UPDATED: This dress did actually end up fitting! Hooray!
I’ve been dreading this post because I’m afraid I’m going to have to roast this pattern. This is the (so-called) “Easy Empire-Waist Top” from Little Stitches for Little Ones by the amazing Amy Butler. The top is in my opinion, absolutely adorable on paper, which is why I chose to make it in the first place, but it was an absolute nightmare to construct. I’m not sure if I just can’t read pattern instructions without pictures or what, but I kept reading and re-reading the instructions and scratching my head, trying something, tearing it out, trying it again…
Furthermore, I’m afraid it’s sizing is questionable at best, as my rather large newborn doesn’t look like she’ll fit into the 0-3 month size anytime in the next year (hence no baby-in-the-outfit pic, sorry folks). And if/when it does ever fit her, I’m a little concerned about that V-neck. Currently it goes nearly down to her bellybutton, so the Child Decency Police may cite me for a violation unless I can find a baby tank top to go under it.
The bloomers, on the other hand, are too small. They never really fit over my cloth-diaper-butt-baby, although they were also sized 0-3 months. Sad. I think this might be my fault…I may have done the waistband incorrectly, having reached a point where I was no longer actually reading the instructions. I got frustrated when they called for folding under the bottom hem 1.5″ when there wasn’t even that much fabric on the inner leg seam, begging the question: did anyone test this pattern before publication? Or am I just remedial? Because that’s how I felt after spending more time on this outfit than I have on any top I’ve made for myself in the last year. The long and the short of it is that currently this outfit is slated for nursery wall-decor at best. It’s got a high “awwww” factor, low practicality factor.
Fabric: Mendocino by Heather Ross
Modifications: Added elastic casing all the way around the top, shortened arms by 2 inches (didn’t have enough fabric), and shortened skirt by a few (can’t remember exact anymore) inches.
Let me try and redeem myself a little here. I would like to go on the record as saying that Amy Butler is truly worthy of admiration. She not only “single-handedly changed the quilting fabric industry”, but is truly responsible for inspiring my current obsession with fabrics and sewing. If it hadn’t been for her first line (Gypsy Caravan, of which I am still hoarding select pieces), I might never have started sewing all this stuff in the first place. Since then I have obviously become an avid fan of many other wonderful fabric designers (Anna Maria Horner and Heather Ross currently tied for first place as faves), but AB still holds a special place in my heart. I just can’t get behind her patterns as much as her fabrics.
That said, I would love to see/hear about examples of success with this pattern. It’s a shame it doesn’t seem to work for me. It MUST have worked for someone else out there. Besides, I really do think it’s lovely. And since an infant never wears anything for more than a week, maybe that’s all that matters?