Little Girl Dresses Simplicity 5540

Hello friends,

I am still working away at the muslin for my princess seamed dress, but I wanted to show off these two dresses I made last month for my daughters. A while back I hunted and hunted through the pattern catalogues at Fabricana looking for anything that would suit Lucy. One of the patterns I found was Simplicity 5540. It's a keeper!

This fabric was found in the clearance section at Fabricana. It's cotton with a good bit of stretch, just perfect for dresses. It has metallic stripes around the textured stripe. I did all of the sewing on my vintage machine. It's a good little workhorse! And it makes such lovely buttonholes! But here, of course, I must confess to you my major rookie mistake: My sample buttonholes were made in four layers of dress fabric on the bias - with no layer of anything on the straight of grain. The actual button bands have a layer of straight-grain interfacing in the middle. This wasn't a problem with Clara's dress, but the thick square buttons we picked for Lucy's dress just wouldn't squeeze through the buttonholes. Curses! I couldn't find any solutions for making already cut buttonholes bigger, so I had to go out and purchase new, smaller buttons for Lucy. Now, when the girls wear their dresses at the same time and stand near each other the button discrepancy is quite noticeable. Oh well.


I am not terribly fond of the method used for attaching the button band and the bodice lining. The instructions have you use two different methods (one for the bodice, one for the skirt) which makes it very difficult to get the button bands to match exactly at the waist seam.

For the record, Lucy threw her dress on over her UV shirt and shorts.
I don't think she will normally  wear the dress with this particular shirt!

Speaking of bodice lining, I used a remnant of an organic cotton lawn/voile/whatever. I bought it because I loved the white on white print, but when I washed it, easily half of the print washed away! So disappointing. But it makes a lovely lining - soft and breathable. If I were to do it again, however, I would use either the same fabric as the outside or a matching fabric. The lining does show at the edges of the bodice.

Here are the backs of the dresses. Clara opted to not have ties as she finds them troubling when she needs to use the toilet. I think I actually prefer the dress without the ties, though Lucy's looks fine with a bow in the back.

Hooray for nice little dresses! I have a couple of quilting cottons that are slated to be made into these dresses as well.

And from the department of random... How crazy is it that my kids' Playmobil has a dressform, but I do not?


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Julia said…
The dresses turned out great. I like both of them very much. The difference in the size of the buttons isn't that noticable, really. I like the versions with the tie and without. Cute, cute, cute girls.
Karin said…
Very cute! I love coordinating dresses on sisters when they are little.
gwensews said…
Sweet! Both the dresses and the adorable little girls.
Thanks, everyone! They were fun to make (And relatively quick, too - I must be getting faster).
LOVE that tiny dress form. What a trip. The dresses are so cute--I like that they are coordinating but not matching.

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