Seeing Double – No, Triple!

When I saw this dress pictured on the website of Farmhouse Fabrics, I knew I wanted to use this pattern and this fabric for my granddaughters’ birthday dresses.

Fortunately, the pattern was included in the  Summer 2018 issue of Classic Sewing Magazine, available from Farmhouse Fabrics, as were the fabric and all the trimmings.

This pattern allows for many variations; here is one page from the featured article on this dress in Classic Sewing Magazine.

With birthdays three weeks apart from each other, one in March and one in April, my granddaughters bridge that small gap between Winter and Spring.  Presenting them each with a special Springtime birthday dress has become a real focus for me in planning my annual sewing.  What amazes me is how quickly the time for this particular sewing comes up in the new year.  But somehow I always get them finished in time for the birthday celebrations.


I decided to forego the white eyelet collar shown in the example and make the collars out of the dress fabric.  My thought was this change made the dresses more “everyday,” albeit fancy, nice everyday!  Because Farmhouse Fabrics carried this wonderful bias, picot-embellished edging, I chose to trim the collars with it.

In the back of my mind, I had the thought of also embellishing the dresses with rick rack (when do I not have the notion to embellish with rick rack?).  However, I did not want to overdo it, leaving the lovely fabric to carry most of the impact of the dresses.  When I found pale pink jumbo rick rack, I thought it might be the perfect anchor to the skirts, pickling up the zigzag motif on the picot collar edging.

Here is one of the dresses before the rick rack was applied.

I think the rick rack is a very nice addition.

I determined that a single row of rickrack was all I needed.  Of course, to be done correctly, it had to be hand-sewn in place, which took a bit of time.

The final finishing touch was the placement of two pink buttons at the back opening.

I self-lined the bodices.

Another close-up.

This diagram helps to show the details of the pattern. Notice the narrow darts in the bodice, which gives such a nice degree of shaping. This is the type of detail found on well-engineered patterns.

The backs of these dresses are so pretty!

So, two dresses done – and two+ yards of fabric left over!  What would you do?  Silky soft cotton, beautiful Spring colors, an even plaid.  How could I not use it for something?

What do you think of a blouse?  A casual, everyday type of blouse, hopefully perfect for the upcoming casual Summer?  Yep – that’s what I did!

I have already altered, “perfected,” and made this vintage Simplicity pattern from the early 1970s several times, and I must say, I never get tired of making it.

The pattern art here is so dated!

About halfway through the construction of this blouse, I had a moment of questioning my choice.  Was this blouse going to look just a little too “country with a piece of straw in my mouth?”  Or was it just going to look fresh and bright?  But at that point there was no turning back.

I combined two sets of buttons remaining from two previous blouses for the eight buttons I needed here.

Identical size and same look made combining these two sets of buttons an easy decision.

Now that the blouse is finished, I really like it.  We’ll see what my granddaughters think when they see me in it!


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

31 responses to “Seeing Double – No, Triple!

  1. Betsy Gilkeson Aikens

    You have done it again! I LOVE this fabric and it looks great in both styles.

  2. Margene Yeaton

    Darling dresses and hand stitched rick rack with lined bodices. How special!
    Another neat blouse, too.

  3. Barbara Barrett

    This is really cool! I love it all…as usual.

  4. PatB

    Beautiful matching sundresses. Can identify with your thoughts, part way thru your shirt process. I often doubt my fabric and pattern choice mid way, but most times I am pleased with the final result. Your work is exquisite.

    • Thank you, Pat. This is always the risk with sewing – you can’t see it on yourself until its finished – and then you may not be happy with it! Fortunately this worked out well this time.

  5. Oh so lovely!! The darling dresses…the matching blouse…how fun!
    And of course, beautiful work, Karen.

  6. Arleen Lovering

    Superb X 3 Karen……Absolutely adorable, classic, sophisticated & fun!

  7. The dresses are so lovely – some of my favorites you’ve ever made (but I think I say that every time). And the blouse is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see you in it in person. We love you, Coco. You truly are remarkable in EVERY way. LOVE, Susanna, Aida, and Carolina

  8. Lucky grandchildren! and lucky you for having some leftover fabric! Those dresses are very cute – the rick rack and the ruffles are just the perfect touch, not too much and not too little! I like your shirt! Those ones with the leather patches, embroidery and tassels are the real cowboy ones – your’s is great just as it is!

  9. Mery

    I love your shirt, and those dresses are amazing, just perfect.

  10. I’m sure your granddaughters will be delighted to have dresses matching your shirt! Beautiful work. As always.

  11. Definitely looks fresh and bright! LOVE your look styled with your jeans and super cute shoes!! Your granddaughter’s dresses are a delight in every way!

  12. I know what they will do! Run to the closet and put on their dresses so they can match their beloved gran! That shirt is fresh and bright, a perfect shirt for busy days running errands, gardening, etc. I am going to check out FarmHouse Fabrics. 🙂

  13. marguerite armstrong

    Such exquisite work! The dresses are wonderful! And what fun to have the matching shirt. That shirt pattern is a good basic design. I like all of your versions. I’m also admiring your shoes. I’ve noticed other similar pairs that you have worn. What brand are they?

    • Thank you, Marguerite. Those dresses were so much fun to make. About my shoes. They are Stubbs and Wootton, and I buy them online. I seem to have this mistaken idea that since I sew, I can indulge in shoes – which I do, unabashedly, I’m afraid!

  14. Janet

    I took a couture sewing course many years ago, and it is delightful to find a blog from someone who sews with care and such a high level of skill. Your work is so inspiring! I truly appreciate how you share your thought process on each item. I am not sure if I will ever get to this level of sewing, but I cannot feel an infinity with the ‘fast’ sewing culture side of things either. I am retiring soon and your blog will be my sewing inspiration!

    • Thank you, Janet, so much. It is comments like this which keep me committed to this blog. I so appreciate hearing from you! Here’s to many days of thoughtful sewing to come!

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