Back in November, I had the great opportunity to be a part of the Special Occasion Tour for Simple Life Patterns Company. I had been eyeing many SPLCo patterns for some time, but had never sewn one up prior to that tour. The Molly Dress had been pinned on my pinterest for what seemed like forever and I was beyond thrilled when I finished my first Molly, a navy lace dress that brought tears to my eyes when I finished because I was so proud of my work. I was so happy with that pattern and all the people at SLPCo that I joined the testers pool for them after the tour. When I saw that Katie had created a circle skirt add-on to go with the Molly bodice and needed a few testers to test it before it’s release, I was thrilled to get a chance to sew up another Molly. This time, a super twirly version.
Circle skirts take quite a bit of fabric. That’s probably the only downside to them. Unlike most sewers I know, I don’t have a huge stash of fabric. I have tupperwares full of leftover scraps, maybe a half yard here and there. But, very few cuts of 2+ yards. What I do have in larger cuts has been assigned to something specific in my head. I knew I really wanted to sew up the Molly in a circle skirt, but I wasn’t sure I would have enough of anything. Then, I remembered I had purchased some white Brussels Washer Linen by Robert Kaufman for myself awhile back. I bought it to make a button down 270 degree circle skirt for myself. The great thing about Brussels Washer Linen, is that I know I can purchase it again. I also know that this fabric is one of my favorite fabrics to work with. Brussels washer linen is a linen rayon blend, 55% linen 45% rayon. The rayon creates a great drape and the fabric is the perfect weight for just about any garment. You could use it for a pair of flowing cullotes, a simple tank or a beautiful dress. It’s slightly transparant, but there’s no real need to add a lining. I knew this would be the perfect fabric for a classic Molly dress.
If you’re thinking right now,’A white dress for a little girl? Is this woman mad?!’ First, linen washes up really well, so that helps a bit with stains. Secondly, there is always my favorite little bleach pen. If you don’t have one of those little clorox bleach pens, you must get one. They have saved me so many garments.
Another reason, I chose linen is because we just found out we will be moving to Okinawa, Japan sometime this summer. We are beyond thrilled for the adventure of a lifetime. We have many friends who have lived there before and many who currently live there and ALL of them have nothing but positive things to say about their time there. If you are unfamiliar with Okinawa, it is a small island south of mainland Japan. It’s a tropical island essentially and the weather is hot and humid most of the year. In January the average high is 65 degrees, in July the average high is 88. It rains a lot there, which as a Seattlelite, I’m really looking forward to. Who knew I would miss the rain so much when I moved away from the Northwest 12 years ago?! I’ve lived in hot humid climates before and having clothes that breathe well is so important. I’m imagining my daughter will live in this dress this summer. I’ll probably make some looser more casual linen dresses for her as well before we leave.
Since I was using a simple white linen for this Molly, I went ahead and added all the extra options to create more texture and dimension to the dress. The pleated placket and collar are all a part of the original Molly dress pattern. The crisp lines of the pleated placket in white linen are so beautiful and classic. I felt like I was sewing up a period dress when I was working on this. I chose wooden buttons to add a little pop in the back of the dress and I’m super happy with that decision. The circle skirt add-on can be sewn with or without pockets. I, of course, chose the option with pockets. Why would I not choose pockets?!! You can see the pockets being used in the first photo in this post. If you have sewn the original Molly, you know there is a placket added to the skirt before attaching to the bodice. On the original Molly, there are some exposed raw edges where the placket attaches to the skirt. It was my only complaint about the original pattern and really easy to fix if desired. On the circle skirt add-on the placket is folded over top that raw edge, so there are no seams showing. Yay! My circle skirt fit my bodice perfectly and it was super easy to attach. Attaching a circle skirt takes much less time than attaching a gathered skirt which is really great. It took me awhile to create the bodice, but the skirt with the pockets went to together super quickly.
In SLPCo patterns, my daughter measures a size 6 in the chest, but somewhere between an 8 and 10 in height. I added 1″ in length to the bodice and cut along the size 8 for length when cutting out my skirt pattern pieces. The way the circle skirt pattern pieces are nested makes it super easy to cut one size in width and a different size in length. Which is really great for all those curved lines!
We currently live in Northern Virginia and we definitely get some cold weather here in the winter. This dress is definitley a summer dress, but we are experiencing some pretty cold winter weather right now. The day we took these pictures it was 40 degrees F outside. Since it was such a beautiful sunny, but cold day, I asked my daughter if she would be willing to take some pictures outside. She could wear her warm winter coat and then take it off for 1-2 minute increments while I take some pictures. Lucky for me, my girl is tough and agreed! If you look closely at some of the close up pictures you can tell she is clenching her arms to her body. Here she is in her warm jacket when we were all done! Ahhh, warmth!
Simple Life Patterns is celebrating their 3 year anniversary with this release. They are releasing 9!! patterns today and having a 40% off sale on all prior released patterns using code HAPPYTHREE, which includes the original Molly dress if you don’t already have it! All new releases, including the Circle Skirt Add-on for the Molly Dress will by 20% off. The sale is going on through February 26th. Here are all the links to the patterns and fabric I used for this dress: