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A Mini Southport Dress

I'm always on the lookout for patterns that suit Indigo.  So when I saw Gail's Mini Southport dress on Lila, I knew that this one was a must-make.

I rarely purchase patterns anymore.  I try to use what I have or what has been given to me.  I prefer to spend my money on quality fabrics, so that my dresses can be passed on from one daughter to the next.  But like Gail, I just couldn't get this pattern out of my head.  It's versatile in that it's great for our warm climate, but will also pair well with a cardigan and tights during our cooler months, too.

This was my first time sewing a True Bias pattern.  To be honest, it reminded me a lot of an Oliver + S pattern, but was less than half the price.  That is an incredible value.  The instructions were thorough and clear with diagrams accompanying each step.  The finishing was professional, if even fussy, but in a good way, resulting in a beautifully constructed garment.

I sewed this in a chambray - Kaufman's Jacquard Diamond Plaid in Indigo (which is always sure to please my Indigo!).  ;)  I'm a pretty big fan of Kaufman chambray and this print was no exception.

I'm kind of a one-trick pony when it comes to accenting with mustard.  I know.  I can't help myself. It's been my favorite accent color for two years and counting.  Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled to find these vintage shank buttons on Etsy.  Thankfully the color in the online photo was spot on and it matched my Cotton and Steel solid almost perfectly.

One of the things I love and appreciate about Indigo is that while she is very mature and acts so grown up in many ways, she is still so innocent and fully embraces childhood.  She doesn't try to be too grown up.

For instance, she is currently obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie series.  Her eyes get wide as she tells me all about Mary and Laura.  She played for hours (and days) with this corn husk doll we made together, even knitting hair for her.

She loves to be outdoors catching lizards, picking flowers, and just observing nature.  So she is over the moon to have have our new pets - backyard chickens.

We've talked about getting chickens for a couple of years, but I haven't exactly needed another thing on my plate.  ;)  A good friend of mine assured me that they are pretty low maintenance as far as pets go.  So I told the kids if they first showed me they could care for an animal by taking care of our dog, we could get chickens.

They really stepped up to the plate!  Over time, our dog and Jude in particular formed a special bond.  Jude feeds him, makes sure he always has water, and walks him on our morning walk.  All the kids love to pet him and throw his ball for him, so the dog pretty much has it made.  The added responsibility of caring for a pet has only made their love for him grow.  

So I felt they could handle chickens, with my oversight (of course).  We bought three chicks, two Buff Optingtons and one Ameraucana.  Ameraucanas lay blueish eggs, which will be fun for the kids.

Indigo has especially bonded with our Ameraucana who she named Heather, after my dear friend Heather who homesteads - raising goats, chickens and even a pet duck.  She was our inspiration as well as the person we turned to for advice, so I suppose it's only fair that we name our favorite chicken after her.  :)

Indigo is so patient and gentle with the chicks.  She will quietly sit by the brooder with a snack in her hand and wait for them to come to her.  She sets up their little pen outside, a place for them to peck around during the day, until they are old enough to be moved to a coop with a run.

Building the coop turned out to be a family affair.

Indigo's homeschooling curriculum encourages learning math in a hands-on way by doing as many building projects as possible this year.  Jude has always been interested in this sort of thing.  Since the time he was small he has been Dan's sidekick.  So he's eager to join in on any woodworking project he can.

While they worked, Tia kept watch over the chicks.  She is such a gentle soul, too.

After a couple of games of 'dump the screws', I knew having Hazel underfoot was making the project far too difficult.  So we headed over to the slide.  She was none too pleased with the relocation, but that's how it goes sometimes.

Iris had enough enthusiasm and good cheer for both of them... and then some.

Often that's contagious.

So there you have it - my Mini Southport dress... with a side of chick.


