Friday, March 8, 2013

Julia's First Birthday: Pinwheels, Balloons, and a Vintage DressRe-make and

This past weekend we celebrated my niece's first birthday.  My sister and Julia's mom, Emily, put together the most adorable party and didn't miss any details!  I wanted to share a few of my favorite things with you...and it was hard to narrow it down so please excuse all the pictures! 

First of all I just have to brag on my little sis a minute.  She is a full-time accountant, in the middle of wrapping up their busy season and was able to put together all of this in a very productive two days off!  Really, she's incredible....and clearly got all the good stuff in the family gene pool seeings how she is a super-duper accountant AND creative too! 

Emily started with the theme...Sarah Jane Fabric "Children at Play" line.  She loved the white panel that you see stretched on a canvas behind the cake.  From there it just made sense to incorporate pinwheels and balloons into all the decorations.  She made mini and larger sized pennants that were strung all over featuring an assortment of the Sarah Jane line and a few other complementary fabrics.

She made all the little pinwheels you see in the cake and cupcakes out of coordinating card stock and then glued them to little toothpicks.  The party hats you see in the background were all different patterns of paper, rick-rack, bows and ruffled fabrics.


For food she had little one's favorites in cupcake liners along the edge of the table: goldfish crackers, sliced vegetables and cheese sticks, and fruit.  The birthday cake dip with teddy grahams was a huge hit with the kids!  There were triangle wedges of PB&J, tortilla pinwheels, fruit salad, Grandma White's spritz cookies in pinwheel shapes, and some cute pinwheel cookie that I can find the recipe for those HERE.

Em made the smash cake and 40+ cupcakes...trying two different recipes in search of the "perfect" cupcake!  Honestly, they were both wonderful! 

Helium filled balloons covered the ceiling of the party area. It was adorable to watch the 10+ little ones reaching for the balloons. 

And about this little dress...

Since the fabric panel had a very vintage feel to it, we decided to hunt through 50's patterns on ETSY...We picked this one...

We worked off of view B...with a few changes.  We lengthened the skirt to knee length, and instead of the sash it suggested (store bought ribbon), we made our own following the patterns ties. I just added in the waistband piece, edged it in white piping so it would stand out against the background fabric.    To keep the sash in place, I did an invisible stitch to the sash/dress along the front bottom edge.   
The other big change I made was to scrap the whole bodice and recreate my own pattern. The existing bodice just was not fitting Julia well, darts on a one year old perplex me!  It must be a 50's thing!   I used a top from Janie and Jack that fit Julia well along with french curves, the old pattern, and a little dash of throwing caution to the wind, to recreate a bodice that fit muuuch better.  We ended up having to bring my version in a bit on the sides, but overall the fit was much more what we were going for.  In my pattern, I dropped the neck-line a bit, from what you see pictured in the pattern.
We used a fantastic shirting fabric found at Jo-Ann's for the base of the dress.  It hardly even wrinkled and is so soft and light weight.  I used a very old (prob from the 50's or 60's) scrap of pillowcase that I had, for the collar and sleeve trim.  The finishing touch was to sew on tiny pale pink buttons from Grandma White's button collection.
And are those shoes cute or what!!? 

Overall, I am super happy with how the dress turned out!  It was my birthday gift to Julia, so I wanted it to be a special keepsake! 
P.S - Yes, as both our husbands and mother told us girls, we are crazy.  We go a little nuts-o with party planning, but it is sooooo much fun!!  I keep trying to talk my little sister into retiring from her day job to come blog with me, but so far no takers...
I'll keep trying...
P.S.S  On the "you are crazy" note...I did make Kate's dress too.  She didn't have anything to wear and I had a new pattern (super simple) that I was itching to try out.  I had a scrap of Just Stay Little Sarah Jane fabric that came from a Cottage Mama de-stash, and it was just to perfect with the theme not to use it on the bottom band of Kate's dress.  So the morning of the party at 5 am...... yea, I know, c-r-a-z-y!!