There is no better basic dress pattern than the Geranium dress pattern from Made by Rae. I have made so many variations of this dress that I’ve lost count–definitely more than ten! And anytime I need to make a dress and I don’t have the right pattern (like this year’s Halloween princess dresses, which you can read about here and here), I just modify the Geranium dress to get what I want. It fits perfectly EVERY SINGLE TIME! My girls have different body types and it still fits them both perfectly.
This Geranium dress was a little bit unplanned. Usually I like to pick a pattern first and then find a fabric that suits the pattern. It was the opposite this time around. I had this fabric from Joann’s that I thought was adorable and just didn’t know what to make with it. I realized that fall is quickly passing us by and so I wanted to make something cute, quick, and easy. The Geranium dress with cap sleeves fit the bill.
I added the red ribbon to break up the mostly neutral tones and to give the dress an added pop. Since I didn’t really have any buttons that matched, I just went with clear buttons. Not the best buttons for the dress, but certainly acceptable. Besides, the ribbon is what I wanted as the main embellishment anyway.
I was a little worried about the large print, thinking it might be overwhelming on such a little dress, but it looks great. And it is especially precious on my sweet Katie, who by the way is getting three teeth right now. Yikes!
I sewed this up and photographed it awhile ago, but here it is finally on the blog after many months…This is the Sally Dress by Very Shannon. I LOVE this pattern! Over the past year or so that I’ve had it, I think I’ve sewn up three. I love that there are no closures and the huge, adorable, kid-friendly pockets are the best. I added the ribbon around the base of the bodice on this Sally dress to break up the stripes and to give it a more girly detail.
This one I sewed up for Hannah for St. Patrick’s Day with some fabric sent by my husband’s Aunt Pam, who so kindly sends me large packages filled with fabric that she no longer has use for. Makes my day, or really more like my week or even month, when I get one of those surprises in the mail!
The matching doll dress I made using leftover scraps. I used this tutorial and pattern from the blog Chickadee Jess. It fit Abby, Hannah’s Bitty Baby, perfectly!I changed things up a bit to make it look more like the Sally Dress. I opted for a lined bodice since I wasn’t doing a collar or sleeves and I also added pockets to the skirt. I really wish the skirt was fuller but I was working with scraps…
Hannah is not much of a doll girl, but she was really excited when I surprised her with a matching doll dress. I always loved it when my mom made matching sets of pajamas for my cabbage patch doll and me when I was little. Nothing better than matching your favorite doll!
This past Sunday we celebrated Hannah’s first birthday. Her actual birthday is this Sunday, but I thought it would be fun to coordinate Hannah’s birthday party with our July potluck at church. It was a day of good friends, good food, and a refreshing swim in the church pool.
I can’t believe I planned my first birthday party and lived to tell the tale! It was so much more work than I thought it would be, and what I did was incredibly simple compared to the so many talented mommies out there in the blogosphere. I’m proud of what I put together, though, since party planning is really not my thing.
Although I had grand plans to make the cake and cupcakes from scratch, I ended up using cake mix. Thank goodness too, because even that took forever. For the cupcakes I used a yellow cake mix—I’m not a big fan of vanilla—and a chocolate fudge cake mix. And for the cake I used chocolate fudge mix also. The trouble I ran into with the cake mix was that it’s so light that I had a heck of a time moving the cake layers from the pans, to the cooling racks, and then onto the cake plate in one piece. Oh well, nothing that a little frosting couldn’t hide.
And speaking of frosting, I did actually make my own. It was delicious! Not sickeningly sweet like so many recipes out there but definitely sweet enough to satisfy the sweet tooths in this house. I used this recipe and this tutorial with my 1M frosting tip to get the rose effect. It was my first time ever piping frosting and I never had a mess up. Super easy and quick! My only complaint was that I put too much red dye in my batch of pink frosting for the cupcakes and it turned out more coral than pink. At least I got the cake frosting right.
