Friday, 20 September 2013

Sweet little dresses

Of all the many reasons I was so grateful to have a daughter, one of the possibly more frivolous was the fun of dressing my little girl. Florals! Dresses! Together even! Although she did wear predominantly baby blue hand-me-downs from her brothers for her first weeks - before the deluge of tiny pink garments started to flood into our house. And as for the things I could now make - well, my crafting potential suddenly went into overdrive.

I think Thea was less than a week old before I had cast on her first (knitted) dress. After knitting that same pattern time after time, but always stopping at the bottom of the vest, those last few flared inches felt thrilling. But now we are heading into spring it seemed time to drag out the sewing machine and start working my way through the patterns I had eyed longingly, back when I was a mother of boys only.

I had nurtured an image of myself as a mother from the time I was a teenager, and in that picture there was always a little girl running around in hand sewn dresses. Given that I did not even start to learn to sew until after my third son was born, I did start to doubt myself. I came close to cutting up the length of Liberty floral leftover from my own childhood and turning it into a maternity smock when I was six months pregnant with Thea, so sure were we that we would have another boy. But I stopped myself in time. That fabric is still waiting for something special. Thea's first birthday maybe? I clearly needed some practice at this dress making caper first.

And so it was that one rainy night last week I found myself cutting and pinning together pieces of fabric gleaned from old sheets and an op-shopped nightie to make these sweet little dresses. So much more fun, somehow, than pants, with the added bonus that they will fit for much longer too. These are for a 12-month old but my girl is so long already that she can wear them now, at barely five-months, layered over tights and a bodysuit while we wait for winter to finish for good. And they should still fit her, as a tunic top, when she is two. Which makes me inordinately happy.

She may not be running yet, but she is wearing a hand sewn dress. And now her brothers want one too.


  1. ooh, gorgeousness!
    I'm determined to make my girl a wee dress this summer, seeing yours is really motivating me to get cracking!

  2. I have sewn many a Sweet Little Dress from vintage sheet fabric. A few on the to-do list for summer as well. xx

    1. Well you know where I saw them first Greer! You are my girls' knitting and sewing guru, after all. xx

  3. Very pretty! There are so many lovely fabrics out there perfect for little girls' clothes... I'm in the middle of making dresses for my two girls as well. Happy sewing! x

  4. Gorgeous! I haven't found the time for much sewing but I am making Mia a bonnet. Luckily I have a very generous friend who gives me all her girl hand me downs though I really should call them hand me overs as some of it still has the tags on!

  5. Love all the items you have bought here. Personal fave has to be from vintage sheet fabric.. seeing yours is really motivating me to get cracking! Thanks for sharing... Affordable Prom Dresses


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