Simplicity 3513

Pattern Description:  This is a wardrobe pattern for girls, including dress, top, pants, and jacket with two sleeve lengths.  I started out making the dress.  I used a girls size 10, based on dd’s measurements and matching it to the measurement chart.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? very
Likes/dislikes? I like these raglan-type sleeves gathered to a neckband.  They look like gathered sleeves without all the fuss of setting them in a traditional armscye.  The sleeve band is a simple turned hem with elastic inserted.  The dress includes inseam pockets, which every little girl needs.  I also like the cute elastic band detail at the front to help pull in the front fullness; this keeps the dress from turning into a moomoo.
Fabric Used:  Here’s where my problem started.  I chose a Liberty print from my stash that turned out to be too thin for a straight dress.  I thought it would be passable, since there was what appeared to be lots of gathering at the neckband, but once I put it on dd, I knew this wasn’t working for me (or her):
sewing 003
The thin fabric made it look too flimsy, more like a hospital gown than a dress.  I knew she wasn’t going to wear this ever (no way will she agree to wear a slip under this, it’s hard enough to get her to dress up at all), but before tossing the whole thing, I thought "what the heck?" and cut about 7 inches from the bottom and turned up a narrow hem:
sewing 007
What an amazing difference this made!  My thoughts went from "ho hum, I don’t like this" to "how cute!"  This made a cute blouse, even though I wasn’t trying for that.  The Liberty print is the perfect weight for a summery blouse.  Lesson(s) learned:  Liberty prints are beautiful!  They are fabulous used in little girl dresses with gathered skirts and puffy sleeves.  The sheer-thin quality that makes them so wonderful in those types of dresses makes them a bad choice for straight stylings, unless the styles are lined.  And finally, don’t poo-poo the happy accident! Keep an open mind! 
Pattern Alterations or any design changes made:  I made no other alterations, except to use french seams.  You can kind of see this here:
sewing 006
I begin by sewing the wrong sides together at a scant 1/4" and then turn and sew the seams right sides together at a scant 3/8".  This maintains the 5/8" seam allowance.
I will sew this again, with my newly learned lessons.  The patten envelope recommends lightweight linen or pique, seersucker or blends for the dress, and I would stick with that.  There’s not too much fullness in the gathers, so it won’t look like a moo-moo when you’re done.
sewing 005
Cute top!
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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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