Kitty Geranium Dress with sleeves

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One of the most common pattern-related questions I get over email is “is it possible to add a sleeve to the Geranium Dress?” The pattern has been such a huge hit so it’s only natural that people would want to add a sleeve when the weather gets cooler. I have made the dress with a sleeve a few times before (in fact, one of the earliest “Geraniums” I made featured a sleeve); usually I use the Charlie Tunic‘s sleeve and just gather the sleeve cap. This year I finally got around to fiddling around with a sleeve that is fitted; this takes a bit more work than a gathered sleeve because the sleeve cap has to be drafted to fit the armhole and you have to play around to get the right amount of ease, whereas a gathered sleeve just gets gathered to fit (super easy). Anyway, this is the result of our fitted experiment. I love it. The kitty fabric is part of Lizzy House’s recent Catnap line.

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I’ll be completely honest, this sleeve isn’t ready to distribute in any meaningful way; it’s not even graded yet, and I’m not sure how to put it out there once it is. I really dislike multi-sized stuff being given away for free online; I think it devalues the work it takes to make something multi-sized, so my current thinking is that we could maybe make an expansion pack for Geranium, something like the Washi XP. Maybe some collar and sleeve options, and I have another idea for the pattern that I think would be really fun that I’m testing out right now. Anyway, I’ve got plenty of other projects on my plate right now (the Moon Pants Pattern is currently being tested, and the pattern pieces are ready for this new women’s pattern in the works), so my guess is that there probably wouldn’t be anything concrete until next fall at the earliest.

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Please don’t pin or reuse photos of Clementine where she’s looking into the camera; I’ve put a bunch of cropped and side shots in this post that you can feel free to pin. Too complicated? Check out the ones I’ve already pinned right here on Pinterest. THANKS!

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Mochi Geranium Dress for Stylo

Mochi geranium dress

This is the third in a series of posts detailing the outfits I made using Cotton and Steel fabrics for Stylo Magazine last fall (see the previous posts here and here). This outfit features a Geranium Dress made with a cotton from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s new Mochi line, the Moon Pants made with Bespoke double gauze (previously seen in this post), and a gold pom-pom headband. Both Mochi and Bespoke are Cotton and Steel lines currently available in fabric shops.

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For me to even consider doing such a large project within the first year of having a baby, I knew I would need to do a significant amount of planning. So I’d like to talk about what it takes to get a project like this off the ground. If I didn’t know anything about the project I might have guessed that the photoshoot itself probably took the most work, but I personally think the shoot is the easiest and most fun part. It’s the planning that can really kill ya, in my opinion.

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Perhaps it will surprise you to know that this project began last summer (or maybe not?). Here’s a brief timeline for the project:

June: Discuss with Stylo possible contribution to Fall issue
July: Correspond with Cotton and Steel to ask about possible collaboration
August: Cotton and Steel sends Fall 2014 samples, select and photograph samples, plan fabric/garment combinations
September: Fabric arrives, commence actual SEWING (six garments, three headbands), photo shoot, Edit photos, deliver photos to Stylo
November 3: Stylo Issue 3 release

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I decided to do the spread because I knew it would be a great way to promote my children’s sewing patterns in a highly visual way, while at the same time producing a cohesive set of clothing samples that could then be used later to promote the patterns in other ways. I love the way that a magazine, digital or print, can really produce a stunning visual presentation, and Jess and Celina do it really well with Stylo. The next question was: which fabrics? Initially I thought I might use Lotus Pond, but as the magazine was set to release in late fall, the summery cotton prints would have been amazing but a bit out of season. My next thought was Cotton and Steel, because they’ve made an attempt to create cohesive collections that are printed not just on quilting fabrics, but on other garment-friendly fabrics as well, making it easy to create outfits for children that coordinate (a pair of canvas pants worn with a cotton gauze shirt, for instance). That is something I’m pretty sure is unique to Cotton and Steel, by the way; no other company that I know of does that, though most fabric companies do offer unique lines on their various substrates.

Mochi Geranium Dress

I initially asked Melody Miller, the founding designer of Cotton and Steel, about using their Spring 2014 fabrics, but at that point they already had samples for their Fall fabrics so she suggested that I might like to try those instead, which were to include one of my very favorite fabrics, DOUBLE GAUZE (EEK!). It was definitely hard to keep the whole thing on the hush-hush until the fabrics debuted at Fall Quilt Market. Another bonus: because the deadline for the magazine was nearly a month before Quilt Market, the samples could also be used for the Cotton and Steel booth.

