Strawberry Ruffle

comments: 174


PATTERN: Simplicity 2461
VIEW: A (dress) and C (pinafore)
FABRIC: Peach strawberries from the Meadowsweet collection by Sandi Henderson for dress; pinafore fabric and trim from stash

Every girl needs a pinafore with eyelet trim, don't you think? I love pinafores. They're the cutest little aprons ever. My mom made my sisters and me several dress-and-pinafore ensembles when we were wee, and I remember loving the feel of all that fabric on me. Can you remember what the weight of wearing a dress with a pinafore feels like? It's sort of the perfect weight, and somehow it's the memory of the unique feel of weight that is connected to the memory of special days: pinafore dresses are what you wear to the Christmas Eve party with the cousins, to church on Easter Sunday, to the summer birthday party in the park.


When I first started making these little dresses, I went to my stash and realized that it is mostly made up of smallish pieces of fabric, 1/2 yard or less. A lot of fabrics, but small pieces. So whenever I was out I would start picking up a yard or two of new fabrics that I liked, with no particular dress in mind. I wash the fabrics, stack them up, and wait for inspiration to strike. When it does, I go, "Oh, pinafore -- strawberries — dots — we have exactly one yard of the dots! — do we have any eyelet trim that matches this white?" Sometimes we do. I try to use as much as I possibly can from what I already have. I have a huge basket of ribbons and trims — I don't even understand where they've all come from. I also have a rather large collection of packaged vintage cotton bias tape. So much nicer than the packaged bias tape of today. If a neckline or an arm's eye calls for a bias strip, I will generally try to use something from my stash of bias tape, rather than cut it from my fabric. Cutting bias strips uses up so much fabric it bugs me sometimes, and since I don't really use the fabric amount-recommendations from the pattern, sometimes I don't even have enough to do it.

Is this boring you? No, don't answer. It didn't do Andy any good, either.


I thought the eyelet here was a bit wide, but it was the only one I already had that matched this creamy white, and then it kind of grew on me. I think maybe I'll fold that top edge of it down a little bit or something, so it's on more of an angle. I'm totally into making button loops by hand now. I have an automatic buttonhole function on my machine but I can't even get it to 1) make the buttonholes the same size, consistently or 2) get it to make the two legs of the buttonhole the same length. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, or if it's me or the machine. Sometimes it works great, sometimes it's ridiculous. And once you've made a buttonhole on the placket it's pretty hard to go back and take it "out." I guess I need to take my machine in. But naturally, I'm sure it will be functioning perfectly once it gets it to the repair shop. My machines like to do that to me. They get to the repair shop and they're all, "What? Hmm? Who me [bats eyelashes]? I'm perfect! You're crazy [eyelash bat, polite (phony) smile]!" Me: "Grrrrr! You know you suck, machine!" But maybe the machine people can show me what I'm doing wrong, because an automatic buttonhole function that actually worked would be pretty sweet to have. Ever since I figured out that blind hem thing life hasn't been the same. We would not have a dress per day here at Posie Gets Cozy without the automatic blind hem stitch. Hip hip hooray for the BHS!


So pretty! Can't wait to see them on your little one!

wow. what a lucky little girl to have such a beautiful wardrobe already made by her mama! congratulations! (i just caught up on your blog from the past two months!)

This one is beyond adorable, we are all feasting our eyes on it! Thank you Alicia.

I love that you mentioned the weight of particular dresses. It is a quality I simply cannot resist! When you find a dress in a shop, & pick up the hanger, & ooomph, you're faced with that luxurious weight: so much fabric. While the whisper-thin dresses certainly have their place, I love those heavy dresses with all their yards & yards of cotton. My grandma's dresses from the 30s are like that, & they're so lovely I wish I could have a rib removed just so I could get them to zip. I'm 8 inches taller than she is, but I want to wear them so badly!

P.S. If anyone knows a company that makes pinafores for grown-up girls, elegant & rustic-French, not cutesy, please let me know!

This is my favourite little dress by far and I just love the different fabrics together. Buttonholes - I've always wondered why there is not a little screw on the buttonhole foot so that you can fix the size of the buttonhole, maybe a hole in the market (excuse the pun, lol!).
Jak x

Growing up, my grandma made all of my dresses and most of them had pinafores- sometimes even pantaloons too!

I am enjoying your dresses- they are inspiring me to sew some for my daughter. Keep posting them, please!

Did I read that properly? A dress per day? My admiration just rocketed to warp factor 10...


What an adorable dress! I am just starting to sew and seeing these pictures of the dresses you are making makes my fingers itch to learn more and more. I love cute dresses!

I bet you are checking your vintage bias tape before you use it....

I, too, have a bunch of vintage bias tape, but am going to get rid of it.

The only one I used totally shredded the first time the garment went into the washing machine, alas...........


She MUST have red shoes to go with this. Really. About the cutest thing I have ever seen. You have such a talent and she is one lucky little girl and I cannot wait to meet her.

I adore pinafores and jumpers with tshirts and tights when it's cold.

Oh my...these dresses have me pining for a girl. Since I've only got boys, I guess I'll keep pining. My mother made me so many dresses. I remember the sewing room with the ironing board taking up too much space, having to come in periodically from my back yard play to be measured and have patterns pinned to my clothes. It's funny the things we remember with fondness. Thanks for all the gorgeous eye candy. I'm hoping all these little dresses will someday soon have a real live girl to wear them.

I love your little dresses! What fun! If you lived in my neck of the woods, I think we'd be friends. I too have all kinds of problems with my automatic buttonholer. ERRR. How do you make button loops by hand?

I'm lovin' this one. I made my baby girl a strawberry pinafore last spring (to wear strawberry picking, because as it turns out, I'm just *that* ridiculous). Oh, all I want to do is go and sew little spring dresses right now! I have such a neat little pile of gorgeous fabrics all picked out and stacked where I can see it and it can taunt me. Blast real life and all it's commitments and responsibilities!

Oh for a little girl to sew for!!! This is just about the sweetest little ensemble I've ever set eyes upon! Just delicious! :-))

l o v e i t !!!

Carolyn Dietrich says: March 20, 2010 at 09:45 PM

The dresses are all so cute, cut this is my favorite! And I LOVE pinafores and mixing patterns - the strawberries and dots are so great together and the round red buttons are a great touch as is adding the eyelet.

This one is my favorite so far! Strawberries, dots, eylet!!! GAH!!! This tiny girl doesn't stand a chance. Cuteness reigns in the Paulson household!

My auntie made me a dress with cherries on when I was a little girl, it really reminds me of that. The apron is kind of Holly Hobby, remember her.

*sigh* adorable. must share with my pals. alicia, you always deliver something lovely. x

Soo adorable! I've been looking for a pattern that was country looking and this is it! Thanks so much for posting! Lovely job btw <3

Hi, Alicia. I've admired this dress a few times -- every time I see it, and it seems to pop up in Pinterest every so often. I bought this pattern for my granddaughter and have hesitated to make it because I think it runs small. Did you find that to be so? Also, I noticed that instead of a zipper you used a button or snap. Is there an easy way to convert the pattern to make that change? I don't do well with zippers but I love buttons. (Oh, how I wish I'd saved the patterns from the dresses I made for both of my daughters in the late 1970s and 1980s!)

I enjoy your blog, both photos and words. You have an engaging way with both. And, of course, I thoroughly enjoy seeing your little Amelia, having watched her grow from baby to toddler.

Thanks if you can answer my questions, and even if you can't, thanks for your great blog.

Take care,

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.