The Ansley dress

My heart is full this week... This little one is the sweetest girl in the world! (oh, I know I always say this when I blog something I made for her... :) ) She is missing pre-school for over a week now because of the chickenpox (if you read my last post you already know that). And I feel terrible because I feel sorry for her but at the same time I feel so happy to be able to have a shadow all day long again. :) Sending her to pre-school was a tough choice (emotionally speaking) but we knew she would love it! (She was sad and missing her brother and sister...)
Lucky for her, she is getting a lot of mama sewing time this last week. And I am getting a lot of cuddling with this girl. :)

Today I am sharing a wollen dress I made for her. I was going to use a poplin or a cotton lawn for this dress but I just couldn't. It is already snowing in the mountains so down here it is getting very cold these days... And this way she can layer it for some added warmth.

The Ansley top and dress, pattern by Blaverry. 

Fabric and notions
Wool blend.
Black bias tape and two vintage buttons.

This pattern offers countless options! You can make a top/tunic or a dress, with a regular skirt or in a hi-low style. You can choose from four different sleeve styles - short sleeves, gatherered sleeves, flutter sleeves, 1/4 sleeves with or without cuffs -, and three collar options - no collar, round collar or pointy collar. It also offers three hem options (regular, bias binding and ruffled). See what I mean?
I made a size 4T according to measurements and it is a bit roomy but I don't mind since it will last all Fall/Winter season this way.
I opted for skirt option B (high-low style) with flutter sleeves (option D) and no collar (option A). I had to take a bit of length off the back skirt (that is, reduce the hi-low look) because it was a bit long for her height. I have also add a bias tape bow to the neckline to add some interest there. I think next time I will take some of the width from the flutter sleeves - I think they are a bit too wide for her shoulder width. She loves her new dress and that is what matters the most.

I have found Blaverry's patterns a few months ago on Etsy while I was looking for something else. I immediately fell in love with the design and aesthetic of these patterns... I am used to see the pattern covers with mommy photos and outfits made out of colorful prints of quilting cotton (nothing wrong with that) but these pattern covers look like a higher end fashion brand catalogue. At the time I bought a few patterns but I have to say I never had the chance to use them since then... So, I was really excited to be a part of this tour since I would have a deadline to actually make something out of a Blaverry pattern. :)

Some of the construction methods are not what I am used to (like the button placket construction) but Christie has a college degree for fashion design so she knows what she is doing. She aims to teach home sewists techniques that follow the same construction as commercial style clothing so people can create clothing that doesn’t have that “homemade” feel to it. Personally I would do some things differently - I would add a lining to the yoke to hide the seams and I would add interfacing on the button placket. I would say this pattern is good for an advanced beginner since some of the steps have minimal instructions - more like what we see in printed patterns. The overall is positive and I enjoyed making this pattern.

The size range of this pattern is amazing - 9 months to 14 years! (Suitable for tweens!)
It offers the layers printing option so you can choose to print only the size you need. And there is a comprehensive printing guide that allows you to print only the pages you need for the options you choose to make. (I really appreciate this!!)
You can get your copy of this pattern and any other from Blaverry with a reduced price during the tour. Use coupon code "ILOVEBLAVERY10" at checkout for a 10% off on all cart.

Make sure to have a look on the other versions made for this tour - you will se how versatile this pattern is!

November 6th

November 7th
Frenchie - SewOutOfControl - Made by Sara - Daisy Chain Creations

Little girls dressed like... little girls.

You may have noticed the bread on her hands and... on her mouth. :) This poor kid has been inside walls for a week on a mommy imposed quarantine due to the chickenpox (you may have read about it in this post). So now that she is finally (almost) done with that I took her to the city park so she could run freely and feed the ducks. Of course she had to keep some bread to herself. :)

Afterwards I took her to the grocery store and while I was paying for my grocery this lady behind me (in her late sixties or early seventies) approached me and said "I have to congratulate you for dressing your daughter like a little girl! Most girls nowadays are dressed with tees and jeans or leggings or dressed like grown ups... I love that dress!" I didn't know what to say really... Most of the times I dress my girls in the most practical outfits - tunics and leggings... :) And sometimes I overdress them - maybe because we live in a very fashion-forward-trend-follower european country and I love to buy at Zara... :) I whispered to her "I made it!" and watch her and the cashier's suprised faces at a glance while I turned my back and ran away... She yelled a "Oh, that is marvellous!" And that was it.

