Category Archives: Girl sewing

Doing a Lil’ Laundry

It’s all about the kiddos this week!

It’s the Daddy-Daughter dance at school tonight, and the girl requested a new dress for the occasion.  She was in my fabric room last week and pulled out a galaxy print jersey (that I got aaaages ago from Girl Charlee) as the perfect fabric for her dress.  And lo and behold, I had cut a dress for her out of that exact fabric about a year ago!

Creative Counselor: Lil Laundry Day Tee

It was fate.

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The last girls dress I’ll sew for the foreseeable future

I know that’s a rather dramatic statement, but justified I think.

This dress is made from the Desert Rose dress pattern by Caila Made.  I really like this pattern — it’s darling and it sews up really well.  But I’m not sewing for N until she gets a little older.

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A-Line A La Mode Dress

I was going to come up with a cutesy name for this post — something like “A-line a la Easter” since this was intended to be N’s Easter dress, but I realized that the name of the pattern already communicated the precise idea I was going for!  So why mess with a good thing?

Blank Slate Patterns A-line A La Mode dress sewn by Katie @

A-line A La Mode

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “a la mode” means “according to the prevailing style or fashion.”  My goal when I made this Blank Slate Patterns A-Line A La Mode Dress was to make a dress that could serve pretty much any purpose.  A super comfy and lightweight little A-line dress that’s great for summertime play but can be dressed up for church or dinner out.

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John and Val Get Married Part 2: The Flower Girl

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:

Sweetheart flower girl dress sewn by Katie @

She did not want to cooperate with pictures at this moment, so be prepare for a lot of goofy faces in this post.

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Pretty in Pink: The (Modified) Popover Sundress

This little sundress for N was the first garment I finished during the recent Summer 2014 Kids Clothes Week, and it was a huge hit!

Darling Oliver + S Popover Sundress modified for more fullness.  Sewn by Katie @

My first KCW make this summer. She wore it every day for the rest of the week.

This is a modified version of the Oliver + S free pattern, the Popover Sundress sewn up in Triflora Perfume voile from Anna Maria Horner’s Loulouthi line.  This light, floaty voile was absolutely perfect for this dress!

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I scream, you scream…

This is one of my favorite little girl patterns — the Ice Cream Dress by Oliver + S. I never blogged my earlier two Ice Cream Dresses, which I made for N for her first birthday and her one-year pictures. I finally had to retire those earlier this year (she wore them as dresses, then tunics, then tops), so I decided to make her another one.

Adorable Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress sewn by Katie @ Creative Counselor

Ice Cream Dress. Photo by Red Bicycle Photography

I love this style for her age. Even toddler clothes can be pretty mature-looking these days, and I love the girly innocence of this dress.

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The prettiest little flower girl you ever did see

Goodness, did the month of May run away from anyone else?  As soon as we got back from our trip to California, work got really busy, Me-Made May set it, and days started to disappear.  I managed to finish outfits for the first two weeks of Project Sewn, but missed week #3 (as usual) and it’s going to be hit or miss whether I finish anything for Monday.  We’ll see.

But, on to the matter at hand — a flower girl dress!

The main purpose of our California trip last month (other than to visit family — Albert hails originally from SoCal) was to see our good friend Leslie get married.  Leslie is a friend of many years, and it was amazing to her as blissfully happy as she is with Bob!  She is also N’s godmother, so both J and N got to be in the wedding.

Made by Rae Geranium dress turned into an adorable flower girl dress by the Creative Counselor

The wedding party. Yay, they’re married!

I made almost all of the clothes that both the kids wore, but today I’m talking about N’s flower girl dress.

Made by Rae Geranium dress turned into an adorable flower girl dress by the Creative Counselor

Isn’t she sweet?

For the dress, I used a TNT pattern, about the most versatile, customizable little girl dress pattern out there — the Made by Rae Geranium dress.  Seriously, you can do anything with this pattern.  Dress it up, dress it down, embellish it, whatever you need.  The pattern is so well drafted and the shape is so classic that it works for pretty much any occasion.

The wedding colors were gray and lavender with a theme of “burlap and lace.”  So I made the whole dress in gray silk dupioni from Michael Levine and did an overlay of lavender lace on the skirt.  For the sash, I used lavender silk dupioni, again from Michael Levine.  The bodice was lined with a basic gray lawn to keep it soft against her skin.

As you can see, I went sleeveless for this dress with the gathered skirt.  I like the cap sleeves in the pattern, but for the dressiness of this event, sleeveless seemed more appropriate.

But without a doubt, the best part of this dress has to be the buttons!  Rather than just raid my stash for whatever was available, I wanted something special for this dress.  I found these amazing Swarovski crystal buttons from Mood, and had to order 3 for the back of this dress.

Made by Rae Geranium dress turned into an adorable flower girl dress by the Creative Counselor

Can you see the buttons? They’re small here, but gorgeous!

