Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Cottage Mama's Summer Picnic Dress (Free PDF Pattern)

 Lindsay Wilkes of The Cottage Mama (click HERE) creates charming children's clothing and sewing patterns.  The clothing has a vintage appeal with a modern twist that is just delightful.  I have purchased several of her patterns and am eagerly awaiting the publication of her first book:   Sew Classic Clothes for Girls.  The book contains a generous set of patterns for 20 girls’ dresses, outfits and accessories.  The book will be available in October of this year and can be pre-ordered from The Cottage Mama. (I have no affiliation with Lindsay or the book.  I just love her style!)  While perusing her website this summer I came across her tutorial section that is chock full of great things to make and several free patterns.  The pattern for the little Summer Picnic Dress can be found HERE in sizes 12 months to 4 years.
 I made two little size two Summer Picnic Dresses using vintage pillowcases from my stash.  The first one was for little Chloe who just turned three but is very petite.  I omitted the ruffle on the bottom and added a tuck under each arm to accommodate the straight sides of the pillowcase. (The pattern has an a-line silhouette.)  The bodice lining piece had to be straightened at the sides to match the straight skirt of the case.  I added little flower buttons with embroidered lazy-daisy leaves to the little bodice piece to go with the lovely hand embroidered bottom of the vintage case.  Bright pink satin ribbon replaced the fabric ties called for in the pattern.
 The second Summer Picnic Dress was made from an all white vintage pillowcase with beautiful satin stitching, cut-work, and a fancy crocheted edging.  I made the same adjustments under the arms and at the side as the first dress but added a piece of vintage Swiss edging as an overlay on the front bodice.  This dress also ties with ribbons.
Beautiful hand work on the pillowcase bottom.

Purchased ribbon flowers on the tie ends and the corners of the bodice.
Douglas Pagels has edited a collection of inspirational words and blessings called:  I'd Love to Give These Gifts to You.  This quote is his own:

"Each day brings with it the miracle of a new beginning.  Many of the moments ahead will be marvelously disguised as ordinary days, but each one of us has the chance to make something extraordinary out of them."

Enjoy this wonderful new day.  Look for the extraordinary in the little ordinary things you do today.  Blessings to all who read this!


  1. These are darling! I love the pointed hem on the second dress.

    1. Thank you! I am always amazed by the beautiful work done by women decades ago. The time put into that white pillowcase had to have been enormous.

    2. It would take a very long time to make that. I have no doubt that whoever made it would be pleased to see what you've done with it. =)

    3. Oh, I hope so, Charity! I have a friend at school who just gave me a bag with several of the pillowcases her great-grandmother made to see if I can whiten them and make something out of them for her future grandchildren. She knows that her family won't use them as pillowcases but will use them as clothing.


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