I was recently asked to participate in a blog hop for Lisa Lam’s new pattern release for children. Say what? Make up a cute outfit for my DGD, take some photos of her adorable self, and write a review about
my favorite 2 year-olda new children’s pattern? Oh yeah,I am all in, baby!
Let’s start off by checking out the extreme cute-ness of the Dance with Me Dress and Happiness Halter Playsuit patterns. So.Stinking.Cute.
My DD was dying for me to make the Happiness Halter Playsuit. The pattern includes variations for a top and a dress, but I only made up the darling little romper. I even had the perfect fabric for it in my stash. A Japanese cotton print of teeny little doll figures that I bought in Hawaii this spring specifically for DGD. All had to do was buy a bit of plum-my Kona cotton to make the ruffles and binding and I was good to go on this project.
Pattern Design: A+
Love.These.Designs. Really cute, fresh, and modern-looking. Personally, I love the “ruffle restraint” in Lisa’s design aesthetic. 😉
PDF Download: D
I downloaded the PDF version of this pattern to get started. I immediately saw there were no alignment marks on the paper, which made matching up the pattern pieces super annoying. I managed to do it pretty successfully (noticed one error during construction), but that is just plain bad form nowadays. Make it simple for folks. This issue could make this pattern a non-starter for beginners, or at least those new to PDF downloads.
Pattern Drafting: A-
This pattern fit together well. With the one exception noted above, each pattern piece fit properly to its intended mate.
Pattern Sizing: A-
I think it is spot on, tho I only have a sample of 1. My DGD is tall and slender for her age, so I made the size 3 and cut slightly shorter elastic to tighten up the halter top back and waist area. No fit issues for our little skinny-Minny gal.
Pattern instructions: B-
I am not sure how much of my issue with the instructions was because of different sewing terminology between UK sewists, and US sewists (errr, or maybe just me!), but I found some of the instructions unnecessarily verbose and confusing, and some were just wrong. Also, I detest flipping between sections of instructions as Lisa has you do. I know, I know. It saves time, paper, instructions, but it is annoying. <rant over>.
In step 3 of making the straps and ruffles, it says “Choose which ruffle trim you’d like as the underside layer and zig-zag stitch along the raw top edge to prevent fraying”. Two issues: 1) too word-y. Both ruffles are supposed to be the same, and people automatically pick the “best looking” to be most visible, no need to specify that kind of instruction. Also, 2) the ruffle trim is cut on the bias and bias does not fray. Maybe I am being picky, but who needs the additional bulk of a row of zig-zag stitching when it is totally unnecessary?
In step 6 of making the ruffle, ” Match the raw top edges and stitch with a 5mm (3/16 inch) seam. See Photo 5. Fold the binding back over the neckline (at the same time concealing the ruffle raw edge). The binding centre crease should butt snugly up with the neckline raw edge. Pin/clip the folded binding in place and stitch the binding to the RS halter-top neckline close to the binding bottom edge. Stitch on the right side.” All this to tell you to make a case with the neckline binding for the front neckline elastic.
Now, I think less is definitely more when it comes to written sewing construction information. Small sentences. Short words. Bulleted lists. Numbered lists. It is all about clarity. BUT. Lisa’s pictures are superb and you could mostly put the garment together just by looking at the pictures. That is why I gave the instructions a B—the pictures totally saved the day. And as I mentioned, this could be a stylistic difference between US and UK pattern instructions.
I love this Happiness Halter Playsuit, and will definitely make up the Dance With Me dress for DGD sometime in the near future. One small change I will be making to the design is adding buttons/buttonholes to criss-cross the straps in the back rather than tying at the nack. Too fiddly for a 2 1/2 year old who needs to get to the potty quickly!
The Lisa Lam Sewing Patterns Collection is available now from the team at Stitch Craft Create as a printed copy of the patterns plus instruction booklets. Both the Happiness Halter Playsuit and the Dance With Me dress are also available as a PDF download from Amazon.com if you prefer that delivery method.
But wait! Leave me a comment about this cute pattern and one lucky reader will receive a printed copy of the pattern for FREE! Unless I decide to keep it for myself. -)
Fri 27th – A Spoonful of Sugar
Tue 1st – Pistons and Polish
Mon 7th – Kitchen Table Sewing
Tue 8th – Follow the White Bunny
Wed 9th – Kitchen Table Sewing
Sun 13th – A Stitching Odyssey
Mon 14th – Sew Maris
Fri 18th – Scruffy Badger Time
TBC – Angharad Handmade
TBC – House of Pinheiro