Sewing: Floral Dress for Penelope


I was pricing out some fabric for a youth activity for church and I came across this floral fabric at JoAnn. It’s cute but perhaps a bit too much for something for me (I’m such a selfish sewer, I rarely think of projects for Penelope and Felix before projects for me). I had to buy it, though, the colors and drape were so nice. So a project for Penelope it was!


Penelope certainly has a shortage of church-appropriate dresses these days. She has been growing by leaps and bounds. The travails of growing up! I wanted to make a cozy transitional spring dress that could work on cold spring days. It’s about 10-20 degrees colder on the mountain where we live than down in the valley, so I’m trying to boost all of our wardrobes with light-weight long sleeves in preparation for spring.


With her recent spurt in mind, I made her a simple jersey dress that hits just below her calf. This should fit her for at least the next year. I hope!

I used one of her shirts to draft up the top, but I just estimated around the sleeves since I made just a batwing sleeve so I wouldn’t have to inset sleeves (I’m lazy, I know). I then attached the batwing top to a rectangular skirt (about 4x Penelope’s waist).

This fabric has a four-way stretch so to keep it from losing its shape, I reinforced the waist seam with narrow elastic. It’s all on the inside, so you don’t see it. It’s soft enough that Penelope doesn’t even notice it.

For the hem finishes, I just made bands at the neck, waist and bottom hem. It was easy enough and I had enough fabric left over to do that.


She’s pretty thrilled with her new outfit. Her reaction when I showed her the finished dress was just priceless. I really wish I had it on camera. I can’t help but feel so giddy to see her say, “Oh mommy!!! It’s for me?!? *gasp* It’s so beeeauteeful!”


The success of this project has really gotten me excited for Easter outfits. I have the perfect fabric in mind for all of us. I’ll have to upload sketches soon. Growing up we had a family tradition of new church outfits (matching, sewn by my mom) and I plan to try to keep that tradition as long as I can. Do you do that? What are your plans?

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    1. kelsey bang says:

      oh my! so adorable! and the print of the fabric to! so cute!

    2. Lynn says:

      How cute is this!

    3. kristin says:

      So funny – just this weekend I was thinking I sew TOO MUCH for my kids and need to be more selfish. Need you to rub off on me in that regard! But this dress for P is soooo cute and you can tell she loves it. :)

    4. Katie says:

      Love this! You’ve definitely done it again – whipped up something fantastic like it’s nothing. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my face. :)

    5. Tara says:

      This is really cute-I love the print, nice and bright!

    6. Amanda says:

      I’m the same way! Selfish sewer (that’s sew-er not stinky sewer) through and through. As for the dress? Love it!

    7. Heidi says:

      I’m trying not to gush here but, seriously, Penelope is darling. And that fabric! I am loving all the colors and her shoes are awesome.
      We always had new (store-bought) outfits for Easter. I remember wearing hats to church as a kid. We haven’t really started any Easter traditions of our own yet although my boys do need church clothes…

    8. Lindsay says:

      That dress is SO cute! My mom used to make my sister and I matching dresses for Easter and made my brothers matching vests. It was pretty cute. Unfortunately, I’m not great at sewing, so I think my mom will have to help me out if I want to do that with my own future kids. :)

    9. David Preston says:


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