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Colette’s berries and leaves dress

Have you been admiring the cute little girl’s dress now lighting up our homepage? It was made by the talented Colette Moscrop (of the blog by the same name) who has written a pattern review for us!  Read on to hear her thoughts on the project, the tricky bits and how she made those scallops so perfectly! Just in time for our week of summer sun…

When my parcel from Annie arrived I was more than excited. I love the Hello Pilgrim Berries and Leaves print and have had my eye on it for a while, it reminds me of the prints from the 1950’s. I had asked Annie to pick out a green solid to use for the trim and when I saw the colour Cactus I must admit I thought Oooh La La as it was very bold, but it very quickly grew on me, it took me right out of my comfort zone and I love the results.

I knew I wanted to make a dress for my nearly 7 year old and I used the Oliver + S Badminton Skort, Top and Dress pattern (in case you’re wondering, as I was, a skort is a skirt with shorts built in underneath), the pattern comes with clear instructions and plenty of diagrams to guide you through each garment.

I found the sizing to be quite accurate, this is the age 7, which took 2m of printed fabric and half a metre of solid, there is a long wide strip of the print left over, I could probably get a smaller size dress out of it for my youngest daughter – but I have greedy plans to make something for me! I promise we won’t go out in matching outfits.

There are a few fiddly bits when making up the dress, you’ll need some patience for the yoke and the shoulder ruffles – but it isn’t difficult. The pattern is rated 2 out of 4 scissors for difficulty and I think that’s about right. There are lots of tips in the instructions to help you get smooth curves and a good finish.

It’s not a speedy make so set aside plenty of time, and if like me you only read half the instructions and have to keep unpicking bits, it takes even longer.

The scalloped hem was far easier that I imagined, there is a handy scallop-stitching template for each size dress, so you can mark onto the wrong side of the facing exactly where you are going to stitch to ensure you get even and accurate curves.

I love the finished dress and so does my daughter, I think this will be a summer favourite.

I have learned:

  • To be bold with colour choices and fabric combinations, children can carry off almost anything!
  • Make sure you transfer all the dots from the pattern to your fabric, I missed them off the yoke and it was a bit tricky to add them on after I’d sew most of it together.
  • Read instructions all the way through, saves time, effort and unpicking in the long run.
  • Gathering is not as scary as I always imagine it to be – it’s actually very forgiving.

Thanks Colette!

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