red + aqua Texas Dress

I never understood the whole Texas Pride thing until we moved here.
I’d always heard about it.
I’d always wondered about it.
Everyone told me everything’s bigger in Texas—(which might be true, especially the square mileage of dusty brown land).
But once you come live here—or even just visit—you get it!
It’s not an ego thing, or feeling like it’s better than somewhere else.
And it’s not because of that pretty brown grass I know you’re jealous of below.   Believe me, I miss California grass and ants that don’t bite, every day.

It’s just that Texans really, really love where they live!
And they want everyone to know it! —and to come join the fun if you want!
And if not, no problem.  We’ll eat an extra pound of brisket for you.
Every Friday at my kids’ school, after saying the Pledge of allegiance, and the Texas pledge, and having a moment of silence, they sing a version of “The Stars at Night are Big and Bright”.  I love it!  My favorite line is “living is fun in the Texas Sun…clap, clap, clap, clap… at our schoool in Austin!”
Because it is!
We have loved living here in this big land of Texas.  And I’ve written multiple posts about it here.

There are waterholes for fishing and swimming, football games for cheering, wildflowers for loving, and tons of great music and food for enjoying and date-nighting.

And I love that my kids get to learn all about Texas at school.  I remember doing a similar thing in California—learning about the history, early settlers, the California Missions….and then making our own 3D mission from sugar cubes and cardboard.  Please tell me they still do that in school?

So for Clara’s first “Texas Day” at preschool I gave her my own little version of the Lone Star State:
I’m vicariously gaining citizenship through my kids.

This is a variation on the First Day Dress, which I never seem to get tired of.  There are so many ways to mix it up!  I often think I should put together an “add-ons” package to go with the pattern….with more sleeve options, collars, etc.  Yay? Nay?

Changes I made to this version:
• front and back necklines are cut lower.
• puff sleeves with bias tape binding and elastic strung through the binding.
• gathered skirt, rather than the circle skirt included in the pattern.
• back ties, rather than button closure.

All fabrics are from Joann Fabrics.  And I know.  Gingham was a little cliche.  But who doesn’t love a picnic tablecloth on a tiny body, mixed with aqua and wildflowers?

Then we threw it together with red boots, which I bought at a thrift store years ago, and which she insisted on putting on herself, and which totally fell apart at school so I glue-gunned the sole back on the boot for our photoshoot.
But the best part about the dress is that she loves it.
And wears it almost every week to church.
Happiest compliment a little cowgirl could give me.
Have a great week my friends!

And thank you, thank you for your kind and honest words in the last post.  It’s taken me a couple weeks to shake things off and get back in my groove.  So I appreciate your sweet thoughts.

In the words of Tim Riggins,
Texas Forever.

  1. 1) KLujan

    I’d love more options on the First Day dress, especially those adorable sleeves. I’d buy extras! Adorable model and dress.

  2. 2) Kandice

    I would love more sleeve options. Especially a long sleeve. I am have a hard time getting the sleves right. Very cute and my girls love this dress.

  3. 3) JessZ

    I love the idea of more options! I can draft sleeves and collars, but by the time I’m able to get away to sew, I really don’t want to fiddle with drafting mods. 🙂 I love being a Texan, and I think the pride is just something we’re born with. 😉 #Texasforever!

  4. 4) Michelle

    I LOVE the idea of add-ons for the First Day Dress! I would definitely buy it 🙂 Please make it happen!

  5. 5) Flavia

    This gingham dress is sooo lovely, really, please do lauch an add-on for the pattern! I own it and would gladly purchase and add-on for extra ideas for making (even better) use of the First Day Dress pattern.

  6. 6) Michelle

    I would love an add one package for the first day dress! My girls love it!

  7. 7) Sarah

    I love this little dress! I just recently found your website and I keep finding new projects I want to try! P.S. I also love the Tim Riggins quote! 😉

  8. 8) Michelle E.

    Yes!!!! Please!!!! for an “add-on” the First Day Dress!

    This is a darling version too! Clara looks so cute in it. And… beautiful photography, as usual.

  9. 9) Kelty

    +1 for the add-ons! I’d buy it for sure!

  10. 10) Nikki H

    That is the cutest dress! The boots are cute, too. And the model is adorable!

  11. 11) Penny

    Sew, sew cute I can hardly stand it! The whole outfit rocks. How fun for your daughter (who is growing so fast – she was just born!!!) I do not have the dress pattern…….yet………but, I too, would also love the add on options. Have a great day while I google Tim Riggins (I have no clue but I am guessing a famous Texan?)

  12. 12) Joanne

    Although I dont live at USA i adore such dresses. I wish I had a daughter so I can sew it 🙂

  13. 13) Mikea

    This may be my favorite version!! Please do an add ons package!!!

  14. 14) Jo

    Yes to add ons. Long sleeves for winter please.

  15. 15) April

    Wow, I cannot believe your little one is in preschool! Great post. I enjoyed it. 🙂

  16. 16) Juanita in OH

    This is an adorable dress and little girl! I almost cried reading about the Pledge of Allegiance still being said and all the other thing that go along with it. I believe it builds character and a sense of respect for the world we live in today. I always watch the HGTV show “Fixer Upper” with Chip & Joanna Gaines, it make me want to Waco! They truly are a dynamic family. Chip had their four children near the farm gate praying and giving thanks for their land, I don’t think we see enough of that now. Thank for sharing your blessings with us each day. I am also happy to hear that you are improving after last weeks tragedy. CYBER HUGS TO YOU AND YOURS.

