My niece turns two soon, so I thought I should make her a present. I decided on a couple of dresses. I wanted them to be knit dresses for comfort and practicality. With this in mind I set off in search of some patterns. I was surprised how hard it was to fulfil this simple brief. Particularly the big 4 patterns – why are all the baby/toddler clothes made in wovens with frills? Admittedly most of them are designed so they hang off the shoulders and little fitting is needed, but still – what do they have against babies wearing knits? In widening my search I found the Kitschy Coo patterns and fell for two of them – it was long ago enough that I can’t remember any other patterns I looked at (but my outrage at the big 4 offerings lives on).
The first pattern is the Mini Penny Pinafore – an a-line shift shape dress with princess seams front and back with banded neckline and sleeves, and options for short or long sleeves, and dress or tunic length. It’s a cute pattern which really lends itself to showing off fabrics. The pattern is available in sizes 6m-10y, which is great value. I sewed up size 2 years, and I plan to sew up some more when my niece gets older. Given the range of sizes it’s good this is a PDF, as when kids inevitably grow you are more likely to need larger sizes, and you can just print again rather than having cut into the only tissue pieces (ala big 4).
While on the Kirschy Coo website I feel in love with many of her awesome fabrics. For this dress I used some very cute cotton jersey owls from the kitschy coo website and plain cotton petrol interlock jersey from myfabrics.co.uk . Both feel like quality fabrics, although the owls do have a tendency to curl. The interlock jersey feels great, and I am tempted to get some more for myself in such a gorgeous colour.
There is little to report in terms of construction about this dress. I really like that there are detailed photographic instructions for beginners and anyone with less confidence, but also brief instructions if you know what you are doing. The only change I made to the pattern was doing a bound neckline rather than using a band, although I used the same pattern piece to create the binding. In the end this is a cute, and hopefully practical dress – I am tempted to get the pattern for the adult dress for myself.
The second dress is the Little Girls’ Skater Dress – a dress with a simple fitted bodice, high neckline and a curved flared skirt, with short, long, and sleeveless sleeve options. As with the Mini Penny, this comes as a PDF which gives good value as kids grow.
The fabrics for this dress are from my local fabric shop. The grey spotted fabric is from the remnant bin, so the fibre is a mystery, but it is fairly light weight. The pink is a viscose knit which I bought a very small amount of for contrast neck and sleeve bands. I think grey and pink is a funky combination, even if I generally steer away from making clothes for little girls in pink.
Unfortunately, unlike the Mini Penny, the skater dress only comes with detailed instructions for beginners –it’s a pity there isn’t also a brief version for confident sewers as with the Mini Penny. This frustration is compounded by the poor layout of the detailed instructions, which could be better designed to make it clear which steps in the instructions are for which version of the dress. I constructed as suggested, apart from the neck and sleeve bands, which I sewed in the round, rather than sewing the band in flat with one seam closed. Again, it’s a simple dress so I have no comments about the construction, and since my niece has not yet received the dresses, I can’t comment on the fit.
I am really happy with these two dresses, which I think are cute and practical and having sewed two patterns I really like the Kitschy Coo patterns – they are clearly designed with kids in mind, with features such as being quite long to extend the useable life of the garment.