For the table layout, I used two desert towers from Joann’s to display the cupcakes. I didn’t really love the way the yellow and chocolate cupcakes looked side by side but this dilemma was unavoidable since I wanted people to be able to choose from two kinds of cupcakes. The cake was was just a simple two layer cake with frosting, sprinkles, and a target candle. The pictures were Hannah’s birth announcement and her 1 year announcement/invitation. How I love those Costco photo cards! And lastly, one of the table centerpieces, a tissue pom flower, so that the centerpieces on the tables would match the birthday table.
Hanging above the birthday table was a collage of Hannah’s first year month by month. I mounted 5×7 prints on scrapbook paper with double sided tape and then glued them onto posterboard. To make the garland, I traced and cut letters from my scrapbook paper scraps and glued them to a long piece of ribbon.
For the tables I made really simple but somewhat time consuming tissue poms. There are a bazillion tutorials out there, but I came across this video on youtube, which was pretty straightforward and easy to follow. The vases were 79 cents at Ikea!
I didn’t really have a super cohesive theme, but I was sort of going for pink and yellow floral to match Hannah’s dress. Overall I’m pretty pleased with how things turned out. There were a few bumps in the road along the way but I’m just glad that I got everything done and that we had a lot of fun celebrating Hannah’s first year!
Hannah turned nine months old a little over one week ago. My birthday and her nine month birthday were actually on the same day. It was a lot fun to celebrate together. I took her to get her milestone pictures the next day and I think we got some good shots.
She wore her tiered Easter dress and I made her a matching headband. The headband was a cinch! No sewing, I just glue gunned a little grosgrain ribbon bow to a plain headband to match to the one on the bodice of her dress.
The headband I bought from Target around Christmas time. They came in packs of three—one white, one red, one green—for one dollar! The next time I see headbands for one dollar, I’m going to buy like a bazillion.
Although Hannah wasn’t really in a smiling mood, I think her serious expressions are cute too. This picture is the only smile we got. I guess that is what happens when pictures get a late start and end up during nap time.
I love this one. She looks so elegant and the dress is fanned out so beautifully. When I was sewing this dress, I started to think that maybe I had gone a little overboard with the ruffles and that it was too floofy. In the end, I think the floofiness looks great and the extra fabric allows the skirt to fan out like a circle skirt, which is ideal for pictures.
This close up was on of the last pictures that we got until…
The meltdown picture! By this time a nap was long overdue and Hannah decided that pictures were definitely done. This one is so cute, though, I was seriously tempted to order one!
First off, sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. Little Hannah has been under the weather and so obviously sewing has taken a back seat for the time being. I did manage to find some time to quickly write up this tutorial, though, so if you love this dress as much as I do and want one for your sweet little girl, keep reading!
Supplies You’ll Need
main fabric—I used about 1 yard for my 8 month old
coordinating fabric—large scraps for the bodice lining
1″ wide grosgrain ribbon
Let’s get started with the bodice. Cut one front bodice piece from your main fabric and one from your coordinating lining fabric. Cut two back bodice pieces from your main fabric and two from your coordinating lining fabric. Remember to cut one back bodice piece with your fabric right side up and one with your fabric wrong side up so that you end up with one right and one left piece.
Sew the two back bodice pieces of your main fabric to the front bodice piece of your main fabric at the shoulders with right sides facing. When finished, press the seams open as shown in the picture above. Repeat with the coordinating lining fabric.
Place the main fabric bodice and the coordinating lining fabric bodice with right sides together. Pin around the neck and the outside edge of the back bodice pieces. Pin around the arm holes.
To sew the neck seam, begin at the bottom of one of the back bodice pieces, then continue up the back of the bodice, around the neck seam, and then down the other back bodice piece. Sew both arm hole seams.
Once you’ve sewn the neck and arm hole seams, your bodice should look like this. Clip the seam allowances. I used my pinking shears. If you don’t have pinking shears or prefer regular scissors, you’ll need to notch your curves.
Turn your bodice right side out and press. (Chopsticks work really well for hard to turn corners.) To make sure that your lining doesn’t show, I recommend pressing with your main fabric facing up so that you can see if any lining is peeping out at the seams.
