Plum Pudding

comments: 67


PATTERN: Rose, from Citronille
FABRIC: From stash, but probably purchased at Mill End Store?

I haven't been sewing at all in the past few months. That would probably be because sewing requires not sitting on the couch and not watching TV. And not eating soup. And not not going into my totally messy studio this past fall. But I cleaned it all up again, and all of the remodeling junk is out of there now, and suddenly I have remembered that there is a sewing machine under all of it. Voila.

I made this little dress last Sunday morning. I have been wearing a lot of clothes that feel like pajamas but are technically clothes. Or maybe I think they are clothes that are technically pajamas. If it's gray or blue I think it can go outside. If it's pink, I try to keep it in the house. My nightgown (since you asked) is this one, which is sort of red and white. I don't wear that outside. I would've kept it on all through the holidays except that neighbors kept coming over to exchange presents and if you answer the door while wearing a nightgown at 3 o'clock in the afternoon people think it's weird. I don't, but People do. If I ring your doorbell and you answer while wearing that nightgown I will totally get it. So don't change on my account.

This is how I start to think in January.

The little dress was impossibly soft. Some cotton calicos wash up so beautifully and some stay so . . . rough. This one was just quilter's cotton but after washing it turned into almost like a flannel that's been washed a million times. The best texture ever, in my opinion. I'm doing this thing in my life where I just want to find a few things that "work" and do them over and over again. Like soup. Clogs. Garter stitch. Pajama "pants." Gray. Little peasant dresses. I think that's all I need.

That and more flannel. I'm on a quest for just the right flannels at the fabric stores. This is harder than it seemed. I'm very, very picky. No big flowers. No bright colors. And I live in constant fear of pilled flannel [runs screaming]. I don't know if there's a way to tell about the future of flannel when it's just on the bolt. Yesterday, or maybe it was the day before yesterday, I bought cotton-cashmere flannel at Mill End Store. $7.99 a yard and 56" wide. Did you know they made cotton-cashmere flannel? I didn't. So warm and cozy. That is economical cashmere sewing, if you ask me. I'll save that for next week. Maybe another little dress just like this.


I modified this one to close up the back. I'd been watching Lost in Austen the day before I made this and pausing the DVD constantly to look at every delicious calico dress. The original Rose pattern I used is sort of a pinafore shirt (with an open back skirt) with sleeves. I lengthened it by about five inches and closed up the back seam. What I like about these patterns is, again, how seriously unfussy they are. No facings, no stay-stitching, not a lot of marking to do, no interfacing. Finished in two hours or so, and I am pretty slow, to boot. I reeeeally need to work on my buttonholes. I think the top one here is too low. My machine does automatic buttonholes but it does them differently than the instructions in the instruction book indicate (not that I know where the book is, anyway), so every time I sit down to do one I just can't remember all the little tweaks I do to get it to happen correctly. I make about four or five test buttonholes on scrap fabric every time. Then I worriedly slide the real dress under the needle and hope for the best. These came out okay but I just didn't put them in the right place. That's an easy fix for next time, so I'm happy. I also try to leave enough room in the sleeve hem in case a bit of elastic needs to be run around it in the future.

I also decided not to tack the bodice lining (on the inside) by hand but did it instead by machine. It doesn't look as nice as doing it by hand but it's about forty-five times faster. All in all, a quick, simple, soft, and sweet little nightgown-dress. With leggings and a sweater over top it will be soft and cozy. I should make one for myself.


Such a sweet little dress and the print is lovely!
I get pyjamas in the afternoon, by the way. :)
Vivienne x

BEAUTIFUL! Well done. The cashmere flannel sounds heavenly.

I just commented to my husband that I had worn my pj pants for a few days in a row. I think he may have been appalled at the time. Our family was just busy with the business of holidays - crafting, baking, watching movies.

I would not expect you to change, and I hope you wouldn't laugh when I came to your door in my cozy pj pants.

Oh, I am totally wearing my pajamas/pants right now. Interspersed with nightgowns, lots of. I'm with you on the find something that works and then do it over and over...maybe I just don't have the energy for anything else, or maybe it's the most practical thing ever. Hard to tell at this point. :)

What a sweet dress,,where do you get your patterns from??I have a 6 month grand daughter and would love to make her some of the dresses I have seen on your blog..thanks..

