Whovian baby?

Ages ago (like, a good year ago now I think) the WSBN (Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network) discovered there was an exhibition of Dr Who things on. Naturally, the decision was made to make Dr Who inspired things, get together, and go check it out.

Of course, I signed up for it. (Always up for a sewing challenge, yes indeed!)

Lots of browsing of Spoonflower resulted, and this 11th Doctor baby onesie jumped out at me. Seriously, how cute is this?!?

onesieFront

One of my good friends was pregnant, and a huge Dr Who fan, so I bought it, intending to make it for her baby.

Then, since I had “plenty of time” before said baby arrived, it slipped down from the top of my things-to-sew pile. And was eventually forgotten about. Oops! (Sorry, Nat!) *hangs head in shame*

And then our littlest guy was due to arrive, and I remembered I had this onesie all tucked away and ready to sew up, so I stitched it up. (Coz, you know – it’s super cute!)

There’s an URL printed on the fabric for finding the instructions. Sadly, this URL doesn’t work at all. Luckily, I didn’t need it, so that was ok.

The onesie itself was pretty easy to stitch up. I used a combination of overlocker and sewing maching – stitched the cuffs up using a zig zag stitch (as I was pretty sure my coverstitch and my twin needle wouldn’t like doing such small areas, based on past experiences), put the neck bindings and bindings around the bottom on with a straight stitch (since they don’t need to stretch at all, and in fact the bottom binding is cut so it doesn’t stretch at all), and stitched the pieces together with my overlocker. I went for hand-sewn on snap fasteners on the crotch (such an odd word to write, haha!) instead of hammer-on ones, as I wasn’t sure how stable the hammer-on ones would be through so many layers of fabric.

I did come across a couple of slightly annoying things while sewing this up – namely, that things didn’t align properly. Which was rather surprising, since it’s not that detailed a design and it shouldn’t have been hard to get that right! The blue bit down the bottom is longer on one piece than the other, so it doesn’t match at the side seams. And the pink bit of the neckband is wider than that on the top, so it doesn’t line up either. *mutter mutter*

Non-matching side seams :-(

Non-matching side seams :-(

neckBinding

Other bit that annoyed me was the binding for the bottom – there’s two strips of it to cut and sew, and neither are the same length as either the front nor the back curve that needs bound. (Seriously, this should not have been a hard thing for them to achieve!) So there’s two seams in that bottom binding, and one of them doesn’t line up with a side seam. *sigh*

Still, it’s pretty darn cute as far as designs go. :-)

onesieBack

Unfortunately though, it doesn’t fit! There was no way that garment was getting on our little guy. (To be fair, I had it in my mind that it was a 0-3 months size, and it turns out it’s newborn sized. And our guy was right at the edge of fitting newborn sizes the moment he arrived, so it didn’t have much of a shot of fitting him. Oops.

One thing to keep in mind with this though – it’s printed on Spoonflowers organic cotton jersey. Which feels lovely – soft and thick. :-) But, it doesn’t have much stretch. Which means, that onesie isn’t going to have much stretch. And yeah, close fitting baby clothes without much stretch…. Gah.

All up – very cute design, easy to make (as long as you don’t need instructions! Although it shouldn’t be hard to find other onesie instructions on the ‘net), but unless your baby is on the smaller side, they won’t be fitting into this for long.

(On the plus side – I now have part of a gift organised for a friend who is currently pregnant. Win! ;-) )

Rigel Bomber Jacket January is here!

So, back in November, the lovely Ginger put up an Instagram pic of some of her patterns. Sitting at the top of the pile was the Rigel Bomber Jacket pattern
from Papercut. Which kicked off a whole Instagram conversation amoungst a bunch of people, where it transpired that a lot of us have that pattern, it’s been near the top of our things-to-sew queues for ages, and we still haven’t gotten around to making it up even though we really want to. Clearly, something needed to be done to give some of us that final push into making it up. And so, Rigel Bomber Jacket January was born!

The plan: make up those Rigel patterns we have! (Or will have, for those of you out there who are keen to join in but don’t have the pattern yet.)

Ginger Makes, The Curious Kiwi and I teamed up to spur each other on, to encourage anyone else who wants to join us, and to make up our Rigels this January! Oh yeah, Rigel Bomber Jacket January!

We even have a badge for it, designed by the awesome Mel:

We’re going to be putting up inspiration posts, occasional tutorials (such as how to line the Rigel jacket), and sharing our progress and we go along the Rigel journey.

