Show & Tell Wednesday


I love simple patterns.  I love them for a lot of reasons, the main one being, they’re simple (right in my comfort zone).  I’m a fan of clean lines.  Also, they are so easy to adapt.

I’ve made this dress for E several times now.

Using Fig Tree’s Polka Dots & Summer dress pattern.

It’s a fun pattern that I’ve gotten comfortable with.  The last time I made it, I came up with a way to alter the pattern.  Basically I took a simple pattern and made it ridiculously simple.  I took out the yolk and the box pleats and made a summery A-line, slip-over dress.


But I didn’t just make one.  I made three.  Because I’m a little crazy that way.  I know you’ve heard my arguments before.  “Be sure to make a pattern at least twice”, “it builds you sewing skills”, “it’s a more efficient use of your time”…blah, blah, blah.  But it’s true, so I’ll keep saying it.


There are no scary zippers or button holes, just a back slit with an elastic loop and button (I also used a hook and eye).  Don’t you just love this fabric?!!  I’m so smitten with those happy tulips and the bright colors.  I still have a half yard left and I’m trying to decide what to do with it.

The tulip dress was the last one I made, and by the time I had made three of them it was only taking me about 45 minutes per dress.  The green dress with the boarder took longer to make.  Did I mention they only take 3/4 of a yard to make?!  It just keeps getting better ;)


The neck and arm holes are finished with homemade bias tape OR…

…you can really make your life easy and use decorative bias tape.


It’s as simple as sandwiching the raw edges in between the bias tape and sewing all the layers together. You can buy specialty bias tape on Etsy (which is were I purchased the red bias tape) or you can make your own using this great tutorial by No Big Dill.  I’ve noticed that chain fabric stores are starting to carry a small selection of patterned bias tape but they can still be hard to find.


This dress is the closest to the original pattern.  I used the hidden bias facing and kept the coordinating boarder at the bottom.  It’s made out of a green linen blend (meaning it can be washed and dried.)  I added the little pocket and buttons to keep it from looking bottom heavy.

Naturally the pocket is E’s favorite part :)

They’re such sweet little dresses, it’s going to be hard to wait until summer!

If you have any questions about the pattern, fabric, or trim just let me know.  I’ll do my best to answer them :)

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Wednesday!  ~ April

Semi- philosophical side-note that you may ignore if you wish: I hope that when I use words like “simple” and “quick”, you don’t get the idea that I mean “fast” and “sloppy”.  Even the simplest step deserves attention and thoughtfulness.  While cutting smooth lines may seem like kindergarten business, it’s actually very important.  Cutting and sewing straight lines are the foundations that everything else is built on.  If those are wrong, everything that comes after that will be too. Be conscience of how every step effects the project as a whole.  If you are taking the time to do something, do it well.  I think those are skills that translate well to many aspects of life.  Who knew sewing was so deep?

27 thoughts on “Show & Tell Wednesday

  1. Xbeautifully_broken_downX

    My mom made half of my dresses growing up; the hairbows too. Haha. I remember picking out iron on decals and ribbons to go on them. When I was in home ec, we had to sew a dress, an apron, and a few other things. I haven’t really done any sewing since then, but you are totally right about the cutting and getting the lines straight. When that happens, the garment just comes together. :)

    Reply
  2. MartinTreehouse

    That fabric is just totally awesome. I loved this post SO MUCH that I pinned it to my pinterest board for Emma… Oh yes, I’m definitely going to have to make some of these! HOW CUTE! I love simplistic stuff… right down my alley. 

    Reply
  3. kaylouann

    What I liked best about this was the photography creativity (like hanging them on the washline and on those hooks) and adding-extra-touches details, like the bias tape, pocket, and bird. Cute cute dresses!!!

    Reply
  4. lifeisadance

    Those dresses are just precious! I love the prints you use – that is one of the funnest (?!) things about your sewing projects, the great prints you find. :) I love slip-over dresses for girls in the summer, I’d love to make some of those. And no buttton holes or zippers? YES PLEASE!

    Can’t wait to meet you. :) )))))

    Reply
  5. fourkidsonemom

    So cute! My youngest daughter is not a dress wear-er, but my oldest is. I bet I could make some for my Anna for church. I love your posts – you have such a eye for detail. YOU make it look so simple – love that :)

    Reply
  6. Elizabethmarie_1

    Oh I LOVE your little dresses!
    You always have the best things to show…I love your Wednesday posts!

    p.s. Thank you for leaving me a comment…but I couldn’t read it because my post was messed up.

    Reply
  7. pettybunch

    I LOVE them!! Oh, for some sewing time!! My granddaughter loves dresses, but not “on my knees!”  Her dresses must go “down and down.”  I need to add length to any pattern for her!

    Question: the bird applique – what fabric is it? Do you have to fold the edges under to keep a clean edge, or is it a fabric that doesn’t fray?  I love touches like that.  It takes the design to a much higher level, even though it might be a simple addition.

    Reply
  8. celebration_of_life

    You’re posts still make me want to take up sewing…and I love dresses especially for summer. Kate loves wearing dresses and I struggle w/ matching up cute shirt/skirts combos…dresses are just easier:)

    Happy Day~

    Reply
  9. inanorchard

    @pettybunch - Just wanted you to know I wasn’t ignoring your questions about the little bird!  I was making some appliqued onesies today so I snapped some pictures and I’m planning on doing a little how-to post with pictures and instructions :)   This would be a great little dress for your granddaughter!

    Reply

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