Thursday, April 7, 2016


Where sewing is involved, I tend to go through "stages". Unless there is a specific event or holiday in mind, my sewing revolves around my children. So practical, easy clothing pieces that withstand daily laundry, easy care, no ironing and fun colors just spell "knits" for me.

"Knits" is a general term we use to describe fabrics that are knitted (as opposed to woven) during manufacturing: jersey, interlock, mesh, stretch lace, etc. Most of my children's everyday clothes are made with Cotton/Lycra Jersey. Lycra (spandex) adds a little stretch to the garment to help it maintain shape and durability.

But for girls' "dressy dresses" - yes, that's what we call them - as opposed to regular dresses woven fabrics are my first choice. Yes, there are plenty dressier knit fabrics, stretch lace, rayon blends, but nothing beats a beautifully made woven dress.

I have made quite a few woven dresses for my girls, mostly using "The Big 4" patterns, but recently came across some fabulous, fun dress patterns by Independent Designers.

I have discovered Candy Castle Patterns (no affiliation) - so many fun dress patterns for girls!
Thing I like the most? You can combine bodice and sleeves from one pattern with a skirt from another pattern, creating your own version. I purchased the Peppermint Swilr Dress and The Candy Castle Princess dress and planning on making both next week.

While on the lookout for more woven girls' dress patterns to try, I was lucky to test the Infinite A-line Dress Pattern by Bonnie from from Whisk 'Em Pattern. This is my go-to woven dress pattern for now. Originally made the button back, empire waist 3/4 sleeve version with an added ruffle.
I used quilting cotton fabric for the body, KAM (plastic) snaps instead of buttons, shortened the sleeves to 3/4 and my daughter loves it!

Planning on a simple a-line dress with accent pockets next. Great way to use up my quilting cotton stash, since I haven't been quilting much lately.
One advantage PDF pattern designers have over "The Big 4" are the clear photos of each step in the pattern. I find that written instructions, doesn't matter how detailed are not enough for many self-taught beginners! You, know, "a picture is worth a thousand words".

And while, at this point in my sewing, I rarely use instructions, I truly appreciate a designer who puts in time and thought into making the pattern approachable to all.

Oh, and I almost forgot! If you need cotton wovens for your dress, MODA is giving away yardage daily on Craftsy until April 9th!

This dress definitely needs a matching knot headband!