Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Birthday Dress for my Girl

I made this dress over one year ago for my daughter's 2nd birthday.  She's since turned 3, but she still fits in it, surprisingly.  It's the Emmaline Dress by Violette Field Threads.  I made it in size 2T, but my daughter is rather slender so it was a bit big.



The photography at Violette Field Threads is so beautiful and enchanting that I was drawn to this pattern instantly.  I was also heavily influenced by the fabric they used.  When I found this pink chevron print at a quilting shop in Bend I immediately picked up the bolt and started calculated the yardage required.  That's when I got instantly a little irritated with the pattern.  It lists yardages for each piece of the garment separately.  This is fine if you want to use different fabric for each piece, but honestly even their own website only shows sample images for one dress done with different fabrics.

This pattern needs a listing of total fabric yardages in addition to separate breakouts.  Adding these yardages up at the cutting counter was beyond irritating.

Photo Taken from Violette Field Threads showing fabric requriements for the Emmaline Dress.  Why is there
no total?


As lovely as I found that pretty pink chevron print I really should have said NO to quilting cotton for this dress.  Quilting cotton is really only good for home decor and quilting projects.  Every time I've ever tried to use it for garments I've been really disappointed in the result.  the weave of quilting cotton is so stiff it just doesn't drape well at all for garment and children's garments are no exception to this rule.

Because the cotton was so stiff I had a horrible time gathering the skirt and I kept breaking threads.


Another problem I had is the direction of the fabric and the pattern layout made the chevrons on the bodice go in the vertical direction instead of horizontal.  After I realized the mistake I didn't have enough fabric to fix it.  Oh well.  I don't think the result is too bad.


Another thing to be aware of is this pattern doesn't actually include pattern pieces for the ruffle.  It only gives dimensions for your final pieces.  The only actual pattern pieces are for the bodice and the skirt.  The pattern also relies on photos for the construction directions. It reads through more like a tutorial than a traditional pattern.  I really would have preferred line drawings. It is often hard to see what is being described in photographs.



The neckline is bound with bias tape and the pattern includes instructions for making your own, which is handy.  I wanted a contrast so I just purchased packaged bias tape in white for the neckline binding.

I think the dress is really a lovely design, but a combination of my own bad fabric choice and a pattern lacking some polish and detail I can't really recommend this pattern.  I think just few things would make this a must have pattern for little girls.

I'd like to see:
  • Totals for yardage requirements
  • Line drawings instead of photos in the guide sheet
  • Pattern pieces for everything, instead of merely dimensions
Has anyone else tried Violette Field Thread's patterns?  I see on their website they have women's garments as well.  Let me know what you think of them in the comments!




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