First up was a trip to the fabric stores in town. It took a lot of umming and ahhing to find the right combination. Blue and white stripes for the bodice and a bright orange for the sleeves. When Sprog and Widget went to bed that night we started tracing the patter while the fabric was being washed. Once the pattern was ready I introduced Niece to the sewing machine. Starting with threading the machine and inserting the bobbin. She sewed one piece of fabric first, then followed patterns on a scrap, before starting to put two pieces together.
Most of our sewing was done while little boys were sleeping either in Widget's nap times, or after both boys were asleep in the evening. The second night we cut the fabric. Niece did half or more of every piece of the dress. I would show her what to do with the piece from one side and she would do the second.
Grandma's experience came in handy when we were fitting the bodice. To get the right fit we angled in a little from the midpoint of each of the shoulder seams narrowing them so they would be about 2cm narrower at the neckline. Both Niece and I prefer a smaller neckline.
Niece finished the dress just in time to wear it home. The sleeves were left unhemmed, out of choice, and the dress length was turned over and hand basted to allow plenty of additional length should she have a growth spurt.
Niece and Grandma will be continuing the sewing in their home town. Yay! A convert!