and over...kept them into my adult-hood until, sadly, they were all lost in a basement flooding incident :(

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    1. I was just talking last night with some girlfriends about how it seems to be a paradigm shift - the day you suddenly don't want to dress "young". You're right - it'll come all too soon!

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  26. Ditto about dressing little girls like girls not teenagers. I work in an elementary school and you would not believe the trashy looks parents allow their girls to wear. She is adorable!

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  27. I agree with everyone else...the dress is perfect for Aria. I don't see any problem with the color, and it may even be just the right color to balance out what you mention as the print being "young" for her. Totally adorable, girl and dress!

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  28. I have to say I think you are wrong :) the dress is beautiful!!

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  29. The dress is really nice, but I do think it would look better without the ruffles. The colors and print looks really nice on her and you did a great job sewing it!

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  30. I think the dress is fantastic (sorry mom - we will agree to disagree :) ) and your daughter looks great in it and the color.

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  31. I think it looks wonderful on Aria, and love that she loves it!
    I saw this fabric in my LQS and was drawn to it BECAUSE it's so orange! For some reason it looks great on my blonde, blue eyed daughter, so I was thinking about picking some up to make a wrap top for her. It looks great in Geranium, though, you might have inspired me to go that route!

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    1. I was also thinking that it would be gorgeous on a blond or someone with darker skin and hair. Geranium is definitely a great pattern, by the way. I will get a chance to gush about it today =)

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  32. rachel, the dress is simply adorable!. i don't think it looks too young for her, its really charming with the ruffles on the sleeves. the colour is lovely too.
    I just want to say thank you for adding me to the "cheer" do good stitches circle. i have completed my August blocks and they are on their way to the quilter. it was a fun process and i am honored to be part of the process. thank you thank you.

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  33. I think it looks great and I agree with everyone else, if she likes it that is all that matters.

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  34. I LOVE the dress! She looks adorable in it. My daughters favourite dress was handmade and she LOVED it!!! Your
    daughter will probably remember this dress forever :-)

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  35. I think the dress is adorable! Your too hard on yourself!

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  36. She's almost nine! That means she is eight and still a kid. Don't push her to look older if she is hapy as things are. One day, too soon, she will let you know she is "to old" for this or that. Childhood suddenly vanishes and never returns. We're grown-ups for ages, but children for just a blink.
    Maybe next time make the bodice in a solid and/or leave the ruffles off the sleeve caps. I love the way the flora flows from the bodice onto the skirt. Nice job.

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  37. Having never been too fond of super babyish prints or styles on older children, I have to say I don't think this is overly juvenile at all. I think she looks adorable! And maybe there's something lost in the photography but I don't see the orange clashing with her coloring either.

    I've recently decided that unless clothing is indecent, overly ridiculous, or associated with something unsavory, I'll let my kids like what they like. My son is 10 and has been wearing an armload of survival bracelets and rubber bands like a fashion statement and I have to keep reminding myself that soon enough he'll face all the pressure to be cool, as Aria will someday. Let her love that dress! And don't be so hard on your work because you did a beautiful job.

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  38. I have a similar issue. I bought a beautiful coral colored print from Tula to make a tank top for myself. The color was so rich and rosy on the computer. And then it arrived. It is orangey. Not good for my skin tone. And now I have 3 yards of it. :/ Not sure what to do. I may just suck it up and make the top hoping that paired with jeans and maybe a pop of another color it won't be offensive. Or maybe I'll make something for a kiddo out of it? No idea. :/

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  39. Also...I actually think the dress is darling, and as long as she likes it and wears it...I would count that as a win if it were me. ;)

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  40. Aria looks so sweet in her new dress ~ love the ruffled sleeves.

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  41. I'm going to be really dull and say that I really like it....

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  42. I love the dress and your daughter likes it, so that's what matters. I just received my Briar Rose fabric and am anxious to start cutting!

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  43. I'll have to agree with Aria; I love it! I like how the swath of yellow flowers work their way from one shoulder across the bodice and down the other side of the dress all the way to the hem. Good movement. Happy coincidence?

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  44. oh what a stunning little dress. You've really got my itching to purchase some Briar Rose now! :)

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  45. Very pretty dress!!! But i like a more short...

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  46. It looks great, I love the orange and I know my daughter would love it too. While we're being honest tho I have to say that the briar rose prints leave me a little lukewarm. It is very much collection of the moment but a bit too cutesy/ novelty for me. I have some of the strawberry jersey to (try?!) to make something for the girls but otherwise my money is safe.

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  47. I have a question for you. When you typically try new fabric lines how much fabric do you buy at a time of each print? I guess this would apply to any fabric though, not just new ones, lol. I have fat quarters and scraps and 1/2 yards (some) but not much of yardage fabrics.

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    1. Sure! I usually purchase 1/2 yards of prints and 1 yards of solids. I also buy 1 yard of a print if I am restocking it, i.e. I know I will use it a lot! I did get yardage in certain Briar Rose fabrics since I planned to make dresses.

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  48. I know that taste is such a personal thing - usually I am in line with your likes/dislikes, but not in this case!!!! I absolutely adore the dress. I think it looks perfect on your daughter and is totally age appropriate. AND I think it will be PERFECT in the fall! I can just picture it with a little cropped cardigan, some wooly tights and a pair of ankle boots. SO hip!!

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  49. But Aria loves it! What a relief when I got to that point. I'm so dreading the day that my little 6-year-old will only wear gray and black... And at the same time I'm worring am I dressing her too childish even though she's not complaning. We moms are silly :)

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  50. I love it. It's a beautiful color--on her and on you, too. It's lovely and she loves it--and you did a great job! Be proud! :)

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  51. I THINK SHE LOOKS BEAUTIFUL IN THE ORANGE DRESS...SHE'S VERY PRETTY AND COULD WEARS JUST ABOUT ANY COLOR...AHHHH TO BE YOUNG... YOU DID A GREAT JOB. I HAVE THE PATTERN FOR MY GREAT GRAND DAUGHTERS YOU CAN CHANGE IT UP SO ,ANY WAYS WHICH IS GREAT...

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  52. I THINK SHE LOOKS BEAUTIFUL IN THE ORANGE DRESS...SHE'S VERY PRETTY AND COULD WEARS JUST ABOUT ANY COLOR...AHHHH TO BE YOUNG... YOU DID A GREAT JOB. I HAVE THE PATTERN FOR MY GREAT GRAND DAUGHTERS YOU CAN CHANGE IT UP SO ,ANY WAYS WHICH IS GREAT...

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