children, sewing

I carried a Watermelon…. dress!

Spaghetti arms!

Ahh, I haven’t watched Dirty Dancing in over a decade, but I can still remember all the great lines! So many late night sleepovers with girlfriends…. the memories!

But I digress. This post is about this awesome Stenzo watermelon border print from Mabel Madison.


(Mabel Madison, by the way, is an online fabric store based in Pennsylvania, specializing in European knits and wovens. Mabel Madison has a special focus on fabrics for boys (which is how I found them in the first place), and carries a decent range of interesting fabrics that work well for boys clothes. They also ship fast and cheaply!).


Ahem. The watermelons! It’s such a pretty fabric!! The fabric has a double border running along the selvedges, so for this dress, I used one selvedge for the front, and the other selvedge in the back. If you’re familiar with sewing knits, you’ll be used to cutting your fabric with the grain. To get the print to run along the hemline or neckline of what you’re making, you’ll need to use the crossgrain instead. I was able to make this dress (size 7 in length) from a little under a yard of fabric, so I have some left to make a fitted t-shirt for either Miss 6 or Miss 2. Miss 2 has been throwing hissy fits about fabric ownership lately though, so I might cave and make something for her, LOL.


I paired the watermelons with Stenzo neon pink. It has a slightly mottled look to it and is a perfect bright pink for summer! The watermelon print is available in pink, green and navy blue. I ADORE all of them, but I decided to go with green because A), green is my favorite color, and B), I almost never see green girls dresses.

(Three colorways of Stenzo Double Border Watermelon)


Both fabrics have a really nice weight to them, and they are super soft and easy to sew. If you’ve never sewn with a Euro fabric before, it’s time to jump in! I’d say the quality is similar to custom fabrics, but at a lower price. Also, many Stenzo prints are limited edition, so if you’re selling garments and looking for prints that will have a hard-to-find value, then these are a great option!

About the Pattern

(*contains affiliate links)

As to the pattern, I knew I wanted something that would show off the border print. I originally considered the Halla Sweet Agnes*, but I was really nervous about how cotton Lycra would drape with that dress. In the end I opted for the Halla Sunny Days Dress*. This dress has a ton of great options, and I’m surprised I hadn’t considered sewing it before.


For this version, I used the flutter sleeves and hood. Rather than adding the border at the bottom, I just added the length into the dress instead. I had intended to make the pockets too, since they resemble watermelons, but I didn’t get time to make them (and couldn’t decide how to do them without them competing with the print), so the girl will have to go without pockets.


Since my daughter is tall and skinny, I used the size 4/5 for her width, and lengthened it to the size 7 line. The fit is perfect on her!


The dress was straightforward to construct. I was able to make it in perhaps 6 hours. It would have been less had I not been constantly interrupted and had my coverstitch played nicely! Ugh, I have such a love-hate relationship with that machine!

As to the coverstitching, I used Sulky variegated thread in the looper to give it a fun look around the bodice and hemline.


I decided to also make a pair of matching leggings for this dress so my daughter would get extra wear out of it in the cooler months. For these I used FREE Halla Leggings (get the code to make this pattern free by joining the Halla Patterns Facebook group). This leggings pattern is a great fit on my daughter and so quick and easy to make too! (I traced, cut, and sewed them up right before going to church on Sunday! YEAH!).


Last but not least…

So, are you going to jump on the Stenzo wagon? Mabel Madison have so many great Stenzo prints, it’s hard to pick just one favorite, but I do love all of the watermelon prints! What about you? Do you have a favorite in their collection? Just recently, Mabel Madison added glow in the dark fabric, and it’s as awesome as you might imagine! (It’s also selling out super fast, so if you want to get it, you need to get on it!). Also, be sure to join the Mabel Madison Facebook group – when it reaches 3,000 members, there’ll be a giveaway!


I’m a Brand Ambassador for Mabel Madison and received 2 yards of Stenzo fabric complimentary for purposes of review and promotion. 

I’m a VIP Blogger for Halla Patterns and received this pattern in exchange for review/promotion.



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