a chambray + menagerie geranium

i forgot just how fast (and fun) Geranium Dresses are to sew!

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

i mean, i’ve made a bunch of them, and i remembered that they were speedy, but making this one in a quick evening just felt so gratifying after feeling like i’ve been treading water with my sewing (and blogging) a bit lately.  

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

as a part of “spirit week” at school, E had “school colors day.”  her school colors are navy blue and white.  she doesn’t have many pieces of clothing that are JUST navy blue and/or white, so i made her a new dress the night before from stash fabrics.  you’ve read this blog, you know how i work.

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

i printed out the bodice for Rae’s Geranium Dress pattern (View B) in a 5T, quickly taped it, and cut it out of some scraps of Robert Kaufman Washed Indigo Chambray, left over from some recent pattern testing.

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

the skirt is a 1/2 yard cut of Sarah Watson’s Menagerie in Onyx from her Indian Summer line for Art Gallery.  I LOVE THIS PRINT.  gah it’s just so great.  i’ve loved it in every project i’ve ever seen it used in, and i was happy to use every little bit while really showcasing the print.  both the chambray and the Art Gallery cotton are SO SOFT, this dress has a really nice feel and it even seems to wrinkle less than a lot of her quilting cotton dresses.

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

i got the Menagerie at Cool Cottons a while back (oh look they have an online shop now!  how exciting!)  and i knew a half yard would be a bit short on her these days, but thought the dress could be a super cute tunic with leggings/shorts later anyway.  or i could always add a panel to the bottom or something.

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

the buttons were an estate sale find that Tara sent me – they’re brass, i think, and were a bit tarnished when she sent them, still on their original cards.  but when i ran this dress through the wash, they polished up to a shiny gold!  soooo of course i had to go ahead and pair the dress with her gold STYLO leggings which crack me up whenever she wears them.

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

i did the opening at the back of the dress (below the buttons) the “japanese sewing book way.”  i created a U shaped facing, sewed a narrow channel down the middle, snipped, and turned it to the wrong side.  then i finished the bodice and skirt together.  this added to the speediness and though it isn’t as clean on the inside as Rae’s instructions, it’s totally passable for a casual dress.  when i topstitched the bodice it caught the finished seam allowance to hold it in place.

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

menagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

E loves this dress!  it’s been getting a lot of wear since i made it and i think it’s just so cute on her.  i picked out the pattern and fabrics and sewed it without consulting her, which is increasingly rare – she usually has a say in the decision-making process even if it’s just which buttons or whatever, so i’m extra happy she likes it.

it felt really good to revisit the Geranium, another of my favorite kid patterns, and remember why i love it so much!  and now her closet is finally catching up with her growth spurt.


14 thoughts on “a chambray + menagerie geranium

  1. gail says:

    those animal faces really are the best! i love her hair, too. i’ve been wanting to make another geranium…i think i might be ready for the bigger size range though. darn kids and their rapid growth!

  2. lucinda says:

    such an adorable dress, and E seems to love it as well – Love her sweet poses:) I generally love anything with chambray, and when paired with the Geranium pattern, it’s a win! such a sweet mom you are to make this for her school spirit day:)

  3. girllikethesea says:

    Animal dress! I’m leaning against the same fabric right now on my boppy pillow while Hawthorne keeps me from going to sleep (what’s new). I love this dress with the gold leggings. I also like the facing method you used. Looks fancy.

  4. Rae says:

    stop it. This is just too cute!!! the gold leggings are HILAR.

    doing a tutorial on how to do a less-campy back closure for Geranium has been on my list of things to-do for a very long time. that facing method is great!!

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