Happy Hippos and Dotted Daisies

Sewing for children is a specialized category, one which is certainly not of interest to everyone. For that reason, I sometimes skip doing a post on some of the clothes I make for my two little granddaughters. However, these two dresses turned out so cute that I thought I would share them.

I had not really intended to make more summer dresses for my two little ladies, but this hippo fabric made me do it!

This fabric is by Hoffman California.

I have had this piece stored on my fabric shelves for well over twenty years.  I really do not remember why I ever purchased it.  I always thought it was cute and cheerful.  As luck will have it, my older granddaughter’s favorite animal is a hippo! Little Miss Aida has a stuffed hippo who is well loved (almost to the point of being bedraggled!) and definitely a member of the family.  There really could be no better time to use this fabric to make her a dress, especially as, at age 5, she is still happy to wear a cute print like this. (By age six, maybe not?)

As I only had enough fabric for one dress, I needed to make the dress for her 3-year-old sister from another selection.  This navy, pink, and white fabric I have only had for a couple of years (no time at all in the realm of my sewing room!), purchased specifically with my two girls in mind.

I found this fabric at JoAnn’s. It is one of their premium cottons, and really quite a lovely quality.

Over those two years, however, I have slowly been using sections of it to line a number of “baby bags” which I often make for gifts, leaving me with only enough yardage for one dress, not two.  So voila!  This worked out perfectly – and the cheerful daisy print suits little Miss Carolina’s personality quite well.

I have made so many of these bags and they always seem to be a welcome baby gift. These are made from a Noodlehead pattern.

Showing the daisy lining.

For the dresses, I used the Children’s Corner “Louise” pattern again, this time without a separate band on the skirt.

However, to add interest, I made the collars out of coordinating fabrics, and I added pockets to the skirts.  Luckily, in my fabric collection, I found dotted cottons which worked perfectly for the collars and pockets.  Then rickrack provided the finishing touch.

When I am sewing long-distance for these two little girls, I am usually in a quandary over the length of the hems, especially as they are always, always growing and growing so fast.  This time, they were here for a visit, so I saved the completion of the hems until they arrived.  No guessing this time!

The bodices are lined with a white, lightweight, and very soft linen.

I used aqua colored buttons on the hippo dress and pink buttons on the daisy dress.

This was a very satisfying project – the girls love their new dresses, and I felt very virtuous using two fabrics that have been folded away in my sewing room closet, waiting for their new lives to begin.  Hippos and daisies turned out to be a winning combination.


Filed under Uncategorized, Buttons - choosing the right ones, Sewing for children

15 responses to “Happy Hippos and Dotted Daisies

  1. Heather Myers

    Decidedly lovely!

  2. Jenny Larking

    These dresses are very sweet and I quite understand why the girls love them. I have 2 grandaughters who are 3 and 5 also and I love to make them clothes but their wardrobes are so stuffed that I have forced myself to stop producing for now. My favourite pattern is The Geranium, which is very similar to this one. I started to use it when they were tiny and it took a very small amount of fabric and I have now reached the limit of the pattern but I will be hanging on to it!

    • One thing I like so much about the Children’s Corner Patterns is the fact that they can be used for several years of growing. We are very fortunate to have little granddaughters for whom to sew, aren’t we?

  3. Those dresses are so stinkin cute! I think you will be safe for another couple of years with Miss Aida, but by then I’m betting she will be making requests for custom outfits, which isn’t so bad. 😄 I am such a fan of Rick rack, I just love the detail it adds without being fussy. Bet you enjoyed the visit, and before you know it, someone will be sitting on your lap to make her first 9-patch pillow!

    • I so agree about rick rack. I think it is my favorite embellishment. It just adds happiness! The girls seem to be very interested already in sewing, and we made bean bags while they were here, an activity they loved! So fun.

      • I started mine early, sitting on my lap with my hands over the top of theirs. 9-patch pillows, pert skirts and then real patterns. It’s amazing how quickly they catch on….young, inquiring minds!

  4. Karen, these are too precious! I can tell they were made with loads of love!

  5. Elizabeth Wellons

    Louise is one of my all-time favorite Children’s Corner patterns. These are adorable — and the addition of pockets must surely please your little girls! Like you I hate the 1\4″ SA that CC always uses but I do love the fact that these patterns are not nested! Cissie

    • Yes, the girls love the pockets. The Louise pattern is so adaptable – I just love it. As for that seam allowance, I just cut out the pieces with a 5/8″ sa, and that solves the problem. I imagine you do the same.

  6. Mery

    These are adorable. Making anything simple with these fabrics would have been cute, but these finely finished dresses with all the extras sewn in with love will make even fonder memories and even more fun to wear now.

  7. Absolutely adorable! I’m a sucker for baby animal prints, so the hippos are right up my street. And who doesn’t love daisies? Lucky little granddaughters. I love all the detail you add to make these sweet dresses even more special.

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