So I finished Katie’s dress on Saturday during Jack’s nap. Here’s the review I just put up on PatternReview.com with some added bits:
This is my second time making up this pattern. I thought it worthwhile to write another review as my skillset has dramatically improved in the last year, hopefully, thereby improving my reviewing abilities as well. Also, the view I made up this time was so different from my first, almost like a completely new pattern.
Pattern Description: Kids! Design your look with mix and match pattern pieces. Girl’s tops, tunics and dresses. Six sizes in one.
Pattern Sizing: 3-8. I made the size 4 but should have made the size 3 again.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except for my fabric choices.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Easier than the first time I read and used them. What a difference a year makes, right? 😉 I do have one problem with them though: for each bottom piece, the instructions tell you to make a hem, completely ignoring whether you are adding any more pieces, like a gathered ruffle or a contrast band. Basically, they are giving you the finishing instructions for that piece. So, if you are going to add other pieces on to skirt, DO NOT hem the skirt first. You will add unnecessary bulk to the seam and stiffness to that seam, thereby ruining the drape. Maybe this is obvious to more experienced sewists, but to a beginner or advanced beginner, this could be a major trip up.
back of the dress
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the mix and match aspect of the different pieces. Each look is a great little girl look and totally age appropriate. If I had to complain, the sizing became less true the larger the size. My size 4 bodice was ginormous on my size 4 niece. She can grow into it, but I wasn’t expecting that kind of ease (vanity sizing?) for a little girl.
bodice too big
Fabric Used: I originally bought these fabrics for myself for summer tops, but never got around to making them, so they are not juvenile fabrics. The floral print is a gorgeous cotton voile that has the most beautiful sheen, feel and drape, and is slightly sheer. The solid purple cotton is batiste weight. I used a cream ivory batiste to line the bodice. I thought I might use the purple to line the bodice, but when I layed it behind the print, it turned the cream sections of the print grey. A subtle but important difference. I love these fabrics and am thankful I have a lot leftover for myself. They were a pleasure with which to work.
cotton batiste lining to create a finished look on the inside
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I changed a few things to the pattern namely how the bodice lining is finished, and how I treated the gathered ruffles. For the bodice: the instructions tell you, after attaching the lining to the front bodice at the top, to baste the sides and bottom together. Why? How are you supposed to create a finished look on the inside of the bodice/skirt seam? So I completely ignored that instruction and left the lining open until I attached the skirt to the front bodice and inserted the zipper. I then turned under the seam allowance of the lining, hand slip stitched it to the zipper and then stitched in the ditch on the outside of the skirt/bodice seam to attach it. Does that make sense? For the ruffles: If you have a ruffler or gathering foot people, USE IT!!! This foot is my new boyfriend. I want to gather everything now. I might make this dress for myself (since the size 4 will probably fit me – see above notes on sizing). No more basting two lines of stitches only to gather unevenly. Nope! Just strap on your new boyfriend and go to town gathering and ruffling to your heart’s content. The major change I made to the gathered ruffles though is that I did not sew a narrow hem at the top of each ruffle so that it “sticks out” (fancy sewing technical term) at the top. I thought that was just a little over the top. I just gathered and attached each ruffle sans “sticky outy thingy” at the top. One other note I’d like to make on construction: if you have a serger, remember, as I did not, to serge your seam allowances on the side seams before you attach the ruffles because you won’t be able to afterwards. I ended up pinking those seam allowances awkwardly. I did however serge the ruffle seams.
serged ruffle allowances
Any problems encountered? Yes, unfortunately, but nothing having to do with the pattern itself. I could not get my invisible zipper to match up in the back. I tried four times and just accepted it as is because the fabrics I used were so delicate and were starting to look a little forlorn. I tried all my tricks: pinning then basting (constantly checking the line up of the seams), marking the seam on both sides of the zipper, easing in one side, etc. Nothing worked. At least there was no puckering at the start of the zipper in the end.
Inside back with slightly bumbled zipper insertion
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will sew it again and again, especially since my niece Haley’s birthday is coming up this summer. Since I was making this as a gift, I really didn’t have a chance to fit it, but I highly recommend checking fit if you can.
perfect pintucks (the next best thing to pleats!)
Conclusion: This pattern really works it. You can have so many different looks mixing up the different pieces and changing up the fabric choices that no one would know it’s the same pattern. Really worth the money.
Gratuitous Katie shot (isn't she the cutest?)
Now I’m on to Thor’s camp shirt.
Happy sewing everyone!