Her “Happy Birthday to You Dress”

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I consider making my girls a dress for their birthdays a bare minimum sewing requirement. So as I learn to navigate the life of a mom with a 3 year old, 2 year old and 3 month old by myself each weekday I have accepted that I am in my bare minimum sewing days. So what would I make my delightful toddler for her second birthday if it’s the one thing I make her in months? Naturally I reached for my Simple Life Pattern Co. collection. I didn’t even hesitate that I wanted her to have the knit version of the Lucy Dress. Those pockets were going to make her day and I was absolutely right.

*Stay tuned until the end for the giveaways!

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However I wasn’t sure the sleeveless racerback would be appropriate for a March birthday and I didn’t want it to sit in the closet longing for warmer days. So I mashed it with the Isla Dress with elbow sleeves for a match made in heaven. She calls it her “Happy Birthday to You Dress!” Also don’t let that sweet smile fool you – she bites! No really, she does 😛

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These pockets can fit anything. She stores her VeggieTale puppets in there, Her lovie, the new Soft Cactus doll that she got for her birthday, a whole puzzle she brought home from church today LOL, or anything she finds while out and about, like these rocks that she was calling her snack.

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Fabric pairing for this dress was a lot easier than it usually is for me. Whenever I thought of it in my head I knew I wanted a gathered denim skirt. This turquoise cotton lycra solid is my favorite so I’m always making something with it. The unplanned part was this beautiful London Calling floral lawn from Robert Kaufman. I was at my local shop and the compact florals were jumping out at me because I wanted to use them more for facings. I picked up 1/8 yard to use strictly for facings, but that very same day I sat down to cut out this dress and ended up using it for these pockets instead. It was a no-brainer. I don’t know where I got the cream trim, with faux pearls. It was honestly the only trim I had that was in the white family. I seriously need to start stocking up on trims, they completely took this dress to a whole new level.

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You may be wondering why I used a blind hem. Since she’s my youngest girl I won’t get to pass it down so I made it a 4T length, hemmed it and then folded that hem up another inch and finished with a blind hem. This way she can wear it again next year, especially since I don’t anticipate her getting any wider, just taller. It’s still a little long for her, but that doesn’t faze me.

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Once the dress was made and I tried it on I was initially disappointed with the skirt seam. It tugged at the knit bodice and stretched it out. I hadn’t used clear elastic in the initial construction, so I was pretty sure that was where I had gone wrong. After asking a few people and reading about the different ways to use clear elastic I decided not to unpick the seam. I steamed the top back into shape and checked it with the pattern pieces to confirm it was not stretched out. Then I cut the elastic the exact width of the skirt with a 1/2″ overlap. I quartered it and sewed it directly to the serged seam. It worked! So I recommend using clear elastic when making the knit dress versions with the higher waist bodice, especially when using a heavier weight fabric for the skirt.

So I mentioned these Soft Cactus dolls in a previous post and I plan to do a full review on them later, but for now suffice it to say these are EXCELLENT dolls. They are from a fabric company in Belgium called Soft Cactus and the dolls come with fabric and a pattern to make their own clothes. The design is simple enough so little girls can make them, but mine are a little too little. I made the dresses that came with the doll as well as one to match her birthday dress.

And nothing beats the unfiltered joy on her face when she opened her present!

So it’s giveaway time! I have $40 in pattern credit to share from The Simple Life Pattern Company. I am giving $20 away through This RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY and another $20 over on my Instagram so make sure to stop over there for another chance to win!

The Rafflecopter Giveaway is closed. Congratulations Beatriz!

*This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

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6 comments

    • Thank you! From what I’ve seen most people don’t use the clear elastic and don’t have any problems, so I would say you don’t need it for quilting cotton. I think this was a combination of the heavier weight of the denim and it’s a longer skirt because the bodice is short and I made a 4T which all adds more weight.

    • Thank you so much! It is fun to make them match and there are almost always plenty of scraps for a doll dress. Plus your machine is already threaded for the same fabric. It just makes sense!

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