Grace’s first day of school dress

Grace’s first day of school was a few weeks ago, and, of course, I had to make her a new dress to start school in.  I had this pattern picked out a long time ago–  McCalls 8859 from 1983.  I made my standard changes to the pattern by cutting off the seam allowance around the neck and lengthening it to knee length.  It ended up a little longer than that, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s fine, because now there’s some growth room!  Gracie requested a “pink Pooh dress”, so this fabric was my only option.


  I made bows to match, too.  🙂 Grace is pleased as punch about being big enough for school and has been proclaiming how she’s a “Big-big kid now!”  Instead of the appliques, I tracked down vintage 90s Classic Pooh buttons and made simple “frogs” from pink cording.




Grace loves her dress, and it fits pretty well.  🙂








It’s a little surreal that I made a dress for Bit that my mom could have made for me! The piping is whipstitch piping I had in my stash from a grab bag I bought a while ago.






The pleats were different on this one–they have underlays in them, making the pleats a little different than average.  The buttons are actually Gracie’s favorite part!



I think the only improvement I could have made was to add pockets.


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• Meet the Author • LauraDsews

I'm a trained artist with a BA in art from Georgia State University as well as a BA in Creative Writing. I've been sewing since I was three when my seamstress grandmother put a needle in my hand and taught me to make stitches. ;) It was all downhill from there. Right now, most of my sewing is for my nieces and nephew, and I love making cute clothes for our cute kids. I'm also handicapped and homebound, so it sewing is a hobby that keeps me from going looney tunes! I discovered vintage kids' patterns in 2010. Since aside from length, dresses for little girls haven't changed much since the 1930s, my three-year-old niece ends up with mostly vintage dresses. As her baby sister grows into toddler sizes, we'll have two little girls in vintage dresses running around!

8 comments… add one

  • Oh! super cute! and your little girl looks so pretty! and as you say, it’s kind of strange you made her a dress you could wear at her age! =)

  • Your daughter’s dress turned out perfectly. The Nanette Pattern line truly captures the vintage spirit.

  • How adorable. My baby is only 4 months old but im sewing her clothes anyways. Cant wait to try patterns like this in a few years.

  • She looks precious! As a fellow Grace, I would also have loved to have a dress like that when I was her age. I hope her first day of school went well!

  • What a cutie!

  • Thanks, y’all! 🙂 Grace loves school so far and is having a great time!

  • That is darling! Just right for back to school. Nice work!

  • I forgot to say, great tip about cutting off the neck seam allowance. The retro patterns seem to have very snug necks. Thanks!


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