Crafty Mamas has a number of downloadable pdf patterns available for sale. The Violette Field Threads “Adele” dress is a recent addition to their range. When I saw it I was sure that Clare would love it.
While the front is your usual t-shirt dress, the back has a bustle effect with four layers of frills.
I’m not usually a huge fan of downloadable patterns because despite the instant factor I dislike taping all the pattern pieces together. However this pattern was well designed so that you taped together the paper for each piece one at a time rather than have all the pieces printed interlocking on what eventually becomes one giant piece of paper. I hope that I’ve explained that properly!
The instructions were comprehensive and illustrated with photographs throughout, right from taping together the paper to the final stitches. However, I didn’t pay a huge amount of attention to them and just went my own way. I used my overlocker to roll hem the hemline and frills, did the top two frills single layered rather than double as per the instructions (due to fabric limitations) and used elastic to gather the sleeves in a similar way to the Alice top I made myself. I used a band to finish the neckline, sewing one shoulder seam first, applying the neckband, then sewing the other shoulder seam. I used the twin needle to stitch it into place and give it a more finished look, and twin needle hemmed the sleeves as well.
Clare thought that having the frills on the back only was a little weird at first, but lots of fun. She’s enjoyed wearing it. Stella wants one as well, but with frills all the way around. The bustle effect appears to be a little too fashion forward for my four year old! The fabric is a cotton/lycra remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics (not yesterday! – I bought and made this last year), and size wise I made size 8 which was appropriate for my small about-to-turn-nine-year-old.