With all the warm weather we've been having lately I decided a gorgeous little summer dress for my little girl would be a nice sewing project and the perfect garment to use some of the beautiful Sisu collection fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics, I've been wanting to use since it arrived.
The dress pattern I chose to make is the Geranium Girls Dress by Made by Rae. This is a sweet dress pattern we currently have available in store in size 0-5 years. I used this in conjunction with the Paper Plane Hopes fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics which is also available in store.
What I used:
Geranium Girls Dress by Made By Rae - Size New Born to 5 years (Effie is wearing size 4)
Paper Plane Hopes by Art Gallery Fabrics - 1.5m
Canary Yellow by Art Gallery Fabrics - 0.5m
3x 15mm cover buttons
White Linen by Art Gallery Fabrics - 5x5cm square
Aurora Red by Art Gallery Fabrics - 5x5cm square
Fresh Water by Art Gallery Fabrics - 5x5cm square
Gutermann All purpose 100% polyester thread - Col: 417
0.25cm of light weight 'iron on' interfacing
The Dress Pattern
The Geranium dress pattern can be made into a tunic top or dress. The skirt can either be gathered or pleated. You also have the choice of flutter sleeves, cap sleeves or a sleeveless version. The neckline can be straight, notched or with a cutout. There's options for buttons or snaps. As well as, optional patch pockets or sideseam pockets (18-24 months+). Making it a very versitile pattern.
For my garment I decided to make a dress with a pleated skirt and side seam pockets. I also chose to make the dress sleeveless and with a straight neckline as I didn't want the beautiful fabric to be overshadowed by the extra details. I used large cover buttons to make more of a feature at the back of the dress.
As for the fabric choices you have with the Geranium dress, well, woven cotton or cotton blend fabrics, means you have a huge range to choose from.
The fabric I chose is called Paper Plane Hopes by Art Gallery Fabrics. This is a medium weight 100% premium cotton fabric giving the dress shape and structure but also light enough to wear on warm summer days. The design features white, light blue and red paper planes floating around on a primary yellow background. It's a lovely fabric for either a girl or boy.
For the dress lining, I chose Canary Yellow by Art Gallery Fabrics, a solid available in 100% cotton, making it breathable in this warm weather.
I debated for a while about the type of closure to use, however, upon realising how well the White Linen, Aurora Red and Fresh Water fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics match the colours of the little paper planes on the main fabric, I knew I had to use the cover buttons for the closure.
The Geranium girls dress is a very nice pattern to work with and comes with well illustrated easy to follow instructions. The dress took me about 4-5 hours from tracing out the pattern pieces to finishing the hem. This would probably have gone quicker if I hadn't missed a bodice seam, only noticing once i was pinning the skirt to the top and if I hadn't resulted to shouting at my sewing machine for getting jammed everytime I tried to do a button hole only to realising after the 6th attempt that the top thread had come off the thread up-take lever. However, these were personal issues and shouldn't be used against the pattern.
The pattern describes itself as for intermediate level sewers which I think would apply more if you wanted to do some of the other features such as the flutter sleeves or perhaps notched/cutout necklines, that I chose not to do for this dress. However, if you were to do the straight neckline and make the dress sleeveless than I think this could be done by an advanced beginner. That being the case this pattern could be used by an advanced beginner if they wanted to make a girls dress and then to challange themselves and develop new skills when they feel comfortable with the simpler pattern.
The sizing for the dress seems pretty true to life, Effie is currently 3 years and 6 months old so I made the size 4 to ensure she had plenty of time to wear the dress. I increased the hem to reduce the length so that it would fit for now but would give me the opportunity to reduce the hem, increasing the length, next year when she's grown. The bodice also has a little room for growth as well.
As for the fabric, I think the Paper Plane Hopes by Art Gallery Fabrics works really well with the Geranium dress pattern. As it's 100% cotton it's great for childrens clothes and I love the design. The colours are great and I love the fact Art Gallery Fabrics Pure elements solids collection matches so well with their other collections, enabling me to create the matching buttons which i'm really chuffed with.
Some alternate fabrics you could try for something a bit different.
Part of the Sisu Collection by Art Gallery Fabrics
Part of the Meadow Safari collection by Louise at Paper and cloth for Dashwood Studio.
Part of the front Yard Collection by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel