Well, the sewing challenge #sewtogetherforsummer may have ended but clearly I'm still thinking about shirtdresses! (Mine’s here) But this time I wanted to make one for my Pixie Princess as part of her holiday wardrobe.  New Look Pattern 6884 ticked all the boxes with plenty of scope for personalising. There are four Views covering either cap sleeves, cuffed puff ball sleeves, bias bound armholes or lace trimmed. There is also the potential for adding lace trim or ribbon details to the bodice, if that's your fancy. There are three skirt lengths including two which are finished with a ruffle. View B also has the option of side ties. The pattern comes with a simple short which you could make to match the dress; great if your little girl is fond of doing cartwheels and stuff! 
In the end I decided on View B but without the side ties. I did cut them out but decided against them, preferring the clean lines of the dress as it was. My daughter is nearly 7 but narrow at the chest, so I cut a 6 there grading to a 7 at the waist and length. I then proceeded to cut out the fabric.
I decided on a beautiful Art Gallery Chambray Fabric in Cherry Crimson. When it arrived I was instantly smitten with it, just look at its selvage! 
It’s a 100% cotton chambray and relatively firm (perfect for box pleats!) which I imagine will wash and wear incredibly well; in fact I see it only improving and softening with repeated laundering -  which bodes well for a child that seems to attract dirt wherever she goes! There are 5 colours in the range which will all work well together if you fancy colour blocking! How's this for a colour palette:
The dress itself was such a satisfying and straightforward sew, aided no doubt by using such a cooperative fabric. I love sewing for my little girl; there are no major fit hassles to worry about – kids are basically cylinder shape aren't they! You sew the bodice together, make the box pleats, attach the skirt to the bodice and add the front and neck facing (which is sewn together as one piece). As I say, I chose View B, which is the bound armhole version – I wanted the dress to be as airy as possible. I made my own bias out of the chambray but a contrasting facing and armhole would look really pretty I think too. Before you know it, you're adding the ruffle and the dress is nearly complete. Ruffles are such fun to do aren't they!
The pattern calls for 6 buttons which stop around mid thigh; great if you're planning to pair the dress with the shorts. However, I decided to add extra as I knew she'd object to wearing two layers. I will make the shorts out of the leftover fabric which she can pair with a Tee. 
I also decided against using buttons. I know there are some gorgeous choices out there but I wanted something a bit more practical. Ok, I admit it, I just wanted to have a go using snaps! I've had my Prym Vario Plier Tool for ages – it was one of the first tools I bought but I'd only ever used them for punching extra holes in belts! Well now was the time to get them out and dust them off! You will need the little Adapter Bits for your pliers which come in a separate kit.
Or, you can go for their new Turquoise Vario Plier Tool, which already comes with the adapter bits.
Have you seen how cute the Love Range of Snaps are! They come in a whole range of colours; I got the red pack; containing a mixed set of 30. You can also get packs of Solid Colour Snaps too. I honestly thought they were going to be a faff to do but they're astonishingly quick and simple. I placed a wooden board inside the dress, laying and aligning the right front side over the left. Then using my Simflex buttonhole gauge I marked where I wanted each top snap to go.  I pushed a tiny hole fully through the top layer, marking the underside so that the top and bottom snaps would be perfectly aligned once fitted. I want to say I used a bodkin to make the holes but actually I used a metal barbecue skewer; whatever works right?! 
Ive done a step-by-step tutorial showing you how to attach them over on my blog
Once attached, I proceeded to open and close the snaps about 50 times under everyone's nose demanding that they be impressed with their awesomeness. Cue a collective rolling of eyes. 
I'm so pleased with the finished dress! The lovely cut of the design together with the fabulousness that is AGF Chambray, pairs to make what looks and feels like a really high quality garment that's as pretty as it is robust. Perfect! Thankfully my daughter loves it too and so generously afforded me a whole five minutes of her precious time to chase her around the garden trying to get pictures of her wearing it before dashing off to the school disco. Here's a few, the rest, naturally, were a blur! 
Thank you so much Minerva for sending me such wonderful supplies in order to make this dress!
Until next time, enjoy the sunshine! 
Sarah x