The Sally Dress: sewing for a little girl

Confession time!  I have never made a little girls dress.  I know, right?  Something that is such a staple for every little girl but yet in a house of boys I’ve never had the need.  That is, until now!

sally dress 1

When Jenny of Mend and Make New put out the idea for a Handmade Kids Clothes Swap recently I didn’t have to think twice before signing up!

Handmade Clothing Swap button

I LOVE participating in sewing swaps!  I had a great time in the Sew Delicious Sweet Pouch Swap earlier this year.  It’s so fun to “meet” new sewing friends and bloggers, make something for someone else and receive something new.  And plus… who doesn’t love getting presents in the mail??

Jenny did a great job allowing us to pick our preference of sewing for a girl or boy and a rough age bracket.  Perfect – sign me up for a girl please!!

I was partnered up with Bella from Nisabell-Necessary.  Bella makes some amazing clothes, like this awesome Pokemon Jacket, and has even won first prize at the Royal Easter Show for this beautiful dress. Eeeek!  Pressure!!

The first challenge was to choose what to sew.  I really wanted to use a pattern I already had seeing I have quite a few girls patterns that I’ve never used.  I picked up the Sally Dress pattern by Very Shannon in the Sew Fab Pattern bundle last year so *tick* first job done.

Next was fabric choice…  I really wanted to try and use something from my stash.  Bella mentioned her daughter would love anything purple so I went for some Joel Dewberry Sparrows that I’ve had for ages.  I absolutely LOVE this fabric and had enough to make the dress with some left over in case I want to use it for a small project another time.  *Tick* number two.

To make it a bit more girly, I decided to buy some lace trim to add to the bodice and one of the pockets.  Ummmm, novice girl-sewer here – I had no idea how to sew it on (or if it’s even called lace trim)!!  Turns two lines of straight stitching did the job just fine.

sally dress 2


sally dress pocket

Next challenge was the gathering.  I’ve done gathering a few times before but never around the full circumference of a skirt.  There was a LOT of thread floating around (the fabric was also fraying) and it took a fair amount of fiddling to try and get it even but I got there in the end.  Next time I think I’ll try it on my overlocker!

sally dress gathering

I was so proud when I successfully sewed the gathered skirt to the bodice and it looked perfect until…

sally dress sewn

Sh*t! Seam ripper to the rescue…

A few words on the pattern…I ADORE the look of this dress, simple and pretty.  I felt the instructions were a little bit wordy for my liking and had to read over them each a few times to get the gist of it.  I think this made it seem a bit more complicated than what it actually is.  I also thought the method for sewing the bodice could have been simplified by using this method that Rae (Made by Rae) uses for lining the yoke of her Ruby dress.

Despite this it was fairly easy to sew I was so pleased with how this gorgeous little dress turned out.

sally dress back

Hooray!!  Bella’s little girl loves her new dress!  Isn’t she just gorgeous??

sally dress 3

And now for pressies!!

I mentioned to Bella my little boy’s current obsession with the Octonauts so she took this on board and this is what we received…

octonaut pants

WINNER!!!   This boy hasn’t stopped sounding his Octonaut kneepads since they arrived!

octonaut pants 2

You can read more about the pants over on Bella’s blog.

Bella was also kind enough to include some spare Octonaut ribbon in the package so I can use it for a later project. Thanks again Bella.

And thanks to Jenny for hosting such a fabulous swap!!

Happy sewing!


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