And if you need a little bit extra incentive to join us, there’s even a competition happening! Make up the Rigel pattern this January, and post it to the Flickr group by the end of the month, and you could win a Papercut pattern of your choice. There will be three winners, who each win a pattern courtesy of the lovely Katie (the designer behind Papercut).

In convenient timing, there was even a PDF version of the Rigel pattern released in December, so if you don’t have it yet and want to get started straight away, that impulse can be met. ;-)

I pulled together the supplies I need for my Rigel today:

supplies

The jacket is going to be in the brown cotton/linen blend with snails on it, that I purchased in Tokyo just over a year ago. The ribbing is teal blue, and the zip is chocolate brown. I’m going to line it, using the dark green lining, and to add a bit of extra warmth I’m going to do a quilted lining, using the peapod-print flannelette on the inside. (One thing missing from this picture – pocket lining fabric. Still need to decide what I’m using for that, but I can assure you it will be some sort of random pattern that will make me smile whenever I see it.)

(I chose the snails fabric for this one, as I figure it works for Jungle January as well. Snails! Yeah!!)

My partner is back at work on Monday and the Little Man is back in daycare from then as well, so fingers crossed the Smallest One sleeps a bit and lets me sew next week, as I’ve been seriously missing those dates with my sewing machines!!! :-P

So, how about you? Have you got the Rigel pattern in your stash, too? Will you be joining us in making it up this January? We’ll be showing progress photos on Twitter and Instagram, using the tag #rigelbomberjanuary – join the conversation! :-)

It’s a wrap! (A retro wrap, even)

One thing I’ve been missing a lot this year is sewing from vintage patterns. I got a couple of vintage makes in before the baby bump got too big for those fitted-waist 1940’s and 1950’s styles, and I did have plans for a couple of vintage maternity patterns, but due to lack of energy and running out of time, I never quite got them made up. (Which I’m still a little sad about – now I’ll never know what it’s like to wear one of those 1950’s maternity skirts with the cut-out in front for the bump! Anyone ever tried wearing one and want to let me know if it’s as uncomfortable as it looks??)

Well, my body is still changing too much to bother making any fitted styles just yet, but I dug out a 1970’s wrap skirt pattern to get my vintage fix with (and make something that feels a bit more ‘me’ to wear than the transition-sized skirts I dug out at the local op shop).

Meet my newest creation – a floral wrap skirt!

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I got this pattern a couple of years back – the curved yoke and pockets really appealed to me, and I’ve been meaning to make it ever since. Now it’s finally had it’s day, yay! :-) The pattern is Simplicity 7311 from 1975. It includes both the wrap skirt and a matching blouse, plus a transfer for the embroidery seen on view 2 (the cream one).

Simplicity 7311

The fabric came from Fabric-a-brac – it’s a vintage lightweight cotton, lovely to work with, and I thought the brown floral matched the era of the pattern quite nicely. ;-) I used some pale peach toned narrow scalloped edge lace for trim around the yoke and pockets, sewing it so that just the scallops peek out (kinda like rounded ric-rac. My original idea was actually to use ric-rac, but, well, I couldn’t find my box of ric-rac. Clearly, I have too much stuff in my sewing space. #firstworldproblems) I think the colour of this lace works better than white ric-rac would have anyway, so it must have been meant to be. Hah!

(Hmm, guess I was standing crooked for this photo. The skirt does sit straight, I promise!)

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern came together nice and easily. (But then, it is just a wrap skirt, so I would have been somewhat horrified if there were any complexities involved!) The yoke, back waist band and ties are all sewn on, then a matching set made and attached as a facing, before being slip-stitched down on the inside. Which means you get a nice, clean finish on the curved front yoke.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Look! Wearing heels! (It’s been a while, haha!)

I was a good little stitcher for once and actually did slip-stitch the facing down. (Confession time – I’m pretty lazy with hand stitching and usually try to come up with a work around. Like top stitching. Yes, I know – horrible habit of mine, and one I’m consciously making the effort to kick!) It took me a good week to get that all stitched down (the little baby doesn’t tend to sleep during the day aside from cat naps most days, so finding moments can be somewhat tricky!), but I’m really happy with the end result so I’m glad I took the time.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Inside waistband facing

I did get a bit lazy with the pockets though. They’re made by sewing two pocket pieces together, right sides together, then turning through a gap and slip stitching the gap closed. Which makes for a wonderfully neat and tidy pocket piece. Except that you then need to attach it to the skirt. The pattern instructions call for the pockets to be slip-stitched on. Yeah. Well. I don’t trust the quality of my hand stitching enough for that. Plus, I’ll be using these pockets a lot, so they need to be attached pretty firmly. Plus, that’s one heck of a lot of slip-stitching. So, yeah. I got lazy and top stitched them on instead, which I’m refusing to feel guilty about. (I also put a line of top stitching along the pocket opening, so they matched all the way around.)

