French seams.

I have been looking forward to sewing for my little granddaughter, I loved sewing clothes for my son and had a good collection of basic patterns but had given them away when he grew up. Looking at the patterns available now I didn’t feel very inspired, most seem to be either for stretchy fleece or jersey clothes or for rather frilly fussy dresses. I began looking online for patterns for classic practical baby clothes and found a few interesting independent companies including Ottobre a Finnish company, MiniKrea a Danish company and Citronille a French company as well. I could not master French at school, I had little interest in the subject and the teaching was uninspired. I preferred Latin, that’s how uninspired the teaching was! I had no plans to go to France and saw little merit in learning it. If only someone had mentioned the Paris fashion houses, the wonderful fabric shops and Citronille patterns I might have applied myself a little more. However with the help of a French/English dictionary and many years of sewing practice I completed my first Citronille pattern today. Colombe is a simple dress or top with an inverted pleat in the centre front, rounded collar, long or short sleeves and a buttoned back.imageI made the long sleeved dress version using pink Vichy (gingham) brushed cotton bought at Truro Fabrics, . The dress took approximately half a metre of fabric for the 3 month size. The pattern is multisized, all sizes are drawn together on the pattern sheet so you trace off the one you need.image

The instructions are clear and easy to follow. image

imageThe dress was fun to sew and looks pretty. I added 5 cms to the length to make the dress version. It is still quite short but will be fine with tights.

What did I like about this pattern? It is a simple design with plenty of room for an active baby to wriggle about. It is a quick make, I spent no more than 2-3 hours sewing even though I added French seams to make the inside of the dress comfortable and tidy. It is adaptable, I can already see a version in white linen for the summer and fine corduroy for cooler days. As a blouse it would work well under pinafores and dungarees and in the summer the short sleeved version would look lovely with shorts. The sizing seems accurate although I have heard it can be a little on the small size for some patterns.

Citronille has a selection of lovely designs for babies, toddlers and children as well as a few designs for adults. I have already chosen a couple of other designs to try.

Citronille’s website can be found at


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