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Polka through the paddies

Added Jul 25, 2010

by littlewren

Rutledge, Pennsy...






In our time in China we’ve had many wonderful people come into our lives. We’ve developed a great friendship with another American couple living about an hour and a half away. They just celebrated their first anniversary and I felt it fitting to give them sewn gifts. (being a volunteer makes buying exciting gifts a bit more difficult…) So, I made a dress for my lovely friend Cheng Lun and a tie out of matching material for her husband. I find that men are less willing to get dressed up and do a photo shoot. (My husband, her husband – Pete… and if I ever make something for my dad I doubt he’d be willing to prance out to the backyard to take stylish photos with me either! : ) So, Cheng Lun and I ran out to the rice paddies, in the town we were training teachers, and went crazy!
I love the way this dress looks on her! I bought the fabric from my favorite ladies in my town. I love, love, love the way it looks with her skin! The bright purples, pinks, yellows… It was only after we got out to the rice fields that I realized how well the colors looked against the green background! The absolutely pop! I also realized a bit too late that the ground I was having her walk on was dissolving under foot and that she was in fact struggling not to succumb to the flooded rice paddy!
I should also say, I modeled this dress after a dress I found in Anthropologie. Their version was red and very, VERY short. I was a little bored by the boring color, appalled at how inappropriate the skirt was when I bent to pick up my dropped purse, and totally inspired by the neckline and pockets! So I translated it –littlewren style! (I have a plaid version on my “to sew list”!!! so very ME!!!)
I’ll get Cheng Lun to capture a few pictures of the two of them together, or at least one or two of Pete in the tie and post them!

Material Notes

local printed cotton… used for EVERYTHING from baby carriers to hats to clothes in our town!




Garment Type
Beach, Mod


lovely model

6 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Cherrys_047_large

    Aug 1, 2010, 06.31 PMby nenasew

    Fantastic pictures. Love the dress too. What a gift to be such a talented seamtress.

  • Me_pecks_large

    Jul 26, 2010, 04.58 AMby nessys

    This is so lovely – you are a sweetie to make this for your friend (and MIA husband’s tie!! What is it with men and photos??)

    Lovely neck line, lovely fabric and such a lovely back drop! Nice work Honey!

    1 Reply
    • Birdie2_large

      Jul 26, 2010, 11.26 AMby littlewren

      yeah, gotta work on the men and their inability to be fashionable… at least in photos! yeah, a funky neckline and polka dots are two of the components of the ideal summery dress… for me at least! : )

  • J_s_painting_large

    Jul 26, 2010, 12.07 AMby lizajane09

    I love it and the story behind it. What a beautiful place!

    1 Reply
    • Birdie2_large

      Jul 26, 2010, 11.28 AMby littlewren

      thanks! yeah, it’s hard to separate the events from the actual piece of clothing! so many things coming together to make a funky little dress! : ) I wish I lived in this place, the air was so clean, the colors so bright, the mountains sooo big! we live someplace beautiful, and not too far away, but it was a refreshing 2 week escapade! : )

  • 532698_10150742947249316_1888144941_n_large

    Jul 25, 2010, 05.12 PMby keren

    What a lovely gift. I love the dress and the fabric. The photos are great! You are so lucky to have such great friendships and to be in such a beautiful place and go through such a unique experience…!

    1 Reply
    • Birdie2_large

      Jul 26, 2010, 11.30 AMby littlewren

      I think you always have to wonder if you are making clothes for you or your friend… I hope she loves this as much as I do! (I think she does and I think it looks fantastic on her…) Your right that friendships are really a gift… It was such a wonderful surprise to come to the other side of the globe and meet good friends that grew up 2 hours away from my husband and I… I feel so blessed! : )
      so blessed I want to make clothes! ha!

  • Img_7458_large

    Jul 25, 2010, 04.52 PMby leahfranqui

    The neckline detail is so beautiful!

    1 Reply
    • Birdie2_large

      Jul 26, 2010, 11.32 AMby littlewren

      thanks! yeah, totally easy too! all you do is sew a tube out of a rectangle of fabric, do box pleats in it and sew it around the neckline! simple and yet really interesting looking! : ) love your picture by the way! great hat!

  • Img_0221g1_large

    Jul 25, 2010, 03.59 PMby aggelicat .)

    this dress and these photos are geat!!!
    1 Reply
    • Birdie2_large

      Jul 26, 2010, 11.32 AMby littlewren

      aw! thanks! I lucked out with a great model and a breathtaking location! : )

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