My British Summer Holiday Dress!

So apparently Dobbin’s Bobbins’ blogposts are a bit like buses. You wait around for ages for one to come along, and then two show up at the same time! But hey, that’s the Kids Clothes Week effect right?

I can’t put into words how pleased I am with this little number.


When Kids Clothes Week announced this season’s theme ‘travel’ I knew I wanted to sew the Henry Dress once again, this time in a size 3T. After all, it had been so brilliant in the testing phase! (Keep your eyes peeled in July for the blog tour!)

The other ‘definite’ was that I wanted to use map fabric. I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect print and kept coming back to the same one: a lightweight upholstery fabric from John Lewis. The weight wasn’t ideal for this particular pattern, or clothing in general, but I just couldn’t resist those perfectly muted pastel shades!


When I combined the idea of maps with the Henry dress, I simply had to pursue the concept of creating the front and back of a postcard for the pockets. But how was I going to create this effect? Lesley Riley’s Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) of course! If you haven’t tried using TAP I seriously recommend the stuff. I get mine from Amazon, and it is so versatile. Of all the transfer methods I have tried and tested over the years, this is by far the best. And the simplest!


I really wanted to make this dress personal. A throwback to the good old fashioned British holidays I and so many others have enjoyed over the years. I cheekily rang my Nana and asked her to send me copies of any photos she had of my Mum and Aunt on holiday when they were little. I hastily scanned in my favourite, which would work with my colour scheme, and printed it off onto the transfer paper. (I chose not to reverse the image as I wanted the natural slant of the negative space to run parallel to the slant of the pocket).

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 09.46.06

I then created the written side of the postcard on my computer, editing fonts and bringing in pictures of stamps etc. It took a while, but it was definitely worth it. Plus, this time I made sure every last layer of the image was reversed. Very important step with text!

I printed both the scanned photo and the postcard onto TAP, and then ironed them onto white cotton. (White ensures that the colours aren’t altered, although you can create great effects experimenting with different background colours). Then I was able to cut the cotton just as normal!


Sewing it all together was a breeze! I had been nervous about using the thicker fabric,  but it actually made the construction process a lot quicker and easier! It also helps the sleeves hold their shape which I love.


And of course I had to embroider a little heart over Britain (which I deliberately placed on the left side of the chest) using pink floss to pick up the pink in the print.

The feeling of pride was quite overwhelming once I finished it. It looks exactly as I hoped it would and has allowed me and my family to reminisce about our favourite childhood holidays. Now, I think another trip to the beach to build sandcastles and paddle in the sea is in order!

Happy Sewing!


18 thoughts on “My British Summer Holiday Dress!

  1. Angela says:

    What a beautiful piece! I love how the panels of the dress make the it seem all the more like an unfolded map. And such a nice personal touch using the photo and postcard. Really lovely work, and you certainly nailed the KCW theme!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Henry Dress! |

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