Monday, June 17, 2013

A note on heirloom dress sizes

Baby clothes sizes are unpredictable.  Simplicity patterns for babies are sized by weight, which seems pretty accurate.  My monkey's at the smaller end of things, so in the "month" sizes of basic storebought clothes (Gap, Carter's, etc.) she's generally one size back (seventeen months now, and mostly wearing 12mo sizes, though she's starting to be too tall for the footed ones).

In Indian clothes, she's right on the mark.  Our lovely pediatrician, of Vietnamese heritage, understands genetic differences and didn't say a thing when the baby showed up at the 5th percentile for weight - when her "twin cousin" (eight hours younger, also "windy") was called underweight at over a pound heavier by a doctor unfamiliar with the concept of naturally-skinny Asian babies.  And the beautifully-fitted off-the-rack clothes we get from India bear that out (in beautiful silks and soft cottons I can't buy here... and so poorly sewn!).

The clothes from Creations by Michié must also run skinny (and looking at how nicely they fit on her non-chubby granddaughter, that may well be the case).  Because I made the Sailor Dress #106 in the 18 months size and it's a perfect fit:

Sailor Dress upside-down

Creations by Michie Sailor Dress #106
Sailor Dress backwards and flipped up
Creations by Michie Sailor Dress #106
Sailor Dress in motion
Well, you can't really tell, because she's reached the stage of constant motion.  

The fagoting on the collar was a challenge (never done embroidery or much free handwork), but it really makes the dress.  

I have another cut out, same size, in a lovely blue plaid.  I like her patterns - easy to make (for heirloom), very clear instructions, and an excellent finished product.  Of the three I've tried (Chery Williams, Creations by Michié, and Ginger Snaps), I like these the best.

This dress, however, Chery Williams' baby square yoke, in the six month size, still fits just fine at seventeen months.  Heirloom patterns in general run large, I've heard (perhaps so slow seamstresses don't find the kid's outgrown it before it's finished, or so it can be worn longer - I do like the four inch hems - the extra tuck I added in this dress still hasn't been taken out), so Michie may be the exception.

(And it's also a lovely pattern that I'll use several times - and already have used three times - but it's perhaps *too* well made - a fabulous lined bodice isn't necessary in Houston's heat!  I'll just finish my seams and call it a day with only one layer of thin cotton!)

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