A friend of mine asked me to make her two girls matching Easter dresses and a coordinating bow tie for her son. I gave her a few fabric ideas and crossed my fingers that she would choose Field Study in rayon challis (then I'd have a great excuse to buy a bit for me, too, right?). A girl after my own heart, she jumped at the idea!
Because the rayon challis is about 54" wide, I was able to order the same yardage that I would have for quilting cotton - so don't be turned off my the slightly higher price! The first thing that I noticed when I received the fabric was the beautiful drape. It is buttery soft with a slight sheen, and it gives a bit more than quilting cotton. In my amateur opinion, rayon challis is one of the best garment fabrics and I'm so glad that wonderful designers like Anna Maria Horner are offering their prints in rayon!
For the dresses, my friend asked that I make something similar to this tutorial. I used a template for the bodice of the larger dress and for the toddler dress I traced the bodice of an old 18 mo old dress. I was really nervous about the fit of the two dresses - I had the girls' measurements, but it's still a gamble!
I deviated from the tutorial a bit and added more gathering in the center front and back. I kept the shape of the bodice and the sleeves, though, as those wear the details that my friend really likes! Here are the two dresses, the larger dress is about a size 6 and the smaller is an 18mo:
The back of the dress has a button closure. I used covered buttons, because I couldn't find a shank button that I liked!
And here's the bow tie!
I was really happy with how everything turned out! The size 6 dress was a bit too big (which surprised me, since I used a pattern piece for the bodice measurements!) but my friend opted to leave it as is, so that her daughter could wear the dress for a few years. I think the dress will look great as a tunic for a few more years - and it will even layer well over a long sleeve t when the weather cools off!