Melissa McKeagney’s Prints Rule

Children’s clothing that’s far from boring
Artisan Aug 2020

Pictured are Little Girl Pearl dresses in sizes 2T to 6 ($59 to $74) and skirts in sizes 3T to 8 ($49). Courtesy photo

There is nothing sweeter than a little girl in a darling dress. When Melissa McKeagney’s daughter was a toddler, she had trouble finding anything for her to wear beyond boring pink. Out came the Bernina, and Mom was off, using interesting print fabrics to sew simple A-line dresses and more.

McKeagney, of Wilmot, has always been a maker, and there’s a strong thread of people who sew in her family. Going to the fabric store with her mother is one of her favorite childhood memories. When everyone started asking about her daughter’s clothing, couture for children quickly became a viable business.

She named it “Little Girl Pearl” after her daughter Pearl. “A quality cotton is the magic, while mixing prints and patterns is my superpower,” says McKeagney. Yes, her designs pop with a vitality struck with contrasting patterns and colors. There’s nothing boring here.

Many designs can be worn year round or, like the sleeveless jumpers, can be worn as a tunic later as the child grows. Other designs are reversible with a contrasting print on the inside, meaning some dresses are really two in one. For the fall, she offers corduroy jumpers, plus flannel and cotton reversible pants for boys and girls (the cuffs can be rolled down). McKeagney finds unisex prints more interesting. As she says, “Boyish prints are OK for girls too.”

Currently, McKeagney sells the dresses at League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s shops in Littleton, Hanover and North Conway, also offering reversible totes. More work, including rompers, can be found on Etsy via her website, where customers from Australia, Japan and across Europe have ordered apparel. “It’s cool to think that something I make is on a child across the world,” she says.

McKeagney has shown at the August New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair, which will be held virtually this year. Find her work and more online at from August 1-9. 

Find It

Melissa McKeagney
Little Girl Pearl
(603) 491-1342

87th Annual Craftsmen’s Fair
Held online from August 1-9
Visit for more information.

Categories: Arts & Shopping, Local Artisans