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One more thing: I did very little of the sewing for this project. Karen and my assistant Tashina did most of it. I did some of the cutting (that double gauze can be tricky!) and I did some of the sewing and all of the hand-stitching for the Charlie Tunic (see this post), but mostly I just hovered at the studio with a baby on my hip.

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Anyway, the dress is Clementine’s favorite of all of the things we made for this project; she even wore it for school picture day (and it would have shown up in the photo if she had taken off the sweater she wore over it *facepalm*). I also want to highlight a couple of the other accessories because she really enjoyed those as well: the gold tattoos were designed by Rifle Paper company for Tattly, and the sparkly TOMS I found at Bivouac in downtown Ann Arbor by my studio. Both were instant hits with my girl who is pretty fond of sparkly things.

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Pink Dotted Geranium for Clementine

pink and gold dot Geranium

Other people might be fooled by your doll-like appearance, your proclivity towards pink. But I know the truth, Clementine: you are a tough little nut and every ounce as stubborn as your mother. Delicate would not be a word I would use to describe you. Strong, silly, fierce, smart, mischievious. Then also: adorable, affectionate, and sweet. An interesting combination that keeps us on our toes.

Pink and Gold Geranium

You draw ninjas instead of princesses. Another recent drawing that comes to mind featured a bomb. And a person cut in half on the ground.

Pink and Gold Geranium

You have a spider-sense for locating lost objects, which comes in handy given the fact that I am a complete space cadet. When something’s missing, we ask “Hey Clementine! Where’s Hugo’s pacifier??”

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You have the most hilarious expressions and faces. Cross-eyes, silly smiles, teeth over the bottom lip. The fact that you can’t say your “R’s” yet makes it even cuter.

pink and gold Geranium

Despite your many tantrums and screaming fits (what IS it about this age??), you also know how to snuggle like nobody’s business. You can’t stop giving Hugo cuddles and kisses. And when you crawl in bed with us in the middle of the night after a bad dream and fall asleep next to Daddy, you look like an absolute angel. You know, as long as you’re asleep.

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Dress: Geranium Dress Sewing Pattern, with a velvet ribbon added at the bottom of the bodice
Fabric: Michael Miller Pearlized Dots, purchased at Pink Castle

pink and gold Geranium

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Made By Rae Geranium Dress

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Geranium Dresses!

Every time I look at the Geranium Dress flickr pool, I can’t help but emit little squeaks, ooohs, and awws at all the beauties in there. The Geranium pattern has proven to be so versatile — as a dress or a tunic with different styles (sleeves/no sleeves/ruffle sleeves/pockets/no pockets), and it’s popping up as anything from totally casual play dresses all the way on up to fancy flower girl dresses!

I must also commend you on the fine photography in the photo pool.  You’re capturing the little girls in your lives at such candid moments.  Here are a few of my favorites from this summer:

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Rachel blogged about her daughter’s dress here.

I love the Briar Rose prints she selected for this dress, and she certainly got some great photos!

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Via Flickr

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Via Flickr

Geranium Mosaic 1

Above TOP Left to Right: 1. Peachy Geranium, 2. P7271888, 3. Geranium Dress

BOTTOM Left to Right: 4. IMG_2738, 5. a bunch of geranium dresses, 6. Surfing Space Robots!

Playing with fabric combinations for this dress has been really fun.  Sometimes you just get a tiny peek of the lining, but those details are delightful! Jessica blogged about this one here (love love love that Lizard print):

lizards geranium

Via Flickr

And some more fun fabric combos:
GERANIUM MOSAIC 2
Above TOP Left to Right: 1. Geranium dress with modifications 3T, 2. Tsuru Geranium
Bottom Left to Right: 3. LAUNCHED!!!, 4. Maggie Geranium top.

These ladies all made their own Geranium Tunics plus matching tunics for their babies:
Girls sewing day
via Flickr

TOO CUTE!! Here’s a first birthday dress:

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Via Flickr

And another first birthday. This photo absolutely slays me:
Bronwyn's 1st birthdayVia Flickr

I’ve always figured Geranium could be a year-round staple in any little girl’s wardrobe.  Here are a few gearing up for cooler weather by layering with t-shirts and jeans or leggings. Geranium Fall Mosaic

Above TOP Left to Right: plaid with yellow shirt, pink tunic

BOTTOM Left to Right: red boots, pink with flowers

Kimmie copied a doll dress that her great grandmother had made ages ago. So cool.
My copycat dress
Via Flickr

More cuties (some with Peekaboo Bonnets!):

GERANIUM 3

Above TOP Left to Right: 1. Geranium top, 2. Geranium Dress and Peekaboo Bonnet,
BOTTOM Left to Right: 3. Mads’ Washi Geranium Dress, 4. A summer geranium 2

Vintage Geranium Dress

Via Flickr, and groovily blogged here.

