Sep 15, 2013

Emily Elizabeth Ensembles

This post originally appeared on Nap-Time Creations for the Sew Many Books series in August.
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Well, I am super excited to be a part of this sewing/reading series! As summer winds down, and thoughts of school come to mind, I turned to what I consider the perfect little school-girl look to replicate for my daughter. Clifford's best friend, Emily Elizabeth, is adorable in her simple, classic outfits. My daughter LOVES Clifford books, so picking Emily Elizabeth as my style guide was easy. But once I started looking at her outfits, I realized she had more to choose from than I originally thought (a peter-pan collar dress was going to be my plan). I found two outfits to sew that I thought would be cute AND versatile. But this was the first outfit that caught my eye:
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Cute, right? I thought a jumper would be very practical for my little girl. I already had the stripy fabric, but went to Joann's and picked up the soft, blue linen along with some piping. The white buttons I found in my stash. As for the striped leggings, I decided to skip them for two reasons: 1.) my knit fabric is on the heavier side and I'm pretty sure it would've gotten saggy pretty fast; and 2.) I didn't want my daughter to look like she was wearing a costume. Ok, one more reason: I also thought too many stripes would detract from the cute factor. 
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So as most of you know, there's the old-school Emily Elizabeth, and the modern-TV-one. I chose the classic Emily. Not only are the stories and drawings better, but so are the clothes.
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Emily Elizabeth is a good friend/owner to Clifford. They have fun together. I like how EE is a pretty happy gal. She also is outside a lot with her dog (there aren't too many stories of her inside, are there?). So outside we went to take pictures. Living in a condo, in the city, we make sure we get out every day. But man, sometimes going down the elevator, past the concierge, outside past the fountain, around to the grassy area behind our building in handmade clothes makes me sweat! At least the day I took these pics it was hovering around 75, so not so bad. But still. (Please don't trip and skin your knees was what I was thinking. Oh, and Tiger better not jump on your dress! I'll show you the outtake soon.)
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But back to the clothes. I love the fact that Emily Elizabeth owns a blue jumper! Sure, there's also a pink stripy top, but I was more than happy to sew up something blue for my girl. I started by drawing a basic jumper pattern and then cut out my front. When I couldn't decide how to fashion the back (we never see it in the book), I turned to Pinterest and found this great tutorial. Instead of printing her back pattern piece (it'd be too small), I freehanded the back design based on the photos and then followed LiEr's tutorial fairly closely. 
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But rather than sewing the panel on top of the front piece like she does, I cut mine into three pieces, adding the piping to the top and bottom of the middle piece. I did use her pattern piece for the straps, but lengthened them about an inch or more. My jumper is about a size 5 (my 3.5 year old is tall). 
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As we all know, Clifford's "too big," but he's so sweet. Kind of like this big dog that crashed our photo shoot...haha
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(Tiger lives on our floor and is a big softie!)
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Anyway, the other thing I noticed about Emily Elizabeth is that she does a lot of running in this book. A dress isn't going to stop her! (My daughter got a kick out of running around and getting her picture taken.)
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Her top, by the way, is the awesome Flashback Skinny Tee, enlarged a bit from the size 5. It's a little big on her now, but won't be this winter (see? I'm thinking ahead for the colder weather. I'm all about being practical around here.)
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And that's that! Now my second dress was a lot quicker and a lot easier. But still, super cute. The inspiration came from this book:
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See how tattered it is? Both my kids have loved Clifford. But my daughter is the only one who actually insists on sleeping with the books. Yes. The books. Anyway, Clifford's First School Day is another classic Clifford tale, but this one goes back to his puppyhood. (I find the puppy stories rather endearing.)
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In this story, Emily Elizabeth wears a simple {knit} dress with knee socks. Perfect play dress! I knew the perfect pattern to replicate it.
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The Anywhere Dress. A recent sale finally helped me get my hot little hands on this pattern that I've wanted for a while. And it certainly didn't disappoint. The instructions were very easy to follow and though I sometimes scoff when people call things a "quick sew," this one really was. I added cuffs to the sleeves and an extra band for length at the bottom. This is the size 5 (which my daughter regularly wears) and it fit perfectly. I used a basic pale pink knit from Joann's to replicate Emily Elizabeth's look.
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I have to hand it to my daughter. She was real amenable about going back inside, changing from the first outfit and coming back out for more pictures. 
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In fact, she relished it. Thank goodness. 
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Clifford might've caused Emily some trouble at school, but our Clifford behaved rather well.

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Even when smooshed.
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Anyway, I had a great time sewing for this series. And my daughter certainly loved "being" Emily Elizabeth for the day.
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And to the real Emily of Nap-Time Creations, thanks for asking me to join this fun series. We had a blast!
~Mary Jo at All This for Them

1 comment:

Thank you for your comments! I enjoy reading them! :)

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