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My main aim when starting to learn to sew was to make pretty clothes for my daughter. As she approaches 4 years old she is getting far more vocal about what she wants to wear. But one of her favourite things right now is twirly dresses featuring her most loved characters. At the moment she also loves all the Disney films, and Marie from ‘Aristocats’ is her absolute favourite. So I knew just what to make for her, a dress featuring Marie. I chose the Geranium dress from Made By Rae as the pattern.
The Geranium Dress From Made By Rae
The Geranium Dress pattern is marked as an intermediate pattern for a beginner. It has a whole selection of options that can make it look like a very different dress depending on what you choose. You can customise the dress by choosing a sleeveless, cap sleeve or flutter sleeve, a pleated or gathered skirt, and patch or in-seam pockets (from age 18-24 months). The pattern also gives finished garment measurements on the back, which I always find so useful.
The pattern comes in two size ranges, 0-5T and 6-12 years, and it comes in both a printed and PDF versions. I actually chose the 0-5 printed pattern, and traced off the sizes I needed. Suggested fabrics include cotton and cotton blends fabrics. The Marie fabric that I chose was from Frumble.
I cut the size 5 based on the finished garment sizes. And as my customised Geranium dress I chose view B, a simple cap sleeve with a pleated front and back. I also chose to add inseam pockets. Finally, I opted to keep a simple neckline rather than going for the notched look. .
The layout and cutting plan in the instructions for the dress are really easy to work out and see. For my dress there were only 3 pattern pieces creating 9 fabric dress pieces (which includes the lining for the bodice).
Sewing Up The Pattern
Firstly you prepare the bodice and lining. Then you create the skirt, which I pleated, but you could gather. Sew the bodice and skirt together and the dress is almost done!
You can add buttonholes and buttons to the bodice, but I actually chose to use Kam Snaps as an alternative. If you use buttons it advises you to interface the bodice sections, but I have actually found that this isn’t always necessary depending on the weight of the cotton used to make the dress. As I tend to use quite mid weight 100% cotton, this is often sturdy enough to dispense with the interfacing step. However, was I to make this dress in a thinner cotton poplin or lawn (such as Liberty lawn) then I would definitely consider interfacing the button placket.
As the bodice is lined, there is a fair bit of pressing to be done in-between stages, so this is worth remembering if you are using some of the cheaper polycottons to make this dress. I’ve made the mistake before of ironing poly cotton on too high a temperature and ruining a bodice! So be warned…
Sewing up the Geranium dress is also really quite easy. Not only are the instructions really good, but all my cut pattern pieces went together perfectly. It is a quick make for an experienced sewer. I really would have no hesitation in recommending the Geranium to a beginner sewer, even though it is marked ‘intermediate’. The version I made is easy, but there is still scope in the pattern to improve upon your skills by adding one of the various notched necklines or doing a flutter sleeve option.
The Finished Dress
I love this dress. It is a brilliant child’s dress pattern. It is very easy to make and also incredibly easy to wear. Actually, once made, the dress looked really big on the hanger. I was worried that it was going to be far too big for my little girl. I needn’t have worried though, once she tried it on I realised that it fits perfectly! My little one absolutely adores her new dress. She loves the way that it twirls. The fact that it features her favourite Marie. And what little girl doesn’t want lovely deep pockets in which to carry all her most precious items?
I certainly do plan to make many more dresses from this Geranium pattern, including one for my niece in her favourite character fabric. I have even gone so far as to buy the larger printed pattern range for when E gets a bit older.
The other wonderful thing to know is that there is a Geranium expansion pack available. This pack has more additions to the basic dress pattern shape. Thus producing so many more different variations on what is already an incredibly versatile dress.
Even though the pattern specifies cotton mix fabrics, I could even see this dress being made up in a wool blend or thicker fabric for winter, and even see it made up in grey as a school tunic. I am sure that it would look brilliant in a wool blend or cord over a long sleeved top and opaque tights for a winter outfit.
Fancy getting your hands on this pattern? Buy it here!
Just starting sewing and want to make a simple little girl’s skirt? Find my tutorial here.
Want a dress that is really good at using up remnants? See this post about A Little Girls Dress With Pockets.
And why not pin this post for later?