This little cherub just turned 3!
So naturally I made her a dress. And unlike the polka-dot tinny dress (which she says is too big – but I think I’ll reintroduce that in about 6 months time) and the smocked princess dress (which she absolutely hates for reasons unknown) that I made her earlier this year, this dress she loves. She is so much harder to please than her older brother and sister.
I used an Ottobre pattern for this dress. Recently, Ottobre did a reprint of issue 3 from 2011. I scooped it up straight away, it has so many really practical and useful patterns in it, as well as this vintage-sailor-style dress.
The dress has a square neckline, short sleeves, pleated skirt, button tabs on the bodice, ribbon trim on the sleeves and skirt, and an invisible zipper closure.
I followed the directions in the magazine for the entire way with this dress. It is a lovely, straightforward design.
The dress is actually a very pale yellow. Yellow is Veronica’s favourite colour. The fabric is from the very first cot sheet set that I ever bought, a soft voile.
The trim is a vintage german embroidered ribbon that I have been hoarding for about 2 years now. When I purchased it, I bought the entire roll, it was really cheap and I think its really pretty, with flowers in pink and yellow.
The first step for this dress (after cutting out, that is), is to apply the ribbon trim to the sleeves, this means that the raw edge is completely enclosed and hidden behind the ribbon, giving a nice clean finish, inside and out.
I did stitch an extra row along the very edge to give a crisp finish.
After the sleeves, the skirt is pleated and then attached. Veronica doesn’t like things that are too “voluminous”, which is why I chose this dress pattern – the pleats keep the fullness of the skirt in place without the bulk of gathers.
I used an invisible zipper that I already had, its actually a peach-y kind of colour, but it blends in okay. I’m still madly in love with my invisible zipper foot.
This dress is not lined, I did contemplate mocking up a lining for the bodice because the fabric is thin, but in the end I opted to leave it as designed, with a shaped neck facing.
It didn’t quite match up at the back, but you can’t see that when its worn, and it still give a nice neat finish.
The front bodice features two tabs. The pattern had directions to stitch button holes into them and attach shank buttons to the dress through the button holes, thereby attaching the tabs, but I used these heart shaped buttons instead, so I just hand stitched them on through the tabs, holding them in place.
It was hard to get the tabs to look like they are the same shape, because they are small and sewn inside out before turning and topstitching.
I also stitched close to the neck edge, to give the same finish as the sleeves. With a crisper fabric this probably wouldn’t be necessary – it would stay crips with a good steam-iron, but this fabric is too soft, and I’m sure that it wouldn’t hold the neat edge for long, and might even stretch out of shape if it gets tugged by little hands.
I did a tiny hem on the skirt and stitched a band of the ribbon around as well.
The matching shorts
I did make some shorts for Veronica to wear underneath this dress, I used another Ottobre pattern for this – number 9 from issue 3 of 2015.
I made the shorts out of the same yellow cot-sheet and trimmed them with the same ribbon trim that I used for the dress.
This girl is quite active, so I feel that something is needed underneath the dress, for modesty.
The fit is spot-on. I made it up in a size 98. The shorts are in a size 90, because that’s all they go up to. There are several other dresses in that particular issue of Ottobre that use the same bodice pattern, so I think I’ll be making some variations on this one for summer.
Veronica put the dress through its paces on the first day she wore it, it survived many adventures in our backyard…
Veronica rarely stays still…
There was also some tree-climbing (hence the particular need for shorts)…
And even some bouncy-castle action…
I really liked the vintage style of this dress, but especially that it was simple to make and practial to wear. I think it will be a favourite.
Thanks for reading!