Thursday, January 5, 2012

Updates and Notes on the Little Grey Dress

Wow, a whole month has gone by already. We’ve been busy and sick over here!! We all caught a nasty flu virus that just.would.not.let.go!!!! Add one ear infection and one case of pneumonia and it’s been a very unproductive month in my sewing world!

Thank you so much for all of the comments on my last post, the Little Grey Dress. My girls have just loved wearing them, they are really warm and comfortable. (and yes, to those who asked, this is one of my two daughters. She thinks she is a model.)


There were a few questions that some of you had left, so I thought I would try to answer them in this post.

What size is it? My girls are 3 and a half years old, but very tall for their age, so most of the Big 4 patterns I make them are size 4, and if I buy RTW I’m buying 5T or even girls size 4/5 or XS. So based on that I would put these dresses at a size 5T, if comparing to RTW. This is just an approximation, as we know sizes can vary so widely.

Can I make it in a woven fabric? When I drafted this pattern, I had in mind an very easy, pull over dress that did not include any closures (zippers, buttons, etc.). So it is designed to be made with a stretch fabric, like fleece. While you could choose another type of fabric other than fleece, it would still need to be something with stretch, so that it can fit over a head. That being said, you could certainly alter the pattern to include a center back seam and a closure to make it work with a woven. I have not done it with this pattern so I have no other specific advice on how to execute this, so if you have your heart set on a woven, go for it! Experiment away, if you make a change that works out well, make sure to come back here and share with everyone too!

How are the raw edges finished on the sleeveless version? All I did is turned them under, about 1/2” and hand stitched in place. I hand stitched (yuck) because I didn’t want visible topstitching right there. I thought I might compete with the pleats.

How can I make it in a different size? Most who asked this had smaller little ones in mind, I believe one person was in need of a larger size. Let me just say, size grading is not my specialty!!! I am not at all experienced in grading for different sizes, at least not from scratch! If it were me though, I would probably just take this pattern and compare it with a similar type of pattern that I had in the correct size (in this case, a simple jumper pattern would be a good starting place) and I would adjust the pattern as needed to match the design of the desired garment. Does that make sense? I sure hope so. I would love to eventually learn how to grade patterns into all sizes and have a little pattern shop, but right now I have neither the time nor experience to do it.

Did you make the headbands too? Yes, I did. I’ve been trying to make an effort to make some sort of matching hair accessory for each dress I make for the girls. I find it so much easier to do something quickly with their hair if I have a specific hair piece to go with an outfit. DSC_8818-Edit

These are headbands, made with plain old 1/4” elastic. I used a combination of fabric/felt flower tutorials to make them.

The grey rose I made using this picture I found on Pinterest a while back.


It really is that easy, I’ve made roses a bunch of times now just by looking at this picture. I do adjust the size of my starting square of felt/fabric based on how big of a final flower I want. I used the same fleece that the dresses were made of to make the grey rose on this headband.

The black flower I made using this tutorial by Jess over at Craftiness Is Not Optional. I used a piece of craft felt that was 11” long by 1.5” wide and followed the steps in the tutorial.

The third flower is made of a sheer fabric with silver glitter/sparkles on it. It was an old wrap of mine from a wedding I was in about 10 years ago. It’s now in the “hair stuff” bin, to be cut up and used for little projects like this! It’s just a strip, about 2” wide and 12” or so long that I ran a running stitch down one of the long sides and gathered  to form the flower. Add one pretty button in the middle and call it done!

I also threw in a piece of black tulle just for kicks, it’s just a little rectangle, maybe 5”x6”, folded in half and bunched up.

All of this is attached to the elastic band with a oval shaped piece of felt. The next time I make headbands, I’ll be sure to take photos of the whole process so that it’s a little clearer!


So what’s next? Well, I have another girls dress design in the works, but the collar has been giving me fits!! I’ve even had dreams about the collar on this dress. It’s driving me crazy because it’s really a simple little dress so it shouldn’t be giving me this much trouble, but I think I’ve finally thought up a solution. More on that later!

I’ve made up my second Oliver + S pattern, the Sunday Brunch Jacket and Skirt. It turned out so cute!! I still need to make the second jacket and then I’ll take some photos. I also ended up changing the construction on the skirt so I’ll be sharing my tips on that too.

And I’ve got a few items in the works for myself. I was sure hoping to have some of them done this week, but this week has flown by! Maybe next week.

And as a final note, I stopped into my local JoAnn’s this afternoon to pick up one thing and saw that everything in the store had been changed over to spring! The florals and pastels all over were calling my name. I guess it’s time to get started on Spring wardrobe planning!


  1. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Such an adorable dress - and model:) (I agree with your daughter and think she's a model too:). Thanks for sharing your tips - I want to try this one ASAP!! Looking forward to seeing you next design:)

  3. Your kids are the most adorable little kids - I also have twin girls - they just turned 7. You're so talented.

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