With my serger back from the shop sporting new blades and some TLC (after 6 years of no service at all, ahem) I was able to sew this dress and leggings over the weekend. This dress pattern, Sunki, is from Figgy's. Shelly asked if I'd be interested in trying a pattern out and reviewing it, and I jumped at the chance—becasue how cute is this design?
I made this up in a brushed cotton (purchased at Mill Ends) and it feels like a flannel after washing. Maybe it is a flannel. It's super soft and cozy. For the leggings I used a cotton knit, surely with some poly/stretch in there. It's stretchy. You know—good for leggings. I didn't make any changes to the pattern except I lengthened the sleeves and used 1/4" elastic at the wrists to make it gather. The girls love this detail and it's nice and roomy for quick growing arms.
Some notes, comments, and musings:
- This pattern is well written. The directions are clear and the tone is conversational and not intimidating.
- There is quite a bit of ease and movement in this dress, which is forgiving for fitting—but for tiny girls, it might run a bit big. Just measure first before deciding on a size, and I'd suggest size down if you are in between sizes.
- The leggings fit perfect. I cut out a smaller size and made them long, she has a tiny body and long legs. This pattern covers working with knits, too, so don't skip making these! It's super fun and they are easy. No serger needed.
- This dress takes some time. It says on the pattern it's for an intermediate sewer and this is true. The sleeves have 4 pleats, there is a pocket detail which is clever, but requires some sewing prowess, and there is a lap detail at the shoulder which is very cool, but again, not a normal easy-peasy construction. These details make this dress really amazing and fun to sew, but also require time and patience. It's not a sewn-in-one-evening-after-the kids-are-in-bed pattern. It's a sew-a-high-end-design-that-would-cost-a-lot-of-money-in-a-fancy-kid's-boutique type pattern.
- The pocket detail and how it fits with the princess seams can be tricky to figure out. It's not hard exactly, but it's confusing if you don't understand the directions and how it's all supposed to look when you are sewing it. Shelly has provided a great tutorial over on the Figgy's site for this detail. I didn't see it until after I sewed this dress and was just fine without it, but I have also sewn this kind of detail before. If you haven't, or even if you have, it's really worth checking the tutorial out. It's very helpful. She also told me about a great step-by-step photo tutorial for this detail here.
- After sewing this up, I'd tell a friend to plan on making two, ideally. The first one in a print that will hide any mistakes, and the second one (when the techniques have been mastered) in a subtle pattern or solid, so the details can really show. Or make a muslin first. I like to make muslins out of fabric that I am not too attached to, but still like, so then if it's all good, it still gets worn.
This is about 10 minutes after being photographed indoors. It was warm out. She loves it and has been wearing it non-stop. Looks like I am sewing 2 more now for her sisters. Who are not these bears, but humans.