Sunday 13 February 2022

First Birthday dress

 This has been a highly enjoyable project. My friend bought some fabric for me, and asked me to make a birthday dress for her beautiful little girl. I may have hinted quite strongly that I would like to do this.


The pattern I used was a conglomeration of the romper Lollipop (Australian Smocking and Embroidery 72) and the dress Serious Fun (Australian Smocking and Embroidery 87). I should probably say that it was a simplification of the two patterns as really, the fabric and the smocking do the talking here. Basically this is a sleeveless square yoke dress with a contrast back button band and hem ruffle. The mini piping at neckline, armscyes and bodice, and the neckline embroidery are my own addition.

The smocking design is a modification of the smocking and embroidery from the Lollipop pattern.

My friend has a terrific eye for colour, but is not experienced in buying fabric. Unfortunately she was sold some rather off grain printed cotton, which required a lot of starch to line up nicely through the pleating tool. I think it turned out quite well despite this wrestling, and the recepient seemed quite comfortable on the day by all reports (Alas, I was in isolation and could not attend the party to view the dress in action, but daughter-the-second took some photographs for me) My daughter cunningly managed to gain the photographs before the consumption of cake and before the water play in the rain and puddles. As I reassured the baby's parents, smocking is very robust and a smocked cotton dress has no trouble going through the washing machine, even if you forget to turn it inside out.


Underneath the dress, there is a pair of ruffly bloomers, made from the white cotton also used for the dress ruffle, but with the ruffles made from the yellow polkadot print, edged with white binding. I modified the overall pattern that I had  used for her previously:  Burda Style 02/2016/141 to make these)  Naturally one should not photograph a young lady's underpinnings in situ, (well, I forgot to photograph them before they were provided to the birthday girl), but I assure you that they look very sweet, and could possibly turn into shorts in their next wearing, which one could photograph with impunity. I will keep an eye out for photo opportunities. Both the dress and the rompers were made for size 1, but as you can see, the dress has a little room for growth, which is an advantage for baby clothes. The romper elastic at the waist had to be shortened by about 5 cm to fit.

technical drawing from

I love sewing little girl's clothes.


SewRuthie said...

Very sweet, glad you are getting to sew little girl clothes. She looks adorable!

Hen said...

It is beautiful with so nice details! Makes me want a yellow polka dot dress as well. But I don't think it would look that good on me as on the birthday girl...

Allison said...

Oh my goodness! What an exquisite birthday dress! Well, that is an exquisite little dress no matter which day it is worn. Your smocking looks so totally perfect and I love all the little details....the piping, the embroidery. I have followed your blog for a long time and your attention to detail and execution are always up to the highest standard. To top it all off, your friend's daughter looks adorable!

Lyndle said...

Gorgeous! I love your smocking. And I hope you are well after your isolation.

tpotty28 said...

The dres is fabulous worn by an adorable model. Such a lot of detail in a garment so small - the piping must be tiny.