The Geranium Dress Pattern by Made By Rae has a lined bodice, button closure, pleated skirt, patch pockets and ruffle sleeves. So, pretty much, it is the cutest thing ever.
Why has it taken me so long to sew this dress? I have been seeing everyone's beautiful versions on Instagram (especially those from my friend @abrekhus) for so long. And always commenting, "Oh, this is so beautiful!"
and, "I need to get this pattern"
and, "this is next on my list."
And somehow, it was never actually next on my list.
I even stocked it for sale in my shop before I sewed one myself.
And now that Annie fits in the biggest size, I finally made it happen. At least June will have lots of Geraniums in her future.
This pattern, friends, not only makes a beautiful dress, it also is so beautifully written and includes such clear pictures of what to do at each step, that it is so much fun and such a breeze to sew!
It also helps if you happen to be obsessed with the fabric you are using to make it. I sewed this first (but definitely not last) version from Nani Iro double gauze that I had for sale in my shop when I first cut it out, but that sold out before I could even start sewing. (Note to self, next time buy more Nani Iro. Always buy more Nani Iro. )
So let's get down to business, already, am I right?
When I first cut it out, I skipped the ruffle sleeves. I thought, oh, it's such a beautiful dress, in such a beautiful fabric, it doesn't need the ruffles. What was I thinking? If ruffle sleeves are an option, always make ruffle sleeves!
The pattern pieces were easy to prep and cut out, every one was so well labeled I didn't even need to look at the instructions while doing it. The swirl of the flutter sleeve was tricky for me. I felt like I needed to be left handed to do it well, like my hand did not turn the right direction. Until I had a genius breakthrough... I flipped the pattern piece over and cut from the backside. Worked like a charm! Good thing I am so smart. Haha!
Following the instruction, the bodice came together quickly, even with all of the beautiful, intricate details. I did skip the interfacing in the U cut out in the front and the button placket area in the back. I didn't have any, and after waiting so long to start this dress I just couldn't wait any more (literally, couldn't, I was making it for her to wear to a wedding, nothing like a self imposed, last minute deadline to really get me going). If you NEED to skip it, ok, but I honestly don't recommend it. The dress is still beautiful, but I feel like that U could be crisper, and I worry about the buttons and button holes holding up over time. But if you are just now buying the pattern, and some lovely fabric to go with it, just pick up some interfacing while you are at it. I just bought a bolt for the shop so you nice people will not have to make the same hard choices I did. I am even planning to put together some kits, they will have everything you need: pattern, fabric, matching buttons and just the right amount of interfacing.
Doesn't that just sound awesome? I am pretty excited about it.
The small pleats in the front are just right to give the skirt a bit of fun, soft drape and give your little one lots of wiggle room for running and playing.
Plus, they are gorgeous!
I decided that since I was sewing this for the shop, and for the blog, I would do everything I could the "right" way (except the interfacing situation, obviously). This pattern and this fabric deserve that much respect.
I hand stitched the bodice lining to the skirt so the stitches would not show through.
I hand stitched the hem for the same reason.
It may have been the first time I have done both of those things by hand since my mom taught me to sew when I was a teenager. It takes so long, I always tell myself. No one is looking at the hem anyway, I also say from time to time.
And both of those things are totally true.
It was also super lovely to take the time to do them slowly, by hand. I feel like I got to add just a bit more love into the dress. And it was such a peaceful way to end the day with a glass of wine (and helped distract me from being too scared while watching Criminal Minds).
Then the only thing left was the matter of buttons.
Annie painstakingly picked out the very best buttons the local shop had to offer. Three of them added up to about one million dollars, but ok, it is her special dress, and she sometimes has some strong feelings about the things I sew. Not always the nicest strong feelings. And I wanted her to be as excited about this dress as I was, so we brought them home.
I stuck them in the button hole foot to see how big to make them.
(and I would just like to say, that I think button hole feet are magic. I was so scared to sew one for the longest time, thinking it must be super complicated. Dumb! It was so easy! And so fun! Now I am all about the button hole!)
I made three perfectly placed, perfectly matching button holes.
And ta da! The dress was done!
Hahahahahaha. Yeah right.
The gorgeous buttons did not fit.
Friends, I have no idea how that happened, except that, well, there are these two small people, and they were both awake, and they were both "helping" while I did the buttons. Who thought that was a good idea?
And other than that, I don't know, but they were way too small.
Thank goodness for my mom's amazing tin of buttons. Why did I ever go to the store in the first place? I picked out about 5 options. I secretly assessed which ones would actually fit, then I let Annie choose from the 3 options left.
Luckily, the girl has great taste. These little blue buttons were just the thing.
And then, for reals this time, ta da! The dress was done! It is gorgeous and I am obsessed.
And all of this awesomeness motivated me to finally make that other amazing Made By Rae pattern I have been thinking about for years (literally, years)! Next up, my very first Washi Dress!