Every little (or not so little) girl needs a unique special-occasion dress.
I’m not talking about the dress-up-party-make-it-with-six-pink-ruffles-and-sparkly kind of dress. I’m talking about the you-need-to-look-nice-but-not-like-you’re-trying-to-look-too-nice kind of dress. You know the dress I mean. It’s the one you wear for the school performance. The one you wear to grandma’s house for Easter Sunday dinner. The one you wear to this summer’s family reunion.
With a dress like this, the specialness needs to be in the little, and subtle, details. Short, sweet, slightly puffed sleeves with soft gathers at the cap create a unique silhouette that no one else will be wearing. Pintucks add a refined flair to a top or a bodice without making it seem overly fussy.
A button closure up the back provides an opportunity for you to add interesting visual details by choosing unique buttons.
Our signature hem facing, when completed in a contrast fabric, provides for a little surprise pop of color at the inside of the dress. And the rows of optional topstitching near the hem give the hem a little extra body while adding a fun detail to echo the pintucks.
The Family Reunion Dress is one of those dress patterns that can take on a wide variety of personalities depending on the fabric and embellishments you choose for the children you’re sewing for. The silhouette is clean and simple yet traditional and classic. For example, let’s say you make the dress in a solid-colored linen. Without any additional embellishment it can look minimalist and contemporary, relying exclusively on the structural elements of the pattern itself. But if you add a little contrast topstitching, some lace, or a little embroidery it will start to look like a classic heirloom that’s been handed down for generations. You’ll achieve an even wider variety of looks once you start thinking about prints and patterns. A small floral will look sweet and delicate.
A bold geometric print would give it a a more playful or casual feel.
The facing at the neck includes a unique construction method that we also used on the Class Picnic shorts. I don’t want to give away any surprises, but I’m almost certain that once you see how this is done you’ll use this technique over and over again in other sewing projects that involve outside facings. It’s really fun, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done this way before.
Choices, choices: you can make this pattern as a dress or a blouse, and you also have two options for embellishing the front, just below the neck band. The first is a simple little tab that highlights four tiny buttons of your choosing.
The second is a sweet little ruffle.
I imagine that you’ll think of additional ways to embellish this dress, too. I just finished making S a dress and added a little ribbon frill that I’ll show you soon. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.