Today I’m sharing my latest ‘mini-me’ make! The only thing more exciting than sewing a new dress for myself, is making a garment for my children. My daughter picked the design and the fabric, and this style of dress is just perfect for her.
A note on the designer: This dress was designed by Ikatee. Stéphanie designs patterns and sells European fabric from Lyon; I was introduced to her patterns by the ever inspiring Lise Tailor. She designs beautiful clothes that are modern and easy to live in. She designs for babies and children, for girls and boys, so I have quite a few of her patterns in my sewing queue! Besides, her patterns are offered both in English and in French – the whole website is bilingual.
Pattern: The Corfou Dress is a simple dress with lovely finishing touches. It has kimono sleeves, a sailor neckline, an elasticized waistband, and a keyhole opening at the back, with button closure.
Design elements I like: This style matches my daughter’s lifestyle to a tee: fuss-free, comfortable for adventures, yet pretty and soigné. The sailor neckline is just right. As a Northerner living in Southern France, I am very careful with the sun, and my daughter inherited my white skin, which burns very easily. I would never put her (or me!) in tank tops or strap dresses to go out and about. This neckline is open enough for the dress to be breezy and comfortable, yet not to open that too much skin is exposed to the sun.
I also love the way this dress, whilst being very easy to assemble, has got nice finishing details, such as facings and the button closure, which is a lovely touch, a little bit retro.
The fabric: The other neat thing about this pattern, of course, is that because there aren’t many pattern pieces, you can go wild with large prints. And so we did! These awesome foxes are from Paapii Design, a Finnish company that makes organic cotton fabric and has fabulous prints, both quirky and poetic. I have waxed poetic on them on the podcast before. I follow them on Instagram and I do a little happy dance every time they come out with a new print, because they are all fantastic! They always put out various prints (and solids) in matching shades, so you can have fun mixing and matching.
This particular fabric is called Clover Fox, and this is the turquoise shade. Of course, this being organic fabric designed and produced in Northern Europe, it isn’t cheap, but I only need 0.7 metres for my daughter’s height, and you can get the fabric in 10-centimetre increments from certain websites.
Sizing: I cut out a size 5 years, which was perfect lengthwise. However, the length elastic recommended for the size 5 was way too much for my daughter. The pattern does state very clearly the various measurements for each size, and stresses the importance to check them against the child’s measurements. The elastic has to be the same length as the child’s waist. The thing is, my daughter’s waist is 50 centimetres, and even the smallest size required 56 centimetres of elastic, so I was concerned the dress might be cinched it in too much if I went with my daughter’s measurement; however, it turned out very, very baggy on her slender frame, so I had to painstakingly unpick my elastic out of the jersey, and recut the elastic to 50 cm.
Conclusion: My daughter and I love this dress so much that I had her pick two other fabrics for a couple more dresses! I can envision her wearing these year around, layered over leggings and a long-sleeved tee in the winter. Now that I’ve pinned down the right measurements, the next ones are going to be very fast makes.
Yay for foxes, sustainable clothing, and happily-clad adventurous girls!