13 In Articles

Summer Sewing

When I sew I think. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my hands; how they work, how my brain tells them what to do and they do it, and how thankful I am that I have them and that they function.
I’ve been using my hands a lot lately. When the weather changes I always get an urge to sew. It’s been very hot and I’ve been inspired to do some summer sewing for the girls. I went to Hancock’s earlier this week and browsed the patterns. I picked up Butterick 5019 and loved the “vintage” look of it. However, didn’t love their presentation of it, nor did I love the single ply dress with bias strips all around. Who wants to miter corners? Not me.
So with a few minor changes I came up with this:


My first attempt was in yellow {from Hancock’s and the check is from our local Smock Shop}. I didn’t love the very wide neck but knew it had to be big enough to get over a noggin without a placket of any kind… but still it was too big and kept slipping off her shoulders.


So today, I started over in purple, lined with a little yellow dot. {all from Hancock’s}


I cut down the neck considerably, with just enough room to slip it over her head. But still with no placket or buttons, the neck is still a little wide, but it doesn’t slip off like the yellow.


The back wraps around under the front and I used a piece of elastic to connect the “wrap around”.


And the back needs a little tab to hold the ties up, I omitted it at first but then realized they need to be held up when I watched her run around in it.


But once the ties are in a bow you can’t see the tab.


She loves it. I love the look but don’t love the construction. I give it a 7.5 out of 10.


Morgan’s is already cut out, pinned, and ready to sew. But next time I will…

  1. still line it {which is complicated as all get out and I don’t recommend the way I did it– there has to be an easier way}
  2. probably cut the neck down and add buttons on the shoulders– this would also make lining it extremely easier… you would have 2 finished pieces rather than one really long one {if you make it you’ll see what I’m talking about}
  3. still make Paige a 2 {she’ll be 3 in a couple weeks– it runs a little big} and still make Morgan a 5 {she’s only 4 1/2 but I like the length}
  4. still widen the straps

If you want to make something similar you could probably find a pattern for a lined, A-line jumper and add width to the front and back and add ties and the buttons/elastic to hold the back together under the front. In fact, I think the Frannie {or Frannie Baby} would be perfect because it has a placket and I would simply forego the elastic under the arms and finish the side seams rather than sew the front to the back. I would add the ties to the front and finish it the same way I finished the Butterick.

Some of you asked about Paige’s dress you saw here & here… I made it up using using part of that pesky Simplicity pattern that seems to be out of print. I probably should have checked on it’s availability before I sent you out looking for it! If I can come up with a good alternative for either of them I’ll let you know. The little halter dress only takes about 30 minutes start to finish and is perfect for 100 degree days!

Be back soon {hopefully tomorrow} with another garden recipe.

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  • Amanda
    June 18, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Precious – I can sew pillows! I like to spend my money on Etsy…ha! I really wanna learn to make Charlotte dresses but I am scared – too technical for me! I'll just mimic you every other way, can't wait for more of your recipes. I stayed up late tonite cutting and cleaning 14lbs of strawberries we picked Sunday – they are so yum!!! happy Friday!

  • The White House
    June 18, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Cute stuff, your kids would look great in a potato sack…

    How do you find the time?

  • Kasey Hunt
    June 18, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Way to go. I'm inspired to sew now. You do great work. You have beautiful models to show off your hard work. My Mom and Grandmother used to sew me dresses as well. I would like to learn and do the same for my daughter.

  • ~mott
    June 18, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I am expecting my first grandchild in February. I can't wait to see some for the little munchkin. Hoping it's a girl since I had 2 stinkin' boys! You are a pleasure to follow on your blog and a Godly inspiration to all young moms out there! God bless you, child!

  • ~mott
    June 18, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    My comment should have read "I can't wait to SEW some for the little munchkin"!

  • Jessica {lovely jubbly london}
    June 19, 2009 at 1:33 am

    I think it looks very cute! I bought my first sewing machine over the weekend (a Kenmore). Don't know if you know, but Jo-Ann is having a huge sale so I managed to get some patterns for $2 and some cheap fabric to practice on.

  • julie y.
    June 19, 2009 at 5:21 am

    How adorable!! Two "little miss fashionables walking around at your house". You are so talented. I love the fabrics too.

  • Laurel @ Ducks in a Row
    June 19, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I think she looks darling in it – perfect summer dress.

  • Ben
    June 19, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Hello. I am glad we got to see pics of those two cuties in their new getups! Precious! 🙂 Good job on trouble shooting. Off to the pool. peace out!
    can I say banana clip or teeth headband to make you smile this morning? :))))))

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    June 19, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Well, I am impressed either way. I am trying so hard to learn, but it's hard to afford the lessons. I did make a beautiful skirt for my craft table, with pleats and everything, but the lessons to do it cost more than my $8 table!! 😉

    You are so gifted. I'm a little bit (okay, a lot) jealous. 🙂

  • Diane
    June 19, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Those are sooo cute! Wish I had a little girl to sew for 🙁

  • truly blessed
    June 21, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Oh how I wish I could sew!!! With 5 girls it would be great, but all the sewing genes stopped with my mother. 🙁 Your work is so pretty. I love simple summer dresses for little girls. Well, actually for big girls too. 🙂

  • Julie Wolfe
    June 23, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I have this pattern! I've had it for a couple of years and it is sew!!! easy:) I did do the bias tape and found it very easy to attach. I was concerned since I had never done bias. For the neck, I just took it up a little by sewing a pleat on the underside. I like your double-ing of the fabric and use of elastic on the inside. maybe I'll do that so ellie can still wear it – as a shirt with shorts now! Look at my blog from july 4th 2007 to see it:)