Sunday 1 July 2018

Return of the Geranium Dress

Back in the winter, I decided to bust some of my fabric stash to make a couple of summer dresses for Dolores. It was fun to dream of warmer weather during chilly greyness, and because this is a TNT pattern and I felt confident in the sizing, I knew that I was making garments that would get lots of wear when it eventually got warm enough. 


Both this white dress, and the orange African wax fabric version pictured at the bottom of the post, have been made using the Geranium dress pattern by Made by Rae. If you have a child in your life who likes to wear dresses, I kind of feel that you owe it to yourself to get this pattern. It has a number of neckline, armhole, skirt style, skirt length and pocket variations included which can help you create a multitude of different looking garments and gets you your money's worth. And Rae's released an expansion pack that gives you even more design options, totalling an insane number of mix and match options. 

These dresses represent at least the 8th and 9th times I've sewn this pattern. I've previously made four for Dolores (thisthisthis and this), as well as at least two for window displays at the Village Haberdashery, and one as a birthday present for Dolores's friend, Naomi. Plus I've taught a couple of Geranium dress classes at VH in the past, so I feel I know this pattern pretty well now!

Dolores is now 4.5 years old, so I made the size 5 (the biggest size in the smaller pattern size range), hypothesising that they'd see two summer's worth of use. For the white dress, I used the sleeveless armhole option with notched neckline and gathered skirt. For the orange one, I chose the faux cap sleeve option with simple scoop neckline and, again, the gathered skirt. I like the pleated skirt option too, however the gathered skirt option has the perfect amount of fullness, IMO. Enough to satisfy a child with 'girly' clothing preferences, but not so much as to make it unsuitable for everyday wear. 

After cutting out the white version, I realised that I had enough fabric left over for a matching bucket hat. So out came my fave: the Oliver + S free bucket hat pattern. The hat is looking a little battered in these pictures because it's already seen MASSES of wear this year, by both Dolores and Frankie. 


Part of the popularity of the Geranium pattern is down to the fact that it works well in quilting cotton, and fabrics with that type of weight and handle. In fact, when I tried making this pattern in a drapier fabric (by accident), it definitely didn't hold its shape as well and looked tatty after fewer wears than the stiffer stuff. Quilting cotton can come in such amazing, beautiful and fun prints, and it's so often crying out to be made into children's wear.

The white-background fabric above has a beautiful circus acrobats print in lovely subtle colours that I found in the spring of 2017 at the Ditto fabrics closing-down-their-warehouse-space sale. Initially, I felt the dress looked a bit plain, and I planned to add some pompom trim or something to it somehow. However, I struggled to find anything in a suitable scale and it started to get worn, so it's remained plain. It's a firm favourite with Dolores, and even though these photos were only taken a couple of weeks ago, it's now sadly (but inevitably) stained with pasta sauce and lord knows what else.

The insane eyeball print African wax fabric found its way into my stash via a fabric swap I hosted in Brighton a trillion years ago. She's modelling it here, appropriately, in the African section of the anthropology museum in Madrid when we visited in April. It's the same fabric I used to make her this Geranium dress three years ago. I loved her wearing the initial version, and it's made me really happy to see her wearing this reboot!


This pattern has been the very definition of a TNT pattern for me. I've relied upon it to make fantastic, well fitting and perfectly proportioned dresses in the type of fabric (quilting cotton and similar) that often doesn't lend itself well to garment sewing. Now that Dolores is at the top of range of sizes of the pattern I own, I have to debate whether or not to buy the size 6-12 range pattern. Perhaps it's time to hang up my Geranium making hat and venture into the unknown with some of the other amazing kids patterns that are out there.  


Let's Get Sewing said...

Both versions are lovely! I like the matching hat.

juliana said...

Great dresses, but the model?! She’s a beauty. Lovely post.

Jo said...

The photos are amazing - she has the hang of that now! I use a jersey pattern by Mcalls M7079 which is great for when girls get a little older. I have made my girls one each for the last 2 years and they love them. More of a skater style but a breeze to make on the overlocker. Jo xx

Metalmom37 said...

She is just so cute! I can't believe how big she's gotten!

dera said...

wakatra sehat sendi di apotik

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