Machine Stitched Lined Little Kids Paper Dress

Last week I auditioned to be a contestant on this season’s blog contest at So You Think You’re Crafty.
The theme was to make a back to school project.
I took it literally and made this little machine stitched dress.
It’s supposed to look like that slashed line paper that little kids write on when they first learn their ABC’s 

And no, I didn’t make it onto the contest. There were 20 people auditioning their projects, and only 10 were chosen by a public vote.
You can check out this season’s contestants here.
I spent about five minutes being disappointed when I found out I wasn’t picked but I’ve been in a few of these contests already and didn’t really expect to get chosen based on my results from the other contests. But I enter contests anyway.  I’m a glutton for punishment!
Who was it that said something about success being a series of failures that ended? I’m terrible at remembering clever sayings.
However, I got a really nice e mail from a person from Africa who wrote to me that she liked my little dress so much and was sad I didn’t get picked.
And that made me feel so good!

I drew lines with a water soluble pen and my ruler, then stitched over them with a narrow and wide zig zag stitch to make the lines, red margin and  letters. 
It took a long time but it was relaxing.
Then I made a little fabric flower brooch attached with snaps.
Gigi likes it!

I used a little white dress I bought at the American Apparel factory outlet on Alameda Avenue on a trip to downtown Los Angeles.
American Apparel is one of the few companies that STILL MAKES their clothing in the garment district of downtown LA.
They sell blank white t shirts, leggings, and dresses that are perfect for fabric decorating projects.
My son has a t shirt business he just created and has been working with them.
The warehouse where they sell discounted stuff upstairs was HUGE, a REAL factory outlet , not one of those fake ones in the suburbs, and I lost Gigi for a little while.
Me and my kids were running around looking for her, calling her  and getting frantic,  when she popped out of her hiding place.
We were NOT amused!
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  1. Carol Pack Urban says

    It’s a really cute dress and looks sooooooooooooo darling on Gigi! I would not have been amused by her antics, either. I remember when my boys would do things like that. I was scared to death I would lose them.

  2. Stone Cottage Adventures says

    What a cute dress! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  3. Olga Becker says

    The dress is adorable! Too bad you were not chosen! Kids think they are so funny when they hide in public places. 🙂 My toddler did it to me once at Target. I thought I would have a heart attack. 🙂

  4. Shirley Ann says

    I love it Justine. I’m sorry you weren’t chosen as a contestant. I would have thought you would have made it with this! It’s fabulous. 🙂

  5. says

    Soooo cute! I’ve been wanting to do a play on that lined paper for a while — this is adorable.

    In Asheville we had a similar factory where they made t-shirts and clothing for a store and occasionally opened up the warehouse for the public to buy fabric. I squeezed between racks and industrial machines to fondle the most beautiful organic knits. Sigh. Miss that place. 🙂

  6. says

    I’m sorry you didn’t make it into the competition, but this is just adorable! I really love how it looks on her. Great idea!

  7. Sew Blessed Maw says

    Oh… I can’t tell you how much I love this little dress. It is so adorable.. I would have voted for you.. hands down…
    And your sweet pretty so sweet in it.
    I so remember those days, of my kids “getting lost” and hiding under things.. not fun at all.ha

  8. amy mayen says

    I love it too! If I had known I would’ve went over & voted, and posted it everywhere:( I like the crafty blogs but tend to pay more attention to the sewing blogs. I’m glad you had fun sewing all the little stitches, that took some work! Did it help you get your sewing mojo back? I think you were contagious because I lost mine for a few days this weekend. I just couldn’t get motivated to start anything! I finally did a Tinny remix that I’ll show as soon as I can get pics.

    Btw, Im with ya on the contest thing. I love entering them! I was kinda sad my design didn’t get chosen for the pattern at nap time crafters, but there are 4 cute finalists up there. I think I like the poncho…

  9. briscoeslochico says

    This is the cutest dress I’ve possibly EVER seen. Great job!! You win 1st place in my book.

  10. Jenya @ While she was sleeping says

    Love the dress! Yes, a lot of work, but oh so worth it!

  11. Janlynn says

    I have been meaning to comment for days. Sorry for the delay. I love your dress. It is so creative , cute , and wearable. Your techniques and sewing skill are perfect.
    It seems that, these days, these traits are not important. People tend to value speed and cost over quality.
    I commiserate with you on your loss from the contest. I too have entered blogging fashion contests with fashionable dresses sewn with couture techniques to be out voted by a child’s elastic waist skirt made from a pillow case.
    I think it all goes back to your cool kids post. We can’t all join the inner circle and those of us on the outside will never figure out why.

    To me, you are a cool kid with lots of talent!

  12. says

    I love the dress – it is so age appropriate. And it looks great on your daughter. And its a tribute to the love and safety Gigi lives in that Gigi doesn;t know the stress she gave you when hiding. We should all have had such great childhoods!

  13. Margy T says

    I think your design idea was VERY cute! Don’t be discouraged. Maybe the problem was that the zig zag stitching lines didn’t lie flat, and that’s very hard to get on t-shirt material. You’d have to use wash out stabilizer. Or try it again on a woven cotton that has some oomph to it – and then you still you might need stabilizer. But a really cute, original idea – don’t give up!