I thought I’d post a pattern review for some toddler girl dresses I made recently using Simplicity 2377 (from the easy-to-sew collection). This was a pretty great pattern and perfect for using some Tutti Frutti fabric I had recently procured.
This pattern is for six different variations of the same basic peasant dress with gathered sleeves or flutter sleeves. I ended up making 4 dresses, 2 each for my adorable nieces. Each girl got a gathered sleeve and a flutter sleeve. They are 3 and 5 years old, but tall as beanpoles so I made a few adjustments and ended up making sizes 6, 7, 7-long, and 8. I made different sizes since sewing long distance doesn’t allow for any fitting. I had their measurements to go off of, but I thought variety was best.
Overall, the pattern was very easy to understand and follow and had minimal steps. The gathered neck and sleeves were really easy to do and would allow for easy adjustments if needed. All the dresses had ties at the empire waist to also help with the fit and the flutter sleeves has enclosed nice bias tape edges.
I followed the advice of a few bloggers I’ve seen (I can’t find any useful pins to share!) to press on the top thread of your machine to create additional tension to produce the gathering as you go. This is a primo method to make easy gathers and you can adjust the gathering as you go based on how much you press down. I’ve never been good at gathers with just a large basting stitch and this technique (in repetition) made me very comfortable with gathering using this technique in the future.
Modifications I made:
— I made a 7-long for my 5-year old niece that is 33 inches tall. I used all the size 7 pieces, but cut the skirt to the size 8 length – basically adding about 2 inches. This is straightforward to do and could be done to shorten the dress into a tunic.
— I added more flutter to my flutter sleeves. The project was inspired by a pin my sister sent me of an adorable flutter sleeve dress (that I hope to still replicate someday) that had full flutters (It’s Always Autumn’s Simple Girl’s Sundress). I added about 2 inches at the widest point to the patterns flutter sleeves to get a fuller look.
— I added buttons as an embellishment on the chest of one of the dresses (not shown in pictures)
– Stephanie, HoustonDIY