September Sewing: Ellie’s Birthday Dress (and I develop a new obsession)

Well, I seem to be on an every-two-week posting schedule around here.  Hopefully one of these days I’ll find the time to be a real blogger again!

We found this fun Amy Butler print (and the solid pink) while on vacation in the Niagara Falls region in August (yet another trip un-blogged, sniff, sniff).  When we were touring the Niagara peninsula (on the Canadian side), we came across this lovely fabric store, Modern Bee, after it had already closed for the evening.  Nik super kindly agreed to go back the next morning (way out of our way), because I now have a tradition of making Ellie’s birthday dress from fabric I buy on vacation.  For her third birthday dress, I found the fabric in Montana and for her fourth birthday dress, I found it in Culpepper, Virginia.

And here we are, for her fifth birthday!  I used the Book Report pattern from Oliver+S.

051 (533x800)Isn’t she just the sweetest? 🙂

I switched up the fabric combinations a bit (the original pattern calls for the print on the sleeves and solid cuffs).  I had bought all the store had of the print though and just barely managed to eke out enough.  I like the color blocking effect of solid sleeves and print cuffs.

054 (800x533)fun box pleat at the back

056 (800x533) (2)cuffs with button loops – the sleeves are a bit long so I need to move the buttons over a bit for now to keep them from falling down on her hands.  I’m glad it will fit her for a while!

060 (800x533)the front yoke overlaps the back yolk and then fastens with two button loops – I love that hint of extra yellow (a perfect match that I happened to have in my stash!)

059 (800x533)lovely pleats in the front too!

The pattern also has on-seam front pockets (a new skill for me!) with a shot of orange.

057 (800x533) (2) 058 (800x533)

As I was cutting out the dress, I started to worry that the pink skirt would be a bit too plain.  I had begun to try to figure out how to cut a flower from the print when I realized that this was the perfect chance to try out making hexies.  I’ve been reading about this sewing craze on the sewing blogs for forever. I’m SO glad this project propelled me to try them because now I just want to SEW ALL THE HEXIES!!!!!

061 (800x533)Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?

All in all, this was a fun, relatively fast dress to sew.  Ellie has actually even worn it once already! (I just never know if she’s actually going to wear what I sew her, even if I give pnik, pink, pink like this one.)

062 (533x800)Ellie wants you to see her new silver shoes, too. 🙂


If you want to know how to sew hexagons yourself (because really, who wouldn’t?), I used this tutorial (part 1 and part 2), and found the instructions really easy to follow.  I especially love that it’s totally portable, uses up scraps, and ends up so perfectly precise (as you all know, another love of mine when it comes to sewing).

I cut my own card stock hexagon shapes for this project but I think I’m going to buy a pack of pre-cut papers to make sewing many at once easier.


And, because I’m sure you want more sewing/hexie eye candy, check out this heirloom quilt, made around 100 years ago (or so) by my father’s mother’s family.  They were all amazing quilters who lived in western Montana.  The quilt is HUGE and it’s all hexagons!! (It’s the Grandmother’s Garden quilt pattern.)

DSC_0643 (800x532)SO MANY HEXAGONS!! (2,318, to be precise)

DSC_0643 - Copy (800x534)up close – even more amazing!!

So, this is what I’m aspiring to – recreating this quilt.  It lives with my sister now, lucky girl! (I have another amazing heirloom quilt of my own.)  Now that I know how to make hexagons, I’m going to start working on it! I’ll keep you posted on my progress.






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5 Responses to September Sewing: Ellie’s Birthday Dress (and I develop a new obsession)

  1. Thanks for linking to my EPP hexagon tutorials. That heirloom quilt is absolutely wonderful–such a treasure!

  2. Sepideh Miller says:

    Your sewing has improved so dramatically over the past few years! The top stitching on the flower on the skirt is so straight and also so consistently near the edges of the hexagon.

    • Laura says:

      Thank you so much Sepideh! How kind and gratifying of you to notice! That’s one thing I have been enjoying recently – top stitching as art. 🙂

  3. Pingback: June/July Sewing: Tiny Hexies and An Awesome New Bag | Salmon and Souvlaki

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