  1. Gah now you and Gail have both given me the mini southport bug! I love it in this chambray. Looks so great on her! You should probably get the Mini Hudson pattern too, it makes the coziest kid pants ever. Back to this post - the photos of Indigo with the chicks, especially that first, are so beautiful! Love how you had the kids show responsibility with the dog first, that's smart. :)

  2. Wonderful post. As always. I new while I put you in the blogger spotlight of my newsletter today ;)

  3. That is a lovely, simple, well made dress. Looks perfectly comfy to wear too. My dad had some chicks and then chickens for a while and the kids loved it. Hope yours continue to be entertaining and grow to be productive

  4. I love the dress! The mustard is perfect w the chambray. And I love that you got some chickens! They are so much fun. Your family will enjoy keeping them, I'm quite sure :-)

  5. You're "in love with" mustard!! :-) I love this dress, and this post!!! For someone who doesn't buy a lot of new patterns, you are really good at making ME want to buy new patterns, LOL! This is just so sweet and perfect, and it really is such a versatile dress. I have been intrigued by the grown-up version!

    Yay chickens!! I love seeing children and animals together. <3 Steve and I talked about getting chickens a while back, but their vulnerability to predators, at least in our neighborhood, where the raccoons are apparently smarter than your average college student, has given me pause. A well-made coop is critical, and it looks like Dan and Jude and co. nailed it! I love the work in progress photos. And Hazel and Iris!!!!! So much to love about this post.

  6. When this pattern first came out I thought it would suit Indigo, believe it or not 😊 And hey, it does! Lovely combo of a beautiful fabric, a tie and vintage buttons. Loved the story about chicks and building a coop 😊 R is her daddy's sidekick for all building projects too 😊 As always I enjoyed reading your post.

  7. Such lovely photos. That chambray is so lovely with its subtle patterns; perfect for this dress. Enjoy your sweet little chickens!

  8. Hard to know what part of this post I love more: the fabulous dress, Indigo's fascination with Little House on the Prairie (quick aside: has she ever read Anne of Green Gables? Might be a touch old for her yet though), the family coop building project, or the real-life anecdotes of Hazel dumping the screws. Life is never boring at your place - and we all want to come join in!

  9. The Tia-and-the-ducklings-picture is so cute! If I would be the judge in a photo contest, I would let this cuteness win :)

  10. What precious, beautiful photos you take! Simply stunning.

  11. So much to comment on in this post. I am insanely jealous of your chickens - I want them but our HOA prohibits it. And my girls just started listening to Little House in the Big Woods and are really enjoying it. The whole series is my favorite from when I was a girl, and I still reread it from start to finish every couple of years. The dress is adorable, I love the accent colors and especially love that diamond chambray - I had not seen it yet but I want it now! Lastly, I am really tempted to try True Bias patterns based on your comparison to O+S - that is a pretty big compliment. I've been eyeing those mini Hudson pants for awhile. Lovely photos. That coop looks beautiful.

  12. Super cute chicks. What does your dog think of the new additions? Pepper is so bird driven, I fear we couldn't have chickens, although I would love them for eggs! Love Indigo's new dress. It's something I would wear 😍

  13. Darling dress! It's so good to know the quality of the True Bias patterns too. I think by the end of the year or at least next summer Avery will be ready for Little House. I can't wait! She already enjoys the old tv shows. Super cute chicks too!

  14. What a lovely dress! And Gail is so good- I've bought quite a few patterns after seeing her versions! I'll have to keep my eye on this pattern. I really enjoyed the Mini Hudson pattern from True Bias- just the right amount of info on the directions and everything was so clean and tidy. Love the chicken pictures, too! Our buff is my favorite bird.

  15. How did I miss this?? I think I might be living under a rock these days! Anyway, this is beautiful on Indigo - I love your version of the dress! Such a great pattern, I'm definitely a True Bias fan. I've never seen that chambray, it's so great. And the mustard accents are perfect. The chicks are adorable too - we've had them in the past and they really are low maintenance if you've got a well designed coop. Have fun with them!


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