Rainbow Peppermint Swirl

She’s FIVE!  Well, she turned 5 almost 3 months ago, but I’m still in a bit of denial.  My little girl is growing up.

You may remember the first rainbow dress I made for Maya.  She was turning 3 and insisted on having a rainbow-themed party.  So of course I had to make her a rainbow dress.  Fast forward two years and she still loves rainbows.

When the Peppermint Swirl dress was released from Candy Castle Patterns several years ago I swore I would never make one.  Not so much because I didn’t like the look, but because it was SO popular.  It seemed everywhere I looked in my online sewing life, there was another one or two or three.  I wanted to keep my sewing more unique.  But I kept coming back to it.  And then I saw the most beautiful rainbow swirl dress.  I figured Maya was only going to be my twirly princess for a very short while.  So I purchased the pattern and set out to find the perfect rainbow colour combination.

Happy Birthday Maya!

Happy Birthday Maya!

I didn’t want the colour palette to be like the original rainbow dress I made, I wanted the colours to be softer.  So I headed to my new favourite fabric store, Mad About Patchwork, and spent a good hour deciding on the perfect colours.

Then came the dreaded part of cutting out the swirls.  Let’s just say there are 14 swirls and each swirl is made of of 2 parts.  That’s a lot of cutting.  But thanks to my handy dandy rotary cutter, it really wasn’t that bad.  I took the advice given in the pattern and just serged them all together and didn’t bother ironing the seams at all.  The skirt came together remarkably easily.

I think she likes it

I think she likes it

I changed the bodice slightly as I didn’t care for the deep sweetheart that was part of the pattern.  I just drew a straight line across and called it a day and followed the directions exactly as written, just ignoring the bits about sewing around the curves.  I don’t LOVE the bodice, but I do LOVE the dress.

Maya and Star Lily

Maya and Star Lily

I decided to make the sash as a separate piece.  I’m not sure that was the best idea because when she wears it, it rides up and looks a bit silly.  I may still attach some belt loops (a la Butterfly blouse closure), but for now Maya wears the dress sans sash.

For the hem I used single fold bias tape.  I like how it gives it a bit of weight and makes the dress really stand out when she is twirling.  And let’s face it, Maya is ALWAYS twirling.

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From then till now: part 7–Summer dresses for Maya

Maya loves dresses.  I should say Maya LOOOOVES dresses.  Getting her to wear shorts, or pants or even a skirt is very difficult.  So she is usually in a dress.  Here are two dresses I made for her this past summer.

The first one is the Hummingbird dress by Rabbit Rabbit Creations.  This is quite possibly one of the simplest dresses I have ever sewn.   There are 3 different skirt options for this dress and they are all adorable.  I chose to make the “everyday” skirt for this dress since I wanted it to be something Maya could just put on to play outside.  I didn’t want anything too big and full for playing at the playground (not that a big dress would stop her from doing anything).  There’s also the “dress up” and “something special” versions included.  The main differences between the three skirts are that the everyday skirt is quite a narrow skirt, not too much twirl factor and thus not much gathering.  The dress up and something special have much fuller skirts and the something special is meant to have an overlay over the main skirt (like chiffon or lace).  The bodice on this dress is unique and beautiful.  I love how it comes to a V in the back.  Overall, a super cute, super simple, very pretty dress.

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I made this in a size 3 with the length of a 4.  It fits her perfectly.  Maya chose the fabric.  To me it looks a little “night gown-ish”, but that’s okay.  She’s 3.  And if she wants to wear it to bed, I’m okay with that, too.  It’s “Rainbows and Unicorns” from Michael Miller.

Just doing a little sweeping on Grandma’s back deck


Ringing the bell in Grandma’s garden.


City girl on the farm

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What can I say about this next dress other than I like it so much, I’ve made three of them.  They weren’t all for Maya, two were gifts, but I really like it.  And there will be more for Maya.  It’s the Bubblegum dress by Candy Castle Patterns.  It’s a wrap dress with bias trim all around (though you can hem it instead if you are so inclined).  I have some really cute bias trim and am thrilled that I now have a pattern to use it on.


I did make a couple of mistakes when I was measuring my bias tape.  I didn’t read ahead (I know, I know) and cut my bias tape when I shouldn’t have.  So it meant I had to sew it back together again, but I don’t think you can really tell.  I love the technique used for the binding on the armhole.  It’s gathered with elastic, but then instead of just leaving it, it has bias trim covering the elastic.  I really liked how simple it was but how nice it looked in the end.


Don’t take my bracelet!

Instead of exact sizes, this dress is sized in pairs because of the wrap nature of it.  It doesn’t have to be an exact fit.  This is a size 4/5 and she will be able to wear it next summer as well (unless she has some crazy abnormal growth spurts in the next year).  The fabric I used was from the Flower Sugar line by Lecien fabrics.  I’m amazed at how soft this fabric is.

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And just because, here is one of the other Bubblegum dresses I made.  This was a gift for our daycare provider’s 5 year old daughter (which she ended up wearing for her first day of school…yay!).  It’s a size 6/7 and I used a polka dot cotton from the “My sunshine” line by Riley Blake.  I just love the crocheted trim on this one.