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!


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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