I run, I craft, I write, and I make your favorite clothes.

I have written books about sewing for children and adults and I'm the indie designer’s patternmaking secret weapon. I've taught video and in-person classes to anyone who would listen since 2008. I believe that sewing clothes is a radical act of self-love that increases your sense of self-worth. I'm basically your sewing fairy godmother.

Back to School in DIY Style: The Goodship Dress post image

It’s time to get ready to go Back to School – can you believe it?!? (I guess many of you are already back to school, but it’s never to late to sew up another outfit. If you’re looking for just the right outfit for your little lady to rock on her first day in a new class, check out my Goodship Dress pattern. It’s sized from 2T to 13/14 and is a perfect piece for the still-warm weather of early Autumn, or for layering with a cardigan or long-sleeved tee when the weather cools off again.

Out in the Blogland, several mamas have given this pattern a whirl. Here are some of the amazing results they have achieved:

Jessica of Me Sew Crazy used a combination of grey wool (so classy) with Sarah Jane Out to Sea (narwhals!) to make this adorable version that’s perfect for Fall:

Image by Jessica at Me Sew Crazy

Jessica added that this dress is so worth the price, you will use it over and over again! Jessica’s little girl is obviously a big fan of the pockets, too!

Vaida of World of My Dreams loved the pattern so much, she made it twice! I love her use of  the button band instead of the bow – her girls look lovely in their blue and yellow Goodship Dresses (which apparently they love wearing with rollerskates!):


Images courtesy of Vaida from World of My Dreams

Millie from Needles and Haystacks was one of the testers for this pattern. She very sweetly commented, Karen has an amazing knack for designing a garment, that just sort of appears before your eyes, like magic, as you sew up the last seam! Millie was a great tester – just look at the classic and cute purple gingham Goodship dress she made:

Image from Millie at Needles and Haystacks

This pattern truly works for girls of all ages – just look at these dresses below. On the left, Kristy from Hopeful Threads made an adorable pink version for her young daughter, while on the right you’ll see how great the Goodship Dress looks on Kelly Hogaboom‘s older daughter.


Images from Hopeful Threads and Kelly Hogaboom

RaeAnna of Sewing Mama really played up the sailor-dress features of the Goodship with this adorable version using “Out to Sea” fabric from Sarah Jane:

Image from SewingMamaReaAnna.blogspot.com

And of course, we can’t forget the adorable “foxy” dresses that Karen made herself using fabric from Made by Rae:

Karen LePage’s foxy Goodship trio


For those of you who like to put your own personal spin on the items you sew, I’ve also found a couple of modified versions that are sure to please. Michelle from Handmade Martini modified the pattern to fit a girl who is smaller than a 2T and gave the details about it on her blog. Here is the adorable result of that experiment:

Image courtesy of Handmade Martini

Finally, we have a gorgeous version – complete with a tutorial for adding sleeves! – from Once Upon a Sewing Machine. Just look how this dress easily transitions to the cooler months with a simple addition like that!

Image courtesy of Once Upon a Sewing Machine

If you’re ready to add a new wardrobe staple to your child’s closet, grab yourself a copy of the Goodship Dress and jump right in! For help along the way, visit these tutorials for sewing a blind hem, turning a crisp corner, and adding a sweet cap sleeve to any dress.  Happy stitching!


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