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If you’ve been reading the blog, you’ll know that my 2014 Christmas sewing was delayed due to injury. *Sigh* One—or, more properly, two—of the projects that got way off schedule were tiny dresses for my tiny nieces, who just turned 2. I’d never made baby garb—I mean clothes—before, and I can tell you one thing with confidence: THEY ARE FUN. Seriously, serious fun. Everything is wee! So everything is *fast.* And you can go bonkers playing. Which I did.

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These dresses are the super-adorable Sally Dress from Very Shannon, which comes in every children’s size possible. That was one of the things that appealed to me about it; the other was that with very little wrangling, this silhouette could easily be made to look more period-correct for the 16th century. Win!

The dress is designed for light-medium weight wovens; I used corduroy from my stash, which is just a bit heavy for the project. Some of the aspects of the pattern benefited from a little modification (frex, the pockets are designed to be sewn into the side seams and hem; my cord meant this design feature was kind of bulky, but I made it work).

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I sewed Tavie’s rust elephant frock first. I loved the two fabrics together but thought that the pockets looked a little bit lonely in all that orange—so I decided to bind the bodice! (You will know that I bind things willy-nilly whenever the opportunity presents itself. Wee bodice? Perfect!) With the bodice bound and lined, it seemed silly to have raw edges inside the skirt, so I did my first Hong Kong finish on the seams (did I mention the thing I have for binding?).  The gathered skirt also wasn’t a great option for this fabric, so I went with pleats instead.

Now’s a good time to point out how very customizable this simple little dress pattern is!

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Literally minutes after finishing the hem on Tavie’s dress, I completely mangled my left hand with a can opener (the can, to be precise), and could not get back to little Irene’s little dress for ages and ages (wails and sobs). And then I made my mom’s cape, and then FINALLY…

Irene Owl Dress canon 1

OWLS! Irene and Tavie are fraternal twins, but even if they were identical, they wouldn’t be identical, so I wanted their dresses to be the-same-but-different, too. The applique and feather stitch detail took the place of the binding, and the rounded patch pockets (and flat-fell side seams) were to skirt (ahem) the problems with the bulky fabric/pocket issues I had with Tavie’s dress. And the feather-stitched hem? I ran out of green thread! (The loden green corduroy is really hard to photograph; the picture above is the most accurate.)

Irene Owl Pockets

Irene Owl Dress armscye applique liningIrene Owl Dress back

So much cuteness and fun in such tiny projects!

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