Pattern review · Tester review · Uncategorized

A Baby and A Dolly

This week Simple Life Pattern Company expands their baby collection with a small version of the Helena Top/Dress. The first Helena I made was last spring. I made the top in a chiffon to go with the beautiful Mattie suspender skirt. I fell in love with the pattern and really wanted to try it again. Problem is, I rarely make the same pattern twice. Even the ones I love!

But this time I had the opportunity to test for the Baby Helena and it was the perfect chance to do the pattern again and try the dress this time. I even tried out a few options that I haven’t done before!


The options on the baby version are the same as for the big girl pattern.

  • Top or Dress
  • Pintuck placket or not
  • Tank, flutter, or sleeve
  • Regular sleeve or elastic casing
  • Buttons down the front or down the back
  • Modest or deep scoop back (use the modest version when choosing buttons down the front)

This time I decided to do the flutter AND a sleeve with elastic. It’s not something I’ve tried before, but I think it’s perfect for baby dresses.


I had a little bit left over from Bonnie Christine’s Wonderful Things line by Art Gallery Fabrics. Not enough for the whole dress, but enough to pair it with some black and create something somewhat suitable for winter months.


I added a little bit of trim around the waist to soften the line between the two fabrics and it was just the right touch.


This little cutie gave me a real run for any good pictures. She was on the move and when you have 2 square feet that you’d like to stay in… well, it just doesn’t always work. I look outside and the few leaves left on the trees are no longer green and I have to face the hard truth that my short season of outdoor pictures is almost at the end. For sure for little munchkins like this. Too cold already. Back to trying to make my living room look wonderful. She did, however, give me some pretty funny pictures. And some cute ones too.


A few years ago I thought it would be a great idea to buy American Girl dolls for my girlies. I loved all the accessories and different clothes. But mostly the accessories. Well, that money could have been saved! Neither of my girls play with their dolls even when I try to guilt them into it. (I should stop that.) So when Becca asked if I would be interested in testing a doll pattern I was a bit hesitant. After all, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be used. I can, however, use it as a birthday present or something, right? And maybe, just maybe, it might entice my youngest to play with her doll. She’s much more likely out of the two to play with dolls. I think the main reason she doesn’t is because her sister won’t have anything to do with dolls and if she has to choose between playing with her Nena or her sister, the sister wins out every time. So can I complain?? Nope!


So here you have the newest addition to the dolly line-up at Simple Life!!

The Dolly Helena Dress/Top pattern comes in 3 different sizes that fit the 13″ Wellie Wisher, Bitty Baby, American Girl or similar 14, 15 and 18″ dolls. I used the 15″ size for our AG Toddler sized doll which, if I remember correctly, is basically the Bitty Baby with hair. Again, I chose the dress with the short sleeves and flutter. This time I didn’t use the elastic, but instead chose a ribbon trim around the sleeve.


The one main difference between the baby and dolly dresses would be the closures up the back. While you can use buttons on the dolly dress, it’s suggested to use snaps. And I can’t see why you couldn’t use snaps on the baby one either. I’m always nervous using snaps, but these went it quite nicely and I’m thinking I should probably get myself a stash of those for just such occasions.

I was able to get all the main pieces for the dress from a fat quarter. JUST! I made a mistake when cutting the sleeves and it became a “Make it work” moment because I simply didn’t have anything else. This wouldn’t work for any other sleeve length than the short sleeve, in case you have a fat quarter you want to use.

For the lining, flutter and button plackets I used a chambray that I thought complemented the plaid nicely. And really, chambray complements EVERYTHING nicely! The lining is a coordinating plaid also from the Mad Plaid Capsule collection. I just don’t have a picture of it for you.

Nena enjoying a strawberry milkshake

This beautiful plaid was part of the bundle I won from Art Gallery for the #AGFMakersSpotlight! I finally had the perfect project to use it and I just love the colours in this print. It really does make the cutest little doll dress.

So there you have it! Two new Helena patterns to complete the collection! Now all the girls from baby to size 12 can have their own Helena dress and their dollies can have one too! Here‘s the link for all 3 patterns. Definitely a savings if you want all sizes!!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. They are there to support my addiction to Simple Life patterns, but change nothing for your own purchase should you choose to use these links.


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