Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Dress Review

The pattern I used for Olivia's Easter dress is the Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress pattern.

The fabric I used for the dress is mostly cotton/little polyester voile with burnt out dots. I chose to make two cotton batiste slips to go with the dress, using the dress pattern as a guide for the slip.

I did the usual tracing off the pattern, onto "trace a pattern" which is very similar to the Swedish Tracing Paper. You are able to stitch it if you would like, making it great for pinning or sewing for 'tissue fittings'. You can read a bit about tissue fittings HERE and HERE. When I find a possible fitting issue in my tissue fitting, I will always make up a muslin. In this case, I could see there was a possible issue with the armscye (armhole), so I wanted to do the muslin to make sure before proceeding. Olivia fits the exact chest measurement listed for size 8 of the pattern. I made up the muslin and could see that the armscye was starting to cut into Olivia's armpit, causing some wrinkles across the chest of the dress.

You can see that in this picture here:

Here's the other side of the muslin with no sleeve. You can see just how close this is to the armpit. If you take up a 1/2" seam allowance, you will end up having this into the armpit.

I did not want to go up a full size in the dress, which would put this into a size 10. Instead, I chose to keep the neckline for the size 8 and just deepen the armscye, extending it to the size 10, plus I added 1/8" to the outer edge of the armcye, all the way around and alter the sleeve to match. This made the dress work.

I'm a bit confused on this as I mentioned, Olivia fits the measurements perfectly. If I had gone up a full size, the dress would have been large overall. I did measure each of the pattern pieces and they measure perfectly to the sizing on the pattern for finished garment measurements.

Other alterations I did to the pattern were:

-I added 1.5" to the length of the sleeve.
-I added 4" to the length of the dress.
-I chose to make the button closure opposite to what the pattern envelop shows, but I think it lines up with the instructions, which is how I usually make button back closures for garments anyway.
-I only put in 4 buttons down the back and then stitched up the rest of the back of the dress. I did not want to have my daughter sitting on buttons, plus I find the dress is more sturdy by having it stitched to the hemline. if I were making this for an infant or toddler, I would be more inclined to have the full button down back, making it much easier for mum to dress child, which is my preferred method for an infant and toddler. :)

Instead of machine stitching the hem facing, I chose to attach it by machine, but to stitch it down by hand. I much prefer the flexibility of a hand-stitched hem for altering the hem at a later stage.

The pattern is a lovely design. The instructions are very well done. Liesl has designed a beautiful line of patterns. The instructions and details she has put into her line of patterns are great! Lots to be learned and enjoyed while making garments from her patterns.

Like any pattern, I will use her designs like a recipe in which I loosely follow the directions and add my own touches to the end product. ;)

Overall, I give this particular pattern two thumbs up.

Happy Sewing,


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