|Pattern Description: Basic A-line girls dress|
Pattern Sizing: XS (pattern goes up to 5 sizes)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it did, except for the wonky job I did applying the top ruffle when I was sewing too late at night and was SURE I had it on straight! LOL!
Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy. Simple and straightforward, uncomplicated.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? A good basic design that lends itself well to alterations (lengthening, in this case) and embellishment. A very versatile pattern for the silhouette. There was nothing I disliked about the pattern, except for the instruction to hem it one inch, on a curve, without telling how to do that easily or well. Now, I know you need to ease in some of that curve at the bottom hem to get it really smooth, but a lot of beginners might not know that and it would have been simple to include an instruction. Another fun alternative is to use the pattern to cut a facing piece for the bottom hem, maybe in a contrasting fabric, something that would peek out when the hem turned up.
Fabric Used: I used good quality cotton from a local quilt store. It was fine for the body, but a little too heavy for the ruffles. I think a thinner weight cotton would be better for the ruffles. I'd like to make this up in some good quality knits and woolens to wear over turtlenecks during winter, too.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The directions did not call for snipping the neck and armhole seams after grading the seams. It was obvious that even grading the seams to less than 1/4" still left too much tension in these two curved areas, so I snipped them the way I knew they should be done and then they laid nice and flat and even without any stress points. This, to me, is an obvious error of omission from the pattern.
Also, this dress needs to be lengthened. The pattern is true to size, but I think it's a bit on the too-short side. And our daughter is tall for her age anyways, making it even more necessary.
I would recommend transferring your smaller pattern sizes to Swedish tracing paper so you can use the larger sizes later. This is exactly the kind of simple dress our daughter prefers, and you'll get a lot more use out of the pattern this way.
Also, to make sewing the ruffle on easy, even and smooth, I would recommend setting the top ruffle line a bit lower than the pattern suggests, and sewing in a line of basting stitches using your favorite seam line mechanism to keep the needle a consistent distant from the bottom edge. The stitches will be hidden anyway (if you follow the pattern instructions), and because of the hem line curve (remember it is an A-line dress, so the hem is not on the straight of grain) I think it is easier to sew this line in and use that to apply the ruffle.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I already have fabric to make several more of this size, and I will definitely be making it again!
Conclusion: Although I've been sewing for many years, this is exactly the kind of pattern I like to find. A good quality basic pattern that can be easily altered to accommodate embellishments and other ideas. This is a good "wardrobe builder" pattern for a girl.