So, it’s no secret that I love the Geranium Dress. But lately I have been loving the vintage style little girl dresses. The ones that hit mid-thigh and require little bloomers. I love the silhouette because, well, it’s adorable. Also, because the short length makes it easy for little girls to run, jump, and climb. My youngest needs clothing that lets her keep up with her older siblings.
I also love peter pan collars. For babies, toddlers, little girls, adults…they are pretty spectacular as far as collars go. I did some googling to try to figure out how to do go about this. Lucky for me, I found a fantastic tutorial by Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing (here!!). It’s the jackpot of tutorials because it’s a three series video tutorial that walks you through how to draft a peter pan collar for your existing pattern.
I took photos along the way, but this is simply me following the basic gist of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing methodology (except less precise).
First, take your pattern and line up the front and back pieces, making sure to account for the seam allowance at the shoulder seam. The pencil lines are the seam allowances on the pattern.
Next, I marked out the width of the collar. For my 18-24 month pattern, I made the collar about 1 1/4 inches. I also marked where the buttonholes were on the pattern, and made sure I ended my collar before them, so they wouldn’t overlap back there. So in this step, I have the width mapped out, the seam allowance for the stop, and the start and stop of the length of the collar.
The final step was to draw in my curve for the front and back of the pater pan collar, and add in then add in the seam allowance. I free-handed it, but wish I had a french curve for this part of the process. The finished proportions of the collar are shades, and the seam allowances are dashed.
Cut it out…and…voila, you have a peter pan collar pattern piece. Hold it up to your pattern to see if it looks about right…
The next steps aren’t photographed, but I cut out two of these pattern pieces for the two upper collars, then two slightly smaller for the under collars. The gist here is that making the under collar a bit smaller than the upper collar will hide the seam. I cut out some lightweight fusible interfacing to attach to the wrong side of the upper collars and then matched the lower seams up and sewed wrong sides together. I turned them right side out, and pressed, and sandwiched the collar between the bodice and lining when it came time to sew them together per pattern directions. Make sense?
The only other alteration to the pattern at this point, is I used one piece for the skirt, the full bolt width of fabric with one seam down the back. I eyeballed the length to hit pretty short as I was going for that vintage vibe.
Oh–and the fabric! It’s more fabric that I bought at a little fabric store while out of town. I was thinking Easter dresses, and wanted to mix and match color or pattern a little bit. I was drawn to this section of stripes and chevrons. I love that the stripes aren’t uniform, they look a little like wood grain. And who doesn’t love chevron right now? Lucky for me, it is also this week’s theme at Project Run & Play, which gave me a little extra motivation to finish it this week, in the middle of packing, unpacking, and re-packing for our little Spring Break overnights.
I took photos early the next day, and since the dress was for my runs-from-the-camera toddler, I tried to ‘trick’ her by posing in a different room. But I eventually propped her up in front of the chalkboard with a couple of crackers in hand. Daddy helped. So without further ado, here’s my take on the most addictive pattern to date…
I love the silhouette of the dress, it’s shown perfectly below. The collar is standing out a bit, which it doesn’t in real life, although I may tack it down with little stitches. This is my first experience with peter pan collars, so I’m not sure if that is an actual thing people do, or if there is some other way to make sure it lays nicely. Helpful tips are always (always!) appreciated in the comments, so fire away.
In the summer, this will be paired with little bloomers, but since it was in the 20’s with a windchill much lower than that, we paired it with jeans. Versatility, check!
And that’s it. This was my favorite project to date, simply because of the thrill of drafting that little collar. I don’t see myself as being much of a pattern drafter, I much prefer to use the patterns offered up by all the talented ladies out there, but it is nice to be able to add little touches like these when the desire hits.
The payoff is in the cute.
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