Once your bodice is turned and pressed, you are almost done with it! Now we need to sew the side seams. This is a little tricky to explain, so bear with me. Note to self: take more pictures next time!
First, you’re going to pull the main fabric away from the lining at the side seam of both the front bodice piece and the corresponding back bodice piece. Next, pin together the main fabric front bodice to the main fabric back bodice with right sides facing. Then do the same for the lining. It will look like the picture above. Sew from one end of your pins to the other. It’s a little tricky to keep everything lined up, so go slowly and and adjust as necessary.
And now you have a fully lined bodice without any exposed seams!
Now for the button holes. I laid out the buttons I was going to use on my bodice and marked their placement lightly with a pen. I made sure that I didn’t include the bottom 1 1/2″ of the bodice in my spacing—1/2” seam allowances for attaching the skirt plus the 1” ribbon. To make the button holes, I used my automatic button hole attachment. Once you have our button holes, set the bodice aside.
For the skirt portion of the dress, you’ll need to figure out your measurements. I used the diagram below, which you can print here. It’s the same as the tiered Easter skirts but without including the waistband in the top tier. Remember that each tier should be cut in half in order to create side seams.
Rather than explain how to assemble the tiers, I will direct you to the easy tiered skirt tutorial on the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional. (Instead of zig-zagging the strips before sewing them together, I waited until the strips were sewn together and then zig-zagged the seams. Do whatever you prefer.)
Now that you have both your bodice and skirt assembled. Sew a basting/gathering stitch around the top tier of your skirt. Arrange your gathers and then pin your skirt and bodice with right sides together, adjusting as necessary to even out gathers and match the side seams. Sew the skirt and bodice together. Press the seam toward the bodice. If you’re super skilled you could try to sandwich your skirt in between your bodice main fabric and bodice lining fabric like this. I’m not confident enough in my ability to keep everything lined up and even so I just stuck with the tried and true.
Now for the finishing. Pin your grosgrain ribbon around the waistline of the dress, slight overlapping the seam where your bodice and skirt meet.
Leave a little extra on each end of your ribbon to tuck to the underside of the bodice. Sew in place with a 1/8″ seam allowance.
I made a simple bow as an embellishment and attached it with a safety pin.
And there you have it, an adorable tiered dress for your sweet little girl.
*UPDATE* Oh, and don’t forget to sew on your buttons!
I have been a busy lady this week! It sort of feels like I’ve been sucked up into an Easter sewing whirlwind. After I finish up a few details, I will have Hannah’s Easter dress and a little something I made for myself to share with you all. It’s a relief to have made such a sizable dent in my Easter projects list!
For now, I have a follow up on the Easter bargains I found at Joann’s this past weekend. For starters, I made some Easter jammie pants out of the cute bunny flannel. I slightly altered my pattern from the other jammie pants I made so that the legs were a little less wide and the crotch was a little more rounded for a better fit. I can’t wait for her to wear them!
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate the ribbon into Hannah’s Easter “basket.” (She’s actually not going to get a basket. Because she’s cruising all over the place and is eager to explore, I picked up a wagon walker from Ikea—among other things, I sort of went a little crazy—and I’m going to use the wagon as her basket.) I used this tutorial to make a poofy bow out of the rabbit ribbon. I’m going to put the bow on the handle of the walker.
I used the Easter egg ribbon to tie a set of Beatrix Potter board books together. I’m excited for Hannah to have them because they were mine when I was a little girl. It’s so fun to pass down little treasures like these to my sweet girl.
I haven’t gotten to the carrot ribbon (my favorite!) yet. I plan to make some sort of a bow for the rabbit stuffed animal that I also picked up at Ikea. When I get everything all put together, I will share how it all turned out. I hope that Hannah loves her first visit from the Easter bunny.
Today I went to Joann’s to pick up a few things and I ran across some Easter bargains I couldn’t resist. These three spools of ribbon were only 99 cents each. I don’t know what I’ll use them for yet but I’m sure I can come up with something. My favorite is the one with carrots!
All snuggle flannel is on sale right now for $2.79 a yard, so I bought half a yard to make some cute Easter jammie pants out of these sweet little bunnies.