An archive of sewing tutorials and inspiration


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.


Alyssa Williams

Alyssa Williams

Creator of Pile O' Fabric

Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.