Debbie’s Birthday Dress

Talk about coincidence: around the same that I was working on my Tinny-pattern, Suz from Sewpony, who lives all the way at the other end of the world, was working on a pattern inspired by the same Belgian children’s series. In Australia, though, Tiny isn’t called Tiny, and so a few ago, the Tinny got a sister pattern, the Debbie!
Debbie is a beautiful pattern for a classic pinafore dress, and has two views. I went for view 1, which has a separate short bodice in the front. One of the great things about dresses with such clear lines is that they leave so much room of experimentation. For my first Debbie, I decided to try a technique which I had never used before: cording. Here, you stitch pieces of cord between two layers of fabric.

It’s always tricky to try a new technique when you’re on a deadline (the pattern tour stop), but luckily, my first attempt at cording was pretty satisfying. I’m sure I’ll be using this technique more often in the future. I went for organic lines in the bodice, but you can also use cording in more geometric patterns, or even figurative ones.
I also used cord to make the gold piping I added to the neckline (using Venezia lining fabric, as I did here).

While adding the cording was a rather time-consuming process, sewing the Debbie itself went incredibly quickly. The pattern has a very smart design, and the instructions are super clear. Thus, the Debbie is a great project for beginning sewists, but also for more advanced sewists who are looking for a ready-in-one-evening-project, or for a project on which they can project their experimentation urges. Moreover, this is a perfect dress for using a more sturdy fabric (an Echino or Melody Miller cotton/linen mix, perhaps? A Birch canvas, maybe?)

The Debbie pattern can be bought in the Sewpony Vintage Etsy shop, and for the duration of the blog tour, you enjoy a 20% discount with the code BLOGTOUR1. Make sure to follow the rest of Debbie’s blog tour, as it includes  more great stops!


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20 thoughts on “Debbie’s Birthday Dress

  1. Lovely job An!! Thanks for your praises of my pattern and also your fabric suggestions! I think it is a pattern that can be used all seasons depending on fabric choice…something I have had to keep in mind designing in Australia for mostly an overseas audience!! The cording looks brilliant!! I will definitely have to try it someday:))

  2. Fab work! Cording hasn't been around much lately and how interesting to see the 'organic' arrangement of lines. The gold piping around the neck helps make the dress both princess-like and super-original.

  3. Thanks, Rafaëlle! I looked for an online tutorial myself but couldn't find one. So I just developed my own simple way of working, which isn't necessarily the best one of course. But I hope to write a tutorial on it soon!

  4. Thank you so much, Jenya! I didn't do any basting, no. That's the beauty of working with organic lines – it doesn't have to be perfect, so you can just decide on the path you follow as you're sewing. In a sensen, “organic” really is just a euphemism for “lazy-ass sewist's way of working” 😉

  5. Oh, An, this is perfect. I LOVE the cording technique, I've never heard of that before. I love how it reminds me of wood grain… Those details always go a long way for me. Love, love, love.

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