Monday, January 22, 2018

The Admiraal Dress

While scrolling through Instagram one day, I saw it - the dress I just had to make for my little sister. Full skirted, cross-over button up bodice, and a shawl collar. The quintessential 50's style dress - in child's size. Therein lie the problem. My little sister is growing up and left children's sizes in the dust over a year ago. But this dress, I had to make it! So, I was going to figure out a pattern and make it. Then, I didn't have to. The pattern came to me!

The dress I fell in love with was made by Steph, of the Eli Monster, for her daughter. Shortly after she shared the dress on Instagram, she announced she would be releasing a pattern for it! And - here's the best part - the dress pattern would be going all the way up to a girl's size 16! That meant it would fit my sister!!

So, I kept an eye out, and as soon as Steph put out a call for pattern testers I applied and got accepted. It was time to rummage through my stash for the perfect fabric to make this dress out of. 

The dress is designed for light to medium weight woven fabric, and quick search through my stash provided just the right material. Last month I picked up nearly 4 yards of this woven stripe cotton for less than 50 cents a yard at a local Amish fabric shop. The stripes were pretty, but not too busy, so they would allow the design details of this dress to shine.

Main fabric picked out, I decided I needed a second fabric in a solid color to make the collar and cuffs really pop. A second search through my fabric stash revealed a scrap of olive green silk dupioni just the right size for these details. And I even had green buttons in almost the exact same shade in my button container! With the details decided on the dress was as good as made.

Well, almost. I still had to actually make the dress. So I printed out the pattern, taped it together, cut out the dress, and then spent a morning sitting at my sewing machine making the dress. The instructions for this dress are very clear and give you an excellent finished product. The lining in particular was easy to make and applied in such a way that all the bodice seams are completely hidden inside with no hand sewing required!

As soon as the dress was done, I had my sister try it on and I was thrilled to discover the fit was absolutely perfect! Lately, almost no patterns have fit her perfectly without some adjusting as she's at that awkward stage where she no longer fits in kids' patterns, but she doesn't quite fill out ladies patterns. Steph knows how to draft patterns for tweens and young teens!

My sister was just as thrilled with the dress as I was! She was so happy with the dress that it was actually quite easy to convince her to go outside and stand in the snow for pictures! Especially once I gave her the petticoat (made out of a circular, ruffley, thrift store tablecloth) I'd made to go with the dress.

The petticoat adds just the right amount of "umph" to the design, and takes this dress from pretty to fabulous!

My sister has already requested a second dress out of this pattern, and one of these days I'll get around to obliging her. Meanwhile, if you would like to make a dress like this yourself, the pattern was just released today in girls' sizes 2-16, and for the next week it's on sale for only $7! So head on over to The Eli Monster and check out the Admiraal dress!

This is definitely a dress worth making!


  1. Ugh I've long since left girls sizes....😢 That is so cute.

    1. Such a sad day! I really wish they made more cute patterns in junior's sizes!