The Rhino Dress

A good friend of mine just had her 40th birthday, as well as retired from 18 years of midwifery. She asked if I could make her a dress for the party, if she found the fabric she wanted. She wanted rhinoceros fabric. Not fabric made out of rhinos (who does that anyway?!), but fabric with rhinos on it (there is a story there as to why the rhino is important to Jennifer and her midwifery, but that’s her story to tell). We were dealing with a tight turnaround and the holidays, so the fabric sourcing fell short. Not to let a little hiccup like that get in the way, I thought it might be an opportune time to try out something I had been experimenting with…painted linen. I decided to paint her a dress.

I started with a lightweight dark navy prewashed linen. I cut out the pattern (very simple, swing shift), basted the side seam and went to work with some chalk from my kiddo’s art drawer.
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I then used soft fabric paint from the craft store to make the design permanent. I decided to use bright colors and really had no what it would turn into.

IMG_4844.JPG (paint is not my go-to medium…can you tell?)

I let the paint dry overnight, ironed the backside of the fabric to help set it and finished sewing up the dress. Voila! Not the most technical of sewing, but finished in time and, it’s a rhino!

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Congratulations Jennifer! You’re going to rock 40 and you have left a legacy of dozens of happy babies and families. You make our community a better place!

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