The truth is this lady got me thinking... 

I have read on the webs before people saying things like this - that little girls should dress like little girls, what usually means wearing dresses and lots of ruffles. Well, lots of ruffles are not my cup. I like it but only in a good measure (and that means just a little ruffle here and there). And both of my girls certainly don't wear dresses everyday... But the fact is... and this is surprising even for myself... now that I think about it I do like to see little girls dressed like... little girls. They look adorable! And now that I really think about it, I make dresses and tops with a small ruffle now and then... (like this dress, this top or this blouse). So that must mean that deep down inside I really like this girly style. :)

And that made me think if I wasn't being incoherent... I came to the conclusion that what I like to see on little girls is somehow different from what I make them wear everyday to school which is also different from what I love to sew. Let me explain it. 
I like to see my girls dressed like little girls - dresses and ruffles (in a good measure). And most Sundays that's how they dress.
But their everyday style is more practical then that - flowy blouses, tunics and leggings - because I want them to run and play freely and comfortably. This leads me to the question: Can a little girl play comfortably on a dress? I don't know about you, but I do think so... to a certain degree. In my opinion it is not the same as running and jumping with a top and leggings. (Unless it's a knit dress maybe, like those that Mie does and that I love.)
But in fact the outfits I sew fot them usually have a trendy look (mostly because of the fabrics I use, which are not printed quilting cotton), like this dress.

So... What about you? How do you like to see little girls dressed? Do you actually dress your kids accordingly? Or are you like me and prioritize comfort? And does that match your sewing style? I would love to know... (Really!)


  1. First off. this dress is just beautiful. The fabric makes it timeless. Second, I love over the top-meaning when I make things for my girls I will go all out. I have only done a few really frilly things, but I love the classic silhouettes and I absolutely adore dresses on them. I would put them in pretty dresses and skirts everyday if I weren't worried about them ruining them. So some days they wear leggings and shorts and other days they wear their pretty dresses. I do agree that kids should be allowed to be kids as long as possible.

  2. Que vestido amoroso Sara. Também adoro ver crianças vestidas de crianças, mas não se acontece com todas, a minha já só quer roupa para parecer crescida. Se ela soubesse como isto é aqui em cima ,-) Vê-se bem que ela está feliz por poder sair de casa :-) As melhoras <3

  3. Sara, this dress is simply beautiful. It has such a classic charm! I'm with you in dressing girls like girls. My daughter loves to wear dresses and skirts, and with a pair of leggings underneath, she can play just as easily! That's why I love knits so much - easy movement but no frills or huge gathers needed ;)

  4. Sara, mais um vestido lindo! Tenho tanta pena que o meu R seja alérgico à lã... Isso é sempre uma questão para mim, conforto versus um look mais feminino. Embora, como tu, com conta peso e medida goste de folhos, laços e vestidos a maioria das vezes a minha filhota veste coisas como calças (ganga ou leggins) túnicas e sweatshirts, coisas com as quais ela pode esticar, dar cambalhotas, correr e afins... mas ninguém garante que eu esteja certa, possivelmente ela até conseguia fazer isso de vestido mas eu acho sempre que não. ;-)

  5. Thank you so much for your kind and entertaining blog about my Ansley Pattern. You did an amazing job with the options. (I'm so glad to see the flutter sleeves finally, lol) It's very classic which is my personal taste.

    As far as dressing my little girl, I have to say that I am die hard stylish and have my dd (and sons for that matter) dressed to perfection every day. They have grown up with me always like that so in turn they are very much into fashion too. I don't skimp on their clothes but I allow them to be kids. I want their clothes to suit their personalities.

