Thursday, 9 June 2011

Pattern Review: Wink Designs Petal Power Sundress

I've been looking at patterns over the last few weeks.  I'd really like to update the choice of patterns in the shop but can't decide which to go for.  I'm quite fussy with patterns.  I prefer photos on the front to drawings and am not keen on anything made to look 1970s as there are so many surviving retro patterns out there I like to see new ones looking a bit more modern.  I also like simple clothes rather than lots of swags and ruffles and layers which can be fun to make but can look more like dressing up clothes.  But what does everyone else like?
There's also now a growing range of PDF patterns.  So much choice!  What to do?
After lots of searching for a dress pattern for a friend's daughter I came across and nice, simple looking dress by Wink Designs.  Perfect as I could get my hands on it straight away and, as it would be the first ever little girl's dress I'd made, it looked suitably easy.
The first thing I noticed that gave PDF an advantage was that the instructions came with colour photos throughout.  So much easier to follow.  The written instructions aren't quite as simple - I found all the bodice front/back left/right outer/upper a little hard to visualise - but that could just be me and the photos were so great, it really was hard to go wrong.  The straps are very narrow and folding and pressing, like making bias, was the slowest part of the process as the fabric was getting too hot to touch.  The rest of the dress was lovely and quick to make, I took a leisurely 2 1/2 hours and was really happy with the results.  It's a very pretty and simple dress, perfect for summer.
Age 1 Fabric: Carolyn Gavin Spring Street Buzzing Gardens & Free Spirit Designer Solids ~ Lemon

I posted a picture of it on Facebook for my friend to see and got requests for several more so I've now made another three!

Age 1 Fabric: Kate Spain Central Park ~ Cherry Hill & Free Spirit Designer Beads ~ Powder

Age 4 Fabric: Left as above, Right Anne Kelle Metro Market Strawberries & Micheal Miller Dumb Dots Fuchsia

Now I've got the hang of it I might try customising with pockets, contrasting fabrics etc, although now I've got the bug of making children's clothes (so much quicker, smaller, cheaper & cuter than adult clothes!) I'd like to continue my search for great patterns so I can update the shop.  If there are any you'd like to see or designers you particularly like just let me know.

Ability Required: Beginner
Time Taken: 2 1/2 hours (not including sewing on buttons)
Any Problems, hints, tips: When sewing the button holes I had no problems on the bodice but on the skirt the needle was jamming on top of the left side and sewing over and over.  After much hair pulling I realised there were a couple of extra layers of fabric in the skirt and swapped the size 12 needle for a size 16 which solved the problem.    
Overall Score: 9/10


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