Sewing is most definitely my go to craft. I picked it back up about four years ago with a view to making clothes for myself and my children.  I soon found the projects I took on for my daughters often went better and I was more pleased with the end result. It is easier to fit dresses to the rectangular shape of younger children than it is to battle with the darts and tucks and other shaping devices that make adult ladies’ clothes flattering.
However I did persevere and with lots of hard work and practise my skills at making the sort of fitted clothing I wanted to wear improved. Before I knew it was making less and less for my daughters who were growing up faster and faster! So before they got too old to want to wear anything I’d made I wanted to take on a ‘twinning’ project where we all got to be matching!
My older two daughters are actually non-identical twins-and they turned nine in May. Originally I wanted to make this as a birthday gift but that deadline got pushed back so I decided to add another for my youngest daughter who is two.
My dress is made from Burda Style 6520. It was my first time using a Burda dress pattern. The brand has a reputation for hard to follow patterns with minimal instructions. I got it on with well but I have made shirtwaist dresses in the past so I’m familiar with the construction process and this pattern followed that standard process.
For the girls’ dresses I used the Hattie Classic Button Down Shirtdress by Violette Fields Thread. It comes in sizes 2-10 and I got to use both ends of the size range! It’s a PDF pattern so my older girls could help me print, cut and stick the pattern pieces together to feel more involved with it. Again it was my first time using a pattern from this brand and I got on well with it. 
I have to admit I didn’t really follow the instructions but more the standard process I’d use for making a dress of this style.
Last year I’d bought a whole bolt of this cute turquoise cotton called ‘Butterbloom’ by Joijou from someone destashing. it seemed like the perfect thing to use as I had 11m on the bolt which would be more than enough for all four dresses. I decided to add a contrast collar and cuff to add some interest. I picked the cerise in the print and found matching heavier weight cotton to give these structured areas more body. I decided on plain white buttons to pick up the white in the print. Luckily I could use the same buttons for my dress as the two older girls but had to order some smaller white buttons for the littlest dress so they looked in proportion.
The adult and child dresses aren’t an identical design. My dress has much more shaping on the bodice in the form of bust and waist darts and a concealed zip. The skirt is plated in wide box pleats. The children’s dresses don’t have a zip but pull on over the head and the skirt it gathered rather than pleated. But, importantly, all four dresses have pockets!
And now after far too much looking at this fabric, they are all finished! Overall, I like the effect. Of course with your projects you can always see the tiny flaws that no one else does – except maybe Patrick and Esme! Using the busy print can be quite forgiving in hiding small errors. Now we just have to find somewhere you wear them as a group for the full effect.
I would like to do a project like this again – especially for a themed event like Halloween or Christmas. But first of all my next job is to make something so I can twin with my son who has well and truly left out this time!
If you have any other questions about this project I’m happy to answer them 🙂
– Rosie

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