Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pattern review: Kate’s Dress by Lily Bird Studio

I was sick over the weekend (three days in bed). I did promise to write an update on my crochet attempts but for this review, I’m going back to a dress I made last year. Crochet granny squares to come!

Kate’s Dress by Lily Bird Studio

This was the first time I had ever sewn with piping (made by me!), with flutter sleeves and an added yoke. The Kate’s Dress is just perfect for autumn or winter pinnys made from cord or denim. There are so many variations to make this your own – round or square yoke, adding buttons, using contrast cotton fabric for the yoke or flutter sleeves.

The pattern pieces are reasonable simple – just follow the coloured lines for your required size. I do love it when US pattern designers take the patterns in a little from the edge so us Aussies (and elsewhere I assume), don’t lose part of the pattern when we print on our different sized paper.

The pattern starts at 12 months and goes up to size 8. Now that Miss 4 is approaching 5, I’m looking more and more for patterns that go past size 5. What is it about that number? So many patterns are just for 1-5. Do 6 years olds magically not want handmade clothes? There is certainly a market for patterns that go beyond size 5.

In a slightly shorter size 2
The photos here are of Miss then 3 (now 4) modelling the size 3 and size 2. You can see the size 2 is certainly shorter on her but through the chest it fits well. She is slender but I think this is great so you can wear a long sleeve shirt underneath quite comfortably. 

This pattern is a little more time consuming to make than a basic dress. Including cutting, sewing and finishing, it takes around 2 hours to put together.You know how some things can seem overwhelming. Then you go through step by step and suddenly using piping isn't really that hard! The instructions are really clear with lots of diagrams and pictures.

A cute retro length mayber?
Will I make this again? - absolutely. I have some ideas on how to take this dress from winter through to the ‘shoulder’ months of spring which is still quite cool here in Melbourne
Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – Yes. I already sold them last year and I’m hoping to make a few again soon. Such a pretty dress.    
Oh oh oh – check out the photos in the link below. They differ from when I bought the pattern last year and really show the potential of what you could make!
Fabric: Cord from Spotlight and feature designer cotton fabric lining, buttons and piping  
Difficulty (1-10 scale  with 1 being easy and 10 hard): 7 just due to the piping and flutter sleeves. Not that it is hard but the next step from a basic pattern.
Time: Two to three hours including cutting and finishing.

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  1. Oh! I love this dress. Just gorgeous!!!
    I'm an old hat when it comes to flutter sleeves now, but piping is something that I having tried yet, but am very keen to. I was thinking about adding piping to my next geranium dress... I've cut out the pattern a few weeks ago, just haven't got around to sewing it up yet!

  2. I really love the piping and the buttons! I might have to check out this pattern! x

  3. The whole size 1 - 5 thing comes in because if you grade a pattern too many sizes, it can distort the pattern on those outer sizes. So the person drafting has drafted the original pattern in a size 3 and graded up to a size 4 and 5 and down to a 2 and 1. Now if they were to grade further they would distort the pattern. I'm not saying it cant be done, but it can have negative results. To get a large size range in the most accurate way you would have to have several base size patterns, eg size 12m, 3, and 8 or something like that and then grade each one. Hope that clears up the question you had about that size range.

    I love this dress, your piping looks gorgeous. :) Wish I had little girls to sew for!


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