Some time ago I stumbled across a copy of the book "Eight Silly Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" - complete with finger puppets. With a little one's first birthday on the horizon I purchased it knowing she loves books (how could she not coming from a long-line of booklovers?). The monkey theme was perfect as her grandmother and I have a long running birthday tradition that involves cards with monkeys. (You had to be there from the start to understand why we get hysterical over monkey themed birthday cards - but that's one of the great things about sisters, right? Those little inside jokes.)
Anyway, with the monkey book purchased when I found this fabric at SR Harris (awww, look at that little monkey face) I knew I had to sew her a dress to go along with the book.
Besides, her great-grandpa is a clown. (Yes, he really is...) And these aren't just monkeys. They're circus monkeys!
Did you notice the zipper at the back of the dress? I can't even remember the last time I didn't sew in an invisible zipper. I wasn't even sure I'd remember how to do a "normal" one. Whew...just like riding a bike.
The dress is Simplicity 2461. I sewed a long sleeved version in the hopes it would be large enough for her to wear this fall as the weather begins to cool.
The pattern includes bloomers. Well, not exactly. They are actually just the shorts pattern with a casing and elastic added at the bottom. If I sew this again I'd cut and slash the pattern to make these fuller - more like a true bloomer.
Actually I want to note that I didn't find much fullness in the body of the dress or the sleeves. The pattern envelope illustrations led me to believe the dress would be fuller than it is. It's fine, but next time I'll slash and spread the skirt and sleeve pieces to get the look I was going after.
The dress alone is okay - maybe a teeny bit blah - even with all those cute little monkeys. It was supposed to have a bright pink polka dot double hem ruffle. Oops! Forgot to pre-wash that fabric. Oh well, pink rick-rack will do. She's one. She won't care.
I think the contrasting pinafore is what really perks the dress up. The pinafore fabric is Michael Miller Playdate Pixie Sticks.
The pinafore closes in the back with two little buttons and bias button loops.
It can be worn alone as a sundress with the little bloomers. Sweet.
I'd forgotten how much fun it was to sew for toddlers.
And how much fun it was to rhyme:
Eight silly monkeys jumping on a bed
One fell off and bumped its head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed"