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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Fire Flower Dress and pattern review

Look! Sewing! I finished up the Fire Flower dress a couple weeks ago, but it took forever to get any decent pictures of it. This weekend we went to an Easter party and I was able to get it in action.

First, some pictures, and then my review of the pattern.

Front of Easter fire flower wrap dress

Fire flower Easter dress

Fire flower dress at the Easter egg hunt


March 31. Easter egg hunt.

Bias tape facing on fire flower wrap dress

The pattern that I bought is the Owly Baby Wrap Dress. I bought it at Pink Chalk Fabrics and downloaded it as a PDF. All of my interactions with Pink Chalk Fabrics have been good and I loved the look of this dress so I paid the $10 for the pattern, even though it was a huge splurge given all the free tutorials online.

The pattern offers several variations, the wrap dress as I made it, one with a button closure instead of ties, and one fully reversible one. 

First, the good: The finished dress is adorable. The bias tape finishing wasn't at all hard and looks very professional (shown in the last picture). The option top stitching at the waist makes it look terrific. I got a ton of compliments on the dress at the Easter party we attended. This is by far the best clothing sewing I've done and I'm pleased with it.

And now, the bad: The pattern itself was not so good. You print out about 16 pages and cut a 1" border off all of them, and tape them together. Then you cut out the size you need. This wastes a TON of paper, since it's sized from newborn to 5T. I really wish it was newborn to 2T, and then 3T to 5T on another set of pages. This was my first indication that it wasn't going to be the best pattern. I did all this and cut my fabric out and was ready to go. I choose the 18 month size as the Princess is now 19 months, but on the smallish side. The width is a little wide, which is fine, she is a slight girl, but it's also fairly short. On a toddler it's still adorably cute, but if I were making it for a taller or older child it might be too short.

The pattern had you jump around a bit from one style to the next, but this was ok as many patterns do such a thing. However, there are also places where it says, "please note that in the picture for step 7 I've already completed step 8, you can do that too if you want, and it will make this other thing easier!" (Paraphrased, obv.) Well, why not just swap those in the pattern? Steps 2 and 3 are identical. Literally. A proofreader might be a good idea. Near the end of the pattern she suggests an alternate style of hemming, but rather than explaining the technique, she directs you to google. And yes,  I can do that, but I just paid $10 for the pattern, not to look it up on my own. And lastly, there is absolutely NO mention of finishing the inside seams. NONE. Not even a "look it up on google!" I used my serger to do it, but if I hadn't there would be a lot of exposed seams on the inside and my dress would have fallen apart the first time I washed it.

In the end I was happy with my finished dress, which makes my complaints seem silly, but I think it would be a disservice to not mention them. As I was making the actual dress I was pretty annoyed at having spent money on such a poorly written pattern, but the dress is pretty cute and it's possible that I'll make it again with some slight changes.


  1. The dress is adorable and so is the princess.

  2. I guess patterns are like recipes. You can use them as a starting point, if you have the knowledge. I can do that with cooking, but NOT with sewing, so I'd have been up a creek if I'd paid for this pattern. Actually YOU would be because I'd have been frantically texting you for three days straight. Anyway she's adorable adn the dress is simply divine.

  3. I really dislike wasting paper. You should send that complaint in with your suggestion. The dress is adorable on the Princess!

  4. Wow, the dress pattern sounds confusing! I really want to get into sewing and get a machine. Someday! The dress is adorable! Awesome job!

  5. I love it!! And the bow in the back is actually my favorite part. Love it. And love the 60s style picture near the end. Have you played around the picmonkey yet?

    I'd love to sew some cute little dresses but I'm really scared of it!! Straightline sewing seems so much easier.

  6. oh my goodness. Could the Princess be any cuter??! I don't think so!!!
    Great job with the dress. Looks wonderful.

  7. Love the surprise of the yellow bow at the back! The Princess looks adorable in her fire flower dress. Does she really walk as well all ready as it looks like? She looks like she's just striding along, not toddling at all!


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