I have made three Jump Rope dresses before. Two polka dot and flowery for both girls and one from some Patty Young fabric for Isabel.
Just before Isabel went to camp I asked her if she wanted a gingham one and she eagerly nodded yes. A blue one please Mummy.
So I set to work grading the pattern.
The original patterns only goes up to a size 8. The first dress I made Isabel I had to grade into a 9/10 for her.
These have both become a bit tight around the chest so I knew I would have to grade it further.
I have been planning to do so for a while but it’s such a bother to bring out the original pattern to use as a reference so I have put it off. But after a sad visit to camp where we left an almost crying girl at the lunch table I set to work.
I added about an inch all around the chest and deepened the armscye slightly. I added 4″ to the width of the skirt and 5 inches on the length using the size 8 as a base. I can get away with this since the skirt is just a rectangle and has no curves.
I also lengthened the placket by 2″.
The biggest difference was the sleeves. I love the narrow sleeve on the original pattern but I wanted to see if a slightly puffed sleeve could work too.
So with a bit of help from my favourite aunt I altered the sleeve piece to add some puff and drew a cuff for the arm as well since the alters called for that.
I chose to make a white collar and placket because I love the crispness of it and the vintage/retro flair it adds to almost any fabric choice.
Once the dress was made and I hung it up on a hanger I thought it looked almost like a nurse’s uniform from some 50’s movie, but my friends assured me I was wrong.
I didn’t add any buttons. I wanted Isabel to pick them herself. And she chose white plastic buttons sewn on with blue perle cotton. I was about to make blue button holes but I thought I could switch the look of the dress up easier if I left them white.
This way I can take off the buttons and sew them on with yellow or red thread later on.
Isabel said she doesn’t like red in combination with the blue and white – which is a combination I love. Or she could have had red buttons or even snaps with red bows sewn on the outside.
I also added a tiny flower to the collar in blue lazy daisy stitch with a yellow French knot in the centre. In retrospect I should have done that before I sewed up the collar so the wrong side of the embroidery would be hidden.
I almost cried when she tried it on. She looked so summery and lovely and grown up. It gave me Alice in Wonderland vibes and I was seriously contemplating sewing her a petticoat with tulle on it to wear underneath … I might still do that.
The puffed sleeves add a childlike look to it though which makes it very suitable for my almost 8 year old.