They’re fantastically deep and large pockets and have already been extremely useful! (Bet you can’t even tell I have my cell phone in one of them in these photos, right? ;-) )

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I love these pockets

The back of the skirt is super simple – just a straight waistband that extends into the ties, and straight seams. The instructions call for a simple fold-under-twice-and-stitch-down edge on both the back edges and the hem. There’s a gap in the waist band at one side seam, for one of the ties to pass through, and it’s designed so you wrap them around to the front and tie them over the yoke.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

One thing I’d do differently next time is extend the width of the back skirt pieces – the cross over portion isn’t quite big enough for the very windy city I live in, so I’ll be wearing a slip under this for those sure-to-happy wardrobe malfunctions due to errant gusts. (Admittedly, they would normally cross over a bit more – I made this up in my “normal” size, rather than my current size, since I still have a lot of baby bump weight to loose and I want to be able to wear this in the future, rather than just as a transition piece. But even taking that into consideration, they don’t cross over quite enough for my liking/feelings of wardrobe safety.

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Aside from the wind risk factor, though, I’m loving this skirt! It’s comfy, has big pockets, and is gonna last in my wardrobe for quite a while. So an all-round win, really. :-)

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(The Little Man was running back and forth between my lovely photographer and I, hence the ‘hey there!’ arms)

It got it’s first outing on Christmas Day. We were at my partner’s parents house for lunch and the afternoon, and these photos were taken in their gorgeous garden. (Naturally, there was a photo bomber as well.) So any wrinkles (and chocolate finger marks left by the Little Man) can be excused from the car trip there. ;-)

Retro Wrap Skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Little Man photo bomb (naturally)

Giveaway Day winners

Firstly, a huge thanks to everyone who threw their name into the ring for the giveaway earlier this week – it was really interesting hearing which Muse pattern you’d choose and why!

And now, it’s time to draw the lucky winners, with the help of the ever-useful random number generator.

So, without further ado, the first winner is…..

winner1

Rachael V!

Who said:

winner1choice

The second winner is…

winner2

Tash!

Who said:

winner2choice

And the third winner is…

winner3

Becky!

Who said:

winner3choice

Congratulations Rachael V, Tash and Becky! Your patterns are on their way to you now. :-)

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top

Oh yeah, first thing I made for myself post-Amos-arriving! The sewing drought is over!! :-D

This here’s the Sandpoint Top, which is the first pattern released by GrayDay Patterns. It’s a quick and easy pattern – a loose-fitting tee with a vee neck (or round neck, but I made the vee) at the front, a small cowl at the back, and a strap across the shoulders to keep it all sitting nicely in place. The sleeves are finished off easily and cleanly with bands, and the bottom can either be hemmed or finished with a band (I went with the plain hemmed option).

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The Sandpoint Top is a PDF pattern, so instant gratification. (Plus, I found I could make this in about two hours, including cutting out fabric, so it really was a bit of an instant gratification project! Although those two hours were spread out over a couple of days because, you know, sewing when babies nap and all that.)

I made it up in a pink-and-white stripe cotton tshirting that, if I remember correctly, came from my mother’s stash (thanks mum!). In which case, it’s almost certainly from the 1980’s. (How’s that for some old stash busting? Thirty years, or thereabouts!) In hindsight, I should have used a fabric with a bit more drape than this – although it’s lightweight, the tshirting is still quite stiff, so the cowl at the back doesn’t sit quite as well as I’d like it to.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

However – check out that stripe matching on the side seams! Like a boss, yo!

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Although annoyingly the stripe was a bit off-grain, so I had to decide between stripes matching at the side seams or stripes running straight at the bottom hem. The side seam matching won out.)

I played with the stripe direction a bit on the shoulder band as well, cutting it out with the stretch going width wise, rather than length wise (which also stabilised the band even more, so it would stay firmly at the length I want it to be at).

