Okay, Lila and I have collectively changed our minds. This is her birthday dress:
She’s actually come around to her Garden Party dress and has agreed to wear it with a sweater, but she declared a strong dislike for its sleevelessness early on. I knew she wasn’t a fan of what she calls “half-quarter sleeves”, but I had no idea that a lack of sleeves would cause such heartache. Luckily, a Hide-and-Seek dress, complete with proper sleeves, was already in the works.
The dress has a contrast yoke with a gathered skirt, which together attach to side panels that run the length of the dress (or tunic, which is another option). You can choose short sleeves (shown here) or cuffed three-quarter sleeves. These sleeves were amazingly easy to set-in – hardly any easing necessary. I think it’s the first time in my entire sleeve-setting career that I didn’t have to bust out the seam ripper even once. It was glorious.
One of my favorite features of the dress are the side seam welt pockets. I love how they look, and they were surprisingly simple to construct.
Like Liesl suggests, the yoke gives you a great opportunity to highlight a special fabric. I used a Japanese print from a line called Muddy Works by Tomotake for Kokka – it’s called Large Orbs and the color is an interesting mix of purple and gray. I found it locally, but all three colors of this print are available here. It only takes a half yard of fabric to accommodate the length of the yoke pieces, and you’ll have most of that half yard left over, so it’s not such a big deal to splurge on something special.
The mustard chambray is from Andover Fabrics. I’ve mentioned before that I’m always on the lookout for great chambrays – they are such versatile garment fabrics and have been a favorite of mine since I started sewing. Just about everything looks great made from chambray, and the available selection seems to have expanded quite a bit. LiMa Sews recently stocked the entire line of Andover chambrays – 18 different colors. I’ve seen them all in person and can attest to their loveliness. They have a nice weight to them, not too flimsy, but still plenty soft. It’s really good stuff.
I know solid yellow probably isn’t the most practical choice for a little girls’ dress, but I loved the shade. Nice for almost-spring.
And yes, this pattern was designed with a notch at the neckline, but what can I say – I think I’ve omitted the notch in almost every pattern that’s had one. It’s lovely with the notch, but you can easily leave it out – just a matter of preference.
I sewed this dress in a size 4 – Lila is at the end of the height and weight range for a 4, but this one has a more relaxed fit, so I think sizing down was the way to go. I added an inch to the length as a precaution, but it ended up too long, so I took it back up an inch after hemming.
Sorry about all the photos. The light was nice last night and I took too many. Plus, she only has six more days to be four years old.
Again, thanks to Liesl for providing this pattern, it was a pleasure to review!