Seaside Sailor Sew-a-long

So… last week I participated in the Seaside Sailor Dress Sew-a-long over at the Tie Dye Diva Sewing Patterns fanpage.

Have you ever participated in a Sew-a-long?

I have signed up for them, bought fabrics, and had the intention of doing them, but never followed thru. :/

But when I saw that Jen was doing this pattern, I just had to join and I made myself a promise that I would follow thru.

I bought the bundle ages ago and have been dying to make this dress, but never got around to it.

You know how it is… the best intentions and all that.

I had to stay up late every night of the sew-a-long, but I managed to make a dress for Ella and Lucy and each with a matching dolly dress! It was so fun!

I made Ella’s with very traditional colors, great for the 4th!


The blue and white polka dot fabric was from last year. I picked it up from Wal-Mart for a steal. It’s some sort of poly-cotton blend and is really breezy and doesn’t wrinkle bad at all. I love it.


I intended to put the bias trim on Ella’s and the ric rac on Lucy’s, but I mixed up the collars on accident during sewing. 😦

I still wish they were the other way… but not enough to take them apart.


I just think these sailor dresses are the cutest and I’m so happy I had a chance to make them while the girls still think they’re ‘cool’. I’m so dreading them getting older… sigh…


I see it happening right before my eyes and it takes my breath away some days, so I really cherish the moments when they still want to look and play like little girls.

I want to hold onto those moments forever.

One way I’ve found to ensure that they still act like little girls is to make them a matching dolly outfit.

The joy they get from that is such a pure and consuming joy. Their faces light up and they just beam. It’s undeniably cute.


Ella’s baby doll outfit looks exactly the same, except that I was just about out of fabric and have a little bit of the selvage showing on one side… ha ha ha

oops! Peek-a-boo.

m_IMG_5122I never worry too much about that kind of stuff with doll clothes. The girls NEVER notice.

m_IMG_5112They’re too busy getting excited and loving on their baby dolls!

m_IMG_5111I love this photo with Ella’s little leg kicked out {even though it’s blurry}.


My sister,Β Megan, likes how I pose the dolls, too. ha ha ha What, she wanted to kick her leg out, too. πŸ™‚


For Lucy’s dress, I wanted a more whimsical and fun look, so I used this oh-so-loved, hoarded, Michael Miller fabric that I took from my Mom’s house. I just love it so much, but never come up with quite the right project for it for the girls.


If I wouldn’t have made this adorable baby set for my cousin, then I wouldn’t have had to get so creative with the cutting… ha ha ha


Can you see where I had to seam the bodice on one side?


I did my best to seam it where it wouldn’t be noticeable. I think I did pretty good.

I also had to add a hem band to the bottom, because I was short on length… but what a happy accident that turned out to be. I just love how it looks!


Even though I originally wanted the ric rac on Lucy’s, I really like the crispness of the bias binding on this one. I’m not sure I would really like the ric rac in hindsight.


When I made these, I totally expected that I would love them more than the girls. Ella is kind of into being in style… which mostly consists of wanting to wear clothes from Justice {which I don’t buy} and Lucy just wants to wear knit dresses all the time.

Honestly, I thought it might be a fight to get them to wear them, but they absolutely ADORE them as much as I do.

I mean… have you ever seen a happier kid?


Her dolly dress was really a piece of work: pieced 8 times on the skirt portion alone {not including the hem band}, but I ‘made it work’.


Ruthie doesn’t seem to mind… and you can hardly tell when it’s on her.


This pattern also gave me the opportunity to try out my new-ish set of Kam snaps and press.

Can I just say… LOVE!

Snaps have always given me such a headache. I’m strong and I man handle everything, but these can hold up to that and they work so beautifully.

Plus, they are so easy for the girls to dress and un-dress!


I’m just so thrilled with how these dresses came out and I’m so happy I actually followed thru with the sew-a-long!

I have to tell you… Lucy was sitting in a little yellow chair {from my grandparents house} in my sewing room in her dress, playing with her dolly, in her little white high heels and white headband bow, with her legs crossed at the ankles and I could just die at her sweetness. Really… I wish I could have snapped a picture of her in that moment, becasue she looked like the epitome of innocence, youth, and childlike wonder.

I just want to stop time and keep them in that moment for a little while longer.

One of the things I really miss about testing for other designers is that I was able to make things that I normally wouldn’t and also, that I had a deadline, making it impossible to become a UFO. This sew-a-long gave me that opportunity and held me accountable. I’d like to host some sew-a-longs with my patterns, in the next few months since I had so much fun with this one. Any patterns you’d like to see as a sew-a-long from Cole’s Corner and Creations?

