Monday, March 14, 2016

Pattern Review: Cocoon Dress

Today we have a guest reviewing a dress I have been eyeing ever since it was released.  Thank you April for sharing this very cute and tween friendly dress!


Hello. I’m April. I live in Lancaster County, Pa with my husband and three children (11, 11 and 8). I first started sewing when I got married. It was always household things like curtains or gifts. I never in a million years thought that I would sew clothing. I credit the online sewing community and PDF’s for taking me to the next step and constantly challenging me. I love creating things for my children and occasionally for myself. The best part is that they still enjoy wearing it. Although I am not a blogger you can find me on Instagram- aaspinetti

sewing pattern review

Name of the pattern: Cocoon Dress by Heidi and Finn

Pattern Source:  You can buy the PDF pattern at Heidi and Finn's etsy shop

Sizes avalable: 12M-12yr.

sewing pattern review

Special materials required:
  • 1/4 yard of bias tape, double fold, 1/4”-1/2” (knit or woven) for neckline 
  • regular or decorative zipper 6” or longer for back closure 

  • small piece of elastic and button for back closure 
  • matching thread, scissors, low tack tape (scotch, giftwrap, washi etc,)   

Skill level required: The pattern is listed as an easy sew. I would agree. I could see the zipper being intimidating if you haven't done one before. Although, the pattern walks you through the installation so clearly that this would be the perfect pattern to start with if it was your first. 

sewing pattern review

How you came to choose the pattern: This pattern caught my eye online (PDF sewing group on Facebook) among fellow sewists. There are so many different versions as well as a wide size range. I definitely was sold when I saw that it went up to size 12.

Did you deviate from the pattern?  If yes, how?  I did not deviate from the pattern at all. I made it twice. The first was the size 12 for my oldest daughter and then a size 6 for my youngest. Both times I followed the measurements and instructions exactly.

sewing pattern review

Good: I love the versatility this pattern offers. The color blocking allows you to play around with color and design. However, even without the color blocking, the shape of the dress speaks volumes. The different fabrics called for allow you to make it a great dress for colder weather (wool with boots) as well as a classic summer dress. The exposed zipper is my favorite part. It really does make the back pop with that small but bold detail. I am excited to try more when I get my hands on some unique zippers. This was my first exposed zipper. The instructions were super clear, making it a breeze. The entire pattern came together easily. The instructions and photographs made construction and interpretation from start to finish a simple and successful sew. I was worried about the fit in the chest area since she is starting to develop. Turns out the fit was dead on. I am looking forward to tackling more Heidi and Finn patterns in the future.

Bad: I felt like the bottom was a little too bulky or wide in the size 12. Almost like the proportions were off a bit. However, I used a faux suede (pink) for the color blocking potion on the bottom. It could be that this fabric is contributing to the bulk. I really wanted it to be a classic all grey dress. The recipient had different ideas ;) The pink was our compromise. Even though it seems a bit big on the bottom/sides I am confident that it will be worn and we might even have some growing room. I do not feel that this is an issue at all in the size 6.

Ugly: She really loves it and is happy to wear it. I consider this a win. No uglies here ;)

Overall pattern rating:  I give this pattern 4 bolts. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Pattern Review: Nivalis Tunic and Dress

Hello there!  I have another pattern from Sofilantjes today.  This was one that I did the pre-testing on it.  We went through a few changes before it went to the regular testers, and I think it turned out to be a very nicely written pattern.   It has several options to it, and it can be mashed together with the Hibernis tunic and top.  You can use the neckline and sleeve options interchangeably.

Name of the pattern: Nivalis Tunic and Dress

Pattern Source: Sofilantes

Sizes available: 12M – 14Y

Special materials required: Knit about 1.5 -2.5yds, depending on tunic or dress, optional buttons

Skill level required: Experienced beginner who isn't afraid of buttonholes (if you choose that option)

How you came to choose the pattern: I volunteered to pattern test it

Did you deviate from the pattern?  No

This is a nice tunic length top to use for colorblocking.  I really liked the hood option, and I did all of mine with that one.  There is also the buttoned cowl option, as well.  It went together super fast, and the pattern pieces fit together well.  

Her patterns are well laid out, and use illustrations.  At the end of her patterns, she has an all written instruction, and then all picture layout for the instructions.  In general, she does a great job in putting together a pattern and the instructions.  Very detailed.

I didn’t have any issues with this pattern, but I did see a few people that seemed confused.  Those may be more their issues, than the pattern, so these are more things to watch.

When putting on the cowl, make sure the overlap is correct so it can button.  I have seen several photos where the overlap was going in the wrong direction, so the buttonholes were on the bottom and you would have to have the cute buttons underneath or just not functional buttonholes.

The cap sleeve was put on incorrectly for a few of the people.  There isn't really a picture of the cap sleeve, so that might be an issue on this.  It has an odd shape to it.  Make sure you match up the cap sleeve head to the regular sleeve head to see what side to use, if you are confused.  

Overall pattern rating:
This is a great pattern.  I think the waist tabs are a little too juvenile, but that may just be my taste.  I think the hooded option is probably the most tween friendly part of this pattern.

4.5 bolts for this one.  I think the confusing cap sleeve probably needs a mention.