Country show day

Country show dress

On the weekend was our town’s one-day country show. Regrettably, our family couldn’t go, but we still entered some things in handicrafts and cooking. (Read about last year when I entered some dressmaking, the year before when I wished I had, and the year before that when we went for the first time.)

I entered in a new category for me: child’s garment/outfit. I really don’t need any more clothes myself, and my favourite 8 year old found some very pretty fabric at the op shop during the holidays. It’s poly/cotton with roses and butterflies on it. We looked through the dressmaking library at home and found an Enid Gilchrist pattern with potential.

Country show dress Enid Gilchrist pattern book
Country show dress Enid Gilchrist pattern
Circa 1950’s? I drafted a bodice pattern from it and fitted it last weekend. The pattern has different style options but we made quite a few changes: full circle skirt, no collar, no front darts, double layer cape sleeve.

It was one of those projects that just “came together” (luckily!). I bought 10 metres of narrow hot pink ribbon on Tuesday, cut the dress out on Wednesday, sewed it on Thursday and delivered it to the show office on Friday. The show was on Saturday.

I don’t want to set the example to my children of leaving things to the last minute, but I realise that’s exactly what I have done. Hmmm……

Country show dress on coat hanger
Very happy with it. I enjoyed sharing the design process with my 8 year old: “how about this?’, “what about this ribbon?”, “this or that, which do you like the best?”.
Country show dress ribbon closeup
I was very glad to discover that the pink ribbon could be sewn on by machine, narrow as it was. I wouldn’t have used as much, if any, if I’d had to attach it by hand because I just didn’t have the time. I used the whole 10 metres.

We collected the dress from the show on the way home from the event we’d been to, and unfortunately the whole display had just been taken down so I didn’t see any of the other entries (or anything else – thus no photos to show you). However, I heard later that they’d been more competition this year so that’s great. We have to support these things, otherwise we might lose them.

Country show dress prizes

Excited to see it won a prize, and an outstanding exhibit. I’m still deciding on how to spend my $2 prize money (less 50c entry fee), but as you know we enter these things to have fun, challenge oneself, promote crafts and contribute to our local show.

Country show dress modelled
Feelin’ pretty special.
Enjoy one of the very few non-cross-eyed/tongue-out photos of the girl and the dress.

Are you a serial show entrant?



  1. lizjane pascoe on October 21, 2019 at 9:39 pm


    • lizhaywood on October 21, 2019 at 9:47 pm

      Cheers Liz!

  2. Kathy Bryker on October 21, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Recycled upcycled and the only way to make a dress is just before an important occasion.
    It looks lovely. I am sure the 8yo is suitably impressed.
    I think it is lovely.
    Good on you.
    Hear hear for country shows.
    What fun.

    • lizhaywood on October 22, 2019 at 9:22 am

      Yes, I agree making a dress just before an occasion adds an extra element of anticipation, as long as things go smoothly!

  3. Sarah on October 22, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Oh, lovely! I like the flutter sleeves.
    I’ve only entered the dressmaking section once, with a christening gown. I was lucky enough to win the section for a $10 prize! I haven’t entered since.

    • lizhaywood on October 22, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Good on you! I hope you consider entering again sometime.

  4. Jill on October 22, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Well done Liz! What a gorgeous dress; love the colors. Your model is very cute too.

    • lizhaywood on October 22, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Cheers Jill. The model likes it 🙂

  5. Julie on October 22, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Gorgeous! And it looks so perfect on your daughter. I have that Enid pattern buried in a book somewhere – I love your modifications. You have inspired me to enter as I look at the program most years. The only thing that got close to entry was a fruitcake that sadly got eaten before it had a chance. And yes, a number of my ‘special occasion’ garments have been last minute, one had the hem finished in the car….. that was a tad too stressful!

    • lizhaywood on October 22, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Julie, I hope you do enter next year (but we should compare notes so we’re not in the same category!).

  6. Jen on January 5, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    A lovely dress. For our country show in 2018 in our town of 2500 people my 6 yr old daughter and I crafted madly… she wove a basket and I did a painting… it was super fun and we both won prizes!

    • lizhaywood on January 5, 2020 at 7:59 pm

      Well done! It’s a great activity to do together and hopefully is a more exciting reason to visit the show than showbags and rides.

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