Monday Outfit: A Groovy Kind of Dress


Good morning! This here is K’s first day of school dress. Doesn’t it look like something the always hip Trine of Groovy Baby and Mama would make? I think K might be Trine’s misplaced daughter because this is her style all the way.

K chose the knit fabric that’s a cat-fest of a print ย – you can seeย the familiar markings of leopard, cheetah, tiger, jaguar…you name it. The dress pattern is from the book I’m diligently working through, and though it defies logic for a knit dress, it includes facings and a keyhole opening in the back:


It’s a nifty if somewhat superfluous design element, and though I’m glad I went ahead and kept it for this dress, I will omit it in future versions. The instructions indicated that the facings should be folded over and sewed down to hide the raw edge, but I just left it serged, as you can see somewhat blurrily above. With my continued inability to follow instructions exactly, I misunderstood the understitching for topstitching and ended up doing both.


M has a flair for descriptives, and when he saw the dress, he said, “She looks like one of those old ladies hanging out at the slot machines in Vegas”. Huh. Not the look were were going for, but I can see where he’s coming from. Personally, I think she looks extremely grown-up and chic in the dress.


She LOVES it. Except…she wasn’t entirely comfortable in it, and it was because the elastic felt too high up and she kept tugging it down. So minutes before school started, I ripped out the elastic (ugh, and created a small hole that I had to patch), and added four rows of shirring instead:

groovy-dress7“It’s perfect!” she trilled, happy that she would be able to still wear her dress to school. As much as she preened in the dress, her favorite part of the outfit was the black cardi that I self-drafted in rapid-fire motion the night before:


I didn’t even bother changing the white serger thread and only added one diamond-esque button (K is all about sparkly buttons these days). I feel like I’m training for Project Runway with all these speedy, under-the-gun projects.

I’ve been trying really hard to create clothes that I know K will absolutely love and want to wear, even when they’re not my natural preference. I obviously have standards (no honey, I’m not making you a bikini top to wear to school), but it’s been a rewarding collaboration for both of us. Her joyous reactions have been totally worth it, and I guess I’ll just have to focus on neutral, solid-colored and linen-based clothing for myself.





26 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: A Groovy Kind of Dress

  1. It is great that you are working together, you and K! And good save with the shirring!! I made my daughter a dress that looks like that too. I like the slip on style and the elstic waist to give it shape.

    I just made one thing with shirring, well, the same thing twice and I was surprised how well it turned out. How quick and fun too. But I haven’t shirred for a couple of months.

    I might try it again with my next thing, an Elsa from frozen costume! Or two? I have two daughters, in case you were wondering, they are not for me!

    1. This is the first time that I had success with shirring, Max! I was so happy. For some reason, my shirring is always too loose or breaks mid-seam. And that would be so funny if you were making an Elsa costume for yourself! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Awwwwww – you’re so sweet, Sanae :-). The dress is perfect – love it. It looks so stylish paired with the black cardi. And you’re right – K looks so grown-up in that dress. Now, will you please return my misplaced daughter immediately – the summer holidays ended almost a month ago in Denmark, so she’s definetely late for school!!!


    1. Your makes are always top notch in the style department, Trine! And silly me, I should have shipped her out weeks ago ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Oooh, a Denmark vacation will have to go on my bucket list (though we are making pie-in-the-sky plans for a trip to Europe if all the stars line up…pretty unlikely, but a girl can hope). ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh, is it not available in Canada? Hmmm, if it’s just a matter of the language issue, I’m happy to walk you through the Japanese amazon site if that would help, Julile!

  3. Hehehe…I’m not prepared to let my eight year old K decide….i know i should…. Its just that i dont want to be sewing little ponies and colourish fishes all the time. So I end up with all the dresses hanging on the wardrobe and rushing to H&M to see if there is any princess celestia left…

    1. Ponies and colorful fish definitely sounds like the design preference of an eight-year-old! K has so many articles of clothing that I made languishing in her closet, I’ve finally thrown in the towel and decided to just go with the flow ๐Ÿ™‚ I had to look up Princess Celestia! You’d think I’d know all pony characters by now…

  4. For a moment I thought it is a dress you made for yourself! Very stylish and grown up. That kid has great taste! So good you could save it with the shirring!

    1. I was surprised that this was her fabric choice — it seems so adult, right? And the dress reminds me a little of the Coastal Breeze dress by Make It Perfect, so it would be something I would totally make for myself! Thanks Ute ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Completely something Trine would make! And therefore, super stylish:) I am so enjoying watching as you sew your way through this book, and learning from your experiences. Would you skip the keyhole and facings next time because they are not necessary? That is, is K able to get her head through the opening without needing to open the keyhole button? I like the shirring and have a feeling it would be more comfortable than a single elastic. I just wish I had better luck with shirring, as my particular machine does not like elastic thread in the bobbin. Cute cardi too:) I just made my second Aster Cardigan this weekend and could get addicted to making them:)

    1. Oh yay, I’m glad my slogging through the book is of some benefit! So yes, I wouldn’t bother with the keyhole opening especially if you use a stretchy stitch for the understitching (I did) because the neckline will fit just fine. In fact, K didn’t even unbutton the dress and just pulled it on.

      I’m not a fan of the single elastic stitched on the wrong side. I think it would have been uncomfortable for K even if it had been lower. I would recommend creating a casing if shirring isn’t working out so hot.

      And gah, I love the Aster Cardigan! Vanessa did such a great job designing that pattern – simple yet stylish!!

  6. Probably I arrived late to this post, but anyway…wanted to tell you that the dress is so beautiful. I think is very stylish and i bet very comfy too. Sometime, if not most of the times, kids clothes should be practical and comfy. So great job Sanae. K looks a pretty little lady in that dress (Toda una seรฑorita!)

    1. Thank you, Maria! I agree that kids clothes should definitely be stylish without sacrificing comfort! Muy bien! (My Spanish is rusty and that was the only phrase that came to mind…)

  7. Gah, I love this dress. Definitely want one for me.
    I love her choice and can’t wait to be past the pink butterflies stage of my three year old. (not that I yield to those kind of preferences anyway!)

    1. We narrowly escaped the pink butterflies phase, but K had a serious love affair with Elmo — that was a hard period for me…;-)

  8. I love this dress- looks like a mini Staple dress! And can I just say, that I often pretend I’m one of the “designers” (tim gunn voice) on PR??? I totally get amped up trying to finish something before having to pick someone up from school…. I also pretend I’m on supermarket sweep while grocery shopping. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. It totally looks like a Staple dress — I meant to reference that and forgot ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so true about school pick-up deadlines, they really get me going too!

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