My big girl is about to turn six, and as it tradition I made her a birthday dress.
The pattern is Feliz, a girls party dress has flared overdress that is open at the back, longer underdress, shoulder straps, elastic shirring and bow at the back. Most sewists add ruffles to the back underdress and hem. This pattern is by Nancy Langdon of Studio Tantrum and is published by Farbenmix. It is also published in the book “Sewing Clothes Kids Love” by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn. I used the book version. This is a glorious design! No wonder it is so popular. The shape is very twirly, the two layers allows lots of fun fabric combinations, the elastic and ties allows room for growth…….there is really nothing to dislike about this pattern.
This pattern is sized 86/92 to 146/152 or 18 months-2T to 11-12. The Farbenmix pattern only goes to 134/140. I made the 134/140 for my 130cm daughter, chest 62cm. I knew it would be a little big, but the smaller size would have been much too small and she will get a lot of wear out of this size. I have been meaning to make this dress for her for years, and realising that she was already up to the second largest size really spurred me to get onto it!
The detailed instructions in the book are very good. There are also many excellent online resources for this pattern. The five picture tutorials at Trillium Design are absolutely excellent and especially helpful if you want to add layers of ruffles to the back. There is also an English step by step photo tutorial on the Farbenmix website as well as lots of design examples. There are lots of reviews of this dress at Pattern Review and there is also the Farbenwiki Between all that I had no issues with construction.
The overdress fabric is an even weave cotton border print from Rathdowne Fabrics a few years ago. The underdress is a silk cotton blend that I ordered from fabric.com as a present for myself when I finished my thesis. Both had been planned for other things but I am very pleased at how they came together here. This pattern uses a lot of fabric!! I had the piece a corner of the overdress, and had 2.8m of the teal silk but used every single scrap of it to get enough length for all those ruffles.
I gathered the elastic at the back a bit tighter than recommended, and added four 10cm long ruffles to the back underdress and a 10cm ruffle about 6cm above the hem of the underdress. I had wanted this bottom ruffle to sit a bit higher, so that the attachment point was under the overdress, but because of the way I had caught the back ruffles into the princess seams of the undress I had to lower the ruffle to sit lower than that.
This dress was time consuming, but so worth it. All those ruffles were a right pain to sew and the rolled hem on my overlocker gave me absolute fits. I must have rethreaded the lower looper about 15 times. However Althea is so pleased with this dress and loves the silk fabric, and has even asked for another silk dress! I am really pleased with how this turned out. Happy birthday gorgeous girl!