Owl Work Dress

I finally entered a Pattern Review contest!

I have been wanting to for some time but my sewing has been too slow to keep up. My original plan was to make a salwar kurta for Lillian out of a skirt I thrifted. But last week, I remembered it was take your child to work day; and naturally Lillian needed a cute outfit that Mommy made 😎 . I took this opportunity to finally make that shirt dress I have been wanting to make.

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Pattern Description: I used the Josephine dress from Violette Fields Threads. It has a curved collar, button up shirt or dress options. It’s a looser fit for sure.

Lillian wore the dress for take your child to work day. She had fun at her dad’s work, even if it only lasted an hour!

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Pattern Sizes: I made a straight size 2 dress.

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My thoughts on the pattern: I like shirt dresses – and this pattern is a more casual shirt dress look.

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I like the over all concept but wish for a more defined waist line without the use of a sash. There were a few errors in the instructions that I had to re-read and figure out but nothing glaring. It is also a bit more labor intensive for a children’s pattern. Lots of steps and pieces to work with.

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Pattern Modifications:

Length: I started off lengthening it by 3.5 inches and curving the hem. In the end, I had to go back to the straight hem and cutting off 2 inches. So total length increase was 1 inch after turning up the hem.

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Sleeves: I didn’t want the length of the original sleeve or the cuff so I measured how much I wanted and added 1.25 inch for elastic casing. Later on I added a bias strip of the dark purple on the sleeve to add a bit of detail.

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Body: The original pattern comes with an optional waist sash. Deciding against it, but still wanting a more defined waist, I added an elastic casing around the waist.

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Back: I liked the look of a back yoke so I cut yoke pieces from the dress shirt yoke – attaching it using the burrito method.

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Pockets: Of course, we have the pockets added to the dress for Lillian’s “phone” that really is a magnet of an octopus. Don’t ask!

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Fabric Used:
A men’s dress shirt, size M and a knee length dress, size M.

My original garments .. Please excuse this lighting of this photo. Its the only one I have of this dress before I cut it up.

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The dress shirt I was using wasn’t wide enough for the button tabs in the front. I knew the fabric was going to be folded, first 3/4 inch and then another 3/4 inch. I folded the pattern piece to remove 1.25 inches from both front pieces. Then attached fabric from the women’s dress using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and proceeded with the button tab. You get a nice detail inside and it can’t be seen from outside.

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My Favorite Part:
I’ll be honest – it is the free hand embroidery I did. I was planning on “drawing” some butterflies and flowers but I decided to ask Lillian what she wanted on the dress. She asked for an owl family; only fitting that her parent’s garments became her’s. It took me little less than 2 hours (I think). Free hand embroidery is something I am very new to but loving the challenge and ability to create one of a kind pieces for my daughter.

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Would I sew it again? Would I recommend it to others? 
Most probably, but not any time soon. Toddlers need more everyday casual clothes and I want to focus more on building her wardrobe away from ready to wear. Maybe I’ll make one each year.

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