Holding back summer, part 1 (Plus a Romanian meeting!)

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 03:14

Please can summer last a bit longer? I've been sewing frantically with a crazy feeling that time is running out. 

In September Missy starts school, and like most UK children will wear school uniform. So that means fewer dresses. And the British summer is unpredictable, autumn is just round the corner.
Plus we've just returned from an incredible holiday to Romania, where temperatures hit 32 degrees.

So that all added up to some crazy last minute summer sewing. I've sewn a few complicated things recently (watch this space for details!) and needed an 'easy sewing fix'.

This dress might have taken barely an hour to sew from start to finish, but it has been months in the planning. Perhaps even 40 years. 

This is my twin sister wearing the same dress in the mid 70s. That's me in the crown. I'm wearing the same dress, hidden by the net curtain that is my princess cape. No pre-made dressing up clothes when we were young!

Recreating this dress for Missy was my back-up plan when I took part in Suz at Sewpony's series, When We Were Young. Instead I got swept along on a far more crazy ambitious project, (see here!)but this idea remained in my head.

So late at night, just before we headed off on holiday I whipped this up. It's the simplest construction, just a rectangle with sheering at the top and an added frill. My mum tells me she added the frill a year later, to lengthen the dresses and make them last another year. Her sewing was always about thrift!

And this dress was a hit! Perfect for the remaining hot days of the English summer, and then for taking on our incredible holiday to Romania. 

And while the gingham might not be that stylish (I worry that it's a little 'kitchen table cloth') this dress looks great on Missy with her golden tan and wild summer hair.

And look! Missy was wearing it when we met two other little stars of the blogging world, twins Lisa and Nore of Compagnie M!

For our adventure to a stunning corner of Romania, I turned to Marte of Compagnie M for some guidance and inspiration. And amazingly we were in the same place at the same time. Missy wore her new gingham dress, Lisa and Nore were in Louisa dresses as enjoyed spaghetti bolognese before running off to play.

It was so lovely to meet Marte and her twin girls  in such a far-flung location. I am eternally grateful to the warm welcome she gave us at the start of our amazing family adventure!

PS - My dress was thrown together, but Marte has created a much more polished version of this classic sundress with her Lucy pattern. See here!


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  1. I love this summer dress! and I don't think the gingham looks bad; I think it looks vintage and totally sweet on your sunkissed girl!:) you are so lucky to have met Marte! it must be fun to meet a blog firend in real life! good luck for going bacck to school!

  2. Not kitchen table cloth at all, Victoria. I love gingham on little girls' dresses. The red and green together are perfect. Very clever of your mother to lengthen the dress with the green layer. Love your princess cape, too... much better than store bought.

  3. It's gorgeous Victoria! I love gingham!! So great you have so many lovely photos of you and your sister in handmade clothes!!

  4. Missy does rock the dress! I bet catching up with Marte and her family was a lot of fun!

  5. I love this dress! Me and my sister used to have homemade dresses like this too. It is such a classical and timeless summer garment, isn't it?
    You must had fun with Marte during your stay in Romania! Your kids look like they are getting along so nicely...

  6. I love the dress and the beautiful pics of your summer holiday!


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