Free domestic shipping on orders over $99

« Go Back

Penelope Dress // In the "Studio" + Review

Apparently last weekend was dress fest around our home. Yesterday I shared the Clara Dress I made for myself and it was only fair that my beautiful daughter get a new dress too! Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.01.06 PM While shopping at our local quilt shop last week she picked out the Penelope dress pattern. They had an adorable version displayed on a mannequin and she wanted to take it home with her. When we got home she dug through my stash helping me pick out the fabrics, she chose a Cocoon print by Valori Wells and Cotton Couture in Lipstick. penelope-dress-adI decided it would be fun to share a snippet of the making of this dress for this weeks In the Studio video series episode #8. This video is by no means supposed to be a tutorial on how to make the dress if fact I don't show all the steps. If you choose to make it you will need to purchase the pattern and follow the written instructions. I just simply wanted to invite you into my sewing room to watch me sew for a bit. IMG_0864-sm IMG_0861_SM IMG_0866-sm IMG_0869-smThe Penelope dress was incredibly fun to make even more fun than the Clara Dress. I did have an "Opps!" moment when choosing what dress size to make. Without thinking I measured my daughter who is really skinny and tall, I looked at the sizing chart and based on her chest and hips she fell under a size 2. Well since I was making something "handmade" I didn't even stop to think what a size 2 really was. My daughter is 4 years old that would mean technically she is a 4T not a 2T. I didn't realize this until I was getting ready to finish the last step of hemming the skirt. I held the dress up to my daughter and busted out laughing, it was almost the length of a tunic shirt on her. She did only need a size 2 for the bodice of the dress, but lesson learned I need to consider the bodice size and skirt size separately. In fact thats actually the beauty of making something handmade, I can make it fit her perfect! To fix my mistake I added a 8" ruffle to the bottom of the skirt and the problem was resolved.

Pattern Pros

  • The pattern has illustrations for every step, I feel this makes the pattern really clear and easy to follow.
  • The pattern comes with a cute 18" doll size dress (which I am sure I will be making soon).
  • The dress has pockets!

Pattern Cons

  • Though messing up the sizes was all my doing, I do feel that the dress bodice might run a little big or perhaps maybe the skirt is a little shorter than I am used too?
Overall the dress is beautiful, the pattern is really well written and I would strongly suggest this pattern to anyone with a little princess.


    Post Comments

  • Susan in OK says...

    The Penelope dress is wonderful. The fabrics are perfect and compliment your daughter’s beautiful hair. You made a wonderful recovery on the length. Even though I’m a “petite,” I can only wear petite bottoms. I am a regular or even a tad longer in the bodice. So, I often have to alter lengths of hems and sleeves. On the other hand, my daughter is tall (her dad is 6’ 7"), she has trouble finding garments long enough for her, including sleeves. It’s frustrating because even long jeans are not often not long enough for her. I don’t sew for myself any more and have been in the mood to try it again. Seeing your amazing creations, makes me want to sew garments again. I have a granddaughter that I would love to see in a Penelope dress – probably next summer. She’s be 1 in July, so I think I want to wait until she’ll walking well to think about sewing for her. That’s strange since I didn’t even consider that when my children were young. Thanks for sharing another great creation.

    On August 21, 2014

  • Lisa C in Dallas, TX says...

    While clothes making isn’t my thing, I have enjoyed your last two reviews. Oops in quilts are hard enough to fix. I’m not sure I’m up to it in clothing! Great job.

    On August 21, 2014

  • Alyssa says...

    Thanks Becky!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Becky (central oregon) says...

    Love the colors she picked out and I think the “oppps ruffle” is a great addition to the dress.

    On August 21, 2014

  • Rachel @Quiltineering says...

    That turned out darling! I love the butterfly print. I’m sure your daughter will love wearing it :)

    On August 21, 2014

  • Malini says...

    Lovely dress. I especially love the back of the dress. Your fabrics are lovely too.
    Your daughter is absolutely rocking it!

    My daughter is 7 and she can still fit in her 3t bodice. A very good reason to make handmade dresses.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with this pattern.

    On August 21, 2014

  • Alyssa says...

    Thank you Susan! Yeah I have a feeling I will be dealing with size troubles her whole live, she is a lot like I was. All her pants are either too short and too big on the waist :)

    On August 21, 2014

  • Alyssa says...

    Thanks Lisa!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Pam G says...

    Hi Alyssa,
    What a darling dress! Did you get the pattern online or is there someplace local that carries her line?

    On August 21, 2014

  • Michelle says...

    Thanks for that, Alyssa. I’ll have to give it a try!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Alyssa says...

    I trace all my patterns onto a pre-shrunk freezer paper. This is great because I can get at least 5 uses out of the paper and you can iron it down. You can use a freezer paper like Renoylds, but if you do you will need to iron the paper to your pressing board at least once to pre-shrink it.

    On August 21, 2014

  • Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts says...

    What a darling dress! I almost wish my DD was small again… not! Those teen years can be trying. ;-) She is a beautiful young woman now and I still occasionally sew something for her. Have fun making clothes~ nothing beats made by Mom!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Michelle says...

    That is a gorgeous dress! I used to love making pretty dresses for my daughter! I still make her skirts – the ones in the shops are never long enough!

    Can I ask what kind of paper you traced the pattern onto? Was it interfacing? You then ironed the pattern pieces on to the fabric and cut them out without pins?!?! That was amazing to watch!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Linda says...

    An adorable dress, and I bet she feels like a princess when she’s wearing it. The perfect dress for an Arizona spring and summer!

    xo Linda

    On August 21, 2014

← Next Post Previous Post →

Alyssa Lichner from Pile O' Fabric

Welcome to the Pile O’ Fabric blog, my name is Alyssa Lichner, I live in sunny Gilbert, AZ. I am a freelance web and graphic designer turned avid sewist. I write modern quilting tutorials and share techniques and inspiration here at Pile O’ Fabric… Read More

Follow Along

Pile O Fabric

Skill Builder BOM

Skill Builder BOM 2015
Skill Builder BOM 2014
Skill Builder BOM 2013

My Patterns

Blog Series

Helpful Tools

Technique Tutorials

Block Tutorials