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I’m back, with some Geraniums and some lessons learned

August 12, 2013

Hello! I’m back. We’re out of 3-year-old-broken-leg crisis mode now and settled into a temporary rhythm (soon to be broken by the looming start of school for the big kids and hopeful cast removal in 3 weeks for J). Note to any parent who finds out their 3 year old needs a spica cast: it definitely sucks at first but after a couple of weeks you’ll be amazed at how much less it sucks than it seems like it would. Our biggest challenge at the four week mark is keeping J from trying to walk, as he’s pretty convinced that he could if only his pesky parents would leave him alone.

But is this a spica cast blog? No, it is not. It’s a sewing blog, and as it happens, I’ve done some. Not a lot, but enough to get the two Geraniums I started during Kids Clothes Week done, and to start the Skater dress I cut out for M as well.

So here they are, in all their glory… My first Geranium dress(es). They’re almost identical, but for the buttons on the back. Both were sewn as gifts for new babies we know, and both were well received by the babies’ moms.


Boring details:

  • I chose the cap sleeve and pleated options;
  • the size is 0-3 months;
  • I added piping between the bodice and the skirt
  • I hand sewed the lining down as the piping prevented any easy way of stitching in the ditch.
  • I extended the buttons all the way down the back rather than just halfway.**

**Words fail me for how to clearly explain this, but as far as I can tell the instructions provide for no built in overlap for the button placket so when you pull the button holes over the buttons the skirt fabric goes wonky, especially right under the bottom button. I read and reread the instructions to see if I was missing something but I didn’t come up with any alternate way to read them. I worked around it by keeping the entire back open and extending the buttons all the way down the back, but might try doing a zipper the next time instead, or else overlapping the bodice backs by an inch or so when attaching the bodice to the skirt.

Otherwise, though, I loved the pattern. It’s written in a really informative and helpful style, and is really quite comprehensive – there are so many options but not in an overwhelming way (as my husband can attest, I get freaked out when faced with too many choices but I totally didn’t here). I just noticed that you get a discount if you buy the 0-5T version at the same time as the 6-12 year version… I wish I had as this is such a versatile pattern – basic enough to keep things simple, but with enough options that you can really class things up if you want.

Because really, we’re all about classing things up here. (Spellcheck just changed “classing” to “lassoing”. But hey, we’re all about lassoing too). Next up: another Skater Dress. To be continued…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2013 3:41 pm

    So sweet! And I was completely baffled by the buttonhole overlap too. After reading some other blogs and thinking about different options I just put the buttonholes in as described in the pattern. The weird overlap just kind of disappears in the pleats/gathers of the back (at least on the three I’ve made). I was pleasantly surprised!

  2. August 21, 2013 12:20 pm


    And believe it or not, a ton of thought went into the decision to leave the back so that the buttons created a bit of a “pleat” in the back center; I originally had a much more complicated fold-over placket built into the skirt, but because we wanted it to be beginner-friendly, I decided it was too fussy and that the pleats and gathers in the back would disguise some of the weirdness created by that issue. The other (and I think probably best) solution was to stagger the edge of the back center skirts with the back of the bodice, so that when the overlap occurred, the edges lined up perfectly. We found in testing that this usually ended up creating an open hole in the back of the dress, unless you could get it exactly perfect. I figured it was better to cover up than leave kids exposed. LOL.

    Anyway, you may want to try staggering the back centers a bit so that when it’s buttoned, they line up, or add a placket to the back seam if you possess the desire/skills.


    • August 27, 2013 7:34 am

      Rae – Thanks so much for taking the time to explain that! It makes total sense, and it’s nice that the dress is accessible to all different skill levels. I may mess around with the staggering thing next time, or else just stick with the buttons all the way down the back… Either way, great pattern. Thanks for the inspiration.

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