I simply must tell you all about my new favorite little girls’ pattern: the Millie Dress, by Mix it and Make it. It really and truly has been a miracle in my life. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
We had our family photo session scheduled for the first week of January. Our holiday season is crazier than most, because it’s like all of our birthdays and our anniversary, so I was frantically trying to clean my house, survive the holiday aftermath and exhaustion, and decide what in the world we were all going to wear for pictures. The boys’ outfits weren’t too hard to decide upon, but I was really struggling over what my little girl should wear.
She recently graduated from the toddler section in most clothing brands. And the big girl section is a sad, terrible place. It’s twice the price for half as cute. I literally cried the first time I tried to shop in the older girls’ section at Target. It was so horrible. But I could go on a super long tirade about this issue, and that would take away from the magic of the Millie Dress, so moving on…
I decided to make her something to wear since I knew that finding her something in stores would be depressing and/or expensive. I was trying to decide on a pattern and a fabric, and was feeling super overwhelmed. Did I mention that this was less than a week before our pictures? It was.
Having gone over all the patterns I already had, and all of my favorite sources for little girls’ patterns I had no ideas. Everything was either too fancy, or too plain. I wanted something simple, comfortable, and cute, but also special and unique. I happened to be scrolling along through Instagram when I saw this incredibly darling little dress. It was everything I’d been looking for! Through a bunch of hashtag hopping, I finally found the source of the pattern. It was seriously an answer to my prayers, as silly as it may sound to pray over a dress for pictures. But I did, and it was.
The Millie Dress is a FREE pattern, in sizes 3-6. There is no photo tutorial, and it’s a little more involved than your basic dress, but there are instructions on the blog as well as the pattern pieces you can download. Because this pattern is originally written in Dutch, the measurements for cutting your fabric are metric, but you can easily just look up the conversions to inches if you’d rather. I made a muslin to make sure it would fit my rather tall five year old (because maybe Dutch chickadees are tiny?) and then once I knew it would work, I frantically tried to track down the perfect fabric.
The Millie dress is for knit fabrics, (though I think I’m going to attempt to make a woven version soon) and I decided to make it up in this flamingo fabric by Rae Hoekstra for Cloud9 Fabrics. This line is adorable and my flamingo-loving girl just had to have her Millie Dress in this sweet fabric. Plus I though it expressed her individuality without being too flashy for family pictures. I wanted it! But I needed to find a place that I could get it ASAP. Lo and behold! I found some from Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy, and was so excited because she is local to my area and let me do local pickup even though it was a raging blizzard that day. If you’ve never shopped Raspberry Creek Fabrics before, it’s time that you did. Their selection is amazing and they are so great to work with. It looks like she’s out of my flamingo fabric, but she’s got tons of other lovelies!
I had my fabric, had my pattern, and it was time to whip up that dress speedy fast like. Then it was picture time, and boy did this little dress fulfill all my wildest dreams. (stunning family photos by the fabulous Meg.)
I’m so in love with this dress, and so is my girl babe. I made the ruffle extra wide on this one, because, big huge ruffles, duh, and I added two inches to the bottom of the bodice because she’s a tall gal. Instead of hemming the neckline as the pattern suggests, I added a neckband because. I prefer the finish of a neckband with knits, and it’s easy to add one. After seeing this beauty, I immediately cut two more Millies for my girl so I could fill her wardrobe with handmade sweetness and not have to resort to the sequined kittens of the dreaded big girl section.
This sweet floral number is too good to be true. It’s so soft and sweet and I love her in this pink. Fabric is from Knitpop and it’s a dreamy double brushed poly knit. This stuff is super popular right now; it’s what a certain direct sales clothing company makes their lovely leggings from. It looks like Knitpop is out of this particular print, but they have tons of amazing and gorgeous prints to choose from. They ship FAST too, so I highly recommend them for knit apparel fabrics.
I mean, seriously. Adorable. She’s ridiculous, by the way, took us a million years to get a picture where she wasn’t making crazy faces, but we got there in the end.
This version is a little different and I’m really excited about it for summer! I love this leopard print knit from Girl Charlee (one of my longtime favorites for knits!) and I’ve had it in my stash forever. I went with short sleeves and had to do the ruffles in black because I had barely enough fabric. It’s lightweight and easy to move in, perfect for playtime this spring and summer.
I love the way my little lady looks in the Millie Dress. I’m planning on making loads more, especially since she’ll need a new wardrobe for Kindergarten in a few months (I’m already dreading it!). Anyway, I highly recommend the Millie Dress pattern! It’s darling, it’s FREE, and it’s really just everything I wanted in a sweet little girls’ dress. Check out #milliedress on Instagram to see a whole lot of cuteness and get inspired to make your own!