When she decided she no longer wanted to wear the dress, mum pulled it apart and saved the material from the full skirt. There was roughly two metres of fabric, more than enough to make a swing dress for Renee.
Inspired by the mini Boden dress below (isn't it adorbs?), I drafted a pattern and made up a test dress using an old sheet. The first attempt was a bit snug and the neckhole was too tight so I'm glad I took that step instead of cutting straight into the fabric.
Tackling the panel and facing on the front of the dress was the hardest part. I made two attempts at it and I am still not entirely happy with it, but since I have no fabric left to have another go, it shall remain like it is until it falls apart. There is probably an easier way of making a facing with a neckline shape like this, but I ended up making a full facing that is in a 'y' shape to neaten the panel from the reverse side.
The most enjoyable part of constructing this dress was stitching a diamond pattern on the front panel.
The dress has deep hidden pockets, good hidey holes for Renee's little treasures and she thinks they are the best part of the dress - although for a child who has been known to be a little light-fingered at times, I'm not sure I thought that one through...
The dress is a little on the big side, but at least this way, she will get a couple of years' wear out of it.
Time taken: 2 days
Result: Renee loves her new dress and wants to wear it to school while her mother will spend the whole day praying it won't fall apart in the playground.