Warm sun. Slight breeze. Badminton rackets clicking. Mimosas. Quiche. The scent of lilacs and the laughter of family and friends. I truly hope each of you was as blessed this Mother’s Day as I was, and were able to celebrate, whether your own motherhood, your mother or grandmother, or the community of mothers all around us.
Twirling in the backyard, dancing to her own music was Miss Cakes in the finished Pinwheel Tunic and Dress, the pattern I cut last time by Oliver + S. It was light and airy enough to keep her cool, roomy enough to play in, and flouncy enough to delight her as she twirled. It even survived the day without a stain, which is a miracle considering the tights are now at the bottom of the wastebasket due to a mulch run-in. It performed so beautifully, I’m now regretting not making this in smaller sizes, even just as the tunic top.
The sewing: I didn’t really change much. A minor thing here or there, like a French seam at the shoulder where they would have had you serge, or a clean finished back facing piece instead of turned and topstitched. One change worth note was using the bias binding at the neckline as the tie at the back of the neck. The pattern has you sew ribbon ties into the back seam as you finish the binding, and I just would rather everything be the same. So instead of the pattern’s instructions, I cut my binding longer and topstitched it on, continuing the topstitching along the edge of the ties extending on either side of the finished neckline. I also wanted to French seam the entire garment, but after reading the sewing order of operations decided that it would be too bulky in some areas the way they had it constructed, so I opted for normal sewn and serged seams. Instead of stitching in the ditch to finish all the bias edging, I used a topstitch mainly to echo the stitching on the neck edge. I also topstitched the seam allowances at the top of the flounces to the dress just so everything will lay nicely when laundered.
And the pattern matching! Just look at those rows of color walk perfectly from the front to the sleeve, and again down the tiered ruffles.
I made up as much bias as the pattern envelope suggests, but had a considerable amount leftover. I edgestitched shut a 20″ length to use as a hair ribbon for when she wears her hair up with it. And then while poking around on the Oliver + S website, I came across this brilliant post about making covered headbands. I grabbed one from my old bridal headpiece stash, stitched a length of remaining bias shut, turned it, and pulled the headband through. I hand finished the ends, tucking them inside. Edgestitched another 15″ length, enough to make a bow around the headband. And now she has two hair options!
The fit: It’s a bit roomy when worn, but I did cut a size larger than my daughter is according to their pattern chart. It’s actually just the right size when she’s wiggling her arms up into the sleeves since there isn’t a complete front or back opening. I don’t mind it being a bit large now; it’s cute as a tent style and it means she has a chance at wearing it a bit next spring too.
As a final touch, after looking at it hanging nearly finished for a few days, I added two vintage turquoise buttons from my stash on the front. It just seemed like the light pattern of the dress wanted one more little punch of color. Now she’s ready to twirl and pick dandelions all summer long. A perfect dress and another favorite pattern, really. Sew one up when you get the chance for the little girl in your life!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Rebekah and Miss Cakes