A Summer Dress

This is my first sewn garment and I’m pleased as punch with myself, even if it’s flawed and, well, still way too big for Alice. She’ll grow. All too fast probably.

Russian Doll Dress

When Sean gave me my sewing machine a month or so ago, I imagined garments were so much more out of reach than this. I thought it would be ages but I decided early on I was just going to throw myself into sewing. I was going to fight the fear of the new and just do it.

Simplicity came in the form of a summer dress pattern by Retromummy. Her pattern, which I’d long ago admired, was in the August issue of Notebook magazine.

The bulk of it was surprisingly straight forward. I’ve got to learn a bit still about bias binding (the stuff around the arm holes) and attaching straps in a way that fits but all in all it came together nicely. I’ll be lifting the straps before I give it to Alice again. As you can see, it sits a bit low on her chest.

new dress

These photos make me laugh. What else does a 17month old girl do when she gets a new dress but head outside to the leaves and the dirt? I love how the dress looks with pink gumboots!

Russian Doll Dress

And though she loves playing with Russian Dolls, I think it’s fairly safe to say that she didn’t identify that’s what they were on the fabric. But her mummy and I knew and that’s what counts.

I may have gone to spotlight this morning with a friend and bought more dress fabric, too. I can see Alice having several of these for summer!

Sewing is fun. I think I’m going to get along with it just fine.



18 thoughts on “A Summer Dress

  1. Very pretty, you are so good getting so much use of your new machine. I bought material and a pattern to sew my grandaughter something and I have only cut the pattern pieces out of the paper pattern, and now she is 2 I don’t think it would be her size now. Alice looks so cute in her new dress.

  2. What cute photos! Congrats on your first finished dress…I too think the best way to learn is to throw yourself in at the deep end. Mistakes made are lessons learned 🙂

  3. Bells -with authority, I can tell you that she will wear it for years – as a sweet tunic top (as earlier suggested). Tiny hint – increase your seam allowances if you think extra may be needed later on and your hem depth – however, in cottons you might get some fading and letting something out is something we all mean to do, but rarely get to). Congratulations on lovely dress.

  4. It looks great Bells – and so uch quicker than knitting – looking forward to seeing your next creation. That dress and the shorts are on my to do list.

  5. I’m catching up…it’s been a busy week! Love Alice’s dress and Fee’s Cardi. And the post about your g-mother was so interesting. I wish more people saved correspondence. It becomes so precious later on. I’ve read letters from my dad to my mom while he was in the Air Force during Korea, and reading them was a similar experience for me. Thanks for sharing something so personal. But it’s things like that which spark a response in your readers. And keeps me coming back again and again for more. 🙂

  6. That roses and milk complexion! Those adorable ponytails! The long eyelashes! The precious dress and the pink boots! What a fabulous photo that first one is! You did good, Auntie Bells.

  7. such pretty fabric on alice, and the dress looks great. it’ll probably fit her perfectly by summer. you’re brave for diving in to a dress so early on, but it is more motivating to make something you really want to, than something that is just easy. i find bias binding a bit fiddly myself. your chevron cardi turned out so well too – so many finished objects!

  8. that really is going to be such a versatile little dress, and she does look too cute for words in pink russian dolls with matching gumbies! good one aunty bells.

  9. Sewing is such fun and I think progresses faster than knitting to new skill levels!! That is such a lovely pattern and Alice looks so pretty I googled and found the pattern. I want to make one for Baby Electric!! Thank you so much!!

  10. Such a cute dress – and a bit big means she can wear it for longer – as a pinafore with a t-shirt under, then as a dress, then (hoepfully) as a tunic with jeans or a skirt! Too cute!! And it looks to me like you did a great job on the sewing.

    Love Alice’s pigtails and gumbies too!

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