The Caroline Party Dress for the Birthday Girl

Caroline Party Dress 1

Alix turned 4 this past Saturday.  I’m sure many would mourn the end of the baby years, those first words, those first steps, those toothless grins. But not me.  I’ll be honest.. those years were tough.  Like really really hard.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I’m not maternal enough (someone said that to me this week).  Or maybe I’m just a bit too critical of myself.

But now, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Alix is funny; like hilarious; we can have real conversations; she listens well; she wants to please; she can dress herself and has an opinion as to what she likes and what she doesn’t like;  her idea of helping is actually helpful at times;  taking her shopping no longer results with me loosing my shit in the produce aisle, abandoning the cart and crying in the driver’s seat of our minivan (with Alix safely buckled in of course).  Yep, four will be a good year!

Caroline Party Dress 2

So to officially welcome this next year of Alix’s life, I went hard to work in my sewing room and created a birthday dress for Alix.  Do you recognize the pattern?  It’s the Caroline Party Dress my Mousehouse Creations.  Although I have used the bodice pattern in the past to make Alix’s Downton Abbey dress, I had made serious modifications to the entire pattern and had therefore not followed the instructions.  But this time around, I made almost no modifications.  Let me say that this is a really well drafted pattern, with clear and precise instructions.  Loved it!

Caroline Party Dress 8

What’s cool with this pattern is that depending on the fabric you choose, the dress will either look comfy and casual, or uber chic!  I went as girly and princess-y as I could muster.  I don’t think I’ve ever made anything so delicate looking!

The bodice fabric is a soft corral silk which ended up being easier to manipulate than I expected.  The outer skirt fabric, on the other hand, was complete hell.  But so beautiful, no?  Love those little gold specs on cream chiffon  Very sweet.

Caroline Party Dress 3

Caroline Party Dress 4

Do you like that lining fabric?  It’s Honey Honey by Kate Spain for Moda, purchased locally.

My friend Stacey pointed out recently that a beautiful lining fabric poking through showed the love that went behind the creation of the garment.  She’s so right… there’s so much love that goes behind these hand made garments and I like to think that a beautiful, soft and special lining is hugging my little girl.  She’s smart that Stacey!

Caroline Party Dress 5

Due to my choice of a transparent chiffon, serging the seam allowance was not an option.  Friends, I did my first French seams!  There will be more of those in my future!  Another slight modification I did was to stop the zipper at the bodice/skirt seam, otherwise the corral coloured zipper tape would have shown through the outer skirt.  Luckily, the pattern includes sufficient ease that shortening the zipper does not pose a problem in terms of putting the dress on or taking it off.  Good to know in case you run into the same issue..

Caroline Party Dress 6

Garment Characteristics

Pattern: Caroline Party Dress size 5 with collar and full lining

Fabric: bodice main– corral silk (or is it satin?); bodice lining – Honey Honey by Kate Spain for Moda; skirt main- cream chiffon with gold dots; skirt lining- cream silk fabric

Caroline Party Dress 7

Caroline Party Dress 9

Caroline Party Dress 10

Caroline Party Dress 11

Yep, I think the photo shoot is done.  Caroline Party Dress 12

Bonne anniversaire ma belle grande Alix!  Maman t’aime!!! XXX



48 thoughts on “The Caroline Party Dress for the Birthday Girl

  1. Bonne Fête Alix!!! La robe est tellement belle Natalie!! BRAVO!!

    Parlant de zipper, j’aimerais faire des petits étuis pour carte d’affaire, est-ce que ça s’achète des petits zipper? Ou je dois les raccourcir?

    1. Salut Christine,
      En effet, tu peux acheter de toutes petites fermetures éclaire chez Fabricville. Par exemple, ça pourrait être la longueur de fermeture de jeans. Tu peux également racourcir des fermetures de plastiques. Tu dois d’avoir faire quelques points là ou tu veux que la longeur se termine (donc en cousant de chaque coté des dents) et couper 1cm plus bas. Laisse-moi savoir si ce n’est pas clair! J’ai bien hâte de voir tes étuis!


