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!


you make me wish I had a girl....... I saw this dress show up as the photo and my breath was taken away. lovely!

I'm in love with that dress!!! So cute!

Look at you! You're on a rollllll! I can hardly keep my chin from dropping to the table each morning as I see a new dress! They keep getting cuter with each post, Alicia! You are such an inspiration! Your little sweetie pie will be the best dressed in town!

So "arm's eye" is how you pronounce "armscye"? THANK YOU! I never knew how to say it.

I'm loving the dresses. Keep 'em coming! (I'm sure you will without my encouragement.) But what is she going to wear for the first 12 months?

OMG How are you making all of these so quickly??!! This one might be my new favorite! So darling!!

That one is just so sweet, my favorite by far. And ditto on the blind hem stitch!

I am truly enjoying this series of small sweet clothes. When I see your name bolded in google reader, I hope and *hope* that I get to see another concoction.... please keep it up! You are bringing a smile to my days.

Your little girl is going to be on the "best dressed" list for sure!! Keep the goodies coming!!

ok, here comes the baby advice. (But I am serious here). The dresses are all charming. But don't forget, sometimes the "softest" fabric irritates little people. I don't know how old I was before I finally communicated, (or my mother clued in), that some fabrics, and yes, especially 100% cotton, drove me wild. Still does, unless it's been laundered many times. Collars, and long sleeves make me shiver. Don't forget to put a soft little undieshirt on under those beautiful smocks. I'd rather sweat than itch! They really are beautiful and I know you 2 are going to be wonderful parents.

You are amazing. Look at all the pretty little dress you made. I'm not which is my favorite.
Bobbie Lynn

My absolute favorite so far. I think I gasped when I saw it. I'm very sure I didn't have a dress like this when I was a little girl, but somehow it reminded me of being around 3-4 years old and my obsession with Strawberry Shortcake and my Mandy doll.

Strawberry Heaven and a Pinafore?

I love, love, love this dress. It's so lovely! Any little girls would look lovely in that dress! I hope I have enough time to sew a few special little dresses before they get too old to wear them!

LOVE the strawberry/dot combo. Have you seen the pattern for recycling a man's shirt into a dress for a little girl? How sweet would it be to make a dress out of one of Andy's shirts for little Miss Paulson?? You can find it at I think you'll like it.

Cute! I think you should do a tutorial for that blind hem - of course my manual has instructions but I don't understand how to fold the fabric.

I may have squealed out loud in my office when I saw this. Which is probably why I shouldn't distract myself on the internet at work, but whatever.
Speaking of sewing machine repair, do you have a place in Portland that you recommend? My machine could use a once-over.

I love this! So so sweet. I love the button loops too, I'm going to keep that in mind since my machine behaves about the same way your does! :)

I'm loving the tiny dress parade! This is my favorite so far. And I do know what you mean about pinafores and special occasions...all the extra fabric. Such a pretty feeling.

Alicia, this is my most favorite dress you have made so far. So little girlish and perfect for a summer day. Your daughter is going to be the best dressed princess around.

One of my favorite dresses when I was little was a blue floral with an aqua pinafore. Sigh.

And, in my opinion, sewing machines nowadays make horrible tacky buttonholes. Which is why I won't give up my 34-yr old hand-me-down Kenmore. It has an attachment with plates for different sizes/shapes of buttonholes. And then you just let it go. Perfect oval buttonholes (or keyhole, or eyelets) every single time.

Oh yes, I love pinafores. This dress is sweet!

um ...she is gonna need pants and shorts too......
might as well get started
just sayin...
cute stuff this is beyond adorable, and i don't think the eyelet is too big at all! may the little sweetie who will wear these arrive SOON!

michele (maryland) says: March 16, 2010 at 10:48 AM

You are killing me here! Love all these dresses.....

How many girls are you addopting? With all these adorable dresses you could have at least 10 little girls :)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

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.