Friday, August 30, 2013

Pattern Review: Dandelions n' Dungarees Classic Ruffle Dress

I recently purchased the Classic Ruffle Dress from Dandelions and Dungarees, and boy is it adorable. It comes from a relatively new designer, but the pattern is well written and explained and has great pictures. I expect a lot of great patterns to come from her J

From cutting to completion the dress took me a bit longer than a simple dress- about 3 hours- but most of that was in the cutting… there are A LOT of parts to it.. But don’t be discouraged, it does go together quickly and it is fairly easy (with exception to the *gasp* BUTTONS!!) there were only a few actual pattern pieces, but the rest of the parts (skirt, button plackets, ruffles, waistband, etc) were given as measurements… which in my opinion are SO much better, since printer paper and ink are in high demand around this house. The pattern pieces were very well organized and professionally digitized.

I’d consider the pattern good for beginners/intermediate- only because of the button holes, but you could easily do snaps in place - which are definitely easier. It didn’t have any really difficult sewing techniques. And boy, did it come together nicely. It seriously was the closest to ready to wear (RTW) clothing I found in sizing (normally if I make a 2T for my almost 3y she SWIMS in it. But I took the change and tried (Since it’s the smallest the pattern goes at this point- from what I understand she’s working on expanding the sizes). The only thing I did do to customize the fit of the dress was to do shirring (elastic thread) across the back waistband. It tightened the waist up just enough to fit perfectly.

When cutting the fabric, I also made my skirt pieces 36inches long, instead of the listed length for my size (because I was lazy, and my fabric was already cut to the 36in, why cut it any more… haha) it made the skirt a little more fuller and is just adorable. My daughter loves to spin around in it and swish the skirt. Though, my pattern/measurement alterations were definitely not necessary, actually, this might be the first (maybe even only) pattern that I did not change anything about when putting it together- for me, that is saying A LOT.

And just to let you know the fabric, the print line is called 1001 peeps, I’m not sure of the manufacturer of the fabric, but is gorgeous. My daughter loves the towers on it, she calls it her castle dress.

So in conclusion, you really MUST get this pattern, and all other pattern she puts out in the future for that matter, this is a good one, and is Perfect for back to school. My daughter will be wearing it to her first day of preschool in a few week…… but that’s a completely different post for a different day.


Pattern Review: See Kate Sew- Sugarplum top

So those who know me, know that I'm fairly well versed in sewing techniques, but I must admit, I’m a lazy seamstress. I love easy projects that don’t call on all my knowledge, one of the many reasons I LOVE this pattern from See Kate Sew. The Sugarplum top is a quick sew and perfect for the beginners out there. There are no difficult closures but it is a very stylish top, which is great because when it comes to easy and quick you’re usually stuck with peasant dresses and pillowcase dresses- though completely cute, are not nearly as fashion forward as this adorable top.
The pattern consisted of pattern pieces you cut out (even the rectangle for the skirt). I loved that the pattern piece for the collar pieces were NOT nested, with a piece that small, I have trouble following the correct line (considering my printer ran out of colored ink months ago). It also included a fuller skirt option to make it more full. From start to finish, including cutting, ironing and sewing, I had this project done within 2 hours, that’s with a rambunctious 2 year old bothering me every 20 seconds. I would say a experienced seamstress could get it done quicker, and a beginner, not a whole lot longer.
The only tricky part of the entire pattern was stitching the collar to the lining piece after, it is all attached together- though this could easily be skipped (instead of doing it the way it was written in the pattern, I just topstitched the entire way around the bodice (arm holes and neck opening) I just made sure to flip the collar up when I was topstitching that area (basically topstitching under the collar through all the layers). The top closes by ribbon ties at the shoulders- so easy compared to zippers or buttons. Though admittedly, I did not use ribbons, my daughter doesn’t like ribbons by her neck- so Instead I did plastic snaps (a hit around our house).

The top did fit quite loose on my skinny-mini, I made a size 2t for her, but probably gotten away with smaller, but I was bad, I didn’t go off of the given chest measurements- I told you I was lazy. I just went off of what size she wears “ready to wear” size, which it seems to run a bit bigger than (so yes, MEASURE your child). Though even my mistake was easily fixed. It was super simple to just take in the side seams a bit more than the given seam allowance.
I seriously LOVE this top. I have plenty of plans to make more in the future. It would be great as back to school tops in those warmer months. She gives you ideas about changing it up with bigger collars, no front ribbon etc. I plan on trying it next with a larger collar, maybe a big pointed collar as opposed to the peter pan collar. It works GREAT for play time. The only downside for WAHM’s out there, is that the pattern requires a license in order to sell items made of the pattern- but I think the cuteness far out-weight this.
I used quilters cotton from the Joann Fabric quilter’s showcase line. I fell In love with this fabric at the store, and a plus, it’s a fairly inexpensive fabric at that. When it comes to fabric choices, I’d stick to a quilters cotton or the like for beginner, but as a more experience seamstress, I’d love to try it out in a silky fabric for an dressed-up, flow-y (is that a word?) finished project.
But in conclusion, this pattern from See Kate Sew is A-DOR-ABLE. I’m so glad I gave this new-to-me designer a chance! I’ll definitely be purchasing more patterns from See Kate Sew.