One of the greatest things in my life is being able to watch my niece grow up – granted, much of this observing has to be done from afar via FaceTime, but every time I get to spend time with her I’m in awe of the person she is becoming. The amazing person she already is. My second greatest thing is probably the fact that, for every dress I make myself, I can make her a miniature version and marvel in the unending cuteness.
Many of you will recall the making of the Dahlia dress – a painstaking process that was one of my first forays into pattern drafting. Constructed over about a 6 month period, this is one of my proudest moments. Though I have created several dresses since then, this one will always have a special place in my heart. And naturally I had to make a miniature version for my beloved niece, Brynn, who’s love of dresses and sparkly shoes knows no bounds (yeah. We are SO related).
The Design & Construction
Making Brynn’s dress was relatively easy, as it mostly required the leftover pieces from my dress. I used 1m total of the Dahlia fabric, purchased from Spoonflower. I took a basic dress pattern (New Look 6879, Dress A) and approximated the style of my dress. As 4-year old’s don’t need as much of a cinched waist, I opted out of the 11-piece bodice of my dress, but gave her the contrasting sash and full skirt.
I have to say – making kid’s clothing takes about 3 minutes. The seams are so small that I barely touch the footpedal and it’s sewn. As such, while one of my creations can take me up to 6 months, for a Brynn-dress I only need an afternoon and a strong cup of coffee.
I usually get to enjoy the fruits of my labor via photographs and videos, where I can see Brynn’s face as she opens her newest dress fresh off the plane from Australia. I get to revel in stories of how she refuses to take them off or hear her exclaim how much she loves them over Skype. As such, my photosharing is relegated to collages, with the two of us in our matching garments separated by space and time and a whole lot of ocean.
But, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been having many many travel adventures over the past month. One of my stops was a visit to Massachusetts to see my family, including a bouncing, bubbling 4-year old Brynn. Given that I only get to spend time with her sporadically, I knew I had to pounce on the opportunity of being in the same time zone and indulge myself in a mini-me blog photoshoot.
I realize that there will come a time when Brynn will balk at the idea of us wearing matching dresses. Where being cool will take precedence and she will lament the photographic evidence of our twin-hood. But for now, I get to be forever grateful for the fact that, after she spied the Dahlia dress resting in my suitcase, she took me by the hand, lead me to her closet, pointed at one of the most recent dresses I made for her and asked, “Auntie – can we match??”
The soul is healed by being with children.Fyodor Dostoyevsky
There are few moments in my life more precious than this one. Where I get to romp in the field with a four year old, reveling in the wonder of picking flowers dotting the side of the path while the sun dances across our faces. The joy of jumping as high as you can. Of kicking of your shoes and running through bubbles with abandon. Where I am lucky enough to get to be a part of this future woman’s orbit.
In the hustle and bustle I forget sometimes to marvel in the little things. Until a four year old tucks her little hand inside mine and reminds me.