Heidi & Finn Cowl neck dress

Part of learning to sew knits I decided to try the Heidi and Finn Cowl neck dress pattern.  I’d seen some lovely dresses on ModelMumma‘s blog, and was keen to give them a try.  It’s a very basic beginners sewing pattern.  This was my WIP project which I sent a picture of to DidYouMakeThat last week.  It was fun trying to work out what everyone was sewing!

Baby dress sewing pattern knit

As a note to slightly clueless parents like myself – cowl necks catch baby drool.  It’s gross, and very damp.  Maybe more of a pattern for children that can walk and keep their slobber to themselves.  Oh yeah, and dresses are for those that can walk.

It’s pretty cute on, and very fast to sew.  Will be be a favourite?  Probably not.  Will it be a stash-busting childcare outfit?  Definitely.


I’m a little underwhelmed by this pattern, it’s very basic, not very interesting and still the instructions to put the cowl neck in are not as clear as they could have been.  The finished result is nice, but the arms were much too long and the neckline was too small (and I cut a larger size than needed) and is difficult to get over her head.  This would be remedied by using a very stretchy knit, but even still I consider it to be too small.   Big disclaimer here, I also had this problem with the Heidi and Finn Hoodie, so either their sizing is a bit off, or my baby has a giant melon head.  Anyone else had similar issues?


Nothing too interesting, a pale pink interlock from Darn Cheap fabrics in Heidelberg, $7 per metre and this was made from the offcuts of my renfrew.


Honestly after making the Hoodie, and the Sewaholic Renfrew this has no revelations.  If you have sewn a renfrew before, it might be worthwhile self-drafting a new collar in a similar shape, as a shaped cowl drapes much better than the rectangle.

Future lessons

I’m not in love with the pattern, but it is quick to cut out and sew which could make it a brilliant stash buster.  The real win here for me is the fact I can cut out a renfrew for me, and a dress for her out of 2m of fabric.  STASH BUSTER.  The finish of sleeves and hems on childrens garments are really important, as kids roll up their sleeve and run about generally exposing more of the internal workings of  garment than an adult.  Next time I’m going to really finish those seams nicely.  Hopefully by then I’ll have my grubby little mitts on my mother’s overlocker…..


6 thoughts on “Heidi & Finn Cowl neck dress

  1. Andrea Barton says:

    Overlocker in being serviced, will ring next week as it should be ready very soon. Now I will try to find the instruction book.

  2. Thanks for the shout out! 🙂
    Ok where do I start? I totally agree on the H&F pattern. The cowl is cute on girls who can walk AND don’t make too much of a mess while eating. *cough 2 year old cough* … which is why I modified the cowl on her dresses by maybe half… so now they kinda stand up but is still ok. I found the neck too wide on my 2 yr old but it was ok on my 4 yr old but I’d say that because 2 yr old is quite slender.
    The sleeves were fine on my girls because they’re all long like me … haha… but the length of the dress was short on my eldest so I’m going to have to add length next time I sew another. She loves them as they’re easy to put on (minus the tie) and she loves dresses.
    I’ve seen someone do a short sleeve version of the cowl dress so that’s good to know for summer.
    Ok and the H&F hoodie was terrible…. when I think of hoodie I think of roomy and cosy and the pattern was quite tight and the construction was kinda weird… I didn’t like the double band down the middle inside…the sizing was SO OFF too…. not overly impressed.
    But after making a lot of the dresses and hoodies, it definitely helped me sew the Renfrew and Minoru…. some similarities…
    And to make this an even longer comment…. I’m ALMOST finished my first Minoru…. have a few steps left and some unpicking (sigh) …. but fingers crossed this week…. can’t wait to show you!

    • Oh Lovely! Do post pictures when it’s done. Unpicking is the worst, I always try and finish on it now so I don’t procrastinate to going back to an item. After comparing the Heidi and Finn patterns to Oliver & S, I can’t imagine not always picking Oliver & S.

      • I should try the Oliver & S patterns…. the boys ones in particular for my little guy… they look great and heard and seen so many positive things about them. I first tried a O&S pattern about 4 years ago but didn’t have the experience/knowledge and unfortunately started with a complicated level ability….. didn’t turn out that good….

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