It’s Ice Cream Dress Day 1!  Can you tell how excited I am?  I hope you’re sitting at home with a cup of coffee (or, let’s be honest, a glass of wine if you sew after kids bedtime like I do), reading along and raring to go.  If you haven’t yet, hop on over and purchase a copy of the pattern.  Print it out either at home on your home printer, and tape together using the grid guide, or take to your local Kinko’s or copy shop to have them print it on a large printer for you. (The last page is specifically coded for a large blueprint printer.  It costs a few bucks to have done, but definitely saves the time and tape if you don’t want to do your own piecing at home!)  Let’s dive in and take a look at what’s needed:

I have a serious weakness for Moda quilting cottons.

Fabrics: Listed on the pattern is “light- to medium-weight woven fabrics like quilting cotton, lawn, shirting, poplin, fine-wale corduroy, silk taffeta or dupioni, and linen.”  Every version I’ve made has been from quilting cotton.  While it usually isn’t my first choice for garment making, it’s an excellent choice if you’re new to garment sewing, as well as kids clothes.  There are so many cute prints you can find just about anywhere, from Jo-Ann Fabrics to your local quilting store.  Due to the cut, it’s a great dress to highlight a novelty print too if I want.  For instance, Miss Cakes is in LOVE with Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  And for whatever reason, Disney does not market Jake clothing to little girls.  So one of last year’s versions featured a Jake print, completed with gold nautical buttons and a red pirate stripe band.  (It’s actually her favorite version of this dress, so much so that we now call it the “Jake pattern.”)  I can see all of the other fabrics listed as working beautifully too, depending on season.  But I just love a good print!  I’ll be using coordinating prints from Moda’s Lil’ Red collection by Stacy Iset Hsu: “To Grandmother’s House” in colorway multi for the body, and “Sweet Hearts” in red for the contrast.  I love her story behind designing the collection, and am so happy to be using it in this project.

As for yardage, you know I can always cut something in less yardage than listed.  I actually recommend their allowances on this pattern, especially if you’re matching patterns.  On solids you can squeak it out in a bit less, maybe 1/8 of a yard, but you won’t save a ton.  I did make a size 2 out of 3 fat quarters I bought at a quilt show, but had to shorten the lower band considerably and do all the lining pieces in a plain cotton.  It’s just worth it in this case to get all the fabric amounts listed, finish the edges, and then prewash in case it’s going to shrink before you cut.


Notions:  Listed is “thread, one 3/8″ or 1/2″ button, two 1″ x 5″ strips of lightweight fusible interfacing.”  I’ve liked the design detail of buttons on the pockets sometimes, so add two more buttons if you like that look (I don’t make them functional, so it doesn’t add work besides sewing them on).  I also interface a bit more than the pattern suggests, so get a few more inches of interfacing.  Since you’re probably buying the digital version at this time, you need computer paper for printing, paper scissors, and tape to tape all the pieces together unless you’re having it printed at a copy shop.  I keep my digital patterns in manila envelopes with the pattern picture taped to the front.   You’ll also need the basic sewing supplies of scissors, pins, appropriate machine needles, serger thread if you’ll be serging your seams to finish, and a marking pencil or chalk.  I’m partial to the Marvy erasable fabric marker, but you do have to work fast before the ink disappears.  I’ve tried every brand of marking device under the sun, and this brand consistently marks well, doesn’t dry out, and always disappears completely.  I’ve had problems with the blue water soluable markers not washing out, and wax leaving behind what looks like an oil stain or mark.  If you’re using dark fabrics, I prefer tailor’s chalk, or honestly that shard of soap left in your shower that you usually throw away works brilliantly.

Have fun shopping for supplies, and I’ll see you back here next week!  Post pictures in the comments of the fabrics you buy, I’d love to see them!

Her beloved “Jake dress.”

Love from Wisco,


Also in this series:  Sew-along announcement