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Geranium Dress: Pattern Review

The Geranium Dress from Made-by-Rae is one of my favorite patterns. It is a pattern perfect for confident beginners and has dozens of variations.

Geranium Dress from Made-by-Rae

The Geranium Dress from Made-by-Rae is a versatile pattern. The main pattern is a dress or top ranging in size 0-5Y and 6-12Y. It has a gathered or pleated skirt, three different sleeve options, optional patch pocket, optional in seam pockets, optional cutout neckline, lined bodice, and button closure. There are so many different ways to make this pattern,

As if this wasn’t enough, Made-by-Rae also published a Geranium Expansion Pack that includes a sash, hem band at the bottom of the skirt/top, neck bow, extended bodice, fitted sleeves, gathered sleeves, collar, and a zipper.

I have both the original pattern and the expansion pack. There is so much you can do with this pattern. I have made it dozens of times for my daughter. Ranging from a flower girl dress to an everyday summer playing in the mud dress.

Never Sewed a Garment Before?

Do you have inspiration for sewing your own clothes? Maybe you had a little girl enter your life and you want to sew her fun dresses? If so, figuring out where to start can be daunting and it seems like there is such a big learning curve.

The first garment I ever sewed was a Geranium Dress. This dress taught me so much and gave me the confidence to tackle other projects.

If you are new to garment sewing, I think the Geranium Dress is a great pattern to start with. Hear me out.

  1. Clothes for babies barely use any fabric and therefore are cheap and quick to sew. Made-By-Rae even made a newborn size Geranium dress for free on her website. It is so small you could probably use the fabric from an old pillowcase and it would be enough. Your first sewing project could be free! And it may even fit a baby doll.
  2. This pattern has so much that you can learn and has a lot of flexibility in what you can incorporate into the pattern. It is easily customizable, so you can focus on whatever skills you want to master!
  3. Sewing a dress for a child is a common project. There are a lot of sewalong videos on Youtube that walk you through a very similar process. (In the video in the link someone is using a serger, you don’t have to!)
  4. If you sewed one just to practice, you can donate the dress to someone in need!

What Kind of Fabric to Use?

Quilting Cotton

Quilting cotton is what new garment sewests typically gravitate towards. It is cheaper, easy to find, and comes in a huge variety of patterns. Most of my first Geranium Dresses were sewn with quilting cotton.

Quilting cotton typically doesn’t have the best drape and comes in varying qualities. JoAnns has some for only $3 a yard. This fabric is not as tightly woven and can feel a little rough. Ruby Star Society and Rifle Paper Co make gorgeous $11 per yard fabrics that are softer and more tightly woven.

Garment sewests typically stay away from quilting cotton because it doesn’t have the best drape. This means that the dress will not lay as well. The gathered skirt may be a little more poofy and stiff. But I think it works okay with this dress.


Flannel is another popular fabric for this pattern. It works really well with long sleeves for winter. The drape can once again vary. I love the flannel from Robert Kaufman. The pink/yellow/gray/white fabric above is Robert Kaufman Junior Mammoth Flannel in nutmeg. I’ve also used nursery flannel from JoAnns (super cheap, but not as good quality).

Linen & Linen Blends

Linen is a gorgeous and popular fabric to sew with, typically for summer dresses. It can be a bit expensive though. I tend to gravitate towards linen blends for their affordability. I like Brussels Washer and Essex by Robert Kaufman. They have great lay and are easy to sew with!


Rayon is a super lightweight swishy kind of fabric. It would be great for a summer dress. Rayon can be a bit difficult to sew with since it is a bit slippery. It also typically costs more than other fabrics. You would absolutely need to use a light weight stabilizer if you sewed a dress with rayon.

Fabrics to Stay Away From

For this dress you just want to stay away from anything that feels too heavy or thick. For example: canvas, thick denim (chambray would work though), or fleece.

Possible Modifications for the Geranium Dress

Once you start sewing you find there are so many fun modifications for little dresses like this. I added some embroidered flowers onto the collar of one of my daughter’s dresses.

I also made this dress with two layers of fabric. The outer layer was an eyelet fabric and the inner layer was a simple cotton. It was a perfect and simple dress for my daughter to wear in my brother’s wedding.

You could also use fabric paint to add a fun design to the dress. I did fabric paint with my daughter on one of her shirts. I quickly realized I had little control over the process and it turned out nothing like I had hoped. But my daughter LOVES that shirt and she wears it as soon as I wash it.

A True TNT (Tried and True) Pattern

Sewing for my daughter continues to bring me such joy. I love how this pattern can be modified for different seasons, both in weather and in her interests. (I’ve recently started adding pockets for her to stash her outdoor treasures.) If you try this pattern, I hope you love it as much as I do!

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