Ivy’s Paisley Dress

You could probably guess that my American Girl drought included sewing. I wanted to sew. But I’d look at my sewing table and just feel overwhelmed and unfocused and not into it. One thing I’ve had to learn is to not let myself feel guilty about taking a break from hobbies. It ruins the joy. The reality is that I go through hobby phases, and some never come back (fencing, Irish dance, and half marathon running have all faded away) while others are recurring and will come back into bloom if I’m just patient. Reading, writing, sewing, and video games all fall into this category. I can’t seem to do all of them at once. Instead I’ll obsessively do one or two at the expense of the others for a few days or a few weeks, and then the tides change.

Anyway, on my birthday I found myself drawn to my sewing table while my son was napping. I knew I’d been gearing up for it; a couple times in days before I’d sat down and looked at fabric before shrugging and doing something else. But finally I picked up this project for Ivy that I’d half-finished back in early February and found myself completing it. Hurray!


The pattern is Flossie Potter’s 1970s First Formal Dress. It’s a pretty basic, simple dress that just seemed to call to this fat quarter I had. Overall, easy pattern, but I will say the sleeves threw my a bit. They’re an odd shape, and the sleeves have the really thick cuffs with velcro. It turned out ok, but I might do it differently if/when I use the pattern again. I think they’re a little too puffy…


I knew the dress needed a belt and at first didn’t really have anything I liked. But then I remembered that the 1970s seemed to be a lot about discovering ways to artfully clash, so I added a yellow ribbon and yellow clogs, and I like the result! Very appropriate for spring, which has finally come to Boston!



3 thoughts on “Ivy’s Paisley Dress

  1. Dress is beautiful and Ivy has such pretty eyes. I think it’s essential for moms and dads to have a hobby. We would all want our kids to have balance, so we should too.

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