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Via Flickr and Kelly blogged about it here.

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Via Flickr, and Rachel blogged about it here.

You can see even more adorable Geranium Dresses in the Geranium Dress Flickr Pool:

ZebraZebraZebraLittle Geranium DressWhite Geranium Dress, 3-6 monthsKitty Geranium with a sleeveKitty Geranium with a sleeveKitty Geranium with a sleeveIMG_8735IMG_8731A lovely #geraniumdress made from hand painted fabric from KL #ilovetosewmenagerie geranium dress // skirt as top

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Geranium Dress Pattern in sizes 6-12 is here!

I know many of you have been waiting and waiting for this, and I’m pleased to tell you that the Geranium Dress is now available in kids’ sizes 6-12! It’s just like the original version, but sized up to fit a bigger set. You can buy each size range separately, or combine the sizes and save $4 by selecting the option you prefer in the listing (there’s a drop-down menu)!

BUY NOW

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Description

The Geranium Dress is a sweet and incredibly versatile dress pattern that includes two views. View A features flutter sleeves, a gathered skirt (top or dress length), with an optional notched neckline and an optional patch pocket. View B features faux cap sleeves, a pleated skirt (top or dress length) with side-seam pockets and an optional cutout neckline. Both views feature a lined bodice for a lovely finished effect. See all pattern options.

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Materials Needed:

Woven fabric (see yardage chart below)
lightweight fusible interfacing
4 buttons or snap for back closure

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(click on charts to enbiggerate)

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Selling Geranium Dresses
A license-to-sell for handmade sellers is now available (click here for more information) for the Geranium Dress.

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See more

The Geranium Dress in sizes 6-12 was tested by a group of fantastic testers! To see some of their pics, please click on this post:
Coming Soon: Geranium Dress in Larger Sizes!

A tutorial for adding trim to the Geranium Dress can be found here.

adding trim to geranium

Post your pictures to the Geranium Dress Photo Pool on Flickr!

ZebraZebraZebraLittle Geranium DressWhite Geranium Dress, 3-6 monthsKitty Geranium with a sleeve

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Coming Soon: Geranium Dress in Larger Sizes!

I have a little feeling you’re gonna love this.  Behind the scenes over here we’ve been working on sizing up the Geranium Dress!  The Geranium Dress will SOON be available as a separate PDF pattern, in sizes 6-12. I know a lot of you have been asking for a bigger version of this sweet little dress, and your wish will be granted imminently.  We’re just putting the finishing touches on the pattern.

UPDATE: GERANIUM DRESS SEWING PATTERN SIZES 6-12 IS NOW AVAILABLE HERE

Now for some sneak peeks from my awesome testers! Lynn at The Little Red Hen blogged here about the version she made for her daughter, Miss P (this is the size 6, lengthened a bit):

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Even more adorable versions from the testers:

Left to Right: Green & Yellow (by Brittany), Purple Floral (from Sarah), Colorful Dots (from Cindy), Roses (by Clover):

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I love the pintucks on this version from Johanna:

Pin tucked bodice

A couple more sweet necklines:

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(left) Geranium Top, (right) front.

Now, something amazing.  Miss P made this green tunic all by herself, using her mom’s Bernina!  Didn’t she do a lovely job? You can read more about it here. She used Heather Ross’s Crafty Chloe fabric. I can’t tell you how excited it makes me to think of kids making their own garments!

Crafty Chloe - Geranium yoke

There are a few more testers’ photos in the Geranium Dress Flickr Pool. Before long you’ll be able add your own! Stay tuned.

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Final Pair

Happy Monday! Time for my last post with the gorgeous Geranium Dresses made with Tsuru from Cloud 9! [Part I / Part II / Part III]

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These two were having a great time by the time the photoshoot ended, so I’m really fond of how these photos turned out. The “Of a Feather” print on the flutter-sleeved dress is truly gorgeous; I really like how it looks like a completely different design in this navy colorway (the ivory version is in this post). And the “Blossom Festival” border print is another completely stunning print. I think this would make a beautiful skirt for me too!

