ah pattern testing, my favorite sewing blog activity!
i first found the big bow dress on pinterest. it’s by miranda of one little minute. i feel like it had popped up in my feed over and over, and each time i saw it i was like “ooooh that’s so cute, is there a pattern?” i’d click through to her blog post and was always bummed to see there wasn’t a pattern, she just took custom orders for them. since i sew, i don’t buy dresses for Em anymore, so that didn’t really help me. i wanted to MAKE one!!
but then i started following miranda on instagram and saw a photo one night showing she was working on a pattern! yippee! i told her i was excited, and a little while later she asked me to test it for her!
the big bow dress pattern is now for sale! for testing purposes, i sewed mine in a lovely chambray (purchased here) with vintage sheet lining. i love the casual vibe it lends to this more formal dress, and the blue floral sheet inside is so soft! i made a 3T in 4T length, and i just love how it looks on Em.
Em is kind of a sucker for exaggerated details, i think, so she loves the bow and the roomy a-line fit for dancing too. even despite the blue color, she was sold on it pretty quickly!
miranda was great at listening to tester feedback and as a result i think the pattern is really user friendly, though probably advanced beginner/intermediate-level since it involves a buttonhole, zipper, pleating, and lining…though the pattern is good at explaining it all too.
i have just one construction tip that didn’t make it into the final version of the pattern that may help, and that is this: after sewing the buttonhole, sew a basting stitch down the length of the dress, continuing the same distance out from the fold as the buttonhole on the right side of the dress. press open the front box pleat and then remove the basting stitches. this will help you keep an even box pleat down the length of the dress.
my dress has a tiny inverted box pleat in the center of the bigger box pleat, which wasn’t miranda’s intention…the pattern actually calls for a knife pleat. take a look at her photos, not mine for specific details.
the dress closes with an invisible zipper, and her technique involves no hand stitching of the lining! yay!
Em wore this to a wedding rehearsal and dinner (she was the flower girl! much more to come on that) and it’s great as a formal-ish but still so comfortable dress. perfect heading into the holiday season, don’t you think?
you can get your own big bow dress pattern right here! it goes from 6 months to size 6 and i think it’d be especially adorably ridiculous on a little baby.
thanks for letting me test this pattern, miranda!!