Suzanne’s Kindergarten Dresses

brown dress


I think I need a 12-step program.  Farmhouse Fabrics just confirmed my second order of the week for Children’s Corner patterns.  I need help!

Friends of  Sew Classic for Children on Facebook  flood that page with ideas, photos and inspiration from Children’s Corner patterns.  I try to limit my purchases but this group gets me so excited.  Lezette Thomason posts daily and includes little lessons.   I already have way too many patterns and way too little sewing time to keep up with them.  And yet I go on.

Meanwhile, every few days another spectacular outfit for her granddaughter’s  kindergarten wardrobe emerges my dear friend Suzanne Sawko’s sewing room.   She has patterns aplenty herself, but somehow, she sews most of them up.

Her Classy Casual short set was posted last week.  Now we see this brown beauty, as well as the blue dress shown further down.  Both were made from this Burda Style pattern. (Pattern–that is the connection to the first paragraph.)



Burda Style Shirt-Dress 04/2012 #146


Suzanne pulled all the fabrics from her sizable stash.  Notice all the charming vintage prints used for facing, covered buttons and the flower.  While we were at a quilting workshop in North Carolina almost 20 years ago she filled a huge sack with fabrics from the  Aunt Gracie’s Scrap Bag collection.   A big fan of the fabrics and designs of the ’30’s, Suzanne has used these fabrics in dozens of garments and quilts. On this dress they add just enough warm color and charm to bring the almost drab brown linen to life.

The Scrap Bag fabric finish at the sleeve edge is a pattern modification.  What a nice touch.




The flower at the neckline serves an unusual purpose.  When the dress was almost finished, Suzanne noticed that one front was slightly higher than the other.  So she folded that corner down exposing the print facing then whipped up a fabric flower.  It is pinned there as if that corner were a lapel.  What a clever, designer-touch  fix!!

The brown linen was salvaged from a huge old tablecloth which was riddled with stains and holes.  Years earlier, a  friend of my mother gifted Suzanne and me with a box of old textiles, including this tablecloth.   In spite of its many flaws, the linen was of excellent quality.

With careful and time consuming pattern layout, Suzanne cut around the flaws for this size 5 dress.  These are the scraps.




I wish you could see the dress in person.  It’s a smorgasborg of details, including her granddaughter’s name embroidered in very small letters down one side seam.

She made a second dress of lightweight denim.


blue A line



Cutting the bodice with the stripes running horizontally and the skirt stripes running vertically gives added interest.



blue dress back


Again,  an Aunt Gracie ’30’s reproduction print was used for the facings.


blue dress inside


I  want that pattern.  Now, I ask myself, do I really need it? Will I get it sewn up?  Sigh…

What are the latest patterns you have purchase and why?

11 responses to “Suzanne’s Kindergarten Dresses

  1. Lori Remington

    My latest pattern purchases have been from Olive Ann Designs. They seem to allow enough fullness through the tummy for my very hard to fit great-niece. My niece loves these dresses and her nighties from these patterns. Her visiting cousin broke her bathing suit strap the other day, and this younger niece told her to give it to Aunt Lori, she can fix any clothes. Greatest compliment of all from a 3 yr. old!

  2. Elisabeth Rose

    I am trying to resist the temptation. You are often the inspiration for me to go buy a pattern- recently, “Aprons” by CC! Did you know Roxane’s is having 35% off everything right now? Even CC and all other patterns! Just saying…
    Most recent for me: a few vintage sailor suit patterns to make a 30s style sailor suit for Andy.

  3. Lori, what a precious comment from that little girl! I’ll have to take a look at Olive Ann Designs. Of course, I NEED NO MORE PATTERNS!!!! But it can’t hurt to look, can it?

  4. Elizabeth Rose, it’s funny that you say I have inspired you to buy patterns. I have at least 5 that I bought just because of your to-die-for projects at These include baby boy bubbles and diaper shirts that I have no babies to sew them for. I can’t wait to see the sailor suit you will be making for Andy.

  5. Lori Remington

    I have made Olive Ann Designs “Penelope”, “Urban Princess”, and the nightie one many times for her now, complete with the doll dresses. You can’t get her out of her nighties if she is not going anywhere. She loves her dresses, but especially the Penelope one. She says it is because it has pockets. I love that one, too, because of the low back. It is just adorable!

  6. Lori, I recently bought the Penelope pattern for my 10 yo granddaughter. I’ll have to get that made up before summer is over. She will probably love it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  7. Both Lezette’s group and the Smocking Destash group get me in trouble daily! I’ve grown my stash of patterns exponentially since joining them but wow – how can you not buy some of these cute and quality patterns? My most recent is the Old Fashioned Baby Rompers. New granddaughter arriving at the end of the month will surely need one. I am just now working on a recent purchase of the CC Sara’s Skort pattern – total play time in my sewing room this weekend. LOTS of fun.
    The brown linen dress is wonderful – I can just imagine the feel of well worn linen. And the extra touches of fabric and the little design elements make it a one-of-a-kind. Love it!

  8. Ha! Would you believe that my most recent pattern purchase was a Burda Style magazine that has a shirt version of that very dress!! (Obviously great minds think alike!) The sample in the mag is made in a striped chambray that looks VERY similar to Suzanne’s blue one. I LOVE her contrast facings!

  9. Ok, I looked at those pictures more closely, and Suzanne’s blue one IS the shirt pattern. Unlike the dress, it has a stand up collar, it doesn’t have pockets, and the placket is hidden.

  10. Cheryle, congratulations on the impending arrival of a new granddaughter! The fun sewing just goes on and on for you. I love OFB patterns–just wish she would make some of the patterns in larger sizes. So many of the little daygown/dresses would be lovely on a 2 year old. I’m glad you like the brown dress. The quality of that linen is as fine as any I have ever seen. By the way, the little kindergartner these things are made for is a gorgeous, tall redhead, just like her grandmother. Well, except for the tall part. Little kindergartner looks great in the dress.

  11. Jo, I had noticed the hidden placket and thought that was one of Suzanne’s custom modifications. How do you like the Burda Style patterns?

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