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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Another freebie - the Free Spirit dress

A few weeks ago, i heard about a new girl's dress pattern by Duchess and Hare. The pattern was free to members of their FB group - unable to resist a freebie, I downloaded the PDF as soon as it was released. From the sample pictures, it seemed really versatile with lots of options for customising. 

I decided to make a version for Polly as she is starting to outgrow half her wardrobe.  Looking to my stash, I found a couple of potential fabric choices, but the dress needs more fabric than I initially thought due to the fullness of the skirt. A few people have made it with a contrasting bodice, but the fabrics I had didn't really lend themselves to this. Then I remembered some blue corduroy with teddy bear print that one of my Mum's friends had given me. I had just the right amount and it went well with some leftover ribbon from the Flo Dress I made for her first birthday. I also had a scrap of blue paisley lining fabric for the lined bodice. 

I decided not to add the bodice pleats because the fabric is quite thick and heavily patterned. They do look good on lighter fabrics though, so will definitely add if I make another version in future. Attaching the bodice to the lining used a method I hadn't tried before. Described as rolling it up like a burrito, I was initially confused and had to re-read the instructions a few times. Once I did it, it worked brilliant and was like a magic trick!  I did mess up the simplest part - sewing the sides of the bodice together. I ended up unpicking three times. Gareth came in to talk to me at one point and went straight back out as he knows that it isn't a good time if the unpicker is out and I've got a face like thunder!

I decided not to add the in-seam pockets as Polly isn't really bothered by pockets yet, but will definitely include them if I make it again when she is older. The skirt uses a lot of fabric and very tightly gathered. I always love this look for girl's dresses, but I think you could get away with using less if you didn't have quite enough according to the pattern. 

My favourite feature in the dress is definitely the keyhole back opening with ribbon tie. It makes it more dressy and will also be perfect for spring and summer. 

Polly loved the fabric when I showed her, and enjoyed showing off her new dress to friends. It's a bit big for her, but I'm pleased she can get plenty of wear out of it.  I struggled to get any decent pictures of her wearing it as she was far too busy playing!


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