Hand Me Down Dress

My sweet baby. She’s on the cusp of turning 3 and becoming more independent with each day that passes. In this dress she looks like an angel.

The dress pattern is Simplicity 9605 which was published in 2001, but this style has been popular for decades. In fact this dress is 15 years old. I made it back when I was 20 and my cousin was 2! My aunt held onto it for all these years hoping I would have my own daughter and she could pass it down. Luckily she found it before my girls grew out of it!

She’s also lucky my kids grow slowly as I made a size 2. My cousin was also quite a tiny toddler. As you can see this dress is likely to get a lot more wear. YAY!

Oh sweet goodness. Look at that Joann’s quilting cotton. 15 years ago that’s pretty much the only fabric I used to sew clothing. Most of the rest of the store was filled with polyester (not much has changed) and the wall of pretty cottons was so much more appealing to both my wallet and my taste in colors.

Heart pocket! I’m thanking past-me for adding this sweet detail.

Underneath is a full petticoat in the same pink cotton. All these layers give the skirt a nice body that is missing from a lot of other patterns.

It was so fun looking at the guts of the dress and noticing which techniques I used finish seams and such. I don’t usually bother with much finishing work on clothes for myself, but gifts are a different story. I always make sure everything is neat and tidy. In this dress it looks like I tried to use the selvedge of the materials as much as possible. I didn’t own a serger or pinking sheers at the time.

Charlie loves this dress. We started going to church over the summer and she always wants to wear her pink twirly dress. It is just perfect for wearing to service even though she mostly goes to the toddler room. In my opinion, one should always dress for church. And nearly every week one of the older ladies stops me to comment on Charlie. So many of them made dresses like this for their own daughters and it warms their hearts to see that someone still sews up these styles.

Now I’m contemplating making this pattern again. I have some vague memories of it going together well even if more involved. I’m thinking it would make a perfect Christmas dress for Charlotte because she’s too old for the style. Maybe I’ll make something similar for Lu. Is five too old for pinafores?

8 thoughts on “Hand Me Down Dress

  1. Your daughter looks completely adorable in that dress. Is five too old for pinafores? It’s edging up there, but you might be able to squeak by this Christmas. Sort of depends on your daughter.

    I also made dresses for some of my nieces and got them back for my daughter. And one of my little dresses was handed round through a couple of cousins as well. It does give one a certain sense of completeness.

    I have a jumper I made for myself about 30 years ago. I still keep it, even though there is no way it is going around me now. My first thought when I looked at it closely a few years ago was, “My, I really did a nice job on that topstitching.” lol


    • Carol, I love it! Admiring our past work is pretty fun. And how sweet to have a dress passed around your family! I’ll have to wait and see on the pinafore. This might be my last chance to have both girls wear them.


  2. What a sweet wee dress. I also made my niece a top and bloomer set out of that very same pink fabric as yours about 15 years ago and got the outfit given back when I had my little girl, 12 years ago now. My daughter just wants shorts and tops now which she still lets me sew, I made her quite a few dresses when she was smaller as it was all she would wear until she was 8.


  3. I just love the dress. It’s nice to see someone other than me holding on to the idea that the Lord’s day is special, and in honor of the creator we should dress better than every day. I can remember twirling in a full skirted hand me down at about 5 and loving every bit of it. Your girls will have wonderful memories.


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