A Christmas Dress for Quinn
One of the fun parts about having a little girl is being able to make her adorable dresses for special occasions. I knew I wanted to make Quinn a Christmas dress this year and dreamed of it being something cozy and classic.
Pattern: Geranium Dress with Building Block Dress Sleeves
Materials: 1 ⅓ yards mammoth flannel in Scarlet, ½ yard quilting cotton for bodice lining and pockets
Size Made: 18-24 months
Modifications: I added sleeves and in-seam pockets using the Building Blocks Dress book
I chose to make her holiday dress out of the most cozy fabric I could think of and it just happened to be the absolute perfect fit for the look I was going for, the mammoth flannel. It’s super soft and warm and the scarlet has a very classic look that screamed “Christmas” to me, so I went for it. It actually softens with a wash, if you can believe it and it was a dream to work with. I was slightly worried about working with a plaid because of the matching, but I used the Seamwork tutorial about matching plaids and it was easy-peasy.
I’ve made the Geranium dress a number of times and thought it’s shape would make a great holiday dress, but I wanted sleeves. I had recently sewn up a dress using Liesl Gibson’s new book, Building Blocks Dress book, so I decided to see if I could take the sleeves and in-seam pockets from the book and apply them to the Geranium I wanted to make. I used the long sleeve pattern from the book and made no alterations to the pieces.
I have sewn set-in sleeves and in-seam pockets before, so I wasn’t worried about that, but the Geranium bodice is lined and I wanted to figure out a way to line it with sleeves. I took to the internet and scanned Made by Rae’s website for a tutorial on adding sleeves. She had a helpful tutorial on adding sleeves to the Washi Dress, which is basically the adult version of the Geranium. I used the instruction from her tutorial to attach my sleeves and it worked like a charm. I added a gather along the top of the sleeve to help ease it into my arm opening so I could baste it in place. After I basted it, I layered my lining pieces over top and pinned it all generously. I first sewed the neck hole and back pieces, then moved on to each sleeve separately. I took a painstaking amount of care when sewing in the sleeves, went slower than usual and stopped often to adjust and make sure I didn’t get any weird gathers. It looks a little strange the way you have to roll the sleeves up into the bodice and I didn’t feel like seam ripping anything that day. It ended up being the most perfect fit (no seam ripping required!) and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. I finished my hem and sleeves with a bias tape binding, which is my go-to technique for finishing a hem. It always looks so polished and is quick and easy. This dress is exactly as I dreamed and she loves it too.
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