Janneke dress for the first Birthday party

Our precious Baby L turned one last week.


Turning one is a big deal. We invited family and close friends to celebrate Baby L's first birthday. Of course she needed a special outfit for her party. A couple of years ago Mieke released a free dress pattern Janneke. I have been admiring this dress for two years and finally had a perfect excuse to make one!


The Janneke dress is sized from 3 months to 2 years. It features a lovely yoke and box pleats at the front and the back of the dress. The bodice is lined. Mieke offers two options for closures - an invisible zip or a button placket. The instructions are in Dutch, but please do not disregard this pattern because you do not speak the language. The tutorial has a lot of clear photos and is very easy to follow. Keep in mind that this pattern has no seam allowances. In the size chart the top row is the chest measurement, the second row is the finished bodice measurement and the third row is the dress length. Thank you An for your help :)


It took me a long time to decide what size to sew for Baby L. Her current chest measurement is 48 cm. According to the size chart she fits into size 6-9 months. I began to wonder if it would be safer to size up to make sure Baby L can wear a couple of layers under the dress since it is still very cold. I actually measured her chest again while she was wearing a couple of layers, and the measuring tape reassured me that size 6-9 months would fit her like a glove. So I made size 9-12 months. Please don't ask me why! The dress turned out a little roomier than I anticipated (of course), but it is not obvious. Baby L is a little shorter than an overage one year old, so I had enough fabric for a wider hem (1 cm + 3 cm). For the record, Baby L is 71 cm long.


Baby L's Janneke dress is made from corduroy I had left after sewing a Lotta dress for Miss R a couple of years ago. I usually make my own piping, but not this time. Maaike from MaaiDesign has a great choice of pre-made piping. I felt like I was cheating during exams using it, but it saved so much time!


I may have saved time using pre-made piping, but this dress still took just about forever to make! My sweet baby developed a fear of a working overlocker. I had to re-settle her twice while overlocking the bodice seams. The morning after I decided to overlock the edges of the bodice while Baby L was awake. As soon as I got the overlocker going she crawled over to me, clung up to my leg and started crying. Overlocking the side seams was no less traumatic.


I opted for an invisible zipper closure. Mieke shares a neat trick to help keep the piping lined up perfectly - simply mark the position of piping on the zipper tape prior to sewing it. So simple it is genius! Well, at least that's how I understood the instructions. I don't actually speak Dutch.


We are having a cold and wet winter. Our backyard is too wet to play. There is a playground in Miss R's school with a bright yellow slide. Every time we walk past this playground Baby L points at it and starts to chatter away. This little critter loves swings and slides! So as soon as we had a break from rain and gloom we headed to a new playground in town. I could not miss the opportunity to take a few photos of the new dress of course.


Both girlies had so much fun! On one stage Baby L got a little anxious as I had to step a fair way away to snap a few photos. I asked Miss R to keep Baby L company for a couple of minutes. At first Miss R was just chatting with Baby L, and then she decided her little sister needed a hug. Nothing makes things better than a loving hug from your big sister.


These two have such a beautiful relationship. They constantly melt my heart. My wish for the both of them is to keep and grow their love for each other. And I will continue sewing nice dresses for them :)

20 comments

  1. Beautiful, both the dress and the photos. The photo of big sister kissing little sister is just adorable!!!

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    1. Thank you Pam :) It is such an easy dress to sew, and it looks so good on! The kissing photo is one of my faves :)

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  2. Very cute dress. I didn't know about this pattern, so thanks for the information - I may revisit it for Christmas gifts for my baby nieces. I had to laugh a little at L's fear of the overlocker - poor sweet thing. Hopefully she gets over it soon for your sake!

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    1. Thank you Masha. This pattern is so easy and the dress looks great. Small details make such a big difference. I too hope L will make peace with the overlocker soon! She needs new jammies, and I don't really feel like sewing knits on a sewing machine hahaha

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  3. What a cutie! Happy Birthday! She is adorable in her new dress! Love love the new header! Great choice!

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    1. Thank you Olga :) I am so happy this little girl is a part of our family :) Can't imagine life any other way :)

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  4. 1 year olds are so fun! and her dress is so sweet.

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    1. Thank you Jodi :) And I absolutely agree, one year olds rule hehe

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  5. Beautiful as always Jenya. I love your blog header also! I don't think I've seen it before this post.....

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    1. Thank you Marina :) Once this girlie grows a little more she will be modelling your pants :D Yes the header is very new :) After three years I decided the blog needed a face lift :)

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  6. What a sweet little dress for your gorgeous girl! I really love that final photo. So beautiful <3

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    1. Thank you Emi :) The last pic is one of my faves. It was spontaneous and beautiful <3

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  7. Happy birthday baby L! Love the dress - going to check out that pattern right now! My kids are getting a new baby cousin in a few months so it might come in handy :)

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    1. Thank you Marisa :) The pattern is certainly worth a look!

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  8. Happy birthday baby L! Lovely dress and pictures!

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  9. Cute dress, beautiful post! Happy Birthday to your sweet baby L!

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  10. The dress looks lovely, the girls look lovelier <3 Jenya, I am a beginner at sewing, so I was unable to understand the Janneke dress' instructions through pictures only. Is there any way someone could help me out with it? Thanks for everything!

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    1. I will be happy to talk you through. Just flick me an e-mail to jenyathompson at gmail dot com. I will be offline until Monday night Aussie time though. Is that OK? I can't reply to your e-mail as your comment came up as a no-reply comment.

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