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The Geranium Dress - Straight Up

After sewing the geranium dress with so many modifications, I looked forward to sewing it again according to the pattern instructions.  This time, straight up.

geranium dress

It did not disappoint.  It came together easily and was a joy to sew.


Except for the buttonholes.  Or perhaps more accurately, the buttonhole.  The first two went in beautifully. But on the third, my buttonhole foot got hung up on the thickness of the seam allowance (where the bodice and skirt join).   I nearly lost my mind trying to make that third buttonhole work.  I won't bore you with the details.  Just believe me when I acknowledge that it wasn't pretty.  What can I say? My machine is buttonhole persnickety.


If I were to sew this dress again in this size, I might sew the third buttonhole high enough above the bodice/skirt seam that my buttonhole foot would not get stuck on that bulkier edge.  On Indigo's geranium dress, the buttonholes were a non-issue  because the bottom one was spaced high enough above that seam.  Does anyone have tips on troubleshooting this?  I feel it's the unevenness (one side being flat while the other has the thicker seam) that my machine really struggles with... maybe?  I'm just not sure.


The main fabric I used for this dress is Michael Miller Retro Rose Sunny.  Vintage floral isn't really my style but something about this print reminded me of my paternal grandmother's kitchen and I simply couldn't resist it.  (Maybe that's what subconsciously drew me to this as well.)


I paired it with these dots.  When I was about halfway through, I wondered if it might be too saccharine for my taste, but Dan (my sewing consultant!) :) encouraged me to stick with it.  He assured me that variety is good.   By the end, yes, I thought so, too.


I added rickrack trim based on this tutorial, which is a handy tutorial for adding trim to non-geranium dresses as well.

We are making ink this week in homeschool and needed goose feathers to use as our quills.  So, we took a family trip to a local park this weekend to collect feathers and feed the ducks.


Iris did at least as much eating as feeding.

geranium dress


I had hoped to get a photo of the kids together.  But getting eight eyes to look at me at once proved difficult.  I might even say impossible.


I know when not to push my luck.  So we headed to the playground instead and I (mostly) tucked my camera away for the rest of the evening.   And a beautiful evening, it was.


  1. I have the same problem with the bad in fact, that I have given up on buttons altogether and now use snaps on everything. The dress turned out wonderful though! And I bet no one else notices the wonky buttonhole.
    (My toddler wears the same shoes as Iris-I love them and she loves pointing out the birdies to me).

    1. i'm sorry you've had trouble with buttonholes, too. i was able to make this work, but it took so much effort and frustration including : ripping out those tiny buttonhole stitches from attempt #1, opening the seam and trimming the seam allowance of the gathering, about 1 million attempts trying to catch all of trimmed seam in my stitches, re-sewing the buttonhole, only to have it get stuck near the end, and finally handstitching the rest.
      there are some tutorials on how to machine sew buttonholes yourself using a tiny zigzag stitch (I believe). maybe it's worth it to experiment with that? though snaps are really cute, too.
      i love those shoes and iris loves the birdies, too! it's so cute.

  2. That last photo is fantastic. The light is so beautiful and all the kids have their own expressions it's hard to stop looking from one to the other. Your "sewing consultant" is very handsome and photogenic too!

  3. So cute! And I have trouble with buttonholes too. But mostly because I can't seem to get them even so they all look different, and then I always make them smaller than they need to be...definitely still one of my sewing hang ups. The dress is adorable! Love the ric rac you added too, super cute little touch!

    1. sometimes my machine makes them too small, too! i always, always practice at least one buttonhole on a piece of doubled scrap fabric. then i rip open the buttonhole to be sure my button fits through it. occasionally it's too big but more often it's too small. it's not infrequent that i have to make adjustments - but it's a lot easier to do that on a scrap of fabric than on the dress!
      thanks so much for the sweet words!

  4. Oh, I think it's just absolutely perfect! (as are all your sewing projects). How big your "baby" is getting :)

  5. So sweet! And I love the attempt to photograph all four children - hilarious!! In the first one, not a single kid is pointing even ONE eye towards the camera! Photographing children, especially in groups, is like HERDING CATS. Exhibit A, see photo above. Love it.

    You want to know the truth? I just eyeball the button placement on the Geranium and edge that bottom button up until it's out of the seam allowance and adjust the rest accordingly. I have no idea where the "suggested
    placement" is because I've never checked it. So that's how I have handled this problem - by not even realizing there was a problem! That's just how I roll, people. :-)

    1. i really love photography and sometimes i daydream about becoming a photographer someday. then i try to take a group photo of my own kids and get a reality check - this is really, really hard. imagine the pressure if it was someone else's kids who i was trying to photograph??!!

      that's a rather genius idea, Inder. i'm using that technique from here on out! :) thanks!


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