I know that’s a rather dramatic statement, but justified I think.
This dress is made from the Desert Rose dress pattern by Caila Made. I really like this pattern — it’s darling and it sews up really well. But I’m not sewing for N until she gets a little older.
For this dress, N chose the pattern, chose the fabric, told me what kind of trim and buttons to use, and directed my sewing efforts. When it was done, she oohed and aahed over it. But after this photo session, whenever I asked her if she’d like to wear it, the answer was a resounding and persistent no.
In fact, I think she’s worn this dress exactly twice since I finished it.
I don’t expect a lot of praise and thanks from my kids when I make them things (they’re 2, 4, and 6 after all), and I don’t expect them to wear them every day, but I do expect them to be somewhere in the rotation. After all, my sewing time is far too limited to spend on garments that will never be worn.
So this has just solidified my decision that if I’m going to do any non-Halloween kids sewing, it’s going to be for J. He loves it when I make things for him and is happy to wear them. Not that he needs any clothes until it’s pants weather, so don’t expect to see much kid sewing in these parts until later this fall 🙂
But back to this dress. The Desert Rose is a nice, simple little dress that goes together really easily. The bodice is fully lined, and since it buttons in the front, lining it is easy peasy. The skirt has a bit of an angle to it, which gives it some nice shape.
The pattern has you attach the bodice to the skirt in the opposite order of most patterns, attaching the lining first and then topstitching down the outer. At first I was a little leery of this part of the directions, but then I realized that it was, in fact, brilliant. By attaching the lining first, I could topstitch the edge of the outer bodice down in a nice, pretty straight line without worrying about whether I was catching the lining underneath. Obviously if you don’t want visible topstitching on the outside, you can use the traditional method of attaching the outer bodice and then hand-stitching the lining. But if you don’t mind the topstitching, this is sooo much easier!
On to fabric. The bodice of the maxi dress is a hot pink linen from Fabric.com, and the skirt is the same Van Gogh rayon that I used for my kimono. I had five yards of the rayon, and I’m now down to just over a yard. So don’t be surprised if this fabric shows up here again!
Pattern: Desert Rose Dress by Caila Made
Price: $10 USD
Fabric: Hot pink linen from fabric.com and Van Gogh rayon.
Difficulty: Adventurous beginner. Figuring out a lining and buttonholes are the most difficult thing here. Maybe not a first project, but once you have a couple of garments under your belt, you should be able to handle this.
Techniques required: Lining a bodice, sewing buttons and buttonholes, small facing.
Similar patterns: Geranium dress from Made by Rae, Sweetheart dress from Very Shannon
Modifications: Lengthened it to a maxi. Otherwise nothing.
Fit: Great. N is a small, petite 4-year-old, so if you have a child who is thicker through the chest, you may need to size up. Pay close attention to that chest measurement — it’s by far the most important one.
Pattern format: PDF. It’s so much easier to piece together kids patterns compared to adult, so this seemed like a breeze compared to some I’ve worked with.
- I loved how the bodice is attached — so much easier!
- Classic summer style. Or you could size up and make a jumper for winter (not a sweater — I’m not sure what the Brits would call the garment that we Americans call a jumper. A pinafore maybe?).
- Bodice is a great way to use small pieces of fabric.
- I found the fit very similar to RTW.
- No sleeves. Makes it harder to adapt for colder seasons.
- I’m not a huge fan of the facing piece in the skirt where the bodice buttons. I understand the utility of this piece, but I kind of wish there was a different way to do that bit.
Overall grade: A. This is a really nice girls pattern. It goes together really fast and is darling.