A couple of Saturday's ago I taught a class at the Village Haberdashery on how to make the Geranium dress pattern by Made By Rae. Getting to and from the VH from where I live usually takes at least 3.5 hours door to door, so when I finally got home I was exhausted. When I arrived home, I got changed and poured myself a glass of wine, but instead of watching some TV or some other equally relaxing/brain-numbing activity, I got some fabric out and started making this dress. We have been invited to a baptism party the following day (not my family's usual habitat), and I realised Dolores didn't have anything suitably pretty to wear. Super-tired? Check. Imminent deadline? Check. Not ideal circumstances for a sewing project! However I couldn't be more happy with the outcome.
I've waxed lyrical about the Geranium dress pattern before, and now that I have made it a few times I can confirm that it really is a very well drafted pattern with many awesome design options. You could make a squillion variations from the same pattern, the results of which would all look like very different garments. For this dress I used the U-shaped cut out neckline, plain armholes, pleated skirt and dress length options (phew!). I did, however, avoid the in-seam pockets which are part of the pleated skirt option. I don't think Dolores would know what to do with in-seam pockets just yet, plus I can imagine that her running around with her hands in some pockets would result in lots more falling over than happens already!
Having taught how to sew the pattern earlier that day, the construction method was firmly imprinted in my brain so I didn't need to spend time referring back to the instructions. Therefore, I managed to cut out and make this dress in about two hours total (I left the buttonholes to do in the daylight the following day before the party!). I used the 18-24 months pieces, Dolores is 20 months now and the fit is spot on.
I've admitted to this before, but I keep most of my fabric stash in Dolores's bedroom! It's all folded neatly and a set of shelves, and personally I think it looks quite pretty. Whilst I'm rocking her before putting her down to sleep, the fabric is in my sightline and I'm reminded of what I have stashed away. I was so pleased to finally use this beautiful fabric that had been on those shelves for a couple of years! It was a gift from the very lovely Susan who runs Sewbox.co.uk who sent me this and another Liberty print cotton whilst I was pregnant. At the time I obviously didn't know that Dolores would end up with such bright blue eyes, and I LOVE dressing her in blue garments because they accentuate that feature. This Liberty cotton is from the Bloomsbury collection, the print design called is Charles. Sewbox no longer seems to have this exact print, but there are three other colour-ways you can find here.
This Liberty cotton has a bit more body than the other Liberty Bloomsbury fabric she sent, which is great because it helped to make the pleats and U-shaped cutout detail really nice and crisp. I used the same fabric to line the bodice, and in total the pattern used under a metre. If I get round to it, I'll going to see if I can squeeze a pair of shorts for Dolores out of what is left over.
I can't tell you how much I love this little dress. Dolores rarely seems to acknowledge the clothes that she's wearing, but when we first put this dress on her she, too, seemed pretty pleased with herself! I'm so happy with the pairing of fabric and pattern, and the fit is really good. I want to make the most of having traced the pattern pieces, so I plan to make another for this summer, although I'm very aware that woven garments have a much shorter lifespan in terms of fit than all the knit garments that I usually make for her have.
What about you? What pattern have you been thoroughly impressed by recently? What fabric and pattern combo have you used that turned out to be spot on?