The Violet’s Dress



Heike Enzmann

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

"Etwas von den Wurzelkindern" (Story of the Root Children) by Sibylle v. Olfers was my inspiration. It is a German illustrated children's story/poem about the seasons from 1906.

The story: At the end of winter the Wurzelkinder are woken up from their sleep by Mother Earth, and then sew their own spring dresses. When spring arrives the colorful group of flowers, grasses, and bugs head out into the world. Soon flowers can be seen blooming and the Wurzelkinder spent all Summer playing in the meadows, forests, and by the streams. But all to soon autumn winds and storms come, sending them back home to Mother Earth ,who then puts them to bed till the next year.

This was one of my favorite stories growing up. I still love the idea of the happy flowers playing in the fields and woods.
I would like to mention that I was quite disappointed reading the English version, as it has little in common with the original feel of the text.

My main inspiration to use the Wurzelkinder for this project was the second verse talking about how they make their own dresses. I choose the character of the Violet hiding in the trees “Das Veilchen sich am Baum versteckt.”. I imagine her to be rather shy, but still very happy to be part of all the fun. Her dress would be simple but fun, in a bluish-purple like the flower.

Outline the construction…

After deciding on the finished look, getting fabric was the first challenge. Due to lock-down all the fabric stores were closed. And I don't know enough about fabric to trust my online shopping skills. I decided to start with the petticoat. For this I used an old cotton bed sheet, since a heavier fabric seemed a good choice.

Sadly by the time the petticoat was done the stores were still closed and it was clear they would not open in time. So I bought some “cotton batiste” online; it turned out a lot stiffer then expected but I really like the color so I stuck with it and made a few alterations to the design. To get an actual dress, I draped and altered the design on myself until it worked.

The petticoat is made out of six panels gathered into a waistband and finished with a large ruffle at the bottom.
The dress is constructed out of the top, waistband, and the three tiered skirt, plus the sleeves. The skirt tiers are gathered and the basting stitches removed once attached. Elastic is sewn into the seam allowance around the waist and neckline to get the ruched effect. Sewing the elastic took some practice. Both pieces are hemmed using a rolled hem foot, which turned out not to go over seams.

The main things I learned are: everything is harder than it looks in YouTube videos and takes longer than expected. Also the challenges of sewing can be really fun.




  1. Avatar Laura Boyles on March 11, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    I want it! I neeed it. I’m totally inspired by it. And the colours…so yummy. Plus the story behind it. Thank you! Best of luck x

    • Avatar Heike on March 16, 2021 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  2. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 12, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    What a fun dress! It looks great on you. It must be so satisfying to have such a wearable garment, given your difficulties in sourcing the materials you had hoped for. I’m not familiar with the story, and only wish I were capable of reading the German version!

    • Avatar Heike on March 16, 2021 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I’m waiting for better weather to to wear it. I never liked online shopping an fabric is somewhat confusing.

  3. Avatar Andrea Olinte on March 12, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    What a good choice of colour und look for the violet. I love the book. In my hometown we have a museum dedicated to “Den Wurzelkindern”.

    • Avatar Heike on March 16, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you! I might have to find that museum.

  4. Avatar Carolien van Alphen on March 12, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Lovely dress and lovely colour! So vibrant! Well done 🙂

  5. Avatar Ame on March 12, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    I love this dress, the design for it and the colors you used are so nice. The story for it is another thing I really love, and it really suits the dress because it just gives such a nice cozy spring vibe.

    • Avatar Heike on March 16, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you! I’m happy, so many actually know the story 🙂

  6. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

    That contrasting ruffle looks lovely!! Love the concept!

  7. Avatar Valerie on March 17, 2021 at 2:57 am

    Just beautiful! Like an updated chemise a la reine in vibrant colors. It’s so graceful and looks so comfortable and elegant all at once.

    • Avatar Heike on March 26, 2021 at 10:24 pm

      Thank you :). I was surprised how comfortable it turned out.

  8. Avatar KC (Keowyndrial) on March 19, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    This dress is perfect for springtime – so bright and fun and flowing! Well done with the draping – you did a beautiful job!

    • Avatar Heike on March 26, 2021 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you! I can’t wait to wear it in the sun.

  9. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 23, 2021 at 4:06 am

    This is amazing! I love the style and the colors! So perfect! Thank you!

    • Avatar Heike on March 26, 2021 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  10. Avatar Lizzie Blake on April 1, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    This is a beautiful creation – you definitely captured the character you described, and the dress just says ‘flower’ to me! I also feel your lesson of “Everything is harder than it looks on YouTube” to my core lol

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