  17. 17) Marilyn

    I would love options for the First Day dress! Yes, please!

  18. 18) Jenni

    Ah, thanks for sharing about my home state! Great to read about from Portugal! I didn’t grow up with that line about Austin in the song, but it sure is cute! I homeschool, and we had to do Texas history when we were back in the States for a bit last year. I love the dress and how you’re embracing life there!

  19. This is so sweet! I like all the variations, especially that ribbon closure! 🙂 I’d be interested in an add on package for the day dress!!!

  20. 20) Janine R

    I love this dress and am thinking I need to buy the pattern. The add on package would be icing on the cake.Loved your thoughts on Texas; my father was born and raised there so we grew up with all those songs. Got to visit a small part of it when my son was stationed there and really liked everything about it.

  21. 21) Kathleen

    Sooo cute!

  22. 22) JoAnne T.

    Darling girl and darling dress!

    As of ten years ago, when I retired, 4th graders in California public schools were still building missions out of sugar cubes (expensive) clay, cardboard, foam board or whatever they (parents) could come up with.

    It was interesting to read about Texas, thank you for sharing this with us.

    • 23) Alana

      Yup. My daughter is in 2nd grade and we’re looking forward to 4th grade and the California mission project 🙂

  23. 24) Rachel

    Yes to a long-sleeved option! I have hesitated in purchasing this pattern because I live in an area where my girls wear long sleeves to church 7-8 months out of the year. But I love the look of this pattern, and I have learned so much from your blog (i.e. skirts and pants). Hopefully soon, I’ll tackle a dress!

  24. 25) Jennifer O.

    Such a cute dress! I lived in Texas for 5 years when I was a kid in the 80s. We were there for the sesquicentennial and I did take Texas History in 7th grade. Visited lots of missions (including the Alamo), met a descendant of Sam Houston, learned about lots of Native American tribes (compared to Georgia where we had about two), made a map of cattle drive routes out of beans. I don’t think we recited a Texas pledge, but we sang the song (though not daily). Lots of fun in Texas!

  25. 26) Karen

    The dress is so cute. I would love to get the extras for the dress. I would be willing to pay for the extras. I made the dresses for my granddaughters as Halloween dresses. so cute. Thank you for your patterns

  26. 27) Kimberly

    I love the way you put fabrics together Dana! You are always inspiring me! Love Love this sweet little dress!

  27. 28) Megan

    You made my night by referencing Tim Riggins!

  28. 29) Liana

    I vote yay on more options for the First Day Dress!!!

  29. 30) Eileen

    I would love to see more options for the First Day Dress.

  30. 31) Grace

    Yes please to the add ons package! I love this version and would be interested in long sleeves too.

  31. 32) Veronica

    Yes please the add on package would be great, this version looks beautiful!!! and also as it was mentioned in other comments please add long sleeves and 3/4 sleeves may be?

  32. I LOVE the idea of add-ons for the First Day Dress! I would definitely buy it 🙂 Please make it happen!

  33. That dress is so cute! and your little girl is so adorable in it.

  34. Seriously? Is that Clara? Holy moly she has GROWN! And I’m glad nobody was around while I was reading this because I was singing and clapping right along with you, “Deep in the heart of Texas!” You’re right about Texans – we’re not snobby, just proud. Deeply proud. I was transplanted here at the ripe old age of 5 so I claim it.

    I love that dress. My pattern is patiently waiting for my grandbaby girl to get big enough. She’s just 18 months and is spending more time crawling still than walking. And you know how frustrating it is when your knees get hung up on your hem. 🙂 I love the gathered skirt vs. the circle. it’s too precious…just like Clara. And your photo skills are top notch. That last one of her walking away is perfect. Great job.

  35. Well, I thought I had the pattern. I didn’t. But now I do! yay! Take the kids for an ice cream on me. 😉

  36. 38) mel

    I’ve always been a big fan of red with turquoise. So meant for each other!

    Why not add a turquoise ruffle or bias binding to the hem of the dress. Be bold! 😉

  37. 39) Stacey

    What a cute dress! As a 1-year Texan, greetings from Houston. Long live Blue Belle! So happy to have it back!!

  38. 40) Erin

    Yes! Please make more options for the first day dress. I have made several versions of it because my daughter keeps outgrowing them. It’s one of my favorite sewing patterns!

  39. Yay a fellow Austinite!! My daughter’s school is weirdly private so I just asked her if they say something about Texas after the Pledge of Allegiance… They don’t! I was actually surprised! Looks like I’m going to have to push the Texas pride in her myself! Actually, I’ll leave that up to her dad, I’m from Jersey originally lol.

  40. The bias tape on the sleeves add a little somethin’ somethin’. Very cute.

  41. 44) Crystal

    Do you happen to have a how to video on this or any dress? I LOVE your videos, you make it look so fun and effortless. I know it’s allot of work! Thank you!!!

  42. 45) TAMMY FORBEY

    i would like to make this in a size 12 or larger. Can you get me a pattern for that?

  43. 46) Sherri

    Yes!! More add ons Please!!!

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