Early to mid-Spring means birthday time in our family, especially so now with our two little granddaughters, who have birthdays in March and April. Fortunately both little girls love dresses and love wearing them, so of course my Spring sewing agenda has to include making two “birthday dresses.” (Last year’s dresses were a bit more elaborate than what I had planned for this year. In fact, I just lengthened the hems on these “strawberry” dresses so the girls can wear them for one more year!)
I found these Liberty fabrics last year on Fabric.com and immediately ordered yardage in two colors. They stayed tucked away in my fabric closet until early March when I got serious about getting these dresses sewn.
All along I intended to pair each print with 16thinch coordinating cotton gingham, and then I set about finding a pattern which would accommodate this idea. I ended up using a Children’s Corner pattern (Louise) which turned out to be the perfect choice. View B showed a hem band and collar in contrasting fabric to the rest of the dress.
These dresses are quite simple to make, and the pattern is precise. I really, really like that this company gives you separate pattern pieces for each size in the envelope. For example, this pattern included sizes 1 – 5. So – there are full patterns for each size. I used size 3 and size 5, and it was such a pleasure not to have to trace a pattern for each dress. Mysteriously, the seam allowance allotted for the pattern pieces was only ¼”. I increased it to a standard 5/8” as I am much happier sewing with a more substantial seam allowance. The only other changes I made to the pattern were to make the back opening button on the left side rather than the right side, and to add three decorative buttons to the bodice.
First I made the size 5 dress. I realized once it was well underway that a touch of rickrack would add so much more interest to the dress. Finding lilac colored rickrack was quite the task, but once again an Etsy shop (Creative Trims) had just what I needed.
The second dress came together quickly (for me, at least!) Making the dresses alike, but in different colors was an idea I liked, and I was hopeful that the girls would like that, too!
I am happy to report that, according to my daughter, the little girls love their birthday dresses. Time to start planning for next year!