New Dresses for My Girls

We just had three days of summery weather! When it hit 90 degrees, Ray and I once again felt sure we have made the right decision in moving up here! Neither of us like hot weather and love the cooler weather we have in Washington. We are back to cool temps and a breeze today. Perfect!

In between working on quilts that need to be finished, I have been making two dresses for the girls. Before leaving California, my friend Stephanie was clearing out some fabrics she didn’t think she would use. Stephanie is a generous soul and she gave me so much fabric! Among the pieces were two cute prints.

These two pieces are from a line called Stitch Cats by Clothworks. They are super cute and I thought the girls would enjoy something made from them.

I made the dress for little sister first. I used the Geranium pattern by Rae Hoekstra. I have to tell you, I am so rusty at making garments. Also, I didn’t like the way the closure was done on the back of the dress.

From the Geranium pattern by Made by Rae

It seemed like there should be an extended overlap (a tab of sorts) for the buttons and buttonholes but the designer just has it overlapped without this. Does that make sense?

Since the pattern didn’t provide this and I didn’t like the way it looked, I decided to use a ribbon closure. Note: The ribbons are cut extra long for now. I want my son or DIL to trim them after deciding how long they should be to take the dress on and off of A. It turns out we only need to untie the top bow to take it on and off.

A’s dress is made with the larger print and the bodice is lined with the smaller print. It is nice and long so she should be able to wear it for a while – these girls seem to grow about 1/2 inch each day!

I added a pocket for her treasures. It was so cute when I first put the dress on her. She had a tiny bag of Skittles that big sister got from a piΓ±ata earlier in the day. She immediately put the Skittles into her pocket.

This is the dress I made for H. The Geranium pattern wasn’t a large enough size so I switched over to a free tutorial by Life Sew Savory called Tank Dress Pattern. (Note – I have used a number of her free patterns and they are pretty darn good. She has so many on her site!) This dress is much the same as little sister’s though I used more of the smaller print for the bodice and skirt. The buttons were handled the same way on this pattern, without a tab, but I just gave in and overlapped the pieces as she instructed. (I need to figure out how to fix this issue myself for next time.)

Because H is into all things pink and sparkly, I chose these heart shaped gemstone buttons I saw in JoAnn’s. In actuality, she doesn’t need functional buttons for the dress as it goes right over her head without unbuttoning the dress. I could cut the front bodice as one piece if I were to make this again.

Above is the obligatory picture of the girls in their new dresses. They gave me all of 30 seconds to take this before they ran off so it isn’t the best shot. These two had better things to do than placate Grammy with pictures.

The next morning H was trying on shoes from a box of hand me downs she received. She is in love with these sparkly green flats! I love her pose here with her legs crossed in such a lady-like fashion. (I also love that she chose to put her new dress when she got up the next day). Overall, I am happy with the dresses. Making them was enjoyable and I feel like I am getting back into the groove of garment sewing. I have some fabric for a shirt for myself and hope to work on it soon.

I am not one to write about politics on my blog. Everyone has different beliefs and that is ok with me. I don’t want to get into it. But the last couple of weeks have really been a tough time. So sharing these two pictures of my girls seemed a great way to close – with feelings of hope in our future generations of very strong, capable, powerful women.

36 thoughts on “New Dresses for My Girls

  1. Tracie

    I love the dresses! Cute fabrics and cute girls. Once and awhile I’m tempted to sew garments again. I loved making clothes for my daughter when she was young.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      You should give it a go. There are so many pretty fabrics and simple patterns around now. I bet you would love it.

      Reply
  2. Wendy

    The dresses turned out so well, and I love seeing the two of them modeling them! Who wouldn’t like sparkly green flats??!! She poses so perfectly, too! Fun to see you sewing for your girls again!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh Wendy, that girl loves sparkles! Her pose made me laugh (on the inside). She was feeling quite fancy with those shoes on!

      Reply
  3. Kathy E.

    What fun you’re having, Bernie! Living closer to your 3 beautiful grand daughters is such a blessing. They are doubly blessed to have you as a role model….and add such great fashion pieces to their wardrobe! That button placket would bother me too, but it looks OK, especially with sparkly pink heart buttons! Lucky girls and lucky you!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Kathy, I tried so hard to remember that word – PLACKET – My brain just couldn’t get it. Thank you!
      Yes, the patterns were both strange in that they didn’t even use one. It looks good enough but next time I would modify it before I cut out the pieces. Take care. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Mari

    Oh my gosh, Bernie, what doll babies they are! And so big! The dresses are adorable, and I would also love some sparkly green flats. Who wouldn’t? Enjoy the cooler weather– we are about to ramp up to heat and humidity once again.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      The humidity makes the heat so much worse. I hope this wave doesn’t last long.

      I told H that I wished her shoes fit me and she looked at me like I was nuts. But this box of hand me downs had some really cute shoes in it!