Speaking of the shoulder band – you can sew it on either on top or below the shoulders, and in a variety of ways – I chose to sew it on on top, and with two lines of stitching, one on each long edge of the band. Nice and clean, and it lets the stripes play with each other in fun ways.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Right, pattern review time!

The Sandpoint Top pattern went together really nicely – the PDF is done so you just need to print out the pages for the style you want (round neck or vee neck), and there’s even a nifty feature where you can hide the lines for the sizes that you don’t want, and just print it out directly in your size. (I must admit I didn’t try this, simply because my partner does the printing for me and I couldn’t be bothered going to the effort of explaining that to him and getting him to choose the right options – yeah, a lazy moment to avoid confusion!) The only thing I found with the PDF is that the lines at the base of the top get a bit confusing, as they’re super close to one another with the different size options and the different length options depending on whether you’re making it with a hem band or just plain. But it wasn’t a big deal at all – still very easy to work out, and if you choose to print only your size I imagine it’ll be super clear.

The instructions were nice and friendly, with a chatty tone to them. The illustrations were a bit grainy, not the best quality really (they could benefit from being at a higher resolution), but still visible enough. I liked the instructions for doing the vee neckline – it resulted in a clean finish and a good point to the vee. This was the only place I could see that may be slightly tricky for people so the clear instructions were good – all other parts of construction were super simple and fast.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I quite like the cut of the top – loose but not too loose. (However, loose enough to make it baby-feeding-friendly! Very important these days, dontcha know!)

There are a couple of things I’ll change next time though – firstly, I’ll make it longer, as it’s about 2 – 3 inches shorter than I’d like. And secondly, I’d make the cowl at the back more pronounced – I think it could benefit from having a bit more of a drape to it, so I’d do a simple slash-and-spread adjustment. Both super easy changes, and not at all deal breakers for this top.

Overall verdict? I like it! Cute, easy to make, easy to wear, and I can see this pattern being used with a slinky fabric in the future for a casual/dressy top to wear with skinny leg jeans when the occasion calls for it (and a crazy printed dress just won’t cut it).

The photos were taken at a sculpure on Karo Drive in Wellington – it’s a big, metal, 1920’s style house sculpture! (Note: all photos courtesy of Mel. Except for the ones with Mel in them, in which case, thanks to Nikki for weilding the camera!)

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And also – check it out. First Twinsies make for ages! Yay! And we both ended up with pink stripy tops.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel used a fabric with more drape than I did, and you can see how the cowl on her top sits a lot better than mine. (Learn from this people – lots of drape is your friend!)

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

With like-a-boss-stripe-matching on the side seams, even. Go us! :-)

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It’s giveaway day! Yay!

As some of you are likely to already know, Sew Mama Sew has an annual (or twice-annual, I think it actually is no?) Giveaway Day, where a whole bunch of people can host giveaways and link them to their lists. Basically, it’s a rather fun way to connect with a bunch of people, find new blogs to follow, and give something back to the sewing community. (I’ve found new-to-me blogs to follow from it in the past, which is always nice!)

giveawaydaydec8

Ive taken part in it a couple of times before, and always really enjoyed it. And it’s here again, starting today! Woot! (Even though it’s called ‘Giveaway Day’, it actually runs all week.)

This time ’round, I’m going to give away a Muse PDF pattern to three different people. Just coz I can.

Rather good timing too – the newest Muse pattern got released yesterday. The Natalie dress and top, made in knit fabric and with a touch of 1940’s elegance to it, it could be rather perfect for wearing over the eating-far-too-much time of year. (Plus, it only takes an afternoon to sew up – win!) (Speaking of which – you can get 15% off the Natalie pattern between now and 14 December with the code ‘NATALIE’.)

So, want to be in to win? Just comment on this post and tell me – which Muse pattern would you choose, and why?

Gillian dress from Muse Patterns

And if you’re a follower of my blog, you get a second entry too – just leave another comment and let me know you follow, since I reckon you should have a better chance at winning and all that.

Natalie dress from Muse Patterns

The giveaway closes at 5pm on 12 December (PST), after which I’ll draw the three winners via random number generator (gotta love that thing!) and send you your pattern. (Side note: please make sure there’s some way for me to find your email address easily when you comment – either linked to your name, or leave it in the comment. Coz if I can’t get hold of you, you can’t win I’m afraid to say.)

