Feeling like a girl

IMG_2157I think I may have had this dress when I was in grade school. Or a version of it. I loved it then and I love it now! My mother made me so many pretty dresses — I hope I thanked her enough but I doubt I did.

There were corduroy jumpers like these, with print and checked blouses.

Kindergarten, 1965. Check out that mod print!
First grade. 1966. Um, am I back to the same hairstyle again?

And sweet print cotton frocks like this, with trim and buttons. By this time (second grade) I was sewing a little.

Clearly entering my dorky period. But I loved that peter pan collar!

Mom started my sister and me sewing by hand, making bean bags to match our dresses. We sewed circles of fabric together and filled them with rice (uncooked!). She thought beans would be too hard, and she was probably right. We would throw them to (OK sometimes at) each other in the back seat of the car and once in a while they’d hit her in the head. What a sport she was! But she taught us to sew, and it stuck, for me at least. Thank you Mom, for decades of fun and pleasure and pretty clothes!


Like this. It’s another pattern by the fabulous independent designer Pauline Alice. What I like most about it is the drop waist. I didn’t make any adjustment for height, so it hits me at the hip. The perfect floaty, don’t-touch-me-dress for summer. Definitely more grown up than the dresses from my childhood, but just as playful and fun to wear.


I love the pockets. What a fun idea, tucking them into the lightly gathered ‘waistline’ seam. Did I make a mistake or are they supposed to droop a little? I ironed the heck out of it and the gathers flattened and it still droops. Well, maybe it’s part of the look. It’s oversized on me – with eight inches of ease at the hip. Maybe if I fit it a bit closer that seam would stay more straight. But I love the casual comfortable feel and look.


This is a very close close up. It’s really not THAT bad. But it was going to bug me. I tried to fix it by picking the seam open between the pocket and the side seam and added gathering stitches to pull it tighter. No visible difference. Grrrr.


OK, maybe I need to stabilize the top of the pocket to keep it from falling forward. I didn’t want to add interfacing and risk more weight pulling on it so I understitched – which was tricky after it’s put together. Again, no real difference except it looks neater as it droops! Rats.


After all this puzzling, I think I see where I went wrong. Next time I will be sure to have some tension on the upper pocket portion (the skirt side) when sewing it onto the under pocket (the bodice side). Well I’m not going to pick at it any more and risk ruining it. So buttons it is! I found these clear glass ones in my jar. They hold the pockets in place nicely and you can hardly see them.


The fabric is a handkerchief weight linen. I had it in my stash from a Textile Fabrics sale a couple of years ago. It’s so light and still a little crisp. But pretty see through.


To avoid the whole slip thing, I lined it with a white china silk, using the top half of the pattern and then just flaring it rather than gathering up a skirt lining. Once I’d put it together and saw how little fullness there is, I realized I probably could’ve gathered the lining without adding too much fluffiness (which no one wants at the hip, exactly), but then again I did save a little fabric and a little money. Which is good. Right, Mom?




2 thoughts on “Feeling like a girl

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