Sincerest Form of Flattery guest: Melanie from The Crafty Cupboard

Meet Melanie, from The Crafty Cupboard!

I first found her blog when she participated in Crafting with the Stars season 1, and was hooked! Check out her projects for that competition here. She has some amazing ideas and projects and two little girls just like me. :} Plus she’s oh so nice!  As for some of her other projects, here is just a sampling of my favs from her blog! Her zig zag quilt (so want to try that!), lunch bag tutorial, AWEsome monster baby toy, and Lovey Dove skirt. (I lovey dove that name.)

Take it away, Melanie!Hello there, I’m Melanie from the Crafty Cupboard, a mother of two girls who I love to sew for. I’m so glad to be here today sharing a knock-off with you.
I love a good knock-off.  I’ve taken the Anthropologie letterstands and made my own using wood because I loved it so much, and I usually drool over ModCloth and Nordstrom’s clothing lines for knock-off ideas.  Most of the time I do a simpler version of things because, let’s face it, not everything can be perfectly replicated!
IMG_3564Mel 8 low resNordstrom
The Iris and Ivy Pencil Stripe Dress from Nordstrom Kids really caught my eye.  Adorable, but not to frilly.  Who doesn’t love a good pleat and some ribbons?Stripe Dress Nordstrom
For our household, a $48 dress for a toddler just doesn’t cut it.  And it isn’t in the munchkin’s size.  Oh, but hey, don’t I know how to sew?


See more after the jump!

I loved the stripe on the Nordstrom dress, and found the perfect alternative with ticking.  Ticking is typically used to cover pillows and mattresses, but since this is 2011, we make dresses with it- it is comfortable, medium-weight, durable, and looks great when it comes out of the wash.  It came in several subdued colors (including a fun yellow!), and the munchkin requested blue stripes.  Blue is her favorite color.  If you are looking for ticking at your fabric store, you can typically find it with your utility fabrics, like Insul-brite.  Or, just ask someone :).  We paired the ticking with some natural broadcloth for the bodice- sturdy, but light, even when it is lined.  I used a Simplicity Pattern for the bodice, but we all know Jess has lots of instructions on how to use existing clothes to make a pattern!
The longest part in making this dress was the pleats.  First I had to figure out how to get 5 pleats across the front of a 13” (about a size 4T) bodice.  The pleats ended up being 2” wide with 1/2” space in between.  There are 5 pleats across the front, and 4 in the back (2 pleats per back section) to make room for an invisible zipper.  It took a lot of ironing, measuring, and pinning to get them to look decent!  After getting them all in place, I sewed a stay-stitch across the top of the pleats, and at the waistline so they’d stay nice and pretty.  After my pleats were done, I sewed the skirt pieces together, and then attached them to the bodice.
The ribbon in the original dress is Satin ribbon, but if you have ever sewn on Satin ribbon, you know how the stitch marks can pull, snag, and pretty much destroy your beautiful looking ribbon.  So, we went with grosgrain!  I sewed the ribbon on, then hand-stitched the ribbon bows and flowers on top.  The flowers are from a large bunch at Hobby Lobby.  And, lest you worry about the ribbon ends, we melted them with a lighter so they wouldn’t fray.
We also are a sleeve-wearing family, and since I thought this dress might not be as cute with a t-shirt under, I just added sleeves to the bodice using the same broadcloth.  They are loose and airy for lots of playing!
The center ribbon extends all the way in the back to tie in a cute bow.  It cinches her waist and helps the bottom of the skirt poof out a little more!
And now we have a comfortable Nordstrom Knock-off!  I always buy with coupons, so this dress cost $10.  A little better than the original $48, wouldn’t you say?


  1. Welcome back Jess…you had us worried…awful feeling isn’t it when the Internet does that to you…
    Happy easter from south Africa!

  2. Welcome back Jess…you had us worried…awful feeling isn’t it when the Internet does that to you…
    Happy easter from south Africa!

  3. Wow you came back as a lefty instead of a righty;0) Love the guest post such a cute dress.

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