Our summer Look Book: CROSS CANADA PICNIC shows 2 adorable little girls in various poses and wearing 2 pretty little dresses.  I admit, I am rather biased as these little girls are very close to my heart: they are my 2 precious little grand-daughters. They did really well at the photo shoot where we took all the beautifully sewed and quilted projects to a local park and set up a picnic compete with fruit and cookies; balloons, games; bubbles and more. ……….even bugs at one point which had to be dispatched before we could continue the photo shoot!

The pillow case dress above did not have  a pattern. It is so easy to make I honestly don’t think you need a pattern but if you feel you do, just google pillow case dress or look on Pinterest as there are bound to be many folk offering both a pattern and instructions on how to make this cute little summer frock. Thank you to Trudy of Langley Vacuum and Sewing who taught me how to make these quick an easy little frocks after she and her customers made  a bunch of them to send to Africa for an orphanage in Kenya.

Pillow case dress – pic courtesy of Pinterest

Our pillow case dress was made using Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabric in the Berry colour.  I also used the very pretty  A- Z Nature Walk fabric (designed by Tamara Kate) in a band above the hem as well as for an applique on the upper front of the dress. Little Blake was happy to bounce around in this pretty dress ! Tamara Kate of Montreal designs fabric for Michael Miller as well as being a Janome Canada Artisan who made the stunning maple leaf quilt as part of our Canada 150 celebrations. Tamara Kate also designed the maple leaf logo which is found on the quilt as well as on our Canada 150 Limited Edition machine and the 3 digitized maple leaf designs (free download on our website – see previous posts for more information. ) You might be interested to have  a reminder that Tamara Kate also designed the very cute bicycle embroidery that may be found on our Blue Fig roller totes, thread caddies and accessory totes shown previously on janomelife and available from your local Janome Canada dealer.

Nature Walk A-Z fabric

The second little dress is a variation on McCalls pattern M6429. I made some changes to it and really only used the bodice front & back pattern pieces. The rest including the cap/frill sleeve, I just “ad-libbed” as I went.

I used style B on the right but omitted the long sleeves and made the skirt much longer .

The fabric is also the same Michael Miller Cotton Couture line. The skirt was 3 inch wide strips of 4 different colours of this fabric line which I serged together with a 4 thread over edge seam. I made sure that I pressed the seams flat to one side as I went. Evyn likes to wear her dresses long and also likes to twirl making the skirt billow outwards so I made sure there was quite a lot of fabric width to gather into the waistline.

The inspiration for the bodice was the Nature Walk A-Z Collection of digitized embroidery designs which are available for purchase on These may be purchased by single alphabet letters or the whole collection. I decided to embroider the letter Q for the bodice. I added pink fabric either side of the trimmed embroidered block and then cut out the bodice as per my front bodice pattern piece.

The sleeves were “left-over” strips sewed together for the skirt which I lined with lime fabric and gathered into the top half of the armholes. Armholes were bound with bias fabric strips. The neck edge was bound in much the same way you would bind the edge of a quilt and top stitched down in place.

What a joy to sew these little dresses on our fabulous Janome serger and sewing machines. I embroidered the bodice on the second dress on the Janome MC15000 and dress construction on both dresses was done on the Janome Horizon MC9400. The skirt with strips was serged on the Janome DLM serger.

And how proud I was of these 2 little girls who are so photogenic and had so much FUN with all our Cross Canada Picnic Look book project items.  Thanks to Evyn and Blake as well as Debbie and Sam for the successful photo shoot.

About Janome Canada

For over 100 years, Janome has been the brand of choice for sewing, embroidery, longarm quilting, sergers, coverhem machines - and MORE! Our Janome Canada head office; our Janome HQ, is the Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Be sure to follow us here on Janome Life blog, as well as our other Janome Canada social media so you get the most from your Janome machine! @janomehq @janomecanada Janome HQ Facebook, Janome Canada Facebook Janome HQ You Tube channel, Janome Life You Tube channel
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  1. cherylsewing says:

    Liz, those little girls are beautiful and you helped to make them really pretty as well. Those are lovely dresses. I’m becoming inspired and IF I get sewing, I can be occupied all winter with my 7 little grand daughters and 5 grand sons.


  2. Terry Carter says:

    Liz, your little granddaughters look darling in their colourful dresses. The girls are really growing.


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