It's beautiful! I totally get the pajama thing - I'm a sucker for pajama pants and fuzzy socks.

Ah, that nightgown is totally what I want to wear during my "Little House on the Prairie" television-watching sprees, which now last four hours daily thanks to Hallmark granting my dearest wish to *catch up on all the episodes that I missed as a child*.

Who am I to challenge the universe? If I'm supposed to watch that much Laura and Mary every day, I won't argue.

YAY! Daily posts! That dress would look adorable in chambray, too.

The dress looks adorable. I cannot imagine it only taking 2 hours. It would have taken me easily 4-5!

You really should make one for yourself. As a treat.

I absolutely adore this dress. Perfect for a little girl. Do you have the pattern made up for it?

Sweet dress! Really, I could wear that myself, just like most of the sweaters and things you've been posting.

Ok, can you give a hint as to when baby girl might be coming?!

Most def. you should make one for yourself. Make one for me, too, while you're at it. ;)

Cashmere flannel??? I have flannel in my fabric iphone app, but not the cashmere variety, which sounds divine for pajamas....

Very cute dress! I think you might need to make some toys for a change. I made some of MaggieRama's stuffed toys for a great-niece that had to spend some time in the hospital. Here is the link:
I think you need to make the dog family! I suspect with your embroidery skills they will be even cuter-and mine were pretty cute! However my son did make comments like:"What's wrong with the elephant's mouth?" and "Did you mean for the eyes to look like that?" Grrr. I didn't make the container in the pattern. I have made several of Maya's buckets (I don't make them with burlap, usually more of a canvas or a ticking)and really love them. I made the medium size and made it a bit shorter with handles made of some of the great belt style canvas from Fabric Depot- with rick rack-must trim with rick rack! Here is the link to Maya's shop: This way your could do the embroidery on the couch with trips to the sewing machine!

Cotton/cashmere flannel sounds like a dream come true to me. I just love all these little dresses. That is going to be one well-dressed little girl!

Hope you're still in your nightgown!

For one magical summer in 1995, I was able to sew - and I made pillows and curtains and covered chair cushions and then the ability mysteriously went away. I haven't been able to sew anything since without having a hissy fit and throwing the project across the room while stomping my feet.

So. Jealous. Of. That. Cute. Thing.

Dear Alicia, I think your postings might be the chicken soup of blogs. Love it, love it, love it. The close up of the fabric is gorgeous. Have you caught the BBC TV series Cranford? I was watching the DVD last night and thought of you. If you get the opportunity and I am not sure what the availability of BBC series is in the US I think it is completely you. It is witty, fun, and the costumes are to die for. Why do we not wear bonnets anymore? They totally would avoid any bad hair trauma. Have a lovely day.

It's so beautiful! I love it!

Thanks everyone! Just click on the pattern name under the photo for more information about the pattern :-) (it's French).

The poor UPS and FedEx guys always catch me in my pajama pants. Oh well. A friend of mine calls them the "new mom jeans". Isn't that awesome? I love calicos, too. I remember loving them when I was a kid...they have to be just like the ones I liked back then! Cute little dress, can't wait to see what happens with the flannel! (Oh, BTW, if I do nothing else in '11, it will be to figure out the buttonholer on my new-ish sewing machine!)

Cute/sweet/adorable! I love calico and love flannel and used to make my daughter (who's now in her 30's - gulp) wear all kinds of Little House on the Prairie dresses that I made for her. I think I liked them more than she did ;).
And I just said the same thing about sewing to someone not long ago -- the part about not being able to do it while I sit on the couch and watch TV! I hardly ever sew anymore -- just knit (and watch movies on the couch) all the time. I think sewing seems too much like work, you know?
Oh, and me too on the wearing of p.j.'s well into the day - People always ask if they woke me up ;).

I love your blog and have never commented before but I read faithfully. Did I miss an announcement? Are you pregnant? I do love the baby things which seem to be appearing regularily and you seem to be "nesting" so I just wondered.
I bought your book and cannot decisde which project to start first. I love so many. Thank you for a wonderful blog.

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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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.