Fall Sewing for the Girl

I haven’t had the chance to sew for Miss E all summer.  Now that the boys are in school I have a little extra time on my hands so I made a few things for the girl.

I found this Fan Dress pattern from Anna Maria Horner online.  It’s a free pattern that I downloaded directly to my computer and printed off on my little printer.  You can find the pattern here.


I bought this fun large dot material and thought it would make a darling dress.  Sorry about the quality of the pictures my camera didn’t like focusing on the dot pattern.  I thought it would looks sweet with some tights and a little cardigan.


I added a little vintage lace doily to the waistline but the box pleats ended up covering it up more than I would have liked.


This is what it looks like from the back.  The backside is my favorite!  The two little overlapping buttons and the row of little pleats at the edge… really it’s a great pattern (did I mention it’s free?).


I lined it with some material I had left over from a dress I made her last fall.

When I sew for E, I sometimes feel torn about the style of clothing I made her.  Personally, I love a simple minimalist style.  Plain, muted colors with unique textures offset by some lovely lace or trim.  I wander through the fabric store with those items in my hand, but I always end up putting them back.  That look just isn’t right for my little girl.  She is anything but muted!  She’s playful, and colorful and she loves bright, pretty clothing… so that’s what I make for her :)   Who knows, someday I might squeeze in a “mamma style dress” but I know it will be the one I have to beg her to wear.

I also made another simple skirt.  Once again, I used Dana’s skirt tutorial and made the double layer version.

I trimmed it with some large pink rickrack I had been saving for the right project.  I’m not quite finished with this skirt yet.  I’m planning on crocheting a scalloped trim around the brown layer but I won’t dare attempt it without Stephanie at my side.


If you have been toying with the idea of sewing for your own little girl, this is the pattern for you!  It’s a breeze to make and it turns out darling every.single.time.


I’ve made her four of these skirts in the last year.  They get used every single week!  More often than not, when I ask E to go get dressed, she comes out wearing one of these skirts (in some cases two at one time).  I must admit I love seeing her running around playing in the clothes I’ve made her.


She always pairs her little skirts with the funniest shirts and accessories.

I also made her a handful of covered clips.  Aren’t they fun?

E has a lot of fancy flower clips but on a day-to-day basis I reach for simple snap clips to hold her hair out of her face.  Why not make them look cute?  I used this tutorial.  Warning, it does require a fair bit of hand work, so if you have and aversion to needles and thread this might not be the project for you.  I had a great time making them!

Lastly I made this little bear/doll carrier for her.  It’s a pattern from my Oliver + S, Little Things to Sew book.  I’m just crazy about that book! I’ve made several projects from it now and there so many more I would like to try.

I’m realizing that I’m in that perfect, magical window of time with E, where her whole world revolves around pretend play.  One day she’s a butterfly princess, the next a doctor or a mommy… it’s so fun!  I plan on taking full advantage of this sweet time and make her lots of little things to play with.  I know the day is coming when she won’t be so thrilled with all her handmade things but fortunately today is not that day.

Have a great weekend!  April

24 thoughts on “Fall Sewing for the Girl

  1. purpleamethyst76

    Hi April, These things are just gorgeous!  I’m always a fan of polka dot anything and that red dress is too sweet.  The lining almost looks like it could become reversible, too…handmade things always seem to have a little extra detailing and a whole lotta LOVE involved that the store bought things just don’t have. 

    The hair clips!  I wonder if I could handle making some for my Sarah Joy?  Her bangs are just getting long enough to get in her eyes and she needs “clippies”.

    The skirts are.too.cute.  Love them!  

    I admire your sewing and mothering so much.  Great job!

    Reply
  2. ABAHM

    Really sweet projects!  I can remember how special i felt in some of the favorite dresses my mom and grandmother made for me growing up, and then some of the projects I made as I got older, so I just know your daughter must feel so loved. 
    So excited to hear and see your projects for her like the cute carrier.  One Christmas we had no money for anything for the boys.  Bob made them wooden swords, and I took some blue robe material I hadn’t used for the planned robe and made knights tunics with felt symbols on the front.  That was a favorite Christmas for the boys.  Those homemade imagination inspired gifts are the best!

    Reply
  3. sailing5

    OH SO SWEET!! Love all your projects! Wish my printer wasn’t down I’d love to make the dress and skirts! 

    I will need to check out how to make the clippys too!

    Reply
  4. pettybunch

    I love the little dress!  I, too, love polka dots, and RED is my favorite color!  I think little E and I would get along just fine!  I am so much the bright, fun fabric gal. 

    I am gathering up courage to make a “coming home from the hospital dress” for my coming grandbaby girl.  Pamela wanted something suitable for an October baby born in Michigan, yet she wants a dress. So I am looking for a long-sleeved, long dress.  I am actually going to make it out of a sweet, vintage flannel fabric I found on Ebay.  I just haven’t found the right pattern yet!

    You are just so inspiring!  Thanks for chronicling your projects for us!

    Reply
  5. zanyzeal

    I need to learn to sew.  Love, love, love these projects.  The teddy bear carrier is so sweet and my Aves would love it.  She has a favorite Bear that goes everywhere with her.  So where is your link to your Etsy shop?

    Reply
  6. inanorchard

    @pettybunch - Oh I love the sound of vintage flannel fabric!  I don’t have a lot of vintage material but what I do have I cherish!  You must post pictures of the little dress when it is finished :)   Long sleeved infant dress patterns are a little hard to come by…

    Reply
  7. JsSteph7

    Aw, April! It’s all adorable! Did you do a tut on the skirt? Now I’m interested. I saw your comment about really easy and a big rectangle and thought I might be able to handle that. My little girl keeps growing and growing and it’s hard to keep clothes for her long legs. ;)

    Reply
  8. down_onthefarm

    i love april, her taste and projects! these are great. that red polka dot dress is my fav. i thought that the little doily was darling. and then you showed me the back. and the lining. it looks like E. :)

    Reply
  9. inanorchard

    @JsSteph7 - I didn’t to a tutorial for the skirt but I included a link to the tutorial I used.  It’s from the sewing blog MADE and it’s a great tutorial.  It really is just one large rectangle, some elastic, and three seams… totally doable :)   On the same website there’s a tutorial for circle skirts that is even easier, I’ve made a few of them as well.

    Reply
  10. JsSteph7

    @inanorchard – I have been wanting to tell you that that same day I made 2 of them and then another the next day! I saved some scraps to make a matching one for her doll. It was SO fun and yes, super easy! One of these days I’ll find the time to put pictures up on my blog. :) thanks, April!!

    Reply

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