Little Fishies, Seahorses and Plaid!

Please excuse the over-abundance of photos and text but I’m pretty proud of this project and I want to show you all the details. First I have to admit that this is a long neglected Work-In-Progress. I actually cut out most of the fabric for these outfits LAST YEAR! Generally you can’t get away with that when making clothes for kids but luckily my kids have mostly grown taller and not all that wider. I did make a few changes. The dress got an extra ruffle for length and I changed the bodice shape completely. I had originally cut out a button up shirt out of the fish fabric for the boy and then decided not to sew it as it is miserable, nigh on impossible, to get him to wear a dress shirt. So instead I opted to let him wear a polo (only slightly less miserable) with shorts sewn out of the brown plaid from Michael Miller and embellished with the fish and seahorse fabrics from Heather Ross’s Mendocino collection for Free Spirit ’08.

The Dress:
little girl's summer dress Heather Ross Mendocino fish seahorses plaid

Teeny pocket bound with bias binding cut by hand:
Heather Ross Mendocino pacific fish pocket on seahorse little girl dress

Piped double ruffle:
piped double ruffle on girl's dress schoolgirl plaid

schoolgirl brown plaid Heather Ross Mendocino fish seahorse toddler girl summer dress

Ruffled cap sleeve and covered button with elastic loop placket:
ruffled cap sleeve covered button elastic loop placket little girl dress

The dress is my own pattern. It is fully lined with the bottom ruffle attached to the lining. The cap sleeves were made by folding a long marquise shape in half and gathering the cut edges into the upper armhole which is deep enough to allow wearing over a close fitting long sleeved shirt. The elastic loop that holds the placket shut was made from a color matched hair elastic—one of my favorite tricks—easy to sew and usually makes the dress “I do it” friendly. Except for the little pocket on the front the dress could easily be worn with the placket in the front. The dress could also be made reversible as the manner of construction makes the inside as neatly finished as the outside.

Now for the shorts:
boys shorts sewn with Michael Miller brown and aqua plaid Heather Ross Mendocino fish seahorse pockets

Pocket detail:
cargo pocket on boy's shorts Heather Ross Mendocino pacific

I used a commercial pattern for the brown plaid shorts and added flap topped cargo pockets made from the Mendocino prints and trimmed with the bias cut plaid. The placement looks low on the hanger but seems fine when worn with an untucked shirt.

The boy and the girl intent on a new Leapster game.
brother and sister matching Easter outfits orange brown aqua

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  1. Rae’s avatar

    Aww! I’m a sucker for anything made with Mendocino… :P

  2. Karen’s avatar

    Cindy – these are SO beautiful! I have those fabrics and would never have thought about putting them together until now! What a fabuloius pairing. And stunningly beautiful outfits on even more adorable children!

  3. Regina’s avatar


    The clothes are all so adorable!! I love the fabric combination. I can see the quality in your work too. I just love the shorts.

  4. Snippety Gibbet’s avatar

    That dress is absolutely precious. jj

  5. Carla’s avatar

    Cindy – this is DIVINE.

  6. Shelly’s avatar

    Terrific placements!
    I love the pockets!!

  7. livnletlrn’s avatar

    Awesome lot of special details in those projects!

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