I better start this post with a confession. I am a teeny bit obsessed with a blog called Craftiness Is Not Optional. Jess is an amazingly gifted sewer, and has three of the most adorable little girls you’ve ever seen. And one of them is named Sadie. So naturally, I’m a fan. Anyway, I’ve stalked her blog for a long time, and she has made version after version of Made By Rae’s Geranium Dress pattern for her daughters. I mean, look at all of these she has made! After drooling over them for way too long, I finally got my act together and made one.
My own Sadie is in dire need of dresses to wear to church…not because our church is super fancy and she has to wear dresses every Sunday (the attire tends to lean casual actually), but simply because I can’t get enough of playing dress-up with her every Sunday morning. There’s just something about tiny people dressing up for church that slays me. 2-year old boys in suspenders? I’m flattened. White tights and Mary Janes? I’m cooked. So while I still have some say in the matter, I choose to put her in church dresses every week. I figure it won’t be too long before she’s gonna horrify me by going to church in booty shorts or ripped muscle tanks or something.
Everything I’ve read about this pattern is true. It’s a quick, easy, delightful sew. Actually, this is my first project EVER where I didn’t make a single mistake. My seam ripper didn’t get used once. I can hardly believe it. Also, OH MAN how easy is it to sew on quilting cotton when you’ve been battling with grouchy knits for months? I actually squeaked with surprise when I started sewing. It was that delicious. I bought this fab fabric ages ago, and it’s been sitting in my stash, waiting for the perfect garment. This is it kids.
I’m so so happy with the dress, and Sadie actually said, “Oooooohhh WOOOOWWW” when she tried it on for the first time. And she doesn’t hand out compliments casually. Ok, fine, she does. I think you’re getting off-topic here. The dress. It’s cute. Look.
(All photos of Sadie by Mercer Street Photography)
There are lots of variations you can choose from when sewing up this dress… different styles of sleeve caps, a shorter length to make it a top, pockets, different shapes at the neckline, etc. I (for the first time ever) actually chose to not add all the optional fiddly bits, like pockets and pleats. Ahhh simple sewing. I don’t regret those choices in the slightest… there are so many lovely details that make the dress amazing, even without pockets and pleats. Like these fluttery sleeve caps that I ADORE. These sleeves were actually what drove me to finally make this dress. They’re finished with a zig zag that barely catches the edge of the fabric, to keep it from totally unravelling, but it still lets little bits of thread poke out, which makes for the coolest effect. I realize that there are exactly FOUR threads poking out in this photograph, but go with me here. It’s not been laundered yet. It’s gonna look cool. Also, I loved the technique the pattern uses to do the ruffling. I’ve always done the whole basting-stitch-then-pull-the-bobbin-thread-to-gather-the-fabric-trying-not-to-snap-the-thread thing. And it gives me agita. But this technique involves cranking your machine’s tension as high as it will go, and then the gathering/ruffling just magically happens. I was giggling like a kid high on pixie sticks for the first time, just watching the madness unfolding in front of me.
Oh and I’m nuts about this awesome notched neckline. It was surprisingly easy.
I really like the gathering option at the waistline… I feel like it ties in nicely to the ruffled sleeves, without being distracting. I didn’t do the pleat option for two reasons. One being that Sadie still has an awesome toddler belly, so pleats that start at an empire waist line just end up sticking straight out. And the second is that pleats stress me out. There’s a lot of math involved. Actually I don’t do any math… I just guess, and pin, and iron, and then redo it all 18 times. That’s probably why it stresses me out. Maybe I should give the math a go.
The hem is nice and simple, and was ohhhh soooo eeeaaasy on this fabric. Tidy. Happy. Happy tidy. Oh AND it enabled me to use my favorite new sewing notion. I’ll tell ya all about it soon. Its major fun. For me. Maybe not for you. Ok, probably not for you.
Love love love. I’m already eyeballing my stash to decide which quilting cotton I want to use next to make her the top version to wear with shorts this summer. I think I may be churning these puppies out all season long actually. I get it now, Jess. I totally get it.