For months now I’ve been pattern searching. Looking for the perfect dress to make for Miss P’s first birthday. I wanted it to be simple, summery, and carefree looking. Nothing too fussy or flouncy. The fabric I chose for her party dress is a gorgeous bright floral pattern, so I wanted to stick with a dress that had clean lines.
I decided on McCall’s M6944. A sweet summer dress with coordinating bloomers peeking out from under the skirt. The finished measurements listed on the pattern were vague, so I decided to make a practice dress just to get the feel for the pattern and work out any sizing kinks. And this is the finished practice dress-
The crisscross back was what sold me on the pattern.
The straps are adjustable and simply button on the inside of the bodice.
So now we get to the nitty-gritty details. Just because a pattern sews up nicely and looks good hanging on a hanger doesn’t mean you’re home-free. Fitting is everything! And that’s were things started to unravel for this dress.
While I was cutting out the bloomers a little voice inside my head kept saying “Man those look big. They’d almost fit me.” But I pushed those thoughts aside and kept sewing. Sure enough…they’re huge. MC Hammer’s got nothing on these pants.
You can see from this picture how much it sticks out in the back. Sizing is the most frustrating element of sewing. Pattern companies all size differently. The store-bought size your child usually wears is not necessarily the size you will end up making for them. Miss P is a tall girl and a bit big for her age. She’s been wearing 12 month clothes for several months now, so I was a little surprised when the size 1 (as it’s called on this pattern) was so loose on her.
Now I have to decide what to do next. The pattern has a 6 month size (or as they call it 1/2 size…which is just dumb), but I’m worried that it will still be too big. The bloomers are just ridiculous and not even worth trying again. I think I’m going to cut out the smaller size, and make another practice top out of muslin. I’m going to scrap the bloomers all together and use See Kate Sew’s, bloomer tutorial. If that doesn’t work, I’ll make her birthday dress using Rae’s tried-and-true Geranium pattern.
I still haven’t given up on the pattern! I just think she might need to be a little older and a little bigger before it will fit right.
So, the moral of the story: listen to the voices in your head, and make the practice dress out of cheap fabric instead of darling fabric you actually like. Hopefully this will fit her next summer!
EDITORIAL NOTE: After reading this post, my friend Aliya, cleared up some of the sizing problems I was having. The sizes on the pattern are listed like this: 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4. I assumed that the 1 was equivalent to a 12-month size. Aliya explained that the 1/2 is actually the 12-month size. Which would make the 1 approximately an 18-month size? I guess?