My older two kids, J and N, had the honor of being ring bearer and flower girl in John and Val’s wedding last month, and while J was able to wear his suit from the spring, I did make a new flower girl dress for N:
The pattern is the Sweetheart Dress from Very Shannon. The wedding colors were ivory, black and red, and Val’s instructions were to keep it simple with a basic ivory dress and black accents as I saw fit. I also sent her links to several different patterns and she chose the Sweetheart dress with the back cutout.
The dress overall is very simple — just a basic ivory satin bodice and gathered skirt. I did go a little nuts with piping though. I added black piping pretty much everywhere I could — neckline, armholes, waist and cut out.
I used duchesse satin for the main part of the dress and bought a yard of black duchesse satin to make the contrasting piping. I could have used the storebought stuff, but I wanted the piping to have the same sheen as the rest of the dress. It was surprisingly easy to do — I might make my own piping a lot more in the future!
From a construction standpoint, this dress is pretty straightforward. To be honest, I pretty much ignored the instructions and just did my own thing. I’m sure the instructions are great — Shannon is very thorough — but I use a different method to clean-finish a lined sleeve than she does, so I just do my own thing.
The only complaint that I had was that the bit above the heart in the back (where the button goes) was not as wide as I expected it to be from the pattern photos. Even with the piping, I tried to stay as close as possible to the recommended seam allowances, but I might have sewn them a little wider without realizing it. It still worked fine, but the button looks pretty large in comparison (not that I managed to get a picture of it, of course).
N loved her dress, and particularly loved that she got to wear it with a red tutu and sparkly black shoes!
Now before my bullet-point review, I’ll leave you with a few photos of the day!
Pattern: Sweetheart Dress from Very Shannon
Fabric: Duchesse satin from Michael Levine.
Modifications: I added piping to the neckline, armholes, back cut out and waist. Otherwise the pattern is as-drafted.
Fit: Good. This pattern fits pretty true to size. Normally I would have made a size up to give her some room to grow, but I wanted to be sure this fit right now, so I made the 3T. The bodice isn’t tight by any means, but I certainly wouldn’t want it any smaller on her.
Pattern Format: This pattern is available in PDF only. I actually like how Shannon does her kid PDF patterns — she makes the printing and taping really painless. Rather than having pattern pieces for the skirt, which are just squares, the only pattern pieces are the bodice pieces, and then she gives measurements for the skirt squares. Some people may prefer to have actual pattern pieces for these, but I’d rather avoid the taping.
- Fits true to size.
- Relatively easy construction results in a dress with an interesting finish.
- Good for special events but you don’t have to break your back to make it.
- Great, classic silhouette for little girls.
- The back cut out certainly limits the wearability of this dress in non-tropical climates. It’s definitely a summer dress around here.
- The heart placement is left up to the sewer’s discretion. When sewing late at night, sometimes that’s more decisions than I want to make.
- I don’t particularly care for her method of finishing the sleeves. So I just ignore it and do my own thing.
Overall Grade: B. This is a very good, well-done pattern. However, the basic silhouette is very, very similar to the now-ubiquitous Geranium Dress. The Geranium comes with additional views not included here, so if I wasn’t buying this for a special event, I probably would have just winged it with my Geranium pattern.