When I saw the new pattern collection from Willow and Co Patterns, I was immediately drawn to one particular pattern - the Fawn Lily Tunic & Dress.
Lately when I purchase patterns, I look for something I can't draft myself or can't modify to make from a different pattern. This is definitely not a basic bodice with skirt attached! The Fawn Lily Dress is a sewing puzzle.
This *might* be the most difficult pattern I've sewn. Not that it was confusing, but that it was physically difficult at times to get it right. Look at all those curved lines to the design! It takes a lot of patience to get the seams perfect so they don't pucker the fabric. Even the hem is curved.
The sleeve construction is very different than most patterns. After sewing the outer sleeve to the bodice, you have to roll up the dress inside the sleeve to sew the lining sleeve down, then pull the dress back out of the sleeve without popping the threads. (I'm sure that explanation doesn't make much sense.) I was pretty exhausted after wrangling the fabric around four curved sleeves, especially when I had trimmed the seam allowance off too early once. It's worth it in the end for the nicely enclosed seam!
There are several bodice and skirt options to customize the dress. This one I made with the crossover bodice and pleated skirt. I picked purple fabrics especially for her because it's her favorite color. She also loves pom-pom trim and full skirts.
And this one was made with the button front bodice and A-line skirt, totally her style. She picked out the yellow fabric that was used for the sleeves at the fabric store (her favorite color).
She also choose the buttons and has been requesting all her clothes to have buttons down the front. (Much better than demanding to wear all her current dresses backwards so the button closures would be in the front!)
You can see in this picture the difference in skirt fullness between the two options. The skirt fabric is by Michael Miller - Wee Wander Summer Night Lights Border Print. The kids in the print are catching fireflies - something we haven't tried yet since I prefer the girls to be asleep by the time the flies are out. Our chickens having been going crazy every night though - there have been so many fireflies to catch in our backyard this year!
BTW, I sewed up the 3T size for them, but probably could have made the 2T size. They fell on the measurement chart for the 3T size though, so that's what I went with. You can see that it's a little roomy and long. Better than too small though!
I definitely recommend this pattern and I will likely reuse it again, though I'm looking forward to making some quick sews again...using straight lines :)