Sunday, January 9, 2011

Knock-off: A Narrtjie Dress


A day or two before Christmas I was at the mall desperately trying to find Grace a nightgown for her Christmas Eve present.  I have no idea why I waited so long, and I will NEVER do that again, but in the end I'm glad I did.  While searching for a nightgown, I stumbled across a store called Naartjie.



It caught my eye because the dresses were a patchwork of sorts, and the fabrics they use are beautiful but not your typical girl patterns and colors.  The dresses also looked comfortable with a knit top to them.  Their dresses were feminine and girly, but I could also see Grace digging in the sand, exploring in the forest, or whatever else her heart desired.



I only had a few minutes to browse their store (my kids and my mom were waiting for me at McDonald's), but in the short time I had to look, I knew I could make a dress similar to theirs.  My fabrics would be different, but I think I have a pretty rad collection of fabric, so I knew I could find something that would work.



This is my first attempt at a Naartjie dress.  It's very similar to the tank top dresses that Annee made for her girls a while back.  (See HERE and HERE.)  The main difference is that instead of using one main fabric for the body, I used 3, and then added some lace like the Naartjie dresses.  I also added 2 different layers of ruffles at the bottom.



The trickiest part for me was adding the shirt.  Unlike a onesie dress, I wasn't concerned about saving the bottom snaps, but for some reason I felt like the shirt lost it's shape a little.  I also added rick rack the Naartjie dress, and that was so hard.  I've never sewn rick rack to knit, and it moved and stretched the knit, and I think that also contributed the top of the dress losing some of it's shape.  I also added the three buttons just like the dresses I was following.  Much to my model's chagrin I didn't add the buttons she wanted.  I promised to do it after I took her picture.  Shhh, don't tell her I didn't do it yet, and I'm not planning on it!



I wasn't super excited about the fabrics I used.  I do like them, and I do think my fabric collection is rad, but because this was my first time making this dress, and I had no pattern, I didn't want to use my favorite fabrics ever.  However, Grace declared this her favorite dress, and asked if she could wear it every day and even wanted to wear it to bed, so I have a feeling that I'm going to make another one.



When I do make my second knock-off Naartjie dress, I'll also length the main body pieces.  I realized after I'd made the entire skirt of this dress, that if I attached it to the shirt where I wanted it, then it would be too short.  I'm really against little girls in short dresses and skirts, so I cared more about the length of the dress then the look.  That was a really hard decision for me to come to, but don't worry I bought another long sleeved plain t-shirt at Target on Saturday, so I'm predicting I'll make a new dress soon.  This time I'm envisioning it in one of my new fabrics that I got during Freedom Fest.  I'll be sure to keep you posted.

I've been up sewing another little number that has been running through my head.  I'm sure I'll post it in a day or two.  Signing off from West Coast MOM!  Good night!

8 comments:

E J said...

I LOVE this dress AND I think it's better than the Naartjie's! Teach me how.

Annee said...

Liz, hats off to you! It turned out awesome. You got it right, even on your first try. You for sure are a 3 scissor sewer!

Rach said...

I think the dress is adorable and I love the fabric combinations.

NicoleD said...

Love the addition of the lace! So cute!

jrs said...

so cute! i can see why it is her favorite dress

Sarah M. said...

Rock on Liz, that turned out great!

Liz said...

Thanks for all the kind comments!

EJ, I'm definitely going to try making this dress again. When I do, I'll do my best to take some pictures and come up with some instructions for you. Stay tuned!

crazy christensen family said...

Beautiful! You are truly a talented mom and super awesome! How are you feeling?

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