    1. Funny enough, it was an insanely hard photo shoot… I was thrilled that see that I had more than a couple of pics that turned out, haha!!! Alix was just not in the mood but I managed to bribe her enough to get a couple of happy faces…


  2. This is too cute! I love the dress and your daughter is gorgeous! What a sweetie 🙂

    I’m actually thinking of sewing the flower girl dresses for my wedding. My niece is more of a tomboy and she really hates wearing dresses so I’m thinking if I sew on a picture of Shrek or The Hulk onto the back, she’ll wear it. LOL

    1. Actually Amy, that’s a really cool idea… the lining could be totally tomboyish and only she would know. Or maybe you could make her a cape superhero style to go with the dress (in a colour that would go well with the dress)? Let me know what you decide to do…. and thanks for the lovely compliments!!


    1. Hayley, you pattern was amazing!!! Just so well done! I know I will be sewing this one over and over again. I’d dreaming of a spring time super comfy light and breezy sun dress… woohoo!!! And whenever you get get the adult version out, there will be one for me too! 🙂 Oh, and thanks for being there to answer all my chiffon related questions, haha!


  3. This really is a delightful and stunning dress! To me it is totally boutique quality! I love how you used a number of different fabrics with different colours and textures to create this one of a kind piece. I am impressed. The model is delightful too! ~Thea

    1. Thanks Christina! I am so glad you guys were around to coach me along on that part… what was I thinking with chiffon??? Crazy girl I am…


  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Alix! And YAY to no shit fits in the produce aisle!!! Natalie, I just burst into laughter on that one. I can just picture the whole scene like a movie in my head. You are hilarious! I love 4-5 yrs. Still sweet, innocent and fun – yet big enough to really have good conversations and “big girl” opinions and ideas. I’m happy you’re having fun with her and I’m sure that makes sewing a beautiful dress even that much more satisfying. Especially since she gets so excited about it. Well…. until the arms cross and the pout comes on. ENOUGH MOM! (best picture, ever!)

    I love the lining (of course) and the fact that your silk is sewn so perfect is impressive. That stuff makes me nervous but you must have hands so steady. LOVELY! I’m a sucker for a peter pan collar so you had me at “the neck”. Just beautiful, Nat. So happy to see you sewing and enjoying it. Passion and creativity are contagious. Thanks for that!

    1. Haha Stacey, indeed, I am THAT mother in the supermarket… the one everyone is staring at! 🙂

      So, when are you going to get on that upholstory project my friend?


  5. That dress is gorgeous, and she is just precious! And how can anyone say your are not maternal – you’re a mother, aren’t you? Don’t listen to anyone. Parenting is hard, you don’t have to love all of it. It sounds like the two of you are going to be on a great groove.

    1. Hi Dani,
      You are so right… I am not a perfect mother, but I do think I do a pretty damn good job. I think some of us are just really amazing during the baby years, and others hit their stride when the kids get a bit older… nothing wrong with that, right? Yep, parenting is hard…


  6. Oh I love this dress! Well done…I’m slowly starting to understand “sewing-ease” and was psyched to know what you meant by “easing” fabric. Woo Hoo! Love the collar, the colour and the lining!!

    1. Haha Kelli, you rock! I’m glad you understood what I was saying about ease! 🙂 And thanks for the lovely compliments… you’re so sweet!!!


  7. What a great dress, perfect for a celebration. I can’t believe someone would question your maternal abilities, how rude! But I hear you about the early toddlerhood being hard, let’s hope it gets better with age!

    1. Thanks Alisa,
      Indeed I was a bit taken aback by the comment… but I think she was more expressing what I already know, that some women always knew they were going to be “mommies” and only wanted to be mommies, while others, like me, are more accidental mommies. Doesn’t mean we don’t do an amazing job… but perhaps we are just needing something outside of the mommy world to feel truly satisfied. Or something, haha!


  8. Oh that’s lovely! Just perfect girly dress. I’m so aware that these little ones are growing up fast, and there’s only a short time for dressing them in such lovely things. Im trying to make the most of it! Missy is 4 in a month’s time too. She’s getting so grown up! I am enjoying being able to talk to her more, and not having to push her around in the pushchair (stroller?) – we have A LOT of hills here!
    Alix looks like a lovely, fun girl and your last photo of Alix with THAT face is oh so familiar! We call it Missy’s ‘duck face!’ Happy Birthday Alix!

    1. Ah, thank you Victoria! It is nice to have little conversations with our girls now… plus Alix’s new found independence allows me to have a tiny little bit of extra time to myself (and for sewing) so I am not complaining!

    1. Fernanda, that is so sweet to say! I am a HUGE fan of her eyes as well, haha, but of course, I am not all that objective…


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