Here are three little dresses I made from the Geranium Dress pattern by Made-by-Rae. I have been working on these for a while, I cut out the first two for Kids Clothes Week and finished them not long after, and then finished the corduoroy version this week. It's a lovely, versatile pattern and very simple to sew. The trickiest bit has been getting photographs to post.
All three dresses are made from fabric that I originally bought thinking that I would make something for myself, but then changed my mind. I love prints and patterns, but in reality I wear quite subdued clothes, and when I do wear something in a print it's a dress, not separates. But anyway, my wardrobe's loss is Milla's gain - and I am lucky to have a little girl to sew for. The Geranium pattern has lots of different variations, and I think between the three dresses I've tried out all of them.
The Daisy Dress is made from fabric I bought in Tokyo in early 2005. I remember walking down to Marunan in Shibuya on a sunny spring morning after teaching an English class in Aoyama and picking up this fabric with plans to make an A-line skirt. I think it's a Kei fabric. Even though I never got around to making the skirt I've always loved the grey and melon coloured flowers so it has survived many fabric culls and destashes.
For this dress I made the version with the pleated skirt and the flutter sleeves. I did my own version of the sleeves though - I thought the raw edges on the pattern verson looked a bit unfinished, so I cut a shape similar to the one I used for this top, folded it in half lengthwise, gathered the raw edges and inserted it between the bodice material and lining over the top of the shoulder.
I only had 1m of the fabric, so it wasn't enough to cut the inseam pockets, but everything else squeezed in to the yardage fine. I cut a size 4 for Milla - she's not 3 til October, but she's tall and although she could layer this over a t-shirt and tights it's really a summer dress so I wanted to make sure it will fit her from October - March in the warm weather.
Next I made this version in some charcoal Washi fabric that I bought last summer, thinking - once again - that I'd make a skirt for me. Once I decided to do a Geranium dress in this fabric instead I decided I might as well make it a mini-Washi knock-off, so I did the scooped neck cut out and capped sleeves.
This is also a size 4, and because I had 1.25cm of the fabric I was able to include inseam pockets. The first time I made the dress (the daisy version) I found when I pleated the skirt that the back skirt pieces ended up too short for the bodice bodice pieces. I fixed it by adjusting the depth of a couple of the pleats, but on this mini-Washi version I just cut the back skirt panels 1cm wider at the centre back edge and that fixed it. The only other thing I did that was different to the pattern was to top stitch the line where the capped sleeves start (I found this by tracing the line where the sleeveless version would end from the pattern and then stitching), which is how the sleeve caps on the Oliver + S bubble dress are done. I love this one! The print looks really great with Milla's colouring, and I can't wait to see her wearing it with a pair of bright coloured sandals in summertime.
And, last but not least, this one is made in Liberty babycord from the Great Shaukat Haul of 2010. I visited the store in South Kensington when I was pregnant with Milla, and bought this piece as a remnant - it was about 60cm, although slightly irregular. Because I had less fabric to work with I cut out the sleeveless size 4 bodice, with the notched neck detail, but I only had enough fabric to make the size 2 gathered skirt.
This didn't matter too much though - the skirt is still nice and full, and I think having slightly less bulk in the gathers works well for the corduroy. To avoid losing too much length in the hem I used bias tape, which meant I only folded over about 5mm of the cordoroy, and it sits nicely too - I find that sometimes a double folded corduroy hem gets quite stiff and bulky.
It has a patch pocket for carrying treasures in. I added a line of teal Mokuba piping (from Tessuti) in the waist seam and it has vintage teal buttons. Milla is wearing this one now as a winter dress over t-shirts and leggings, and it looks so soft and comfortable.
These will definitely not be the last Geranium dresses I make - it's such a good pattern for showing off pretty fabric, and is very sweet and easy to wear too. And, as always, it feels really good to get fabric that has been sitting around sewn up, out of the sewing room and in to a wardrobe.