Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Girl's World, lovely book--a dress and a review!

A while ago I came across a mention of Jennifer Paganelli's book that just came out--Girl's World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make for Little Girls.  I loved the cute style and bold prints (Jennifer is a fabric designer and owns Sis Boom, so they're all her own!), and am usually excited about new sewing books.  Jennifer sent me a copy of her book and some beautiful yardage of her yellow print, for me to try out and review for you!  Of course I don't have any little ones to make things for, but my cousin's 3-year-old got a new dress out of the deal!

So here's the book:
Girl's World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make for Little Girls
I love the bright colors and florals.  Here's a look inside the beautiful book...

Comes with all the patterns in the front...

Such fun for little girls!

Got all the essential tips and diagrams in the beginning...

Here's the dress I made, the Josie dress.  So sweet!

The book has all kinds of projects in it, too.  Aprons...

I LOVE this pillow.  Now I have a pattern for it!

More home dec projects...

And of course the patterns are a good quality paper, and they're all included.  Here's some of the Josie Dress pattern I used.

The instructions were totally simple and easy, even for me when I've pretty much never made a little girl's dress before.  A few things are different than for women's dresses!  But I followed along just fine with the pictures and descriptions.  And enjoyed having the beautiful book at my side in the sewing room.

I cut out the smallest size, the XS.  Brenna is only 3 but she's very tall for her age, and while I don't know her actual size in storebought clothing, I think I had some basic measurements from her mom.  Kids aren't hard to fit clothing on, I guess... they're sort of barrel-shaped, so as long as the lengths and basic circumference are right... of course, I don't have kids so I don't really know.  But, the XS fit her perfectly and the ties at the back took it in a teeny bit so it fit more closely.

Also--this is not your average cheap-o quilting fabric.  The Sis Boom yellow Carrie print was so substantial and smooth, even after I pre-washed it!  It held is shape really well and did feel suitable for a dress, when I almost never use quilting fabric for clothing.  I used a pink homespun cotton I've had for a while for the midriff panel and ties.

And it turned out great!  Here's my lovely model enjoying her new dress!  Thank goodness we got some beautiful days last weekend and it was actually warm enough for us to take these pictures outside.

However, disclaimer: as cooperative and sweet as Brenna was to model her new dress after I gave it to her, she WOULD NOT allow her hair to be re-braided, taken out, or touched at all.  I got a little lesson in three-year-olds when I tried.  Not happening.  She still looks cute, though!

You can see the bright turquoise zipper I gave it peeking out!  I was inspired by Jennifer's beautiful bright colors that somehow all go together--thought the color would be fun, and I had it on hand!


After making this I seriously think I need to carve some time out of my schedule to make this little cutie some more dresses.  It was so fast and easy (did I mention, not counting cutting time, this little dress took me just over 1.5 hours to make?!!?!?!), and she's so cute in it!

So, if you have any little girls to sew for, definitely check out Jennifer's book and amaaaazing fabrics.  Have fun!


  1. Anonymous3/30/2012

    Wow! I would love to make a dress like this!

  2. Did you do any alterations? I'm curious because this is weirdly the second review I have read of this book this week, and the first said the sizes were way off.

    1. No, I didn't change a thing about the sizing. I made the XS (4-5 I think), fits her perfectly with a little room in the back that the drawstring takes in. I actually don't know what size she normally wears, though! She's 3 but TALL!

  3. I can't thank you enough!!! This is really just the kind of review we like!!! The toddler makes it all that more special. Just for Melinda many reviews on amazon might help but I have never heard that, granted my circle might not tell me that but reviews on amazon are pretty objective. Wishing everyone a great day!!!

    1. Was so fun to do, thanks for the opportunity!

  4. I have four daughters, so I definitely need to check out this book!

  5. it turned out super sweet :D

    It's a great book, I sewed the Tallulah Halter Dress: http://nestfullofeggs.blogspot.com/2012/02/tallulah-halter-dress.html

    I'd like to sew another dress from the book...

    1. OMG, yours looks great, too! Yes such a fun book!!

  6. Aaaawww! I love it! She posed for you and everything. If you do make something else for her to model, I will make sure to get her hair done lol. She has worn the dress twice this week to play in and show off ;) It does fit her perfectly! And I love yellow on her. She may be 3, but we have been buying only size 4 because like you said, she is tall. Thank you, Suzannah, for the lovely surprise!! We love the dress and the pictures!

    1. Of course!! She was so sweet, very cooperative besides the hair, but hey, it's sort of charming. ;). So glad you both like it!! Love you both!

  7. Awww, this is so cute! My sister's name is Brenna, and she's tall and slim, too! :)

  8. She's is a cutie! What a beautiful book, looks like its got some pretty stunning designs in it.

    Like you I don't have any immediate family and 2 nephews, you got to use a really lovely colour of fabric too! I'm a teensy bit jealous now... lol. ;O)

  9. Anonymous12/15/2012

    Hi! How many yards fabric does this dress call for? What about others in the book? I'm buying the book as a gift and want to give some cute fabric along with it but have no idea how much she'll need for a dress or two. Will you tell me, please? I's so appreciate it!
    email: battenbergs at hotmail dot co dot uk

    1. Excellent idea! I don't remember how much yardage, exactly, but I think it was only a yard and 1/4 or so. I'd say get 2 yards and you'll be safe for several different sizes. And get her a zipper!



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