A Prairie Princess

Jill in Pearland Texas, contacted me about an outfit for her daughter’s May birthday.  Her daughter loves ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and more specifically Laura Ingalls.  This mom wanted to get her one of my pioneer outfits so she could dress up just like ‘Laura’. . .

My regular readers will remember how popular this outfit was last Fall.  It seems Little House is as popular today as it was when it was first written.  In this world where so many are letting their children grow up too fast it makes this grandmother feel good to know there are still some young girls who cling to this age old classic.

This customer picked out a light blue calico with a white pinafore. So I got busy and cut out all the pieces.


This outfit has a large Peter Pan collar and a couple buttons on the front yoke. The yoke is fully lined.

Next came attaching the skirt and sleeves. I use my serger to gather these pieces and that makes it much quicker to get them fitted properly.

Now with the dress fully assembled I measured it for length and found it to be too long.

At this point I had the option of cutting off the excess or inserting a couple of growth tucks.
If I had cut off the excess, I would have just thrown it away, so I decided to go with the tucks.

The first step is to hem the bottom as normal. Then I measured 4″ from the bottom of the hem and pressed the fold.

Next I stitched 1″ from the pressed fold, creating a 1″ growth tuck.

I repeated this process to create a second tuck above the first one. These tucks will allow the child to wear the dress as she grows taller. Mom can rip the thread holding either one or both of the tucks and extend the hem 2-4″. I use a longer stitch on these tucks so they are easier to rip out.

This is what the hem looks like with 2 tucks.

The outfit comes with a bonnet, just like Laura wears, with a bow to accent the back. I attach the bows to a pin back (like a brooch) so it can be removed for washing.

The dress and bonnet are finished and just need to be washed and ironed.  Tomorrow I will work on the pinafore and matching doll clothes and I will be back with photos of the completed outfit.


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