Friday, April 19, 2013

pattern review friday: geranium dress

I have joined in the craze for the Geranium Dress pattern designed by the very talented Rae over at Made by Rae.  This is a great pattern for any sewing level from beginner to expert!  


I started by following the pattern exactly as written.  I have to admit this is very rare for me because I am one of those people who just kind of reads directions and tends to just wing it ... quite often with mixed results :)  But I really wanted to try this pattern as is to see if it's as good as everyone says it is.  And it really is!!!  Aside from one error on my part (made the v notch bigger than the pattern calls for) I followed the directions from beginning to end.  And I really love the result!  I made the dress (view A) in a size 18-24 months, which fits true to size (slightly big on my average size 18-month-old) and should fit throughout the summer.  I used a woven cotton print that I have had sitting around for several years since I originally bought five yards before I realized how long five yards of fabric lasts.  I have a feeling I will be using it still for a few years to come ;)

main fabric: Elsies's Kitchen by Anna Griffin for Windham Fabrics
lining fabric: Farm Fresh Farmhouse in Cream by Riley Blake

The "lipstick" is back!

Even with the infamous chapstick, this photo session didn't go as well as I hoped.  So some pictures are minus one little Mae!

The back closes with three metal buttons.  They happened to be the only set of three buttons in my stash that matched the dress, but I ended up really loving how they look! I believe they were purchased at Joann's once upon a time.  I also added a little patch detail made from cotton twill tape and embroidered with a little star and the word "Mama" of course :)


One of the most important things I look for in a pattern is the ability to modify it with ease so I can create several different looks.  For my first modification, I used what Rae already provided.  I made a top instead of a dress :)  I wanted to add some color blocking, so I added an inch to the length of the bodice (and removed an inch from the skirt portion) and adjusted the button placement for four buttons rather than three.  I also wanted the top open all the way down the back, so I added some width to both the back bodice and back skirt pieces to create a folded over button placket.  The final change was the notched v in the front.  I liked my mistake from the first dress version, so I recreated it on the top :)  I ended up loving this top as much as the original dress!

top and bottom fabric: Rainy Days and Mondays by Riley Blake - White Raindrop Stripe
middle fabric: Grey Shirting from Joann's
lining fabric: White Muslin from Joann's

Here's the only action shot I could get.  A nice day outside definitely won over mama with the camera :)


For my final (for now) version I made a few more changes.  I kept the top part of the bodice the same but extended the bottom of the bodice to create an aline silhouette.  This change eliminated the skirt portion altogether.  I also added a couple of inches to the width of the back bodice piece to create a double button placket, replicated the aline shape from the front, and rounded the bottoms of the back.  That description is not very good, but it's easy to see what I'm talking about in the following picture.  I lined the entire piece because I find it is much easier to line a curved shape than to hem it :)  I made this tunic in a size 2T so Mae can grow into it.  Unfortunately, I must not have prewashed the lining fabric, because when I washed the completed tunic, the lining shrank slightly.  If I iron it, the tunic looks fine, but I really HATE to iron, so we'll see how often Mae wears this :)

main fabric: Amy Butler Midwest Modern Optic Blossom Linen
lining fabric: Gold Broadcloth from Joann's


Overall, this is one of my favorite patterns.  I highly recommend it!

And because I can't help myself, here's one more picture of Mae ... I believe she was in very deep contemplation of her lipstick at this exact moment :) Just look at those lashes! 


  1. These look great! I love the split bodice with faux cap sleeves.

    1. That top was worn quite a bit this summer. It is one of my favorites!