|**Review edited to include photo of the dress being worn**|
Pattern Description: Vintage pattern printed in 1955. Girls' dress with front button bodice, sailor collar, and sleeve options. Back bodice is gathered at the waist seam with elastic. Collar and gathered skirt may be trimmed with ric-rac or bias fold tape.
I made View A - sleeveless bodice and ric-rac trim. You can see all of my photos here.
Pattern Sizing: Single-sized pattern available in sizes 2-12. My pattern is a size 2 but I graded the pieces down to correspond with size one measurements for my 13 month old daughter.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It does - especially because I chose to make my dress in the same colors as shown in the drawing on the pattern envelope.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Similar to other vintage patterns I've worked with, the instructions were rather succinct, but easy to follow.
That said, there is something very strange going on with the instructions' "steps". It's as though the instructions were written in order, as usual, and then lines were printed onto the sheet over the instructions, dividing the sheet into equal columns and rows. Whatever instructions happened to fall into the same square were made a part of the same "step". For example, Step 4 is entitled "Sleeves", and starts off with preparing and setting in the sleeves. I originally skipped over this step, as I was making the view without sleeves. Half-way through the next step, I realized that I had somehow missed the part where the buttonholes are worked into the bodice front. Looking back over the instructions, I realized that the buttonholes were mentioned at the bottom of Step 4 - the sleeve step! A later step includes hemming the skirt and adding the ric-rac trim for View A; the following step begins with adding bias trim for View B, then suddenly moves to the collar tie placement (included in all views). There's just really no rhyme or reason to how the construction is divided into these steps. The instructions themselves are clearly written, but the steps are totally arbitrary and unnecessary.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The little sailor collar and the ric-rac trim are so cute. The shape is so classic, but the little details make the resulting garment really special. I also like that the bodice has darts to provide shape; I don't know why modern children's patterns don't use darts anymore.
Fabric Used: 100% cotton.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As previously mentioned, I graded the pattern down to fit my daughter. Construction-wise, I decided to finish the armholes before sewing the side seams, rather than after, as indicated in the instructions. I just couldn't imagine fiddling with bias binding in such a small opening. I also underlined the skirt with tulle for more structure. Other than that, I followed the instructions exactly as written.
Design-wise, I made two small changes: 1) I added a second row of ric-rac to the collar and omitted the third row of ric-rac on the skirt; 2) I omitted the self-fabric belt with covered buckle. I'm sure the belt would be an adorable finishing touch for this little dress, but on a one-year-old, I'm afraid it might just be overkill. haha.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might sew this dress again, when my daughter is big enough to fit into the pattern's original size. I'd like to try View B, with the un-gathered sleeves and bias tape trim. I'd certainly recommend the pattern to anyone looking for a classic girls' sailor dress.
Conclusion: My love affair with vintage children's patterns continues...I can't wait for my daughter to wear this sweet little dress to our family's annual Christmas lunch!