I'm excited to be a part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel blog tour today! You can read all about what Perfect Pattern Parcel is here- or there are more details, including links to purchase the parcel at the end of this post. The fine ladies behind Perfect Pattern Parcel sent the pattern bundle to me and asked that I make at least one item to feature on their blog tour. I was kind of, just a little bit, excited to get sewing... so I made three. And took waaayy too many pictures. So I figured I'd split it up into two posts so as not to have 20,000 pictures in one.
My sweet Caroline is 11 months today, so in celebration of my almost one year old I sewed up a birthday dress using the Caroline Party Dress pattern!
I wanted something sweet and summery and a bit feminine. I scoured the thrift store for a piece to refashion (my first and favorite source for fabric, in case you haven't noticed) but didn't find anything that fit the bill, so I made my way over to JoAnns and found this striped pink, red, and burnt orange linen that nearly jumped into my arms when I saw it. It reads a bit more pink in pictures, but the red/orange stripes are definitely noticeable in person- hence the orange headband to adorn that still-so-bald noggin. It really does match, I promise!
The pattern sewed up quite nicely and had lots of attention to detail that makes me happy. I'm a bit of a perfectionist sometimes, so when a pattern has directions for finishes that look sloppy inside I usually free style and use a technique that I know will give a nice finish. This one had a beautifully lined bodice and great directions for edge stitching to keep your lining from poking out. The invisible zipper instructions were great too- it was a bit different than how I've inserted them in the past but the result was smoother.
I did make a few changes to the pattern. I made a bias cut bodice so I could have the chevron formed by the stripes on front and back. To do that I added a seam allowance to the center front bodice piece and didn't cut on the fold, then cut both the front and back bodice pieces at a 45 degree angle. I ironed interfacing on all my bodice pieces to be sure they didn't stretch or get wonky while I sewed, stitched the front bodice pieces together first, then followed the pattern after that. I also added some length to the skirt because I like a wide hem. I've found that with woven fabric a hem of 1.5-2" tends to lay more flat and not need ironing, and it gives me the option of letting some of the hem out if the dress/skirt gets too short.
Also, can I just brag for a second about those stripes on the bodice? I love the lines on the front and sides formed by the matched stripes. When I first bought the fabric I was envisioning a horizontal stripe on the skirt, but once I got home and started cutting I realized that the stripes actually ran parallel with the grain. I'm happy they do because I love this look even more!
I love the option of the belt loops, underskirt, or peter pan collar with this pattern. So many options! This is one I'm sure I'll make again!
Wanna see what else is included in Perfect Pattern Parcel #2?
BONUS pattern: Prefontaine Shorts by Made With Moxie
I've got two more pieces ready to show you tomorrow and plans to make a couple more this week for Kids Clothes Week. These are fabulous patterns and a fabulous cause. I love supporting indie designers, and Perfect Pattern Parcel gives you the opportunity to do just that while also supporting charity. Yeah- part of their mission is donating to Donors Choose, so money spent on these patterns is money going to great people and great causes. Oh, and it gets better. You choose the amount you pay! There are so many great pattern designers that I want to support but my budget doesn't always allow for it. This is a great way to give what you can and know that it is going to a good place. You can even select how much goes to Donors Choose and how much goes to the pattern makers. Could they make this any more fantastic?!?
Oh wait. Yes. Because there is also a free download for Parcel #2 paper dolls! What a fun way to get your kids in on the design process- or just keep them busy to give you a little extra sewing time ;) Charly and I had a great time coloring and playing with them one day and I've got plans to print some more!
Here's a little sneaky peak of the look I have to share tomorrow. She's at the age where matching is just about the coolest thing she can think of, so having a doll that has the same clothes as she does is her idea of a good time.
You can get your own paper dolls here, and all the patterns by clicking below!