Elma Family Finished Handmade Handmade for Elma Photography Sewing

Ma petite theriere {handmade for Elma}

13/05/2016

Having a pile of gorgeous fabric stacked up on my desk has proved irresistible. It’s been very pretty to look at on my working from home days but it’s been even more fun to dive in and start sewing. And even though I’m not in the market to fully participate in May is for Makers, mostly because I have half a hundredweight of indie designer patterns already that I really need to put to good use, I love the concept and it seemed the perfect nudge to get me started on my summer sewing, and to start with a pattern I’ve never made before.

So Citronille’s Susanne it was.

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

It’s a very simple pattern, just six pieces, but the construction is really clever and it all comes together to make a lightweight billowy dress that’s perfect for the hot weather we had last week before I’d finished making it and probably won’t see again until September.

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

Most of the children’s clothes I’ve made have been from Oliver + S patterns which have rather spoiled me both in terms of holding my hand step by step and in producing clothes with a beautiful finish inside and out. Citronille’s Susanne isn’t hard to make by any stretch of the imagination, but it does expect you to know how to put a dress together, and how to do a hem without too much help, and the internal finishing is left up to you.

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

 

I like things to look as tidy on the inside as the outside, and I want things to be able to withstand daily life as a dress for a three year old so I’ve tried to be as tidy as I can. On the sides of the yoke I wrapped the seam allowance around on itself and sewed it together, and on the side seams and the sleeves I used French seams, though I still haven’t quite figured out how to do French seams that go around a corner or involve a corner in some way – I sewed the French seam and then clipped the curve as if it were an ordinary seam which isn’t perfect but works ok – if you’ve got any top tips then let me know! And finally for the waist seam I made some bias binding out of the leftover fabric using the continuous bias binding method and used that to tuck away the gathers. I’d does add a little bulk, especially using double fold bias binding, but in Tana Lawn that’s barely noticeable, and I suspect it makes it much more comfortable to wear.

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

The fabric is from my stash of bought on sale Liberty print, it’s Tana Lawn, which makes it all sorts of heavenly soft and floaty and the pattern is Elevenses, which Liberty itself only seems to have in the equally pretty red.

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

And as for the small wearer? Well I know Elma always seems incredibly dainty and petite next to her siblings but she is actually also above average height for her age, just not off the charts tall. This is the age 4, cut exactly to the pattern and it’s a perfect fit. I did add in the optional elastic in the shoulders just to help it stay up, though I don’t think I’ll need to when I get to Kitty’s. In length it reaches to just above Elma’s knee; it reminds me of some of her Spanish dresses both in the cut and the length and it’s perfect for running around in the sunshine without tripping over yourself, which is exactly what this dress is for.

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

Space for the Butterflies - Susanne from Citronelle Patterns in Liberty Print Tana Lawn Elevenses

I finished it on Wednesday night and hung it on the curtain rail in the lounge and from the moment Elma got down in the morning she was jumping up trying to reach it and desperate to try it on.  I’m told she wore it all day to go for a walk on a new nature trail, to do some pond dipping and to have an ice cream- the height of praise indeed!

Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday, Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On and Make Do and Push for Funky Kid Friday

And if you would lend me a couple of minutes of your time (and you haven’t already voted), I am blown away over the moon happy to be a MADs Finalist for the Best Craft Blog category this year, and I would love your vote.  Anyone, anywhere is eligible to vote, just click on the banner below and look for Space for the Butterflies in the drop down menu for Best Craft Blog – thank you x

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  • Kim 13/05/2016 at 9:41 am

    It’s adorable, and she seems to love it 🙂

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:46 am

      Well it’s had to be forcibly removed twice for washing (ice cream related incidents!) and then went straight back on as soon as it was dry – thank goodness lawn dries fast!

  • The Gifted Gabber 13/05/2016 at 12:13 pm

    She looks so happy in her little teacup dress! Good job, Mama! #funkykidfriday — Amy @ http://thegiftedgabber.com

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:45 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Preeti 13/05/2016 at 6:26 pm

    She is a natural and a perfect model!!! Lovely dress too.

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:45 am

      She’s had a bit of practice as a model – that’s the deal – Mama makes whatever dress you want but you have to pose for photos!

  • Preeti 13/05/2016 at 7:45 pm

    That is such an adorable little dress for your cutie!!

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:44 am

      She does love it which makes it all worthwhile!

  • Mel J. 13/05/2016 at 8:54 pm

    I love seeing all of your wonderful creations! Thanks for sharing.

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:44 am

      You’re welcome, and thank you 🙂

  • Jenni @ Chilling With Lucas 13/05/2016 at 9:11 pm

    Beautiful dress, I wish I was a better sewer. Good luck in the MADs x #fkf

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:43 am

      It’s just cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again! And the advantage of children’s clothes is that they’re small, and you don’t have to fit to curves!!

  • Cheryl | TimeToCraft 13/05/2016 at 9:45 pm

    Just gorgeous and Elma looks beautiful wearing it. I like the seams tidy too. I use french seams, but no big tips about going round curves. Have seen bias binding used, but it does add bulk. Looking forward to seeing the next outfit ( and any tips ).

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:43 am

      It’s going to be a challenge for the next one – I’m thinking about trying french seems for the skirt and flat felled seams on the sleeves but it will still be tricky on such small sleeves – maybe french seams with clipped curves is the way to go though I suspect that’s not really how they do it for couture!

  • Maryse 14/05/2016 at 12:24 pm

    A beautiful dress for a very cute little girl!!

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:41 am

      Aww thank you very much 🙂

  • Mandycharlie 14/05/2016 at 1:43 pm

    So cute!

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:40 am

      Isn’t she just 🙂

  • Colleen 14/05/2016 at 2:27 pm

    what a sweet little model in the perfect dress ! good job !

    • Carie 15/05/2016 at 9:40 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Kathy 15/05/2016 at 11:04 pm

    These are lovely pictures! Your model is adorable and so is her outfit!

  • Marlyn 17/05/2016 at 3:49 pm

    Darling, the child and the dress. Good work.

  • Hannah | MakeDo&Push 19/05/2016 at 8:04 pm

    Wow! What a beautiful dress! I love how free and easy it is to move in! You are so clever 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to #FunkyKidFriday xxx

  • karen 26/05/2016 at 5:59 pm

    What a gorgeous dress. Ive been meaning to try dresses for my girls this year but haven’t had my sewing machine out for get. You’re inspiring me to give it another go though #funkykidfriday x

  • Sally 02/06/2016 at 2:59 pm

    What a gorgeous dress, I really do love that fabric!