Here's a cute dress that's been waiting in the wings to be blogged about. I'm pleased with it for lots of reasons, which is a relief because making garments that require you to trace the pattern pieces first takes a level of effort that isn't always easy to come by!
The Autumn 4/2013 edition of Ottobre magazine (pictured above) is one of about three that I own that have now justified their price several times over. I've already used several of the patterns from this edition and have ear-marked more for when Dolores grows into the next size range.
So what did I use from it this time? I was for looking something to make from some lovely organic printed jersey that I'd been sent (more on that in a bit). I delved into my expansive Kiddie Clothes Making Pinterest board for inspiration and found this dress pin (from a pattern by Too Sweets patterns on Etsy). It's kind of like a set-in sleeve version of the Field Trip dress I made, but with a more A-line shape. So I started hunting through my Ottobres looking for a basic T-shirt pattern to adapt when I came across the Circus Horse dress (pictured below) from the aforementioned Autumn 4/2013 edition. It has almost the exact silhouette that I was looking for, however it has raglan rather than set-in sleeves. Instead of faffing about adapting another pattern, I decided to go with the Circus Horse dress instead.
I made the smallest size (92) which is currently one or two sizes too big for Dolores, but as I've said many times, I'm pleased to have garments for her 'in the bank'. I'm not sure when she'll get to wear it exactly, but I'm hopeful that it'll have a pretty long lifespan. I also added 2cms to the length as she tends to be a bit skinnier than the Ottobre patterns are designed for. I'm hoping that when it no longer works as a dress, that it'll become a tunic to be worn with leggings.
It was pretty simple to put together, although I complicated things slightly by adding some red jersey piping to emphasise the raglan sleeve seams and break up the print a bit. I used my twin needle on the neck binding and cuff binding, and they look pretty profesh if I say so myself (from the outside at least!).
Back in March-ish time, I was contacted by myfabrics.co.uk who offered me a choice of free fabric to sew with and review. I took it as an opportunity to further my investigations into organic cotton: to find out what is available out there for home sewers and what it is like to sew with. They had a few organic options on their site, mostly solid coloured jerseys and two novelty printed options. I requested some of the printed stuff as it looked really fun, and they kindly sent it to me (and have been incredibly patient with me and my much-delayed review).
When I received the fabric, I was immediately taken with the softness and handle, but a bit disappointed with the colours of the print. In the flesh they weren't as vibrant as the thumbnail on the site. I can't link to it because it is not currently available, although they have many MANY other amazing non-organic novelty printed jerseys currently in stock. WHY AREN'T THE ANCHOR DESIGNS PRINTED ON ORGANIC COTTON?! Riddle me that.
This organic cotton jersey was lovely to cut and sew with, and the weight is perfect for a jersey dress, but also probably for a T-shirt or leggings. The softness that seems to be a feature of (all/most?) organic cotton is ideal for children's clothing, and the 5% elastane content in this particular piece should aid stretch-recovery and movement for a crazy toddler. I can't comment on how it launders after repeated use, because this garment is still too big (as highlighted in these last two photos!) and it hasn't needed to go through the wash yet.
As far as I can tell from a garment that is yet to be in regular rotation, this seems to be a real success. I love the pattern AND the fabric, and I guess it's in the eye of the beholder as to whether they are a good pairing. I definitely plan to use the pattern pieces again, and maybe make 3/4 length or short sleeved versions as well in lighter-weight knit.
And when my stash has run dry of knit, and if the charity shops aren't turning out viable garments to harvest it from, I'll definitely consider buying organic jersey/knit fabric in the future. Although I'll make sure it has the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification so conforms with standards at every stage of manufacture.