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The Juliette Dress

As soon as the Juliette dress pattern was released, I knew I wanted to make one for Iris. It's not often that I sew with Liberty lawn, but for this dress, it just felt right. But before the fabric arrived, I realized that, of all of my girls, Iris had the most dresses.  So I tabled the dress (literally and figuratively) and decided to make a few outfits for my other girls first.

I always have lots of ideas brewing about what I hope to accomplish and had a long list of summer sewing goals. But my kids were sick a lot this summer - not all at once, but one at at time. Nearly every week, one of my kids has been sick. Combine that with the fact that Hazel gave up naps about a month ago, and my sewing time has been sparse.

I have found knitting to be a more practical and calming hobby during this season of caring for my little ones (and sick ones!) with a spirited, non-napping toddler always by my side. I can pick it up and knit a row here and there, without having to worry about Hazel grabbing my pins or rotary cutter. Learning knitting has been an exciting discovery in its own right.

Now it's already August and this fabric and pattern that I purchased back in May did, in fact, finally get made into a dress.

Iris is a string bean which means always modifying patterns to fit her long and lean body type. She's almost 6, but I cut the size 4 in width and then used the slash-and-spread method to add the length of the size 7.

I wanted the ruffle to be less gathered, so I cut the size 3 ruffle. I also wanted it to be a bit longer than the one I saw on the pattern, so I added an inch to the length. If I were to make this dress again, I'd like the ruffle to be even less gathered than it is, especially in the back. I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to making pattern modifications, so I'm not sure how I would make it less gathered while maintaining the curve and shape of the neckline. Do any of you sewing whizzes know how I'd do that?

The pattern came together beautifully. I love the addition of the pockets and the bias binding at the neckline. I chose the bias ties as my closure method (vs a button loop) and I love the charm of this method. I had previously never finished a neckline in this way.

The sleeveless version of this dress has facings. I appreciate the option to finish a garment without having to line it. It's cooler for our hot summers here in Texas. Also, I find dress linings can be a pain to iron. But I'm personally not a fan of underarm facings. They never lay right for me and are so difficult to iron even though I understitch them. So I ripped the seams and changed out the facing with bias binding instead. I had forgotten how much love the look of seams finished with bias binding.  (Here's an example.)

This summer, Indigo and I have been taking weekly(ish) knitting lessons. While we were away last Sunday afternoon, Dan was doing some organizing and found a floral crown making kit that I had bought for one of the girls for her birthday. They were so excited by this discovery and immediately got to work making their floral crowns.

Iris has been wearing hers ever since.


  1. The dress is so pretty! So sorry to hear that the kids were sick a lot. :( I wish I had the patience to knit. I am the world's slowest knitter ever. 😆 If you want no gathers in the collar, it would be easier to draft a new one. Let me know and I will walk you through it. It's not hard to do. :)

  2. This is such a sweet dress. I love the way you played with the collar. I want to make another one soon, a sleeveless version despite winter being only half through haha The dress will have to be layered for a while and I have been wondering if extra layers might move the facings out... Why did I not think about finishing the armholes with bias tape! Thank you for the idea :) Love the tie closure :) Gorgeous dress on a gorgeous girl :) And I can't believe she is nearly 6!

  3. The crown makes a perfect photo prop! It looks like she's just walked out of a fairy tale :)

    1. I really liked the little crown kit, too!

  4. This dress is stunning and those photo's are perfect! What a beautiful setting!

  5. Beautiful! The Liberty was a great choice. I also find that sometimes a pattern just tells you what kind of fabric it needs. As for the neck riffle, if it's a straight line, you just make it shorter. But if it's curved, as in a flounce, you can slash and overlap in a few places to reduce the volume. It's hard to say without knowing what the pattern piece looks like.

  6. What a sweet dress!! On an even sweeter girl....
    Yes - I can see why you'd want less volume for the back collar. I will try to explain how you can make that without using the pattern piece (this is all in theory, mind you, I haven't done it. But I am pretty confident it'll work and give you a back collar that is more flounce like than ruffle (but not even terribly much flouncy, as it's so short....)
    Measure the neckline seam of the back of the dress where you'll be attaching the collar. draw a rectangle the length of the neck measurement by how long you want the collar (including seam allowances) better yet, draw a trapezoid with the length of the bottom a few inches longer than the length of the top. Let's say the neckline is 7 inches - you'll have a 7" line on top, and then 3 inches (or however long the collar will be, plus SA) the bottom line will be centered on the top line, but say 9-10". Then connect the top to the bottom, creating a trapezoid. Draw a line where the neck seam goes. Cut out your trapezoid, and cut several slits from bottom to top, stopping at the seam line. Lay this on a larger piece of paper. Now just spread all of those little sections - as you do, the top will be become curved - the more you spread, the more U shaped your neckline becomes, and the fuller your flounce will be. Essentially, it'll be like a really short skater skirt. When you are pleased with the shape, trace your new, non ruffle collar piece. I hope that made sense - if not, e-mail me and I can draw some really crappy pictures to help clarify :-)
    Happy making ~ Tracy

  7. It's so pretty Rachel! Love the fabric you chose and your photos are always fantastic. For the under arm facings I understitch and also stay stitch and definitely you need to use interfacing otherwise they won't stay put:)

    1. That is such an interesting point, Suz! Before I looked at the pattern instructions at all, I followed Mie’s recommendation of interfacing the neckline and the arm scythes. When it came time to sew the facings, I did under stitch and stay stitch but I did not interface the facings, since I had already interfaced the arm scythe. Maybe this is why they wouldn’t lay correctly for me. I have never tried it with interfaced facings before. Thank you for the information. :)

      Love this pattern! <3

  8. I love everything about this dress!! And her crown, and the whole post, actually. I luuuurrrrvvve this pattern and want to try it myself, but I am so behind in sewing as in everything right now! I guess that's how you were feeling too after a summer of illness. We have been lucky to avoid too much sickness in my house but my workload has been through the roof since January and seems like it will never let up. We've hired new people so that might help at some point ... but ... it's crazy. Summer means more time outside and traveling and less time sewing, too.


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