sewing a VFT Juniper Dress in Michael Miller critter jersey fabric
Collabs | Fabric

Sewing a Toddler’s Critter Juniper Dress with Minerva

June 13, 2021

I picked this fabric out many months ago from Minerva, but it has been on backorder and I wasn’t quite sure when it would arrive. In the meantime, I got myself prepared and purchased, printed, cut and pasted the pattern I’d picked out and was ready to go. As soon as this fabric found its way to my doorstep, I’d be ready to turn it into a Juniper Dress.

My fabric finally arrived, and instead of the winter dress I’d had planned, I decided it would be my little girl’s St. Patrick’s Day outfit instead! I cut my pattern out over a short evening in the sewing room, and sewed it together the next day. The next night, I whipped up a cute pair of matching leggings, since our weather has been less than predictable lately, and set the outfit out for little one to admire until I had the chance to dress her in it and grab some photos.


The next weekend, we went to get her dressed and it turns out the leggings were an excellent decision. In the months since I cut and pasted my pattern, this girl had GROWN! While the 2T still fit her perfectly width-wise, she had shot up like a weed recently and what was intended to be a dress is instead a very cute little tunic! It is crazy how quickly time passes. To be fair, she is pretty regularly in size 3T these days, but my brain hadn’t quite put all of that together when cutting out this dress. I was just happy to be so prepared!

While it isn’t the dress I imagined, it is still VERY cute on her! As with the last couple of things I have made her, I’ve been drawn to fabrics with all sorts of critters on them. This one features quail (or “chickens,” as she calls them), squirrels, skunks, deer, raccoons, and bears, amidst some cutesy flowers, hearts, and rainbows. While I have always read the color to be a green, on closer inspection the background is truly a very deep bluish green. 

I chose to use some mustard cotton lycra that I had waiting in my stash to make her these leggings, since I knew this color would go with quite a few other recent mama-made garments in her wardrobe. It matches so well with this little tunic, but I think that this fabric would honestly match with just about any color! I mean, it has rainbows!

Overall, I loved the way this came together. I don’t think you can go wrong with a gathered circle skirt on a tiny little girl, so that was already a win for me! The top fits her well, though I did warn my husband that he will have to help her navigate the slim sleeves cuffs if he helps her put this little dress on. They fit perfectly around her little wrists, but do require some assistance to get her sweet little toddler hands through them! 

The dress / top came together pretty quickly, with the exception of hemming the skirt!! While I absolutely love the look of a circle skirt, I often regret my decisions when it comes to hemming them! There is a LOT of hem to contend with here, but ultimately, it was worth it. While she is in this tall and skinny phase, this unintentional tunic length will look very cute on her paired with leggings or shorts. However, I am definitely looking forward to an actual dress-length version here soon! I do see this as more of a cooler weather dress, likely due to the higher neckline and long sleeves, and I think that we’ll end up using this pattern (re-printed in the right size!) for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dress later this year!

Dress / Tunic: handmade by me
Pattern: Violette Field Threads – Juniper Dress
Fabric: Minerva – Robert Kaufman – Cotton Jersey Knit Fabric
Leggings: handmade by me
Pattern: Brindille & Twig – Leggings
Fabric: Raspberry Creek Fabrics – Solid Mustard Yellow 4-Way Stretch 10oz Cotton Lycra Jersey Knit Fabric

Key Ingredients: 
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine 
Brother 1034D Overlocker 
Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Needles
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Heat & Bond Soft Stretch (Lite)

Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The fabric used for the Juniper Dress in this post was provided to me by Minerva as a member of their Minerva Makers Team, in exchange for photos of my finished garments posted on their website. The leggings fabric is leftover from my stash, originally from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. The patterns were both purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!

  • XX Elizabeth

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