Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The summer of Helena

Growing up, my mom made tons of matching dresses for my sisters and me - and we loved wearing them! She said she did it because it was cheaper than buying dresses but I think she actually made them so she could use the fabrics and trims she liked.

As an adult who sews now, I love sewing little girl dresses too. Let me tell you, they are SO MUCH easier than adult dresses - you don't have to worry about fitting curves or darts. Lately I've been following along with all of the adorable patterns put out by Simple Life Pattern Co. So much so that I've been making quite a few of their Helena dress lately! The first two were for my niece, the third for a friend. And then the fourth for the niece again but somehow I did not get a picture yet.

When you are turning 6 years old and your favorite color is purple, everything must be purple! I love making dresses for my little niece and though I love purple as well, I had a harder time finding bigger pieces in my stash to use for dresses. Luckily it all worked out.

This first version uses an Art Gallery print by Frances Newcombe and went very will with a pink and blue crossweave linen I had on hand. The niece was particularly fond of the buttons down the back. I, on the other hand, am a little concerned they might poke her when she sits down. Time will tell I suppose. She's very tall for her age so I made a bigger size - it's a bit too big for her now but will fit her for awhile.

The bodice on the second dress gave me a little trouble. I started by using a rayon spandex for the bodice and it was difficult to work with but I made it through. I was really unhappy with the waviness of the waist seam so I threw it in the wash to see if it would go back to it's original shape. It did not. The washing also highlighted a few tiny holes in the fabric that were now much bigger. Crap.

I ended up cutting the bodice and skirt apart to redo the bodice with a heavier weight cotton lycra knit by Art Gallery. I changed the gathered skirt to be pleated instead, hoping that would make the waist seam look a little nicer. I think the final version ended up pretty cute! The skirt is a cicada print by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton and Steel.

The third dress was this cute little number for my redheaded friend. I let her choose from a few fabrics I had in my stash and the pink was her favorite. It's from Amy Sinibaldi's Playground line for Art Gallery and the 1 yard I had was just barely enough to eek out the outer pieces in size 4T. I used something else for the bodice lining and embellished the front with some ruffled ribbon. Ahh, it feels good to use some of my stash!

The fourth version is a tunic for the niece our of the cutest mermaid fabric! It's a Michael Miller print but I don't know the designer - sorry. This tunic is going to be adorable with some leggings or jeans. I made the back neckline a little more modest too so it will be appropriate for back to school.

Now, let's tackle that pile of finished and nearly-finished quilt tops...


  1. SO sweet that you are sewing dresses for the little girls. Really nice!

  2. These are so cute! I am going to make one for my sweet niece as well. Thanks.


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