I've had a problem for a while now... everyone raves about how amazing a pattern is, I end up buying it, and I end up really disappointed. This was absolutely NOT the case with this pattern!
I was extremely impressed with how well-drafted this pattern was. Everything fit perfectly together, there were no annoying points or dips, it's sized nicely, and most impressively, the pleats at the curved section lined up perfectly.
It has notches! It has markings for making the pleats, and markings for lining them up! Seriously, I am REALLY impressed.
I sewed an 18 month size since the fabrics I used are more suited to springtime than fall. According to the size chart on the Fawn Lily, I should have sewn a 6 month width and a 12 month height if I wanted it to fit now, which is what fits Beckers in ready-to-wear as well.
I've noticed a lot of comments about how well the sleeves are finished, and though it's a bit of a pain to stuff the whole dress in such a narrow space and turn it out, it does work nicely. One caveat... with the second sleeve I reinforced the stitching on the armscye before sewing the sleeve to the rest of the dress, as the fabric frayed and stretched after being clipped just enough that the stitches pulled out on the first sleeve.
Instead of top-stitching, as in the pattern instructions, I slip-stitched the opening closed. I just like the look of it better. I really did iron it, promise! It was just difficult to iron around the sleeves because they are so small, and I don't have a sleeve board or pressing ham.
Next time I'll insert the back skirt between the bodice back exterior and lining and sew, then flip it right-side-out, so the back waist seam is perfectly finished. Then I will either French-seam or bind the front waist seam, and French-seam the sides and pockets, so it will look just as pretty on the inside as on the outside.
You can probably tell from the photos, but I sewed the plain sleeve with the crossover bodice and the pleated, below-the-knee skirt. Oh yeah, and pockets, because even though Beckers couldn't care less about them right now, I'm guessing that she'll adore them in a few months. =)
More on the sleeves... I know everyone adores built-in cap sleeves right now, but I think they are rather limiting. I'm thinking I'll smooth the armscye out and perhaps add regular sleeves for any non-spring versions.
Booper saw the polka-dotted fabric a couple weeks ago (which came from a sheet that was tucked in a couple bags of fabric that I bought from craigslist last year) and has been begging for a dress ever since, so I might make her one of these too.
I'm not sure if I'll use the same fabric for the sleeves though... I liked it when I was laying them out but now that it's all sewn together I wish I'd used something a bit brighter. Still cute though! Especially on this little person:
Speaking of whom, I have quite a few photos of her and am having a really difficult time editing them down because she is SO cute, so prepare to be bombarded!
Thanks for stopping by,