In the meantime, if you want to sew up a sailor dress or dolly dress, head over to Jen’s website and pick up this pattern. It’s wonderful! You won’t be disappointed.






The Graphic says Made for Mermaids, but this is Cole. I’ve decided to tell you why.

Why I sew…?


Well, lots of reasons.

1. I’m unique and I want clothes that are, too.

2. I’ve always had a difficult figure to fit.

3. I love being like my Mom.

4. I LOVE fabric.

5. I’m creative.

6. I’m cheap.

7. I take pride in making things with my hands.

8. I love a challenge and learning new things.

9. It’s fun!

10. and the most important reason: It makes me feel like a good Mom.


I started sewing when I was a very little girl. I remember doing those iron on cross stitch designs… and I still love to look at those at Hobby Lobby. The pictures are so cute and they bring back such good memories of my Mother teaching me to sew.

aunt marthas

My Mom sewed everything for us: puppets, dolls, doll clothes, toys, play clothes, jammas, Holiday dresses, smocked dresses, Homecoming and prom dresses, wedding dresses, costumes… you name it.

I started sewing clothes for myself a little bit in high school; small things like costumes and spirit day outfits {because I was the most fun and spirited cheerleader πŸ™‚ and just HAD to have the most outrageous costume every week}.

29650_398195943213_7764028_n 29650_398196068213_4496538_n

But I really started sewing when I got pregnant. I think that’s when it really happens for a lot of ladies.

I went to work right away making burp clothes and blankets and bibs! I never slowed down. My kids have had 100% handmade Halloween costumes, Easter clothes, and practically everything else since they’ve been born. I just love the look on their faces when I make them something. I love the way it feels to know that I made it. Just for them. With love. With every detail planned by me. I makes me feel like I’m a good Mom…

because I know first hand how it made me feel when my mother did it for me.

When I was young, thru middle school and even in high school {when most kids think handmade isn’t cool anymore}, Mom still made most all of my clothes. We would go to the mall and try on clothes and sit in the dressing room and make little sketches of the clothes I liked. She could recreate just about anything… and even make it better than the original. When she sketched an original design and I just couldn’t envision what she meant, she would make up little Barbie doll clothes in the design and fabrics so that I could see it.

So, needless to say… I got spoiled to sewing, to tailored garments, to choosing my fabrics, and to having exactly what I wanted.

When I moved out of my parents house and they moved across the state, I was lost without my Mom’s sewing.

In my early 20’s when all of my friends were getting married, I ran out of dresses to wear to them. I called Mom and asked her to make me a dress, to which she very kindly responded to ‘make it myself.’ So, she sent me a sewing machine and some some fabric and notions {Like she still does today. πŸ™‚ }

And I set out on a journey to recreate this dress. (Which is one of my ABSOLUTE, all time, favorite dresses Mom ever made me). Oooooooooh, it was so lovely. {I think it’s still hanging in my sister in law’s closet… because that tiny thing can still wear a size tiny.}


It was made from a beautiful, drapey, crepe fabric with a full lining and sweet, oriental style buttons and a little collar and cap sleeves. It was LONG and just the right length… which was important, because I’m tall and no dress was ever long enough to suit me unless Mom made it.


It was just so perfect and my very favorite dress… but I had already worn it to a wedding, so…

It was time to try and make one.

It turned out like this.


From the same pattern.

Yep. I couldn’t figure out how to do the buttonholes, so I sewed the center front with a seam, creating a really hideous and weird shaped V neckline.

Oh yeah… the collar? It had to go. I had no interfacing… and let’s face it… no idea how to make a pretty collar.

The sleeves? Pretty sure I couldn’t set those in… or read the pattern. I think I tried… cussed…. cut them off… and threw them in the trash.

The skirt? I accidentally cut 4 of instead of 2 on the fold, so it had a seam now, not to mention that I cut the fabric upside down on the back, so then had to shorten it by quite a bit… cutting my front skirt into a front and back.

Oh… and the zip in the back? I couldn’t quite manage, so I seamed up the back and squeezed the dress on without a proper closure. Good thing for being a size… 4 or whatever.


But, you know what?

I wore that dress with pride because I made it.


I’ve had many, MANY mistakes along the way, but that’s how you learn. That’s how you grow. That’s how you celebrate your victories.

That’s part of the fun of sewing.

I learn new things


Why do you sew?


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