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Karen cut the skirt sideways so that the border would fall along the hem of the dress. I love that she made it super long too! Gorgeous.

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Doesn’t Phoebe look like a little angel? I know what her mother will say to that.

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Hugs!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed our wonderful little Tsuru-Geranium collection! So much fun to make this project happen. Special thanks to Karen for sewing up the dresses, to Michelle at Cloud 9 for the initial concept and asking me to do this in the first place, and to Rashida for creative input and designing such amazing fabrics! Here’s one last shot the whole collection on my sewing room wall:

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Now these little gems are all getting packed up and shipped off to Cloud 9 to get ready for Quilt Market!

Tsuru is widely available in shops now. To see all of the Tsuru fabrics, head over to Cloud 9. And to see all of the pictures in this series, you can see them in this set:

What do you think? Did I save the best for last? Which one was your favorite?

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Taking flight

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It’s time for more Tsuru on the blog today (see Part I and Part II if you haven’t already)! Today’s Geranium Dresses are sophisticated, yet fun: a flutter-sleeve dress with a notched neckline, and a sleeveless dress with piping. Both use navy as their unifying color, in keeping with the entire Tsuru line. I love this shot of Phoebe in the 1000 Cranes dress. Isn’t that gorgeous?

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I wanted to put Elliot in something from the line as well, and he always looks striking in navy, so he’s joining us in the photos today! Karen offered to throw together a little button-up shirt for him with piping since Cloud 9 had sent more of the “And old lace…” prints than we needed for the dresses. I also wanted to give this blender print a chance to sing on its own. If you look carefully, the “lace” is actually three cranes arranged in a lace-like array. I love the piping on this shirt: the little bird tracks from the ivory “Making Tracks” print work perfectly as trim, and you already know how much I love piping. There is nothing that can’t be improved by piping.

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The “Making Tracks” print is also used as piping and a contrast band on the ivory dress (below) to bring out the lovely “Of A Feather” print. If you look carefully, you can see the cute little bird tracks. And I love this feather print! It’s one of those prints that feels more “even” from far away, but when you see it up close you really appreciate the detail. I hope I’ve been able to communicate the beauty of it here, even though it’s not as eye-grabbing as the cranes. Some close-ups so you can see the piping a little better:

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Tsuru is widely available in shops right now. The fabrics used for the dresses in this post are these four variations on the crane theme (see the entire collection here on the Cloud 9 website):

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Just two more dresses to go, and then you’ll have seen the whole collection!

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Motif Madness

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I have two more Geranium Dresses (well, technically one is a top) to show you today! These two feature the “Motif Madness” print in vermillion and ivory from the Tsuru line designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud 9 fabrics (this post is part II in a series of posts I’m fondly calling the Tsuru + Geranium Project; see part I here).

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You may remember seeing Rashida’s designs before on this blog, most notably the enormously popular “washi tape fabric” that gave the Washi Dress pattern its name. Rashida spent a few years in Japan when she was growing up, and her designs reflect a strong influence of Japanese culture and imagery. I thought it would be fun to incorporate paper cranes into the photos somehow to play off of the Japanese theme, and Rashida suggested the idea of creating an installation of cranes on the wall so they would look like they were flying overhead. Karen folded the cranes (no small task!), and I taped them up in my entryway. I really like the cool effect they add to the photos.

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I think that these two Geraniums just might be my favorites of the set. I love the large motifs in these two prints so much, and they photograph amazingly well (I love the name “Motif Madness” too!). It’s hard to pick favorites with this line, though; from the moment I first saw the collection, it was true love. I love how mature the Tsuru designs are — perfect for women’s tops, dresses, and skirts — yet they look just as amazing sewn up into children’s clothing.

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I’m sure you’ve already noticed a new face in these photos: Clementine’s friend Phoebe. I quickly realized that getting my belligerent three-year-old into and out of eight dresses before I needed to send them back to Cloud 9 for Quilt Market was going to require more bribery/mini-marshmallows than I had on hand, so I asked blogger friend-in-real-life Emily if Phoebe would help us model. Those adorable cheeks!! I die. What a cutie. Phoebe is the same age as (and also the same dress and shoe size as) Clementine, so it worked out perfectly. And they love being goofy together, as we’ve realized the few times we’ve gotten them together to play, which made the photos so easy to take.

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I hope you enjoyed these, because there are even more Tsuru Geranium Dresses to come!

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