A Little Geranium for a Big Day

Believe it or not, it’s time for Lulu’s very first day of preschool.  This kid has been dying to go to school for about as long as she could walk — and finally, her moment has arrived.  Needless to say, she must have something awesome to wear on this momentous day!


As you’ve probably guessed, the pattern is the famed Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. I’ve sewn this dress more than any other pattern, and I’m sure I’m not done with it yet. This time, I chose the cut-out neckline option and the flutter sleeves.

The thing I love most about these sleeves is that all you do to finish them is to zig zag the raw edges, which gives them a very laid back, rustic look.

20140827_123940I found this Riley Blake Sidewalks cotton at Pink Castle Fabrics during a trip to Ann Arbor last winter, and I’ve been saving it for this very day.  It seems a no brainer for the first day of school, right?


CRISIS ALERT:  When I was cutting the fabric for the back skirt, I forgot that I needed to match the pattern at the back center seam.  (Ummm– this isn’t the first time I’m done that.  Will I learn, ever??)  Because the size of the pattern repeat is so large in this print, I didn’t have enough fabric to cut again to match the pattern.  So . . . I had to get creative.

If you haven’t sewn up a Geranium before, the pattern instructions call for cutting the back skirt in two pieces, sewing up the back center seam and leaving the top three inches unsewn to accommodate the buttons in the back bodice.  Since I mucked up the cutting and didn’t want to have an unmatched seam in the back of the skirt of such an important dress — I decided to try cutting the back skirt in one piece with a slit cut at the top to accommodate the buttons, and to add a small facing to finish the slit.  Believe it or not, it worked pretty well!  Yay!  Here’s how I did it . . .

First, I cut the back skirt piece on the fold, rather than in two pieces — just like the front skirt piece.  (Luckily, I had just enough fabric left for it!)

Then, I cut a narrow rectangular facing piece from the bodice lining fabric and serged 3 of the edges.  I found the center of the back skirt piece and pinned the facing piece over where I wanted to add the slit, right sides together.  I marked the facing with a dot 4″ from the top of the back skirt piece — the same placement as the dot on the pattern piece.


Then, I cut the slit down to the dot I marked on the facing.


Next, I sewed around the slit as close to the edges as I could.  In retrospect, I realize that it would have been easier to sew around the slit before cutting it.  I’ll do that next time.


Then, I turned the facing to the back of the skirt piece and pressed like crazy.

20140816_150714As you can see, the facing bunched up at the bottom of the slit.  I went back, picked out the stitches around the bottom of the slit, and restitched — making sure that I had only one stitch across the bottom, which I backstitched a couple of times to keep it secure.  That helped the facing to lie flatter.

Then, after pressing well, I top stitched around the slit.  And voila!  I had a back skirt piece without a seam all the way down the back!

20140816_151304The bottom of the slit doesn’t look perfect, after all that picking out and restitching.  I’m looking at this as a first draft and will improve on it next time, as you do.


What do you think of this seamless back skirt?  Yeah, baby!

20140827_120218I had one other little happy accident while making this dress.  When it came to hemming the bottom of the skirt, I did a pretty crappy job of it the first time around.  I sewed on the right side of the fabric, and I didn’t catch the underside of the hem all the way around.  Before picking out the stitches to fix it, I went ahead and hemmed again, with stitches about 1/8″ lower than the first try.  And low and behold, I had a double stitched hem that looked pretty fab — so I left it that way and pretended I did it on purpose.  I may do double stitched hems on all Geraniums from here on out. 🙂


Now Lulu is all ready for her big day.  How in blazes do they get so big so fast???


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