Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Liberty Print Geranium Dress


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.


Pattern:

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. 


Fabric:

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. 


Thoughts:

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?

19 comments:

Rebecca Woodward said...

That looks lovely! And you might be pleasantly surprised, I made my girls dresses last summer (aged 1 and 3) and they both seem to have grown up rather than out so both dresses still fit this year and they're choosing to wear them.

tialys said...

Dolores looks delightful. I love her style - wearing Liberty with some Witchipoo tights.

Mother of Reinvention said...

Gosh, isn't Dolores growing up! She has a beautiful smile and looks so pleased with herself in her pretty dress. It is a gorgeous garment. The fabric is really nice. I can sympathise with your commute. I have a similar one for the day job. Xx

Kestrel said...

What a lovely dress, and Dolores is such a gorgeous little girl.It's good that she's not to fussy about her clothes because my daughter is and refuses to wear the lovely hand knitted cardigans that my mum makes her!

Jen Forsythe said...


So pretty, the fabric looks absolutely beautiful. It's such a versatile pattern too. Funny enough I am making the Geranium for my niece who is 2. I asked my brother to measure her and he rang me to say she is 3 foot by 2 foot?! Typical! Anyway turns out he is right, height 36", chest 24". She is big for her age, needless to say I will be making a toile before I cut into my Liberty.

vintagerockchick said...

Ooh, my niece is expecting a baby in a few weeks and I'm not allowed to knit anything as she doesn't like hand knitted. (I thought this was a bit odd, but having read Kestrel's comment above, maybe not so unusual). Anyway, hopefully I'm allowed to sew, so I might invest in this pattern. Gill x

Bec said...

That dress is lovely! I echo Rebecca's comments above. My boys tended to grow up rather than out at this age so making longer style shorts or trousers with turn ups made the clothes fit for longer.

Bec said...
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Bec said...
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brooke said...

Two hours, wow, that is some speedy sewing! Such a pretty outcome too.
I recently completed the grown up geranium - the washi, maxi length, in a floral cotton bed spread from the op shop. It was supposed to be a muslin but I love it and wear it a lot! It's so soft, it's like I'm wrapped up in bed all day long :)

Margo said...

What a beautiful dress! I've been really into the Sunny Days shorts pattern from Oliver and S (free pattern!). We've had hot weather so far this summer, and my son has needed new shorts for both day and sleeping. It's such a fun little pattern. I just had to add pockets to it. Dolores might not use pockets now, but she will soon enough!! ;)

JustSewJenna said...

That is so lovely! I have never used that pattern but it does look so pretty. E grows up and not out too, she was still wearing a pair of 18-24 month shorts until really recently. I don't always (hardly ever!) put pockets on things for E because it's just more places to hide sticky stuff that blocks the washing machine!

katherine h said...

I can see why you love this dress! She is adorable in it.

Isa García-Onlylola said...

OHHH!! LOVELY!!!

Louise said...

Fab frock, you can always make a quilt if she does grow out of things to remind you of her first few years.

Martha said...

Absolutely adorable!

Nancy Winningham said...

Super sweet and darling! Oh, the dress too - LOL

gingermakes.com said...

This is so cute! I love it! And I agree that it's such a nice pattern- it just goes together so easily and there are so many options. I've made it as a gift for little friends something like 5 times and it's a fun sew every time!

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