Back Porch Dress: Kids Clothes Week


Back Porch Dress Sew Country ChickI haven’t been sewing for my girls lately and this week is Kids Clothes Week around blogland so I decided to finish a project that had been sitting in my unfinished pile before my little one grows out of it.Back Porch Dress Sew Country Chick

It’s a dress I designed inspired by the dresses I love worn by little girls so often in the old days: The pinafore. I’ve made two other versions as well; one from a vintage pattern and one from my own design based on a vintage pattern. You can see the other design I made on my sidebar to the right, and it’s made in blue chambray. This fabric here was really interesting to work with. It’s not chambray or denim but organic Tencel fabric, a biodegradable material made from cellulose. It has a wonderful drape so I made a circle skirt on the dress to show it off, and there is a subtle sheen to it, so it glows a little when twirling. It’s from Micheal Levine in downtown Los Angeles , but can be found also on their website here.Back Porch Dress Sew Country ChickThe dress has a circle skirt with an elastic waist and the bodice buttons up the back. It also has a square neckline and big ruffles sewn into the princess line. To make the pattern, I used a basic bodice block, drew lines up the center then cut apart and sewed in ruffles there. I added button plackets to the back and drafted a circle skirt. I didn’t want the skirt to have a zipper, so I made it with an elastic waist.

The design doesn’t really make that much sense because why bother with buttons if you are going to have an elastic waist? If I make it again I will make the buttons in front, and either have them going all the way down to be a shirt dress , or add a side zipper for the skirt. I prefer side zippers on dresses rather than plunked down in the center, Plus, unless you are an expert seamstress, center back zippers usually look very obvious on most dresses. Also , I might make the ruffles smaller. Enough critique on my poor little Back Porch Dress for now…Back Porch Dress Sew Country ChickBut here is the question: Will she wear it? Time will tell. She is very opinionated and particular about what she wears and at this stage in her life, she wants to wear t shirts and shorts, which I’m not too inspired to sew.  Maybe we should have a treaty about this. I guess we are a lot alike, me and her. There is a Gap outlet near us and it’s just too easy to buy her cute t-shirts and shorts there. And actually, it’s sometimes cheaper to just buy her clothes that she is so excited to pick out. I know about the third world labor problems and implications of buying mass produced fast fashion, it’s why I started sewing in the first place, but sometimes a mom is just too tired to sew everything. Nor should she feel she has to. But I do know sewing moms out there who are making adorable t-shirts, shorts, jeans, panties and basically everything their kids wear and I think that’s …. awesome!!

I can make excuses until Kingdom come about why I don’t feel like sewing kids clothes lately, but the truth is I’m really just into making my own clothes recently. But that could change tomorrow, next week, or maybe next year! Sewists can be fickle like that.Back Porch Dress Sew Country Chick

Thank you Kids Clothes week for giving me the motivation to finally finish this little dress!

Back Porch Dress Sew Country Chick

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  1. says

    We sewists are so fickle! I think it’s so cute, I love the pinafore style and the buttons are fun! My daughter is going through a phase where she only wants to wear dresses and skirts so I’m happy to oblige her requests. But you are right. We definitely don’t have to sew it all for them.

  2. says

    What a gorgeous dress, Justine!
    Back when I was a little girl I had one with the exact same model (the fabric was a white and navy striped cotton and it has red pipping on the frills) that my mother saved and is now worn by my daughters.

  3. says

    She is super cute in her dress. love the ruffles. I worked with tencel before and found it a bit… finicky and shifty. 🙂 Maybe it was the kind I had.

  4. says

    This dress is adorable! But I am with you. I can’t bring myself to make something that my kids won’t wear. So anything I make them I get them to weigh in on the materials and the pattern. I love seeing them in handmade, and I hate seeing their handmades drift to the bottom of their drawer! Right now, most of my time is spent sewing for myself also!


  1. Limited Offer Front Zipper Denim Dress

    […] tton and it has red pipping on the frills) that my mother saved and is now worn […]