it’s a difficult thing to design a unique children’s dress these days. super difficult. the market is flooded with patterns, and now that i’ve been sewing dresses for this little gal for about 5 years, i’ve gotten to the point where i’m able to sew a lot of things with only a quick glance at the instructions. a lot of it just becomes intuitive. that’s all well and good, but it’s also very refreshing to sew something that feels new and different!
also, i gotta say, i’ve turned into a bit of a curmudgeon about my precious sewing time these days. i want certain features in a pattern, especially a pattern with lots of curves. two things in particular that Oliver + S has spoiled me on and made me expect – i want notches to help me line things up along a curve, and i do NOT want to turn a seam allowance under and topstitch except in very small doses. i also look for little clues that show me the patternmaker knows technique (understitching? jagged looking pattern pieces that turn into lovely pleats? clean finishes?) i want to be guided, not frustrated. i was so pleased to see this pattern fulfilled my crotchety demands!
anyway, it was so satisfying to sew a dress with a unique, modern design and i really enjoyed sewing it! i started out skeptical (first pattern from a blogger i wasn’t too familiar with? hmmmmm) but Rebecca quickly earned my trust and i really loved sewing this dress. the only technique changes i made were adding a bit of interfacing to the pressure point before i carefully pulled the dress through the sleeve tube – Jess and Jane both mentioned theirs ripping and i wanted to avoid that – and hand stitching the inner sleeves to finish them instead of topstitching for a cleaner look.
i sewed a size 4, with the skirt cut to a size 6 length (long skirt option). the fit is really nice on E. there are no closures but it pulls over her head easily with the overlapping bodice. it’s what i’d call an “intermediate” pattern – those sleeves are a bit fiddly and tricky, but worth it.
you may have noticed, both from the title of this post and the photos here, that this is a mustangs in FRONT dress only. haha. WELL. the fawn lily has a quite a few options (tunic, shorter dress, or longer dress/gathered or pleated skirt/button or crossover yoke/pleated or cap sleeve) and i, of course, went with the skirt option that ate up the most fabric.
i love me a full skirt as does E, but the pattern piece gobbled up the yard of cotton + steel mustang gallop that my buddy Tara had sent me from Finch. only after cutting the front skirt did i realize it was nowhere near enough to cut the back skirt too. the gold mustangs are still available online (even on sale here right now) but of course i left the sewing to the last minute and could only shop locally. three stores that i knew carried C+S were out of this print in this colorway! it’s a popular one i guess.
i loved the mustangs on the front so much and had chosen the rest of my fabrics based on it – this stretch chambray (right and wrong sides like with the shorts) plus gold bias tape (affiliate link) as flat piping. i couldn’t imagine another fabric on the front. thank heavens i had plenty of my old standby, kona olive, to step in for the back skirt. KONA OLIVE GOES WITH EVERYTHING!
i did have enough mustang fabric left for the pockets. phew!
you can see the little gold metallic plusses on the fabric, right? that’s what lead me to the gold flat piping. i just love the neckline on this dress so much, i had to accentuate it. oh and be sure to use a pressing cloth if you try that bias tape – it’ll stick to your iron otherwise.
despite my fabric wild goose chase, i think it all turned out well in the end. after wearing this dress for blog photos, E decided she wanted to wear it for school photos the next day, which made me super happy. it’s the perfect face-framer!
this post is a part of the September Showcase hosted by Frances Suzanne, which is a series featuring pattern designers with fewer than 5 patterns on the market. i was invited by the pattern designer Rebecca to sew her Fawn Lily pattern, a compliment i couldn’t pass up, especially since i’d had my eye on the pattern for a while! i received the pattern for free in exchange for blogging about it. i always try my best to give honest and helpful pattern reviews.