Alice’s First Geranium Dress


For the first year and a half of Alice’s life I haven’t had any trouble finding sweet clothes to buy for her, but most toddler styles are far less appealing to me. I tend to like muted colors and I don’t generally like characters or glitter or tulle, which seem to be the prevailing characteristics of affordable toddler girl clothes.  Also, since Alice is no longer outgrowing things almost immediately, I feel more inspired to invest time in sewing more of her wardrobe. I’ve decided to try to sew the majority of her summer wardrobe this year, so this week I went about getting a head start on that goal.

I decided to try everyone’s favorite pattern, the Geranium dress. I’ve seen so many versions of this dress online and I’ve liked every single one, so while I held out a while thinking it looked so simple, I went ahead and bought it. I’m glad I did! I made the 18-24 month size which is generous for Alice, as I’m hoping to get lots of use out of it this summer and, if I’m lucky, as a tunic next summer.


I used Kaufman Double Gauze in “chambray dobby indigo” (found here) which turned out to be just wonderful stuff. It’s so soft and fluffy, and I love the rumpled look it has, especially since our Alice often has a rather rumpled look herself. I had never worked with double gauze before, but I found that it shifts about like linen and that unpicking seams is tricky (and I always end up needing to unpick a seam or two!). Because of this there are a few imperfect aspects to this dress, but I’m very happy with it anyway.

I chose the round neckline and flutter sleeves. At first I was skeptical of instructions to simply zig-zag over the sleeve edge…usually I don’t like raw looking edges. In the end, though, I really think it looks fun, given the casual look and feel of this fabric. I also love how the reverse pattern shows on the underside of the sleeves.


I found the Geranium pattern to be as great as the sewing blogosphere says it is. It’s the perfect little girl dress, and I already have another version of it waiting to be cut out this weekend. I like that the top is fully lined, particularly with fabric as prone to raveling as double gauze. I actually went ahead and did the skirt seams with french seams as well since the fabric was raveling as I was sewing with it and I didn’t trust my pinking shears to be sufficient. I used my favorite buttons from JoAnn’s, and then went and did the buttonholes on the wrong side…oh well.


On the whole, I love this dress, and Alice was happy to wear it, which bodes well. Mostly she was excited to be able to play with my doll, whom she adores. She’s pretty into trains and trucks these days too, but I can’t help but be glad that she seems to have inherited my love for dolls.


Happy Weekend, everybody! This is the start of Philip’s spring break, so I have several more little things to make for Alice in the coming days. Oh boy!!


8 thoughts on “Alice’s First Geranium Dress

  1. Lovely lovely dress and child. The fabric does look so soft and light, and Alice’s rosy complexion is a pretty contrast to the muted color. Why is it called the Geranium dress? I need to explore this online pattern thing.

    1. Thank you Joanna! I don’t know why it’s named that… I’ve just worked up the courage to start working with PDF patterns. I resisted because of the idea of printing and cutting and taping, but actually it’s not bad, particularly if you’re used to tracing off patterns anyway. Also, I like that I own the pattern in all sizes and can just print out a larger size when she needs it.

  2. It is sweet to see Alice with one of your dolls; they both look charming and lovely. Your sewing projects are inspiring to see. I miss and love all of you.

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