When I saw the Bohemian Babydoll Dress and Top pattern by Elegance and Elephants popping up all over my blog feed I fell in love. The curves are phenomenal and the simplicity is right up my alley. No closures means my fiercely independent three year old can dress herself at will (which she does, multiple times, every day) without needing me to button or zip every time she's ready for a change. Hallelujah! She also demands dresses most days, but loose fitting, flowy tops are considered dresses in Charly land, so I also knew this would actually make it into her rotation. The hem band appealed to me because I just don't like hemming. It isn't hard, or complicated, I just don't like it. I think it is the folding and ironing. I'll iron seams all day long, but folding the edge and keeping it consistent is tedious to me. I don't purchase a lot of patterns; I have to REALLY love something to buy it, and then I try to use it in several different ways. But man, I had to have this one. So I pulled the trigger and sewed up three of them assembly line style, one for a gift and one for each of my girls. This one is the one I made for Charly.
First, the fabric. Matt hates it, but that's ok. He says it reminds him of a grandma's tablecloth. That's what I like about it! And the ombre... is ombre still in? I'm a little slow on trends, but... I love it. I found it at Wal Mart of all places, on clearance for $2 a yard, so naturally I bought 4 yards of it and now I've got to figure out what to do with it. It's a poly/cotton blend, and the pattern is woven, not printed. It's a bit stiff, sort of like chiffon, but not too fancy feeling. It could easily be dressed up or down. I lined it with white cotton broadcloth because it is cheap and lightweight.
So the pattern. Here's the thing. This pattern is adorable. I'd say it requires intermediate sewing skills, despite the lack of zipper/button holes. Because it doesn't have a back closure, the armholes of the main bodice and lining have to be folded, ironed, and topstitched together. Remember that part where I don't like folding and ironing? Yeah. Bummer. And because it is curved it is kind of tricky to get those to lay just right, so I had quite the time getting those armholes to lay nicely and look right. Maybe it was the fabric? I think I would have preferred a zipper or button. I may try finishing the armholes with binding next time for a slightly different (and hopefully easier) look. After that the construction went together swimmingly, until I got to the hem band and realized I'd still have to fold over the raw edge and iron it down before topstitching- and of course since it is a high/low hem, it's folding and ironing curves. My favorite! I know, I know. It's part of the whole process and I just need to get used to it. And I like the look of it, so that's a plus. Next time I'm going to use this as a chance to add a fun print or pop of color. Maybe in the same fabric as the armhole binding... hmmm...
A word about sizing: I do this all the time. Pattern says my three year old should wear 12-18m. I think that's silly and don't want to make something too small, so I choose a middle ground and cut a 2. Size 2 ends up being baggy and I curse the fact that so many patterns just run so so big. Sure my little gal is skinny, but she wears a solid 3t in most ready to wear brands, so I kind of scoff at the thought of making her something 12-18m size. Sure enough, a size 2 is a bit large (you can see it especially around the armholes) and the 12-18m top I sewed for Caroline fits Charly perfectly, with a little room to grow and ease to get it on and off. The size chart won't lead you astray, as long as you FOLLOW IT! Sigh. When will I ever learn? Or when will pattern makers start using blocks that are more consistent with modern sizing?? But I digress. Measure your kids. You won't regret it.
That is one happy customer! Now on to more projects. I'm on a roll here so I should have some fun projects to share coming up in the next couple of weeks! Anyone else doing some summer sewing? Or constantly disregard sizing info and live to regret it? Tell me all about it.