Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love Day Smock Dresses

Happy Valentine's Day! It's a warm, rainy, muddy holiday for us here and my house is drowning in candy and strawberry cake and a flurry of paper hearts. ;) 

For Valentine's Day this year we went with quick, simple, easy fitting dresses. Anne drew a design on paper that she liked (surplice bodice with short sleeves and a ruffle skirt) and I was lucky enough to find a pattern on the bargain rack for a very similar dress. Simplicity's New Look 6442 was exactly what we wanted!
New Look 6442

I used size 7 for Anne and size 4 for Rose, to allow them a little extra room so they can wear these dresses through the summer. The crossover style also allows a lot of size flexibility just by moving the position of the ties or buttons. I really love this pattern and will be using it frequently!

I had just 2 yards of the heart printed cotton so we made each dress a little differently, pairing the heart fabric with a length of vintage calico I have had in my stash since before I had children! The "Peter Pan" fabric in subdued shades of pink and green and robins egg blue went surprisingly well with the bold, bright colors of the new fabric. 

Anne chose her design off the pattern cover with a contrast ruffle and Rosie was very determined to have "poggets". ;) I made Rosie's dress with the Peter Pan fabric for her skirt and from the scraps leftover from the heart fabric sewed on two deep, roomy patch pockets. There was just enough left to make a matching heart skirt for her beloved Baby Margaret plushie. 

The dresses are meant to be sewn with a self fabric lining that finishes off the bodice. For these dresses I lined the bodices and sleeves with part of a cotton sheet, trimmed off the neckline and sleeve hem seam allowances and bound the edges with the calico. Next time I may try the plain bag lining. It would certainly be quicker. The skirts are sewn with french seams and are unlined. For cooler weather they can wear leggings beneath them for warmth. 

These would also be cute in shorter lengths for tunic style dresses. Such a versatile design! It was nice to sew from a real, modern pattern again and to have it work up so well. 


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