Here Kitty, Kitty: Jump Rope Dress

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We don’t have any pets (not counting a goldfish that has survived way longer than seems possible considering my lackadaisical tank cleaning habits — sorry, Buddy!), and if my husband has his way, we never will. Nevertheless, my daughter has become quite enamored with cats lately. Not that I’ve ever seen her so much as pet a cat.

So when she asked for a cat dress, I was honored to oblige her.

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There were quite a few tasteful cat fabrics to choose from, but I am particularly pleased with the one Daisy selected. This one is from the aptly named “Cat Lady” collection by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel. In my search for cat-themed fabrics I had overlooked this print several times thinking it was simply polka dots – that’s the problem with viewing thumbnail-sized fabric images online. But when I realized it was actually polka dots interspersed with the cutest little kitty faces, well, I was hoping Daisy would love it just as much. The contrast accents on the inner placket and the pocket bindings are also Cotton + Steel from the Black and White collection.

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I chose the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress pattern, which I purchased after seeing the many lovely versions sewn by Gail at probablyactually. I sewed View B with short sleeves, omitting the sleeve tabs simply because I forgot and by the time I remembered them I was impatient and too close to finishing to go back and cut and sew them. I can’t wait to sew this dress in View A, as well, which has a dropped waist, gathered skirt and sash. But considering how finicky Daisy is about dresses still, I thought View A would be pushing my luck. I had visions of her being bewildered by and immediately casting off the sash!

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The Jump Rope Dress is labeled as a more intermediate level pattern, but the instructions are excellent and I had no problems with the sewing. The placket and collar obviously require attention to detail — and some hand sewing, something that used to make me blanch but that I now enjoy. I may not be very quick with my blind stitch, but I am quite comfortable with it now, thanks to last year’s apparel sewing course at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven.

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I’ll admit it, I’m pretty dang proud of that placket and collar.

It is finally starting to feel like fall here, which inspired me to venture farther than our backyard for this photo shoot. On our way home from school we stopped at the park to nab some photos and play. The minute I opened the car door, Daisy was off running and climbing and exploring. At one point she waited for us to catch up and then shouted, “let’s enjoy nature!” before sprinting off again, which had her brother and me cracking up.

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I just love how fall comes in and blows out all the lingering heavy, humid air of late summer and invigorates us.

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Cheers to Autumn!