A Gingerbread Birthday

Miss 6 has never been particularly fond of cake (although, give her some cheese, crackers and sauerkraut and she's happy). So she came up with a fantastic idea for her birthday cake.

A gingerbread house! We had finally found a 'cake' that she would happily eat.

Following in that theme, we had a gingerbread party.  We decorated gingerbread men, pinned the bow tie on the gingerbread man, and had a gingerbread pinata (rather over-engineered).

I was pretty pleased that I managed to bake and assemble a gingerbread house (rather than put together the easy Aldi version).  I was very brave, and handed over the undecorated house to be decorated by the guests.

The inspiration for Miss 6's Birthday Dress was a Pinterest search for "Gingerbread Dress". I remembered I had a large piece of brown shirting that was just the right colour. I added in some red buttons, extra large white ric rac, some red spotty ribbon and some red gingham (reclaimed from a shirt that was destined for the op shop).  Altogether I'm pretty happy with the look, and think I managed to fill the brief.  Given the weight and lower breathability of the shirting, I lined it in red cotton lawn. I'm a big fan of a contrast lining.

The pattern used as the Sis Boom Gabriella Fae. I wanted something with a high bodice, and puffed sleeves.  The pattern has a great number of options for sleeve and skirt lengths, and Miss 6 was particularly taken with the bow on the waistband.

For a puffier skirt, I used the width measurements for the Latona Dress. The bodices were similar sizes so I knew they would work.

Last time I made this dress I realised that it uses a standard dress zip. I generally prefer invisible zippers (I'd argue that they're actually easier to install). It wasn't until I got to the point of inserting the zipper that I realised that the bodice construction meant that I couldn't bag the lining.  So I ended up just sewing it in, then tacking down the zipper tape and seam allowance so they were kept out of the way.

The bow was a little different to the pattern instructions, being two pieces of ribbon rather than shaped sections of fabric. After some prodding and stitching I ended up with a shape I liked, and sewed it on. The ribbon I had was slightly too narrow to use as the waistband, so it was stitched on over the top. The bottom of the ribbon overhangs the top of the skirt slightly.

All was ready and set for the party. But half an hour before the start .... the zipper broke.  The section of the bodice with the ribbon is really stiff (the ribbom doesn't bend much), and caused the zipper not to 'zip together' properly.  So in 17 minutes I managed to removed the old zipper, and insert the new. We zipped up the dress as the doorbell rang. And so, I have a white (not so) invisible zipper in a brown dress - but it zips up nicely and no more trouble.

So far I've not managed to take 'beautiful' photos at a party. There's usually so much to be done that getting a photo of the cake is about as much as we manage.  These photos were taken recently, at a local reserve. I'll have to remember this spot for photos, it worked out pretty well (until the camera battery went flat).

So that's her last big birthday bash for a while. There will still be cake next year, and maybe even a new dress, but no lollybags, parties and the rest of the shebang.


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