Check out this nonchalant cutie busting out her best fashion pose! I'm feeling really pleased with this make. I think Dolores looks awesome in it, plus it's the product of some freebies that imma gonna tell you about...
A few months ago I was contacted by French children's sewing pattern brand Ikatee and asked if I'd like to pick a pattern to try for free, in exchange for a review. Who doesn't love a free thing?! I know I do, especially when those 'things' are gorgeous children's sewing patterns. I hadn't heard of the brand before and it was a lot of fun, if mildly stressful, choosing which to go for.
If I'd been given free rein, I would have gone for the Hibiscus ruffle blouse, which is similar to many of the garments I've pinned here. In fact, I'm pretty obsessed with ruffles for both girl's and women's wear at the moment. Anyways, I asked Dolores her opinion and she chose the Corfou dress pattern, which really surprised me as there were plenty more 'dressy' dress patterns to choose from. I was doubly surprised in fact because the website shows the pattern made up in a blue and white striped fabric, and as Dolores is very quick to tell me, she doesn't like blue (she has yet to work out that a garment could be made in different colours than is shown in the photo and isn't interested in me trying to explain that to her). However, I was very pleased because the Corfou dress pattern (which includes sizes 3 to 8) looked like a great canvas for lots of different fabrics, and being a pattern designed for knit, I hoped it would be comfy and offer lots of freedom of movement.
Using the pattern was really interesting. Despite specifying that it be made in knit fabric (like this printed jersey), the construction steps feel more like working with a woven. For example, there is a neck facing and a button back fastening. Plus, you are required to topstitch round the neckline and keyhole. The only part that really made it feel like a knit pattern to me was the small seam allowance and using my overlocker to stitch the shoulder and side seams. But I found the English translation of French instructions really charming, and the step-by-step photos were clear and helpful.
Something else that I found unusual with this pattern was that each size is a separate PDF document, rather than having all the sizes grouped together in one. This isn't a problem as such, and in fact many may prefer it as you don't have have all those confusing lines overlapping each other. But I think if they'd all been grouped together then my tired brain might have remembered to cut the size larger for the length!
The second freebie element of this project was the fabric. I'd been eyeing this fawn print jersey on the Girl Charlee UK website for ages. Then at Christmas I saw that Just Sew Jenna had made some fabulous pyjamas for her daughter in this different pink and red colour way and my WANT alarm went off. Dolores loves pink, I love red; finally a fabric we can both stand. One cheeky email later, and Girl Charlee agreed to send me a metre or so for free. Thanks Mark!
This jersey is a cotton and polyester blend, with a light to medium weight and decent stretch. However, I'd also describe this fabric as having a bit of body to it, which lends it perfectly to this pattern as it helps keep the shape of the little kimono sleeves and A-line skirt. I also love how the deer get a bit distorted where the elastic brings the waist in. I could have pattern-matched when cutting the pocket, but I wanted to make the pocket slightly more visible by selecting one central deer that would be offset from the background instead.
This has got to be one of my very favourite makes for Dolores to date! It's so cute and casual and sassy. The size 3 of the pattern ended up being a touch short, so it's unlikely that she'll wear it without these hand-me-down red leggings underneath, but she's fairly tall for her age. I think that the pairing of pattern and fabric is one of my best, if I may toot my own horn. However, I'm tempted to add a larger seam allowance and try the pattern in a woven fabric next time, a cotton lawn perhaps, to see how that turns out. Perhaps a solid colour with a contrasting printed pocket? This pattern requires very little fabric, so I'm also thinking up some plans to use the rest of this lovely fawn jersey too.
Pattern: £0, however it can be bought here for $7.99 (approx. £6.40)
Fabric: £0, however it can be bought here for £11.45, you'd need 60cm for size 3
Button: £0, from stash