Our niece celebrated her fifth birthday in the middle of July. And I was late getting her present in the mail. Embarrassingly late. Not just in mailing but in making — or, rather, deciding what to make.

I hate being struck by indecision, but especially when it means that I miss a birthday because I can’t making up my freaking mind. *sigh* And then it hit me: Why not make her something from … my book? As soon as I considered it, I knew exactly what I’d make: one of the skirts with a tee to match and maybe some kind of hair thingy.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner, folks!

Seriously. Once I decided what I was going to do, I knew the perfect fabric (Patty Young‘s Flora & Fauna) for the skirt and trusted that the rest would just fall together. I thought I’d use a white T-shirt but happened upon the most perfect coordinating shirt at Target. I couldn’t believe how well it matches! It’s like it was meant to be. Meant. To. Be.

You may have noticed that the skirt isn’t visible in the above photo. That’s because I can’t show it to you yet. I did, however, take a full-length picture of Liesl modeling the entire outfit to share with you when I can. In the meantime, let me tell you a little more about the shirt and headband.

The skirt uses a border print fabric and I ended up with a nice chunk of polka dotted scrap after I cut out the pieces. It took no time at all to cut a few bias strips from it, sew them end to end and then finish the two ends (serged then turned under and topstitched). I left the edges unfinished — in theory, they shouldn’t fray — then sewed two parallel rows of gathering stitches so I could create the ruching detail. I just followed the curve of the neckline, then sewed it down with a zig-zag stitch.

I opted for the bias-cut ruching and zig-zag sewing because of the curved shape but also because that fabric needs to be able to stretch when the shirt is pulled over the head. Make sense?

The headband was another stroke of luck. It came in a three- or four-pack of headbands (Goody brand, also at Target) and was a great match for the aqua. I simply used my Clover Yo-Yo Maker to whip up a fabric yo-yo with some of the leftover scraps, then fussy cut one of the bees from another fabric to make the covered button for the center. A few hand stitches and voila! A fun, coordinating headband that completes the head-to-toe look.

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