children's clothing · kids clothing · miscellaneous · sewing

Tulips and rainbows

When Clare announced that she wanted her birthday to be a “colour party” she also decided that her dress would have to include every colour.  We found some cotton at Spotlight that met with her approval and combined it with pattern-testing Nicole Mallalieu‘s new Tulip dress.

Tulip dress - front

It’s such a cute design! Looks lovely on, and like all of Nikki’s patterns it is drafted beautifully to work on a real 3-D body not just flat. The pattern is full of tips on how to fit the pattern pieces together and add a professional finish. As always, I will add a disclaimer – Nikki and I are friends, but that is not why I praise her patterns. They are just extremely good!


Clare was extremely happy in her dress. It features contrast binding around the sleeves and as a flat piping around the waistline. The pleats at the front and back combine with a pegged skirt to give the tulip shape, and there is a back vent for movement. I know that this pattern is in the final stages and will appear in Nikki’s shop any day now.

So on to the rainbows! I made Clare a cake that was meant to be like one in the Women’s Weekly’s famous birthday cake cookbook. As a cake decorator I make an excellent seamstress, but the kids still loved it.


Actually, I suspect that they preferred the fairy floss clouds around it to the actual cake. Mind you, so would I.


The party was a blast. Extremely hot outside, so lots of time spent inside, but we did all the traditional party games – musical statues, pin the cloud on the rainbow, pass the parcel, magic tricks, a craft activity, and lots of party food. Traditional party food – pink lemonade, fairy bread, sausage rolls, chips, meringues, frankfurts, party bags full of lollies. One child vomited so I suspect that is the sign of a great seven year old party.


Whew, now I need to relax! However, I have another two incarnations of the Tulip dress to sew (I’ve already made a sleeveless version for Stella I’ll show you later). I hope that your weekend is as fun as ours!

Edited to add: Thanks to my friend Jane for capturing the fun of the party so well!


14 thoughts on “Tulips and rainbows

  1. Oh Lara – it’s beautiful! Perfectly colourful and the teapot buttons are just the sweetest finishing touch. I love the photo of Clare with her cake, she looks so joyful.

  2. You cracked me up Lara with your comment about the measurement of a great 7yr old’s party! Hilarious!! Love the cheesy grin photo of Clare with her cake. And the dress is superb. Clever Nikki and you! I’ve that fabric from Spotlight too. As a fellow rainbow lover, it’s a fave of mine as well. Happy Birthday Clare!!!!!!!

  3. I’m a big lurker when it comes to commenting on blogs – I really should do it more!

    I just had to come out of hiding when I saw that dress! It gorgeous! I want it for my daughter, I’m now going to stalk Nicole’s shop and hopefully pick up a pattern when she has them up for sale!

    Happy Birthday Clare!

  4. gorgeous! party, dress and birthday girl! love an old fashioned party with a cake from AWW, fairy bread, games, the works! It always takes me a week to recover from kids party!

    loving the dress you made, definitely fit the bill


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