Ever since my oldest was little, she had perfect little ringlet curls – so much so everyone called her Shirley Temple. So when it came to “Celebrity Day” at her school for spirit week, Taylor decided she would dress up just like her. After searching the web, she found a photo of Shirley in a cute plaid dress, over-sized collar, and bow… this was the look she was after.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of dresses out there that fit this look for adults (I decided that if I would have had the time, I would have looked around for some 1980′s patterns because I’m pretty sure these were in style at some point back then) so I settled on something that had a similar collar and enough of a ‘feel’ that we could pull this off (and a good price point because when I went to buy patterns, nothing was on sale…. isn’t that always the way?). Consequently, I settled on New Look 6299 and a “Homespun” cotton plaid.
Since I was pressed for time (I had 2-3 days to have this one completed), I pretty much sewed this one as is, except for elongating the collar about 1″ (so that it was more pronounced like the inspiration photo) and adding the bow. To speed up sewing I took several shortcuts: First off, I did not shoot for pattern matching (I just went with ‘close enough’) and since working with this pattern, would never suggest using a plaid with this design because there are too many seams to attempt to line up. Secondly, I didn’t finish the seams. This was actually a huge mistake because the homespun cotton seems to fray more than a standard cotton. Thank goodness this is a costume and won’t be worn a lot. Lastly, I slapped that invisible zipper in without much thought. It’s actually not bad for the amount of time I spent on it, but it certainly is not my best work either. Once I was finished we decided to shorten the dress by 6″….. we discovered 6″ may have been too much in the back (after the fact, of course) so I added a bit of lace trim to the bottom (a great cover, plus added an additional 1″ to the bottom edge). Once I was done, I quickly whipped up a bow and tacked it under the collar.
Finding ruffled socks was difficult (even in the costume sections), so I wound up making my own. I found ankle length, nylon socks (on clearance!) and tacked the same lace that is on the bottom edge of the skirt around the top edge. Paired up with a set of ‘character’ dance shoes, I think they complete the look!
Pattern: New Look 6299, View A
Fabric: Homespun cotton plaid from Joann’s
Total Cost $21.36