Sweet Tartan in purple and pink

6 May

I instantly loved the style of Kristin from Skirt as Top when I saw her Sweet Tartan dress during the first week of PR&P more than a year ago. When she came up with a tutorial (remixed from CINO’s Junebug dress) I put it on my mental list of projects. When I pulled it up again last week, I decided that the size 2/3 she shared might not fit my 3 year old, so I drafted my own pattern as suggested in her post!


I used the lovely Geranium pattern to draft the bodice pieces, and followed Kristin’s directions for the skirt. I have to say, this was easier than I expected, and I now see the possibilities of playing around with patterns myself. Fun!


That’s not to say that this dress went together smoothly. I probably shouldn’t have chosen a week when my husband was out of town to work on this. I was exhausted after putting our daughter to sleep in the evenings, but not tired enough to collapse. In my foggy state, I made a few mistakes:

1. I made 2 identical front bodice pieces instead of a right and a left, so ended up making a third.

2. I cut out one of the back bodice pieces in the solid fabric instead of the plaid. This worked out fine, but I would have preferred for the entire back bodice to have been plaid.

3. I struggled through the gathering of both skirt layers. This is not uncommon for me. At some point as I stitch the gathering rows, my thread usually breaks. Maybe I set my tension too high? I don’t know, but with both layers, I finally got one of the two rows sewn, and eventually gave up and made do. This results in uneven gathering and a little bit of cursing, but it works okay. Some day, I want to master this.

4. I messed up twice when stitching on the underskirt. Initially, I sewed the skirt on with the seam of the underskirt coming down on the same side as the short piece of the flounce. I didn’t like seeing that seam, so I ripped it out and made sure to put it under the long side of the overskirt. I had that right the second time I sewed, but ended up sewing on the underskirt wrong side out. The solid fabric doesn’t have a noticeable front and back, but it did mean that the wrong side of my seam was on the outside of the dress! I had sewn a French seam, but still! I couldn’t bear the thought of ripping out this seam a 2nd time, so I just went with it.

5. For some reason, I decided to fold the hem up toward the outside of the skirt (instead of under), thinking it would better hide the French seam, but just ended up looking like the skirt was put on inside out (naturally), so I undid this seam and sewed it properly.


Needless to say, I was pretty happy when this dress still ended up wearable. Sigh.

I used a woven plaid that I had thrifted long ago, paired with a raspberry quilting cotton that I bought to coordinate. The ribbon and buttons were purchased after the dress was sewn, and even though I intended them to be a better match with the solid fabric, I think they work well (or at least well enough). My little gal is not complaining.


Pattern: Sweet Tartan from Skirt as Top tutorial

Size: 4t bodice from the Geranium Dress

Fabric: thrifted woven plaid, solid quilting cotton from Pacific Fabrics, buttons and ribbon from Stitches

New Skills: Drafting a pattern from an existing pattern


One Response to “Sweet Tartan in purple and pink”

  1. kristin May 31, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    Oh this is so cute! She’s so cute! And I’m blushing. 😀

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