A not-so-itty-bitty dress

I have wanted to make some clothes for the girls for a while now, but never seem to get around to it. Their winter pants are almost all handmade already (by my lovely sister-in-law). They also each have a few knit tops, sweaters, and skirts sewn by my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law. I love handmade clothing. They’re completely unique, they can pick out their own fabrics and colours, and there is just something really neat about seeing them wear clothes that were made especially for them. Plus, we get compliments all the time from people on their pants. And, they last! Meredith still wears the pants in the picture below, and that picture was taken almost two years ago.

Wool longies from Dragon's Treasure (my SIL)

Recently, while pulling out warmer clothes for the summer, I realized that we have very little for Meredith, and the hand-me-downs for Fiona are often stained and worn. I guess it’s a side effect of using natural detergents with no chemical whiteners in them. The sun works well on many stains, but I don’t think any of my kids’ clothes will ever be suitable for consignment or passing along! Also, many of them are torn or worn. I certainly like that they play hard in their clothes, but it doesn’t make them easily reusable.

A friend and I had briefly discussed making kid’s clothes recently, and after looking through a few online patterns I decided to give it a try myself. I started with a piece of scrap fabric from my stash, with the plan of just making up something quick to make sure it would fit, since I had to modify the pattern I found. Partway through, Meredith saw it and decided she was in love with the fabric. Luckily it fits pretty well. There are a few little mistakes, mostly due to me originally just wanting to get it done quickly to see if it would fit (as well as the fact I’ve never sewn a gathered skirt before), but she loves it so that’s most important. Overall, it was pretty easy. Keep in mind I haven’t sewn much in years, besides a few things for Fiona before she was born. Someone with more sewing experience could probably whip some of these up in no time. (It’s not sewn crooked, I just didn’t hang it on the hanger straight.)

Toddler itty-bitty dress

The pattern I used was the toddler version of thisĀ Itty-Bitty Dress. I made it longer, and slightly wider. If I make another, I will make the bodice longer, but otherwise I think it turned out really well! Except, it’s white. See above about stained clothes. At least white is really easy to sun out! (I asked her to stand still and smile, she chose to pretty much do anything but. Hopefully I can get another picture later.)

She doesn't stand still for pictures anymore :)

I would like to make a similar one with different fabric for Fiona, and there’s another sundress pattern I’d like to try as well. I’m also hoping to make them each a few pairs of pants, skirts, and some t-shirts. I might also buy a pack of t-shirts and try my hand at embroidery too. We’ll see how long my motivation lasts.

5 comments to A not-so-itty-bitty dress

  • I have the same dingy stained clothes with home made detergent problem. Can you sun clothes that are just dingy?

    Anyways cute dress. I have grand designs to sew more stuff, but I never really get around it. Also I find the first of something takes ages to make while you’re figuring out the pattern, but the next one goes significantly faster.

    • Lindsay

      You can sun them, but I find it works best on white clothing. For other colours they can end up looking really faded if they’re in the sun too much. For really dingy, if you spray lightly with a water and vinegar solution and then hang them out wet, it sometimes works really well. But it could just bleach them too. I think ideally, if I were to hang all their clothes to dry in the sun and take them down as soon as they were dry, that would likely work the best. But I haven’t gotten organized enough with a line yet.

      And thanks about the dress. I’m hoping that now I know what I’m doing if I do another it will go a lot faster. Her instructions say to “gather skirt” basically, which means nothing to me, so it took me a while to figure that part out.

  • It turned out really cute. I love the yellow trim, so summery!

  • Kathy

    How much fabric did you use? It didn’t say on the pattern sheet. I am hoping to make it for a 2T. Thank you. :)

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