all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Dulcie dress by SewPony

The first thing to say is that this pattern is free when you sign up to the SewPony newsletter. It took several weeks before I received the pattern, and, be it good or bad, the SewPony newsletter doesn’t come out very often.


It’s similar to my favourite Geranium, but different in that it has grown on sleeves, and far less variation, but it is free…..

It’s not a beginners’ pattern, mainly because it includes an invisible zip with a lining. I didn’t follow the pattern instructions for this part of the make.

I’ve just finished making my first version. The fabric is from Fancy Silk Store, and the lining is from my ‘bag of lining’, most of which came from the same shop. There are two aspects that I am not very happy with…..

The instructions

They appear to be comprehensive, BUT…… I have cut the version with cuffs, but I can’t see any instructions about how to create a cuff. I tried some folding similar to that used for the recently made TopKnot romper, but it didn’t really work and the arm shape doesn’t lend itself to a flat seam. I quickly stopped sewing, unpicked and re-pressed the fabric.

The instructions largely consist of photos, making it a big and ink-hungry document to print. There are some ‘quick step’ instructions, which I read briefly, but there were a couple of stages where I had to refer to the photos, still on my laptop. I know some people will like all the photos, but I don’t.


As my zip was longer than the guide length, I needed to cut it short and therefore could make good use of the zip cover. I’ve never done that before; useful technique. Although the photos didn’t really make it clear to me how to do it, so I just made it up as I went along. I will probably do that again!


I quite like invisible zips, and this one is very invisible! However, rather than use the machine to attach the lining to the zip and skirt, I hand stitched all round. That way I could ensure that there was no stitching on the right side, and that the lining was suitably ‘caught’. I’m not sure how robust hand stitching will be in a child’s garment; time will tell. I don’t think I would do it any differently again.


Dulcie is free, comes in a wide size range, fits together well, and comes with relatively detailed instructions, unless you want to make cuffs! So, apart from the cuff bit, all good.


I used self-piping at the top of the pockets. It might be more fun to use contrast fabric, which I think is what you are supposed to do to make the cuffs. The pattern suggests piping the shoulder seams. That wouldn’t be in a very visible position. I’m not sure why you’d do that.

I probably will use it again. Maybe it would make a nice set of school uniform dresses as she grows. (In my day, we could use whatever pattern we wanted, as long as we used ‘approved’ school fabric. I don’t know if it works like that any more. Needless to say, I made pretty much all my summer school uniforms and some winter garments.)


Afterwards I had a go at making a couple of hairbands with the left over fabric. The base pattern derives from purchasing a child’s hairband from Sainbury’s Tu, but that was primarily to get measurements. After that, the world is my oyster….


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This entry was posted on February 28, 2020 by in Children's clothes, Dresses, Dulcie dress, Fashion, Handmade, Sewing, SewPony and tagged , , , , , .
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