Little French Dresses: Albertine

comments: 60


PATTERN: Albertine, from Citronille
FABRIC: I think it might have been from Knittn Kitten but I'm not totally sure

Well, I think I've finally found my favorite sewing patterns in the whole-wide world. They are from the French web shop Citronille and they are lovely. This is Mlle. Albertine. Elle est jolie, non?


I stumbled upon Citronille several weeks ago via the blog of one of my very favorite Ravelry knitters, Ittybitty. (She makes the most beautiful knitwear and sewn clothes for herself and her kids. Her color sense is so sophisticated and amazing to me.) From her blog I managed to click on a link that took me to Citronille and then I fell in love. I'd never heard of these before. Get ready for a flurry of little French dresses!


My dad's name was Albert, so I had to make this one first. All of the designs are so simple and sweet and lovely. They all look so comfortable and swingy and easy to wear (and easy to take in, or hem, or gather at sleeve-bottoms, if necessary, once they're put into use). The patterns are written entirely in French but also illustrated a bit, so that helps with the directions. I've made two so far (I'll show you Suzanne [my mom's and sister's and Andy's mom's, and come to think of it my middle own name] tomorrow), and I had no problems figuring out what to do (but I've sewn a lot of dresses by now, so I already kind of knew what to do; if you are inexperienced, you might need some help).

What I love about these dresses is that, although the shapes are so simple, all of the lines seem so right. That is, the "cut" of the dress just feels a little bit prettier and a little more poetic and a little more . . . French. When something is gathered, it's really gathered. Where something could be straight, it has a poetic curve, or a lovely fullness, or a unique angle. My friend Brooke and her family were over for dinner on Friday night. In telling Brooke about these patterns (while cooking in the kitchen, i.e.: away from the computer so I couldn't show her the web site), I tried to use the analogy I'd thought of (just minutes before the doorbell rang): I said that sewing them was like cooking something really simple but with really good ingredients. Because when you have so few lines, you want them to be just right. (This is me, trying to justify spending the money on the shipping, ahem.)

After following some links on the Citronille site, I saw that finished clothes (as well as matching doll clothes!) made from these patterns were being sold at Nils & Happy to See You. (I'm not really sure how these are all related to each other.) There are also patterns for women's, doll, and baby versions. It was exciting. I can see that these are going to keep me very happily occupied for a while. Until I have to take my sewing room apart for the new flooring. Which I should be doing right now, and not sewing. Choices, choices . . . hrmmm.


Oui, what a wonderful dress. I love the background fabric color and the petite flowers. I look forward to more French dresses. They have such a way with la mode huh. Hmm move furniture or sew. Well I know which one is more fun! Good luck!

I have been in love with these little patterns for years but have never had the courage to actually buy and try! Clearly this needs to change. How long did shipping take for you? The girls also have dolls that could fit the doll clothes (that's how I found Citronille in the first place). Ok! Ah! Inspired now that I know they're darling! :) xoxox

That dress is gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. I love that they have mama versions too. I think I know what I'll be asking for for my birthday :)

This is a close favorite to the Alice dress you made. I love it! So sweet and simple and the fabric choice is perfection!!!

how sweet! my brother and sister-in-law just had a baby girl in february. the patterns from citronille are beautiful. and i love the fabric you used in the dress!

Absolutely enchanting.

simply gorgeous.

I cheat and have them sent to my Tante's house in Normandy -- her shipping to me is a lot more reasonable :)

What a wonderful discovery. I recently found this company as well via a French blog and on a recent trip to Paris bought a few patterns at Au Bon Marche. They are beautiful precisely for the simple lines in the design. I love them. Also, the baby graphics they use as models are gorgeous. I will love seeing your progress on these designs. Thanks for sharing.

This dress is so beautiful in it's design. It reminds me of tops I wore in college. Do you ever sleep?

Please tell me you bought Thadee? That little hooded coat is PRECIOUS! Oh, what have you done to me? These perfectly, fantastic patterns in French! In French? I can hardly sew patterns in English!

One of my favorite clothes designer ! do you know "c'est dimanche" ? (, their patterns are gorgeous too !

How adorable! I can hardly wait to see more & I, too, vote for Thadee :)
Aren't Clemetine & Capucine (That's a nasturtium flower!) cute, too?!

So cute! You I'm sure already know about this, but Oliver + S has some similarly cute patterns, and the instructions are in English.

Kary in Colorado says: July 13, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Sorry to rain on your parade--the dress is very sweet, but it will drive any toddler crazy with those wide sleeves. She will push them up out of the way and they will fall back down, they will drag in whatever she is eating/playing with--not a practical choice. This is a "grandma dress"--looks cute to people who don't have real live small children in their lives on a daily basis. There is a reason most little girl long sleeves have at least elastic in them at the cuff. Ah, but you will learn from experience, like the rest of us, won't you?!

Are all sizes included in the package? I was just discussing with our co-op moms the problem finding children's clothes with out advertising, logos or completely inappropriate styling. I think I may just start making my own. Thanks so much.

Is there somewhere to buy these in the US? Or at least in English? I speak/read not a word of French.

Very cute dresses. We'll have to check them out.

Susie Sears Taylor says: July 13, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I'm afraid Kary of Colorado is correct about the sleeves. My youngest, Gabrielle, would just remove her cothing when it became too restrictive or got in the way and simply ran around naked until caught. Of course sleeves always come in handy when there is no napkin available to the child. I noticed several of the patterns had sleeves such as this one. Love the fabric and style of the dress.

oh, darling! i will be going on a "stroll" by Cintronille shortly... thank you.

the dress is beautiful, what a gorgeous blue!

Oh I can just see this on a little girl sitting in a cafe in Paris right now! Thanks for the links I am sure my daughter, Aries, would look wonderful in these.

beautiful dress... I've been browsing the site and thought I'd check on shipping -- it would have cost me 42$CDN in total for ONE pattern (for the pattern plus shipping) I'm thinking I'll pass -- but I'll keep looking at your blog for your beautiful french dresses :)

Tres bon!!
Years ago when my kids were small I used French knitting patterns to make sweaters etc. for them. I always found them to be so different to others that were available then and always way ahead of their time.
Vivienne x

C'est super-chouette!

Squee! On a personal note, my doc has started me on Clomid; so we'll see... I could be packin' within six months-and have my own reason to sew teeny clothes.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at