$30 for three buttons is pretty rich, so I absolutely will be reclaiming them when she outgrows it!

N loves her dress!  She refers to it as her “wedding dress” and wore it when I took her to see the Kansas City Ballet perform Cinderella for her birthday.  Another indication of how great Geranium is — this dress was comfy enough that she wore it and ran around it in all day and was never too hot or uncomfortable.

Made by Rae Geranium dress turned into an adorable flower girl dress by the Creative Counselor

Little goofballs. She adores her big brother!

By the time you factor in fabric costs and the buttons (silk and crystal ain’t cheap), I doubt it was any less expensive to make her dress than it would have been to buy one.  But I also doubt that I could have found a RTW dress with the details I could add or one that so exactly matched the colors and theme of this wedding.

And that, my friends, is why we sew 🙂

$10 + 10 minutes = Summer Dress

Ever find yourself in that situation where you have a short amount of time and don’t want to spend much money, but still want or need to whip up a summer dress for the little one?

Well, a couple of weekends ago, I took J and N with me to the fabric store (yes, I take my kids to the fabric store — they love it!), and N asked me ever-so-sweetly for a new dress.

And the fabric she wanted for her dress?  The pre-shirred Disney princess and Tinkerbell** licensed fabric — of course.  As much as I dislike working with the Disney-licensed fabric (I’m a fabric snob, so sue me), I realized that the fact that it was pre-shirred meant that I could whip up a dress in nothing flat!

Creative Counselor: Have $10 and 10 minutes? You can make a dress!

$10 + 10 minutes = summer girl’s dress!

N is a small little thing, so I picked up 20 inches of each of the fabrics at $0.49 per inch (less than $10 for each fabric), dug some coordinating fold-over elastic out of my stash for straps, and whipped up a couple of summer dresses for her that evening.

Creative Counselor: Have $10 and 10 minutes? You can make a dress!


I am not kidding when I say that it took me 10 minutes (or less) to make each of these dresses!  Actually, it would have been much less than that if I hadn’t added the elastic straps.  Without those, it is seriously a single seam that I then serged to finish — it probably would have taken me 2 minutes to do that.  But including straps added some time, and they’re pretty much necessary for a kid N’s age.

Creative Counselor: Have $10 and 10 minutes? You can make a dress!

Princesses — must have princesses when you’re 3.

Yes, these are a total cheat project (the hardest part — shirring — is already done for you), with nothing interesting or challenging from a construction standpoint.  Still, N has worn these two dresses almost every day since I made them.  Not a bad use of $10 and 10 minutes!

**I don’t have photos of the TInkerbell dress because N was wearing the day I took project photos.  It is a hot pink pre-shirred fabric (her favorite color) with a Tinkerbell print along the bottom.  I had matching hot-pink FOE in my stash — perfect!

The Sally Dress

And another one!  She’s on a roll!

With Kids Clothes Week coming up and all (and me blatantly not sewing for my kids next week), I thought I’d at least try to get through some of my backlog of unblogged kids clothes.  You know, to help y’all out in your KCW planning — it’s all about you!  Today I present the Sally Dress(es):

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Disney Princesses Sally Dress

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Ballerina Sally Dress

Okay, I’m not going to beat around the bush — I la-la-love this pattern, and N does too!  Well, she may like the Disney Princess and ballerina fabric more than the pattern itself, but if she really thought about it, I’m pretty sure she’d agree with me.

I’ve sewn a lot of little girl dresses, and the Made by Rae Geranium Dress (blogged here) and Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (still unblogged after 2 years — say what??) are definitely high up on my list.  But for an everyday, run around, play-in-the-mud sort of dress, you really can’t beat the Sally Dress.

** Bullet-point pattern review at the end of this post **

There are a few aspects of this dress that make it, in my opinion, superior playwear:

  1. HUGE pockets.
  2. No closures
  3. Plenty of flounce in the skirt

N’s favorite aspect of this dress, without a doubt, is the pockets.  She can stuff her blankie/rag in one pocket along with a toy or two and then fill up the other one with whatever toys she feels she needs to cart around the house with her.  For a 2-year-old, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Pockets. Don’t be fooled, they’re huge and deep.

This dress is easy to construct.  There are no closures at all — it just pulls right over the head.  The straps have a funny little pointed shape at the top, which I’m pretty sure is what keeps the wide neckline from slipping off her shoulders.  You wouldn’t think that would be enough, but it works!  Never once have these dresses slipped off her shoulders.  And she wears them a lot.

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Gratuitous cute toddler shot. She loves these dresses.

The bodice is lined, which gives it a nice, clean finish on the outside.  I used Rae’s method for finishing the lined armholes, which is different from what Shannon recommends in the pattern.  Shannon’s method is probably fine too, but I was just having a hard time wrapping my brain around it, since Rae’s method was so ingrained in my head.