Jenna cardi from Muse Patterns

(Want to see what other giveaways are happening and fall down that procrastination rabbit-hole? You can find them here and here.)

A Floral Dakota

Pretty exciting time the other week – I tried on the Dakota dress I made in October and….

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

it fit!!!!

(Well, sort of. I can get it on and do it up and it’s not uncomfortable, so that’s a total win! It’s still a bit too small for me, so it doesn’t hang a little loose as it’s meant to, but you know – still-diminishing post-baby bump, and a rack that’s several sizes larger than usual due to feeding a small child, so I figure it’s kinda understandable, right? And assuming I can curb my current eat-all-the-chocolate-NOW!!! kick, at some point it’ll fit me properly.)

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Decreasing post-baby bump, and a little photo bomber

But in the meantime – woo hoo! I can fit a dress I made again, and it’s not a maternity dress!!!

Which means I’m a step further down the road of reclaiming my style and my sense of self-expression that goes with that. Happy days. :-D

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten over that little burst of joy and excitement, here we have it – the Dakota dress by Named.

Named Dakota dress

Named Dakota dress

I made this up in October as part of the Frocktober challenge over on The Monthly Stitch. (Disclaimer: I was given the pattern by the Named girls so I could run a sewalong for it over on The Monthly Stitch. But since I don’t believe in being a suck-up because of free stuff, whether I paid for a pattern or not doesn’t affect my opinions on it.)

This is the first Named pattern I’ve made up (although I have two of their newest ones, and the Wenona dress is high on my things-to-make list. Coz, shirt dress. New baby. It’s what my style’s gonna be for the next while, yo.) The Dakota dress is from their first collection, back when they only did PDF patterns. I spotted it when they first released it, and really liked the style – it’s based on the lines of a tuxedo jacket, with pockets, a shaped hem, and a deep and narrow shawl collar. So it was kinda nice to have my a kicked into g to get around to making this up, since I’d been thinking about it for a while!

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Bucking the Dakota trend (since every other version I’ve seen out there has been in a solid colour, usually dark, and 9 times out of 10 made in a ponte) I went with a pink cotton (a lightweight drill) with a small floral design all over it. Since the fabric is quite busy, I felt the style lines would get a bit lost in it so I put chocolate brown piping around the collar to help it stand out from the dress. I also used the same piping on the sleeves, as little mock-cuffs. (Plus I shortened the sleeves because we’re heading into summer here and I want to wear this sooner rather than later. I also figure I’ll be able to do my usual winter layering thing and wear a long-sleeved merino top under it when the weather gets colder. Because long-sleeved merino tops fix everything, don’tcha know?)

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since I’m gonna have to have easy access to certain parts of my anatomy on demand for the next while, I also added a centre-front invisible zip that extends down past the waistline.

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Before I get into the review of the pattern, just a little disclaimer – yes, there’s a fair few photos in here, and a lot are similar. It’s because I was trying this both with and without a belt, and I reckon it looks quite different either way. (Although a fair bit of that may be my lack of waist definition at the moment….). So I’ve added both, so you can judge the style for yourself. :-) The colour is also a bit more saturated than it should be due to the original ones being horribly washed out. Although the dress colour in the photos is actually pretty much spot-on to the real life colour.)

Right, onto the pattern!

First up, the good.

I really like this design – it’s quite different from others that I’ve seen out there, and I like the way Named have taken a masculine design and used it for a womenswear pattern that’s dressy and pretty. The narrow shawl collar is cute, the gored skirt has a good amount (but not too much) flare, and I really like the detail of the shaped hem, which mimics the shaping of mens dress shirts hems. (Gotta love that attention to design detail!) Plus, pockets! (C’mon, let’s have an OHMGAWD POCKETS!!! moment here, shall we?)

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Pockets on the ‘ips

The instructions, while reasonably short, were pretty good. And there are some clever things going on, such as having the pocket flaps sewn into the waistline so you get a super-clean finish on the top of them. Also, the hem of the skirt is actually shaped correctly so when you fold it up it goes cleanly without any easing in required (why on earth do most patterns not do this? All that turn-up-and-stitch business on skirts and dresses where you end up with annoying folds and gathers on the inside because you’re trying to ease a longer section onto a shorter section is all very frustrating (know what I’m talking about?), so thank you to Named for doing it correctly!)

