I bought an inexpensive dress at Target last spring for my oldest daughter and it turned into her favorite dress by the end of the summer.  So much so that she continued to try to wear it long after it was no longer appropriate for the weather.  The dress in question was a gray jersey on top and purple bicycle print on the bottom in a quilting weight cotton, a.k.a. the bicycle dress.  In order to appease her love for this dress, I had to promise her that I would make her a new bicycle dress.  There were a few bicycle fabrics in print last year and I chose the Michael Miller print called Bicycles from the collection Mod Prints in the color Bloom.

Although I chose a fabric with a similar color palette to the dress my daughter loved from last year, I did not choose a sewing pattern similar to that dress.  I really love all of Mouse House Creations children’s clothing patterns and picked one of my favorites to use for this dress, the Norah Dress.  I wanted something that wasn’t too fancy to wear to school, but with a pair of dress shoes she certainly can wear it to church on Sundays.  This is a really versatile dress.

I have a few thoughts about constructing the dress.

I really like the collar and I wanted to make the cincher for it when I saw the pictures of that version in pattern instructions.  But, I also needed to make the cincher.  Maybe I was just sloppy when I cut the collar out but it didn’t look great when it was all sewn together and pressed.  The cincher added an element of interest to the look of the dress and solved for me an appearance problem with the collar.

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Secondly, I had to rip out the hem of the skirt.  Olivia was a being a bit wiggly when I had her try the dress on to confirm the length prior to hemming and it ended up slightly higher in the back than the front.  It was noticeable to me, so I had to fix it.  Since I had the hem out, I decided to take the sides in a little bit.  Before hemming the dress it seemed to hang well on her, but afterward the added weight and stiffness of the hem caused the fabric to point out in the middle front of the dress instead of the volume being spread evenly across the front.  You can see this effect in the picture above.   Not that it didn’t look acceptable before, but it does look better after this alteration.

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She looks happy wearing it!  I think this dress will get a lot of wear over the summer.

Happy sewing,

Sara