      Reply
  5. CA Bobbie

    First time commenting (I think) but a long time follower. Love those darling littles and the dresses. I never was a “seamstress” but when kids and grands were little I did o some . I jumped into quilting about 1976. I do much better with flat seams ! So nice to be close to them.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Nice to meet you and thank you for being a reader! I appreciate it. I sewed lots of clothing when I was a teenager and also when I had small kids. I do enjoy it. The past several years have been all about quilting so I am a little rusty. Didn’t take long to remember though. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Katie

    The dresses are adorable and I am a big fan of pockets. I think all things should have (functional) pockets, but too many designers of womens clothing seem to think otherwise. (They must live a different life than me?!) As for the closures, would a loop sewn into the seam work? I’m not sure how best to explain it, but instead of making buttonholes on the opposite side, just sew in a short loop of ribbon or skinny bias tape that would pull the two sides together when buttoned, but not overlap? (I hope that makes sense!) And I LOVE the green shoes. The hubby and I happened across the Westminster dog show on TV at a local sports bar (it was on a sports channel?) last weel and I “voted” for the dog belonging to the gal wearing gold shoes much like these green ones. I don’t remember the dog, but her shoes stood out! (I was also “voting” for the “good boys” who were behaving like loving dogs, though I expect the real judges were knocking off points…I’m probably better off being a quilter!)

    Reply
    1. Laurie Lasala-Tuttle

      I love both the fabric AND the adorable dresses Bernie!! I’m so happy you’re living much closer to your grandgirls, and enjoying cooler weather. And yes, these last few weeks have been difficult. I’m also hoping for strong, powerful women in our future.

      Reply
      1. Bernie Post author

        Thank you Laurie. Hope it isn’t too hot at your house. Are you getting to do any sewing lately? Am I correct in thinking you work in the educational system? I can’t remember for sure. Do you have a summer break?

        Reply
    2. Bernie Post author

      You are so funny! I like your voting criteria for the Westminster show.
      I totally agree with you on pockets. I got lazy on the second dress and didn’t do the pockets.
      Yes, a loop would also have worked well. Tucking that idea in the back of my mind for next time.

      Thank you Katie!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Me too Yvonne. She is so into pink and unicorns these days so I didn’t know if blue and silly birds would be a good idea but she seems to like it. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Jenny Benton

    You did so well making those little dresses, didn’t they turn out great! Like you, its ages since I made any clothing, and of course, kids clothing is smaller and more fiddly.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      It is satisfying to make clothing now and then because I finish the projects faster than a quilt. Today I am back to piecing blocks though. So many projects, so little time!! Take care Jenny.

      Reply
  8. Kathleen McCormick

    The girl’s dresses are terrific. I think the ribbon is a terrific solution. I want to make some dresses for my grand nieces but haven’t started. They really turned out so well, and with grandmother’s love.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you. It is a lot of fun to switch back and forth between quilting and sewing clothes. Keeps me occupied anyway!!

      Reply
  9. Preeti

    Beautiful fabrics, gorgeous dresses and absolutely stunning models. If you ever make a dress in size 10/12, I’d be very happy to model it. I would totally wear these colors – so pretty.
    Nevertheless, she persisted.
    I hope that dark times such as these will mobilize many of my fellow citizens. It is a long road ahead. Persist, we must.

    Reply
  10. tehachap

    What a God-send your friend is. I love the fabrics and I bet your granddaughters do too. Such bliss is a new dress that fits!!! LOL

    Reply
  11. Torry

    Cute girls in cute dresses! So glad that you are here in our beautiful state, and that you love it. But, honestly, I would live in Arizona to be near my grandchildren, and I hate heat and am not fond of how cold some places put their air conditioning. (I loved Arizona the times I visited, but it just isn’t for me.) Just saying that you’d probably be happy here, just because of family .

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Torry, I am with you. I couldn’t deal with the climate in Arizona either. It would be like a constant air conditioned environment. I don’t remember what part of WA you live in. I am sure you told me before. It is on the eastern side, isn’t it? Finally, you are totally right – I am so happy here and much of it is due to the proximity to my family. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. Torry

        No, I live in Tacoma. I lived in Prosser until the 4th grade and then we moved to Tacoma. I joined the Army (I was stationed in Alabama, Texas, and New Jersey) and then married a New Yorker, so I lived in NY for 5 years before we moved here. So I have lived in hot places. And, of course, Prosser, NY, and NJ get cold in the winter!

        Reply
  12. Bonnie in VA

    It’s hard to get my head around clothes sewing when I’ve been piecing and quilting so much. You’ve done an excellent job especially how you put the lighter fabrics to use on the bodice and hem. Terrific job. The girls look darling.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      These two types of sewing are quite different so when I haven’t made a piece of clothing for a while, it definitely takes me a while to remember how. Sort of strange but then it comes back to me. Thanks so much for the note Bonnie. Hope all is well!

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      For sure – green sparkles are the best and any sparkles work for this girl. She also got some pink sparkly shoes in this box of hand me downs. They are too big but she would disagree and insists on wearing them. πŸ˜‰

      Reply

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