Girl sewing, Pattern Review

The Sally Dress

And another one!  She’s on a roll!

With Kids Clothes Week coming up and all (and me blatantly not sewing for my kids next week), I thought I’d at least try to get through some of my backlog of unblogged kids clothes.  You know, to help y’all out in your KCW planning — it’s all about you!  Today I present the Sally Dress(es):

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Disney Princesses Sally Dress
Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Ballerina Sally Dress

Okay, I’m not going to beat around the bush — I la-la-love this pattern, and N does too!  Well, she may like the Disney Princess and ballerina fabric more than the pattern itself, but if she really thought about it, I’m pretty sure she’d agree with me.

I’ve sewn a lot of little girl dresses, and the Made by Rae Geranium Dress (blogged here) and Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (still unblogged after 2 years — say what??) are definitely high up on my list.  But for an everyday, run around, play-in-the-mud sort of dress, you really can’t beat the Sally Dress.

** Bullet-point pattern review at the end of this post **

There are a few aspects of this dress that make it, in my opinion, superior playwear:

  1. HUGE pockets.
  2. No closures
  3. Plenty of flounce in the skirt

N’s favorite aspect of this dress, without a doubt, is the pockets.  She can stuff her blankie/rag in one pocket along with a toy or two and then fill up the other one with whatever toys she feels she needs to cart around the house with her.  For a 2-year-old, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Pockets. Don’t be fooled, they’re huge and deep.

This dress is easy to construct.  There are no closures at all — it just pulls right over the head.  The straps have a funny little pointed shape at the top, which I’m pretty sure is what keeps the wide neckline from slipping off her shoulders.  You wouldn’t think that would be enough, but it works!  Never once have these dresses slipped off her shoulders.  And she wears them a lot.

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Gratuitous cute toddler shot. She loves these dresses.

The bodice is lined, which gives it a nice, clean finish on the outside.  I used Rae’s method for finishing the lined armholes, which is different from what Shannon recommends in the pattern.  Shannon’s method is probably fine too, but I was just having a hard time wrapping my brain around it, since Rae’s method was so ingrained in my head.

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Sally dress lined bodices.

If you haven’t guessed already, N picked out the fabrics for these dresses.  Both are quilting cottons from Hobby Lobby, and she LOVES them.  In fact, when we were at the store, she almost wouldn’t give me the bolts to have the clerk cut them, and then she proceeded to drape herself in the fabric as soon as we got in the car.  I made these back in the fall (again), and they have gotten heavy wear all winter.

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Lovin’ on her Sally Dresses
Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
See my dress?!?

Well, not much more to say, really.  I like this pattern a lot.  N wears them a lot.  I plan to make several more for her this summer, now in the 3T size.  When I finally get to it.  My list is pretty long right now 🙂

Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Sally Dress back view.
Creative Counselor: Sally Dress
Back view #2

Pattern: The Sally Dress by Very Shannon

Size: 2T

Fit: Great.  The fit of this dress is pretty much on par with RTW sizes, at least for my daughter.  The fit of this dress is perfect for an on-the-go toddler — flouncy and comfy and easy to move in.

Modifications: None.

Fabric: Cheesy licensed quilting cottons from Hobby Lobby.  N hand-picked them herself and she loves them.  I hate them but love that she loves to wear them!

Pattern Format: This is a PDF pattern but is one of the most user-friendly PDFs I have encountered.  This is aided by the fact that the skirt and pocket pieces are just big squares, so Shannon skipped including an actual pattern piece that you have to trim and tape and trace and cut out for those pieces.  Instead, the pattern includes a graded bodice piece (that fits on one page — AWESOME!), and then dimensions for the skirt and pocket pieces for each size.  With only one “pattern piece” to cut out that fits on a single page, I did not bother tracing and I just print and cut out whatever size I need.

Pros:

  • Huge pockets — a must for an on-the-go toddler/preschooler.
  • Appropriately full and flouncy skirt.  There is plenty of fullness to make the skirt very twirlable.  Again, a must.
  • No closures, which makes for easy construction and even easier dressing.  I can’t be the only mom who hates chasing her two-year-old around trying to fasten the snaps or buttons on the back of a dress.
  • Great way to showcase a large-scale print (I’m thinking some re-released FFA this summer!).
  • If you’re into color-blocking and mixing prints, this dress makes it REALLY easy to do.  Shannon did a great mixed-print one here.

Cons:

  • Shannon’s method for attaching the lining at the sleeves was confusing to me.  No biggie, though, I just used Rae’s method.
  • The silhouette might be a little juvenile for older girls.  The pattern goes up to size 8.  I obviously don’t have an 8-year-old, so you guys tell me — would an 8-year-old want to wear a dress like this?

Overall Grade: A+.  This is my go-to dress pattern for little girl playclothes.  Fast, easy to wear, and super comfy.

**And in case anyone’s wondering, I didn’t get jack squat for writing this review.  I purchased everything, including the pattern, all by my little lonesome.**

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