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Sally dress lined bodices.

If you haven’t guessed already, N picked out the fabrics for these dresses.  Both are quilting cottons from Hobby Lobby, and she LOVES them.  In fact, when we were at the store, she almost wouldn’t give me the bolts to have the clerk cut them, and then she proceeded to drape herself in the fabric as soon as we got in the car.  I made these back in the fall (again), and they have gotten heavy wear all winter.

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Lovin’ on her Sally Dresses

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

See my dress?!?

Well, not much more to say, really.  I like this pattern a lot.  N wears them a lot.  I plan to make several more for her this summer, now in the 3T size.  When I finally get to it.  My list is pretty long right now 🙂

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Sally Dress back view.

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress

Back view #2

Pattern: The Sally Dress by Very Shannon

Size: 2T

Fit: Great.  The fit of this dress is pretty much on par with RTW sizes, at least for my daughter.  The fit of this dress is perfect for an on-the-go toddler — flouncy and comfy and easy to move in.

Modifications: None.

Fabric: Cheesy licensed quilting cottons from Hobby Lobby.  N hand-picked them herself and she loves them.  I hate them but love that she loves to wear them!

Pattern Format: This is a PDF pattern but is one of the most user-friendly PDFs I have encountered.  This is aided by the fact that the skirt and pocket pieces are just big squares, so Shannon skipped including an actual pattern piece that you have to trim and tape and trace and cut out for those pieces.  Instead, the pattern includes a graded bodice piece (that fits on one page — AWESOME!), and then dimensions for the skirt and pocket pieces for each size.  With only one “pattern piece” to cut out that fits on a single page, I did not bother tracing and I just print and cut out whatever size I need.


  • Huge pockets — a must for an on-the-go toddler/preschooler.
  • Appropriately full and flouncy skirt.  There is plenty of fullness to make the skirt very twirlable.  Again, a must.
  • No closures, which makes for easy construction and even easier dressing.  I can’t be the only mom who hates chasing her two-year-old around trying to fasten the snaps or buttons on the back of a dress.
  • Great way to showcase a large-scale print (I’m thinking some re-released FFA this summer!).
  • If you’re into color-blocking and mixing prints, this dress makes it REALLY easy to do.  Shannon did a great mixed-print one here.


  • Shannon’s method for attaching the lining at the sleeves was confusing to me.  No biggie, though, I just used Rae’s method.
  • The silhouette might be a little juvenile for older girls.  The pattern goes up to size 8.  I obviously don’t have an 8-year-old, so you guys tell me — would an 8-year-old want to wear a dress like this?

Overall Grade: A+.  This is my go-to dress pattern for little girl playclothes.  Fast, easy to wear, and super comfy.

**And in case anyone’s wondering, I didn’t get jack squat for writing this review.  I purchased everything, including the pattern, all by my little lonesome.**

KCW Summer 2013 Day 1: Why I don’t sew for my daughter anymore

First, please forgive the crappy iPhone photos in this post.  It’s what I had to do if I was going to get this top photographed before August because…N won’t wear it!  Shocker, that one. And it goes directly to my post title!

Creative Counselor: KCW Summer 2013 Day 2

N’s purple gingham top … that she won’t wear.

This little Made by Petchy top/tunic is one that I cut back in March and never got around to sewing together.  It was the first item on my KCW to-finish list this time, and it does feel good to get it out of my WIP pile, even if it is just gathering dust in her closet now.

This top is a super quick and easy sew, which is why I love, love, love it for a baby/toddler girl.  The whole thing goes together in less than an hour and is cute to boot.

I made the same mods that I made to N’s first-day-of-school top last fall (she won’t wear that one anymore either).  Instead of binding the armholes separate from the straps and then running the straps through the front and back casing, I ran 5 inches of 1/4″ elastic through the front and back casings to gather them.  Then I extended the armhole binding into tie straps on each arm.  I just really prefer the look of this to the pattern instructions.

Creative Counselor: KCW Summer 2013 Day 2

Elastic and bias straps

The inside is really pretty too.  I flat-felled all the seams so there is not a single exposed seam allowance in the entire garment.  Confession: I love flat-felled seams — I’m becoming a flat-felling fiend!

Creative Counselor: KCW Summer 2013 Day 2

You wouldn’t even know this is the inside if I hadn’t told you, would you?

The longer I sew, the more I appreciate a pretty interior to a garment.  And this is such an easy pattern to finish nicely, either with flat-felled or French seams.

Creative Counselor: KCW Summer 2013 Day 2

Flat-felled seams. Yes, this is the inside — hard to tell, I know!

Well, not much more to say.  I think it’s darling.  N won’t wear it.  Instead, she opted for a plain purple tank top and white shorts today.  Someday I’m sure she’ll like having more unique clothing, but until then, I always like what I make!