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I like hem tape, it makes me happy :-)

I cut a size 38 on the top, grading out to a 40 in the waist/hips (my usual sizes) and as far as I can tell (considering I’m techincally still a bit above those sizes!) it fits quite well. Admittedly, the waistline is a little high, but that’s not uncommon for me with my height, so next time I make it I’ll just lengthen the bodice a bit.

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, the not-so-good. This is pretty much all about the PDF pattern itself. And I’m going from memory here, since I made this over a month ago (and got photos nearly two weeks ago, and only just got online now to post it. Hey, new baby and all that, kinda eats into online time!). (Also, a note: the Dakota is one of the first Named patterns, and I haven’t tried any of their other PDF patterns, so these issues may very well have been resolved for later patterns. I’d love to hear from anyone who has one of their more recent PDF patterns to find out if they’re different!>

The Dakota is a downloadable PDF. I have no issues with PDF patterns – in fact, I’ve lately discovered I prefer them, as I absolutely hate working with thin, flimsy, fragile pattern tissue. To the point where patterns with that sort of tissue rapidly make their way to the bottom of my things-I-want-to-make pile, and usually I won’t buy phycial patterns from the same brand again (and yes, this is the key reason I avoid Big 4 patterns – the pattern tissue drives me nuts. Gah! Some indies are bad at this too, though, particularly Sewaholic. Hate that tissue they use.). Sure, PDF patterns take a while to print and tape out, but when you have, there’s no fear of cutting them out (change size? No worries – just print it off again!), and they’re nice and robust to work with. So yeah, I’m a PDF convert these days.

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anyway, the Dakota is a downloadable PDF. First issue, there’s only two sizes per pattern, so if you usually have to grade between sizes, you may have a bit of an issue depending on whether your sizes fall into one set of two (which, lucky for me, mine did) or over different sets. Also an issue if you change size and want to make it again later.

Speaking of grading, the pattern isn’t nested, so it’s a bit harder to grade than most, which is a bit frustrating. I like just being able to play connect-the-lines when grading, and that didn’t work in this case.

Other annoying issues with the PDF:

  • There are no markings on the pages showing which page aligns with which. You have to figure it out yourself. Sure, it’s not that hard, a bit like a big jigsaw puzzle, but still, those numbered markings make it a lot faster to do.
  • Along the same lines, there’s no easy way to tell if you’re holding a page the right way up or not. Some of them have the pattern name along the right-hand side, but others don’t. So you’d better make sure you take them off the printer and don’t shuffle those pages any or that jigsaw puzzle is gonna get a lot harder!
  • The pattern is done like Burda magazine ones, with pieces overtop of each other, so you’re gonna have to trace it off. Not a huge deal in my opinion (it’s not uncommon for me to trace PDF patterns anyway) and it means you’ve got a lot less pages to stick together, but it is worth noting.
  • The key issue with that overlaying pieces thing though is that it’s actually a pain in the a** to trace. The sizes are differentiated by colour – one is black, the other is dark gray. The lines themselves are all solid and the same thickness. Plus, the pattern isn’t properly nested. Yeah, that’s a bit of a nightmare to trace – I kept having to lift up my tracing fabric to check line colours. *mutter mutter*. Adding even more complexity to that, both cutting and stitching lines are included. Great in one way – some people prefer to use one, some the other, so having both is a nice touch. But when they’re the same as each other, and in such similar colours, it just makes tracing that much harder than it needs to be.

Anyway, that was a bit of a rant about the PDF. One of my lovely sewing friends got lots of text messages from me as I was making up and tracing out the PDF, poor girl! (Sometimes, you just need someone who ‘gets it’ to vent frustrations too, right?)

But aside from the PDF itself, the pattern came together nicely and I’m pretty happy with the finished dress. :-)

There are a couple of things I’d change next time, just for personal preference and to fit me properly. Firstly, I’d lower the waist (but that’s coz I’m pretty tall). I’d also lower the pockets – much as I love them, they’re a bit too high for my liking, especially as I’m likely to always wear a belt with this dress as that makes them somewhat less accessible than I’d like. As well as that, I’d raise the neckline (like others have done before me), and lengthen the skirt (again, the height thing).

But all up, I like this pattern! It’s a cute style and (once you get the PDF sorted out) easy to make up. (So you know, don’t let the PDF stuff put you off. Just be prepared for it, is all.) And I’m looking forward to making up the Wenona shirt dress.

Anyway, there we have it – a floral Dakota! Baby friendly and all. :-)

Floral Dakota dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Zip, it zips!