This pattern comes in sizes 12 months to 11/12 years, and two different lengths: tunic and dress. I made the tunic in size 9 for my tall 8yo young lady 🙂
For the outer fabric, I used a very lightweight cotton I won in a giveaway from Fabric Tragic earlier this year (thank you again! 🙂 ) . When I saw this fabric, I knew it was perfect for my daughter, but just didn’t have the right project. When Stephanie, the mind behind Ollie & Annie Collection, posted the tester’s call, I jumped right in, even if I didn’t know what I was supposed to sew. When I saw the design lines and the fabric requirements, I immediately thought about this fabric, and I was really glad I could put it to use. I don’t like fabrics that stay in my stash for long – it means I don’t need them.
For the lining, I used a plain white 100% cotton. This makes it a very lighweight top for those hot summer days 😉
Back to the pattern. I followed the instructions as written, and I must say they are very good. I mean, I have only lined a bodice once before, for my New Look dress, and the method was slightly different (the bodice is different). And this was my first time ever sewing pleats (!!! What??!! First time??? Yes, indeed 😀 ). There are step-by-step instructions that guide you to a perfect result. And I love how Stephanie provided a pleating template! Just put it on your fabric, transfer the markings, follow the instructions, and that’s it! Perfect pleats! I mean, you can see by yourselves! The front and back pleated skirts matched perfectly with my bodice!
The back features 5 or 6 buttons, depending on your size, and there is an intelligent way of handling them: button loops! Who is afraid of buttonholes? (Raise your hands!) Then, go check this pattern! 😉
Also, there is a button placket for the skirt, so the finishing is pretty neat.
The pattern calls for 7/8″ buttons, but I didn’t have any on hand, and the only haberdashery I could go to, didn’t have much choice for me. Come one, a haberdashery with VERY few buttons? I mean, I only wanted 7/8″ fuchsia buttons to match the polkadots on the fabric!! I hate it when I can’t find what I need!! So I had to settle for these ones, that are a bit smaller (3/4″). Because of that, I shortened the button loops a bit before sewing them to the tunic. BTW, I like these buttons, after all.
The button loops length is the only change I made at all. When I made it, I decided to add this fuchsia ribbon right at the base of the bodice , and I like how it came. Although it doesn’t photograph well, it’s the same colour as the buttons and the fuchsia polkadots on the fabric!
Final thoughts on this pattern:
– If you stick to the instructions and respect seam allowances, you won’t have to fight to match the pieces. That’s how well they go together!
– The pattern instructions are VERY thorough (by this, I mean there are many steps to follow), so believe it is aimed at beginners. If you can sew a straight line and finish seams with a zig-zag, this pattern is for you, too! More experienced seamstresses won’t probably even look at the instructions.
– If you’re a slow sewer AND a beginner, this will probably take you some time to sew, but it isn’t difficult. And it’s very rewarding to see how well you did, in the end!
– The tunic, as I made it, is perfect for summer, or for fall, if paired with a cardi. (I’m thinking about using it as a first-day-of-school outfit, if the warm weather continues here). But if you pick heavier fabrics (like corduroy, velvet, denim), you can make a perfect jumper for cold weather, to layer on long-sleeved tops! If you need inspiration, just check out the other testers’ versions 😉
– Speaking about testers, well, that’s just a taste of how you can make this pattern your own: colour-blocking between bodice and skirt? Printed vs plain fabrics used together? Sashes? Lace? Embroidered bodices? I think this is a blank canvass for your creativity!
And a special thank you goes to my darling young lady: she had a bike accident a couple of days before this photo-shoot, and badly bruised her knee and toes (if you look closely, you can get where I put some foundation on her bruise, as she didn’t want to show it to the blogging world 😉 With all the pain she felt when walking, she smiled for me in these photos, and even walked a bit!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Have to love her, right?
Well, what do you think? Love this pattern or not? 😀 Go get HERE it with a 20% discount for today only!
= Discount code: Isabella20 =
P.S. I have received a pdf pattern for testing, but the opinions are all my own. I am not being paid to advertise designers, I just love to sew and share my thoughts and experience! This is how I actually learned how to sew – from other people’s experience sharing!