    I never get upset with them if something happens to their clothes due to them being kids. HOWEVER, I have to say that all 3 of my kids are super mature for their ages and aren't the standard all out, tons of energy kids. They don't climb or play in the dirt so their clothes survive without much harm. Maybe if they were more rambunctious I would dress them differently, lol. Also, I'm a fanatic with laundry. I've been known to spend 2 weeks working a stain out. (I'm just weird like that, lol) So if a stain happens it's just a challenge for me to tackle.

    So, I guess I like to see my kids in very stylish and quality clothing that suits their personalities. That's my take on dressing kids.

  6. The dress is gorgeous! I like to see little girls dressed as little girls, but I think everybody has a different definition of what that means. :) My five year old prefers wearing pants and leggings. She will ocassionaly choose to wear a dress but nothing that has too much fabirc, no twirly dresses for her. My two year old loves anything that's very very girly and princess-y. :) She likes to wear dresses every day. Not sue if she would stay that way. :)

  7. Ficou tão querida :-) O vestido é lindo!
    Relativamente as questões, eu gosto de vestir as minhas "girly style". Elas não se queixam dos vestidos (a F só não quer é mostrar a roupa interior!), mas se sei que é para andar a mais a vontade, opto por calções com uma túnica mais "girly" ou macacos com o tal folhinho ;-)

  8. That is a beautiful dress - there is just something lovely about wool dresses :-) And thanks for the compliment. I did not expect to show up in this post :-) I love when my kids wear cool fabrics and colors.....I think that is more important to me than whether it is pants/leggings or dresses.....but mostly do I prefer clean lines in the design and then crazy in the colors :-)

  9. I love this dress and your fabric choise. I have three girls and they all love dresses. I have taken care of them at home so they can freely choose what ever they want from their closets - and they mostly choose dresses and skirts. In wintertime they also wear dresses and skirts inside and when we go out and play they change trousers/leggings under the outer wear. This autumn our older girl started school and we have had to change her wardrobe more practical (trousers, tunics, shirts), it's been quite "hard" for me, but here in Finland we have four seasons and spring- and autumn time she goes to school by bike - so she needs more practical clothes now. Fortunately I've got those two little girs that still can wear dresses everyday :) I actually like all kind of dresses I could say, classic, romantic, nostalgic, modern, I also like many colours and different kind of fabrics, classic with flowers, dots, stripes but also those modern ones :) I just love sewing dresses and trying different styles!

  10. É uma pena que já não se vistam as meninas tanto como se fossem meninas. No entanto, recordo-me muito de vestir este tipo de vestidos mais aos fins de semana, ou aos domingos, quando era dia de "sair"...

    Acho que para mim faz sentido vestir as meninas como meninas, mas depois há todo o dilema do conforto...

  11. Como sempre, adoro a tua versão - ficou super giro e acho que combina tão bem com ela (parece uma boneca, no bom sentido é claro!).
    Eu gosto imenso de vestir a minha filha com vestidos e felizmente ela também adora. Sempre gostei de ver as crianças vestidas "à criança" em oposição à moda de serem "mini-adultos" - não é que não goste (há tanta coisa por onde escolher, que é quase impossível não encontrar nada de que não se goste), mas é porque sei que este tempo passa mesmo muito depressa :)
    Quanto aos folhos, laços e afins, tento seguir a regra do "keep it simple" - nunca em demasia e nada que a impeça de correr/brincar com a roupa (aliás, ela pode usar toda a roupa para a escola - não coloco limites para além do bom senso, claro! Vestir um sobretudo de verão não me parece boa ideia).
    E olha que ela não pára sossegada um minuto e mesmo de saias/vestidos sobe às arvores, anda de bicicleta e salta com os irmãos :)

  12. o vestido é lindíssimo. mmm, eu fazia vestidos com fartura para a minha até perceber q não eram práticos e q ela até gosta mais da calças, leggings, etc...

  13. Sara, this fabric is wonderful and the dress is gorgeous!! I'll have to check out this pattern company. And I love to sew whatever Miette will wear. She loves skirts lately so I love making those. Dresses are fun as well and she wears then quite often. I let her wear skirts even on hikes so I try to make them comfortable and practical but still cute!


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