children, sewing

Peony Patterns Cerise Dress {Release}

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I’m excited to share my final pattern test of the year, the Cerese dress from Peony Patterns! (This means I have all the last minute Christmas sewing to get working on now!!). Cerese (French for “cherry”) is a lovely woven dress with an elastic waist, short and long sleeve options with tie cuffs, optional pintuck dress front, back button closure, twirly circle skirt and optional ruffle hem. I chose to make my Cerise with the pintucks, circle skirt, and short sleeves.

Cerise is a beginner friendly sewing pattern. Made with a simple bodice, I would rate it as beginner level. If you do the pintucks, I would up the level to beginner+ or intermediate. Pintucks aren’t particularly hard to do, but they do require being precise and patient. I was having quite the time getting mine to look right so I seam ripped them *multiple* times until I was satisfied.

I used a cotton Lycra stretch shirting in orange floral (Simply By Ti) for this dress. I’d had this fabric hoarded for a few years, with the intent to make Chinese new year dresses for my girls. Creating the circle skirt in the larger sizes requires 50-60″ wide fabric though, and after looking through my stash (mostly 44″ wide), decided to pivot the fabric over to Cerise instead.

I created the cuffs with embroidered cotton from Hobby Lobby, and since the embroidered cotton has holes in it, lined it with some white broadcloth. This did make it a bit thick and hard to tie, so I’d avoid a thick or lined fabric there if I were you.

Cerise is available in sizes 1 – 14. My 10 year old has a size 6 chest and 11 height, but most of her height is below her armpit, so I used a size 9 armscye and lengthened the bodice and skirt to 11. My elastic was a little short so it rides up just a tad (the pattern was updated afterwards to increase the length of the elastic slightly, to prevent this from happening). I would suggest using a non-roll elastic for this dress. I used knit elastic for mine and it insisted on rolling and twisting every time I threaded it through the casing.

Oh, and did you notice the tags I used on my dress? I received these from Juno Design USA, a label, tag and button designer based in Florida. With a heart on one side and “Hand made with love” on the other, this is a fun one for featuring on an outside seam! Check Juno Design USA out on Instagram for more ideas!

Since my sewing machine’s buttonhole function is on the fritz, I ended up using orange open metal KAM snaps in the back. I learned that they fit inside my SnapSource SnapSetter (though I really think I want to suck it up and get the dies for my Kam tabletop press so I don’t have to deal with hammering).

Beyond the basic pattern, I think Cerise has some really great color blocking/fabric mixing options! Consider creating the pintuck section in a contrasting fabric – a solid or even a lace might work (though I’d nix the pintucks if I did lace there). You could add piping along the cuff, or even close up the cuff entirely. You could add lace or trims to the bodice, or along the skirt hem. I used a cream bias tape to hem my circle skirt – you could add a really fun pop of color or make your own striped or polka dot bias tape here too! (Do you make your own bias tape? It’s really easy with some spray starch and Clover bias tape makers).

Cerise is on sale for release week, so grab it now and sew it up over the holidays! (Sale ends midnight US PST December 22, 2021). Be sure to join the Peony Patterns Facebook Group for more inspo, advice, and to share your projects!

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