all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Geranium Expansion Pack

I’ve lost count of the number of Geranium dresses that I have made now. I’ve made a few that I haven’t blogged. I’m up to T3 now, although I have a slight fear that this one is going to be too small for the little girl. In which case I will keep it and put it into ‘stock’, awaiting a right sized owner.

I thought I would blog this one because it uses 4 parts of the expansion pack. It’s the first dress that I have made with a collar, 3/4 sleeves and a hem band. It also uses the bodice expansion section, but it is not the first time that I have used this piece. I prefer the pleated version, especially with thicker cotton, as the pleats lie nicely flat.


All of the dresses have been pretty and have their individual characters. ‘Dresses with character!’

The chambray fabric was bought over 2 years ago at the Sewing Show Live, with the intention of making a winter Geranium. So this year, having more time to sew, I finally made it. It wasn’t an easy sew.

The collar requires a simple enough technique, but hasn’t laid very flat throughout the making process. I have now put a couple of tailors’ tacks under the front collar.

The sleeves are also simple enough to set in, but it gets complicated when attaching the lining, as the sleeves have to be rolled up and tucked between the lining and the dress.. The longer the sleeve, the more there is to roll up and tuck in. Whilst this process was fiddly, in fact, the sewing went ok. I was thinking it might be easier with a bigger version, but proportionately the sleeves will be the same size in relation to the shoulder area where they tuck in, so maybe not.

I had to shorten the hem band. In fact, I made it considerably narrower than the pattern too, but that should not have affected the length. At least it was too long. It was easy to shorten.


The bodice expansion pieces are simple. They are just positioned next to the bodice when cutting out, and just create a bodice piece about 2″ longer.

I embellish nearly all of my little girl’s dresses. The trim came from Abakhan in Liverpool, and was purchased for exactly this purpose. The trim is covering the hem band seam, usefully keeping the seam in place. I sewed it with a zipper foot. It was quite difficult as the edging is only one stitch wide with a strip of velvet in between, so I had to sew very slowly to keep the needle in the right place. I did try to stitch some trim around the waist band too, but it quickly proved to be very difficult to keep the single stitch line in the right place, so I gave up. It’s a good thing that I did, because the trimming would have got in the way of the button and button hole.

I already had the little shell buttons in stock.


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This entry was posted on December 14, 2019 by in Children's clothes, Dresses, Fashion, Geranium, Handmade, Made by Rae, Sewing and tagged , , , , , .
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