The Dear Prudence dress

You wouldn't tell by these photos that this sweet, adorable, totally heart melting threenager just spent her day... whining, and crying, and screaming... For no reason.  Really. I can't take anymore of it... Today. Tomorrow will be another day. And hopefully a little less whining, a little less loud crying and she will learn other ways of expressing and dealing with her frustrations. (Keep dreaming, right? :) ) 

She is usually in such a good mood. Always happy, always smiling, always singing. But lately although she is still in her usual self she is becoming a whiner... I am really hoping this is just a phase... I guess she could be missing pre-school, her sweet teacher and her friends? And all the daily routine? School is closed and won't be open until mid September so... Young lady, I really hope you get a grip and just learn to relax and enjoy your 84 days of Summer holidays... Because this mom here needs to relax and enjoy her Summer time with the three of you 24/7. :) 

One thing she is enjoying tremendously these days is all the sewing I am doing for her. Every single thing I make makes her eyes sparkle and gets her in a good mood for hours. :) So, you know to whom I will be doing all.the.sewing this Summer! :) 

This dress was no exception and she was in love with it the first second she saw it. I have to say she must have a refined taste for sure because the fabric is not something a little girl would have picked if given the choice, right? :) Oh yeah, I almost never give my kids the chance to pick their fabrics... And when I do it is from a pre-selection... You can send me my worst-mom-ever award now, go on... :)

When Suzanne (of sewpony blog and sewpony vintage patterns) invited me for the Dear Prudence dress pattern tour I was really happy because I had seen the dress already and I was captured by its originality. I love that Suzanne's tag line for her patterns is "Vintage style, Modern patterns", as it really suits them. There is always a hint of vintage in one or two details but she is has the ability of blending them in an overall more modern look.

I had already made other patterns from Sewpony - the Sunday Picnic dress (blogged here) and the Little Betty top (not blogged yet... you wouldn't believe the amount of things that I sew that don't make it to the blog just because I am too lazy to edit some photos and write a blog post...) - so I knew ahead that I wouldn't be disappointed with this one. And I didn't. I love it! 

Pattern: the Dear Prudence dress, pattern by Sewpony Vintage.

A color block cotton with just a bit of stretch. I know I could have (hand) made a patchwork color block but I am not that amazing. :) Why would I had the trouble to make it when I had one meter of this gorgeous pastel color blocked print, right? :) 
The recommended fabrics for this pattern are: quilting cotton, chambray, cotton shirting, cotton lawn, double gauze and liberty.

This patterns offers three different views - sleeveless, cap sleeves and 3/4 sleeves - and features a beautiful collar with a retro feel. It also has a shirred front bodice, an elasticized back waist and some piping framed angled pockets.

I have opted for a cap sleeves version (because I am a sucker for cap sleeves) and because I haven't seen yet a Dear Prudence without the collar I decided I should go for it for the sake of sewing science. :) Sewing is all about experimenting to me, remember? 
So instead of making the collar I decided to apply piping to the neckline and to the edge of the cap sleeves, to match the piping on the pockets.

This pattern is available in a size range of 12 months-10 years and is rated as a level 3 (put of 5) - confident beginner - because of the piping (applied in the angled pockets) and the shirring (in the front bodice).

Speaking of shirring. I had tried to shirr for the first time a few years ago and it didn't go well.. Truth is, I haven't tried it ever since. I have read lots of info about it though since then (and yes, I rather read then watching videos on youtube, don't ask me why...) so I was confident to try it again. I would have never guessed though that in a matter of a few days I would have to use this technique twice! 
Last week I had to use shirring on a top that I was testing and then this week I had to use it on this dress! What are the odds? I guess it was a way of the universe pushing me to re-try this technique and overcome my past failed experience. And I did! Both times I got it right at first attempt. Yay! 

The bodice is lined and assembled by the "burrito" method, which always makes me feel like a magician when pulling the dress out of that shoulder tunnel. :) 

Suzanne is kindly offering a 15% off discount during this tour (from July 6th to 17th) on her pattern shop, with code PRUDENCE15.

Here is the line up for this pattern tour. Make sure to go check a few other versions to see the collar if you didn't already. 

Happy sewing!


  1. I love it Sara! What fabulous fabric too! I was wondering how it would look without the collar- thanks for experimenting and for sewing up my pattern!!

  2. Take a collar away, use some funky fabric, and, for the sake of sewing science of course, you have a cool new look 😊 sounds like your gorgeous threenager will be appearing on the blog a lot this summer 😉

  3. Very nice, it indeed looks different without the collar, nice to see more inspirations!

  4. This dress is so beautiful!! i love the fabric and pattern! such a beautiful shape. :)

  5. Ohhhh this is so cool!! That fabric is FABULOUS!!! And now I want to make a collarless version toooooo ;-)

  6. Really awesome! That fabric! I first thought you did the parchwork, because, Well you truly are this amazing :)

  7. AnonymousJuly 11, 2015

    Looks great. Really like the fabric. You are fast becoming the Shirring Queen. Long live the elastic!

  8. This dress is amazing! I am in awe!

  9. The fabric is gorgeous! The dress is beautiful, as all your sewing! Would you stop being so awesome all the time! Kidding, please continue, so we can admire. :) Tell me about whiny three year olds, I have an almost three year old, and she becomes a crying mess over every little thing. I know how you feel!


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