When I decided to make a Christmas dress for Lily to wear to her music concert at school, I let her help me choose the dress pattern. She chose a Helen Lee for McCall’s vintage pattern from 1963. She likes dresses that have a classic look for special occasions. The Peter Pan collar she was on the fence about but now she likes it. Now that she is 11, she is very specific about what she will and won’t wear and she doesn’t like a lot of the things that are marketed to her age group.
After spending the day looking at lots of synthetic ill fitting dresses at the mall, I decided that yes, I simple must make her a dress. I have a problem with a lot of the cheapo fabrics that are available for girls dresses and I didn’t want to pay a fortune for something of a higher quality. So I made one, of course!There are lots of adorable dresses for younger girls but not much in the size 10 and up range. it’s sort of a no man’s land for dresses, the pre teen age group. And nice patterns aren’t that easy to find either.
That’s why we love vintage patterns. They have so many lovely details, like the piped Peter Pan collar, self belt, and piped cuffs. I love that they have darts to flatter a young girls figure and the buttons up the back are so classic. I’m not a fan of the hook and loop back neck closures that a lot of modern patterns have. It’s a fine technique if you are just getting started making dresses but if we don’t challenge ourselves to make more sophisticated designs, we won’t ever improve as sewists, will we? Buttonholes and zippers aren’t really hard to make with a little practice. OK. lecture over!
I love this exaggerated Peter Pan collar with a high roll. It doesn’t lie flat because it’s drafted to stand up a little more.I used some red linen I got from the theater where I work sometimes. It was donated and then given to me along with lots of other lovely fabrics. The white cotton fabric I bought in Paris a few years ago and I love the small striped texture and weight of it for making collars.
We had some beautiful weather yesterday in the garden. I love California on days like this. Windy, warm, and balmy. Our giant oak tree is in the background. It’s been here since the Spanish days maybe.The cuff should be turned up and it has a curve but you can’t se it here because she didn’t turn it up. It can be seen on the pattern envelope.