Hey there! Aren’t this girl and her dress adorable? Kelli from True Bias released her newest pattern, the Mini Southport Dress yesterday. I was really excited to get the chance to be one of the testers for this pattern. My only issue was that my daughter is 4 months old and this pattern starts at a size 2T. I know plenty of people who have older girls, though, and I reached out to a few people to find out if anyone was willing to be my model. This pretty girl is Shelby and she is 6 years old. Her mom and I used to work together quite a few years ago.
Shelby is very petite– she measured between a size 3T and 4T, but at the 5T length. I made her the size 4T cut to the 5T length. I think the dress fits her perfectly! This is the tester version of the dress. Kelli made a few changes to the final pattern that aren’t reflected in this version. She lengthened all sizes just a little bit and on the smaller sizes like this one she raised the neckline a bit.
This dress was a lot of fun to sew. There is just something about sewing a little dress that makes me so happy. The Mini Southport Dress is rated as an advanced beginner pattern. As with all of the True Bias patterns, Kelli’s instructions are really thorough and detailed. The most challenging skills are using bias tape to finish the neckline/armholes and the button placket. I love that the drawstring at the waist is mostly decorative. There is elastic through the casing, which keeps the gathers nice and even. The drawstring is attached to the ends of the elastic and sewn in place so it won’t ever pull out of the dress.
I sewed this in a Cloud 9 quilting cotton that I found at Joann fabrics. I was looking for something blue or purple, which were the colors that Shelby requested. I loved this print when I saw it and found a coordinating print to use for the bias tape and drawstring. I had to cut one of the front bodice pieces twice because I was determined to get that one big white flower matched across the button placket. I was just slightly off the first time, but I had enough fabric to re-cut it and get it right.
I love the silhouette of this dress. I think a dress with a straighter skirt is pretty unique in a kids sewing pattern. I’m sure Kelli has more kids patterns up her sleeve and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Shelby was an adorable little model and her mom told me that she loves her new dress. I am anxiously awaiting the day when I can make one of these for my little Caroline!