Something Different – A Dress for Katie

DSC05670This is my daughter Katie, she just turned 14 a few weeks ago and she has shot up to 5′-3″ but she barely weighs 85lbs.  She is super slim, a blessing many wish to have, but when it comes to shopping for clothes it is more of a curse. On our trip back to the U.S this summer we spent much of our time trying to find something for this girlie to wear that actually fit. Jeans and dresses are the worst, she needs the length of the size for her actual  age but she can still fit in a kids size 8 everywhere else.  For anyone else who may be having this problem, we found success on the jeans at Hollister in the Ryan Super Skinny size 00 which surprised me at a fair price of $25 a pair. We also found Forever 21 haactuald a Skinny Jean that worked at only $7.90 (not a great a quality but the price was right.)  Dresses on the other hand were not so easy. We must have tried on 50 dresses. Either they swallowed her in the top or were way to short in the skirt. Nothing got all the proportions right. Since I sew I have been known to make alterations after the purchase but it was getting a little ridiculous to pay good money only to go home and remake the dress. Instead I decided the best solution was to make a dress from scratch.

1382 After a trip to the fabric store Katie chose Simplicity pattern 1382 for her dress and a cute aqua bicycle print fabric.  The pattern had the option for two different back designs and since Katie wanted to save the heart-shaped cutout for a dress the Valentine’s Dance we chose the triangle cutout for the first dress.

I am making the dress but I still have the same problem as when buying a dress. Katie is a kids size 8 around but a size 14 in length.  This is where sewing it your self really shines. By cutting each pattern piece to the width of a size 8 but the length of a size 14 you can get the perfect fit. Look at the pattern pieces below. If you have straight pieces like the bodice piece to the right or the skirt just add the length to the bottom. For curved or specialty pieces like the two to the left cut them in the middle and add the length in between.Simplicity Pattern pieces

The end result is a perfect fit.


Thanks to Aunt KK , Katie has some great Tory Burch flats in orange that look super cute with the aqua.

Great details like this cut out in the back keep the dress from looking “homemade” and makes it feel less “little girl.”

Here is my somewhat cooperative model, given the chance all of her poses would have looked something like this!



  1. Hi Maggie, can not believe how Katie has grown. She is beautiful. Love the dress.
    Katie has a very talented mom and will be the best dressed 14 year old in Germany.

  2. A gorgeous dress for your gorgeous girl, she makes a perfect model!

  3. Such a great idea! Cute dress pattern and adorable shoes! I was about Katie’s size going into high school (maybe a little bit shorter) and *nothing* ever fit right. I too had a pair of 00 size jeans. I wish my mom had been able to sew cute outfits for me!

    • Then you know the frustration Megan. My mom was tiny like this too. My Grandmother would try to make her clothes but she sewed so slowly my mom would be tired of the outfit by the time it actually got finished 🙂

%d bloggers like this: