My horizons were widened last year when I received a Hanna Andersson catalog in the mail. I had never even heard of them and I don’t know how they got my name, but somehow I ended up on their mailing list for at least one season. And I’m so glad I did. Normally I would flip through something like this and then toss it, but this catalog really caught my eye. The clothes were so different from what you normally see in stores. Classic, cute, and still modern children’s clothes are becoming harder to find if you don’t rake in the big bucks. It didn’t take me long to notice that I cannot afford to outfit my children in an entire Hanna Andersson wardrobe, as much as I would like to. But! Fortunately I have this super power known as sewing. <insert heroic music here>
There were several little outfits that I adored, but I especially liked these dresses.
Ikea is fine and all but I never really gravitated towards that Scandinavian aesthetic until Hanna entered my life. The color contrasts, the little motifs — ahhh, happy sigh.
You may remember that Granota informed me recently of the lack of warm dresses in her closet. When I was searching for the dress I had begun for her last fall, I found a yard and a half of royal blue pinwale corduroy. I had originally bought it to make her a Madeline costume for Halloween last year, but she never liked that idea and insisted on reprising her role as a Milka bar from the previous year.
I really like the applique on the original Hanna dress, but I didn’t want to do a straight knockoff. I cut out a heart from some white fleece and embroidered a vaguely Scandinavian design.
My embroidery still leaves something to be desired, but it’s ok. I think the stray fuzzies on the fleece will disappear in the wash.
To make the dress itself, I had to resort to some creative Franken-patterning. Yes, it’s a pretty simple dress as far as the cut goes, but I did want to make sure that all pieces turned out as mirror images of each other and in the correct size. So I combined these two patterns to get the effect that I wanted.
I didn’t have time to add the white band around the bottom because Granota was desperate to wear the dress to church the next day. I think I will put it on whenever I can sneak the dress out of her room. Here is the final product.
Granota was less than cooperative when I tried to get an action shot of the dress, so just imagine a (normally) sweet 4 year old with lacy bobby socks and Mary Janes skipping around in a blue tunic dress. Framgång! And I’ve been inspired to try and recreate some of the other pretty little dresses from the catalog. I might not be able to afford the real thing, but I can make a fairly decent approximation. Does that make me the Swedish Chef of the clothing world?