Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sew and Tell with the Apron Twirl Peasant Dress

Hi everyone!  Hope you're having a great day!  We've been battling sickness at our house for, oh, the past month now, and I think (knock on wood!) everyone is starting to feel better again!  And the sun has come out!  That puts a big 'ole smile on this girl's face!  Hopefully you've got plenty to be thankful for, too! 

If you're having the kind of day where you could use a smile, the photos from today's review might do the trick!  The dress is gorgeous and the little girl is as cute as she can be!  We are featuring Whimsy Couture's Apron Twirl Peasant Dress.  This is one of those "go-to" patterns because it is so easy to construct, there is such a wide range of sizes, and you can choose from several options to change up the look of the dress.  I always appreciate designers that create patterns where you feel you really get your money's worth.  This dress starts at a zero month and goes to size 12 years.  I know a lot of women talk about wanting patterns that go to larger sizes, so this one's for you, ladies!!  This dress is also suitable year round as you can make it short-sleeved, with 3/4 sleeves, or with long sleeves.  Just pair it with some leggings or ruffled pants in the fall or winter, and you are all set!  Such a sweet dress... you'll be sure to fall in love with this one!  Go ahead and purchase this one for 25% off for the next few days!!   

Take a look at what Laura D. from Bliss Boutiques made with the Apron Twirl Peasant Dress pattern. 
I just started sewing.  I saw a pair of designer ruffled jeans that cost a fortune online that I wanted so bad for my daughter, but just could not spend $60+ on jeans for a 2 year old.  So I decided (on a whim) to learn how to sew and make them myself!  My mother-in-law gave me her old sewing machine, some help with the jeans when I got stuck, and I taught myself from there.  Now I'm hooked and a fabric junkie, lol!  I had only sewn a few things before this, so my review is from a 'still learning' perspective.  And this pattern is truly perfect for a newbie like myself or for the more advanced sewer.  The directions are so clear and easy to follow!  To be honest this is why I prefer PDF Patterns to the pre-printed ones.  I love the step-by-step photo instructions.  It makes it a breeze!  When you are still learning it helps to see what you should be doing and what it should look like!  The printing out and assembling the pattern parts can be time consuming, but I think totally worth it!  In the case of this pattern though, there is only 1 'pattern piece' to print out, the armholes.  The rest are just square pieces, so she gives measurements according to size.  It's nice to skip that step, heehee! 
The most time consuming part for me was probably choosing my fabrics!  That part always takes me hours!  I think fabric choices make the outfit when all is said and done.  So I always want to take my time and think it through.  It took me about 35-40 minutes to cut my fabrics (after the deliberation).  And with a few minor interruptions from the littles (all 3 needed something at some point before bed, which is to be expected) it took me about 3 1/2 maybe 4 hours to make the dress.  I made the dress twice actually.  Yes!  I love it that much!  And I wanted to try the dress using the different variations she includes in the download.  It's really a great pattern!  There are several ways you can do it, such as a top or a dress, short or long sleeves, ruffle or border bottom, apron or no apron.  Not to mention she even includes instructions for a detachable apron pattern that ties in the back!
The 1st one I made I didn't do the apron, and I did a border on the bottom instead of the ruffles.  It took me about as long to do. I think I got faster with the 2nd one, but the added ruffle and apron evened the time out.  I really like how it came out!  I'm a ruffle girl at heart though, so I had to do it again with the ruffle bottom and apron.  The fabric I used on the apron was an extra curtain panel I had from my kitchen sliding glass doors, I thought the eyelet would be perfect for the apron.  And I love the delicateness it added. 
The pattern runs true to size.  My pigeon is kind of little, so next time I might make the dress a smidgen smaller.  The length was great, but on my daughter it seemed a wee bit baggy.  I also had to do the elastic in the sleeves differently.  She uses elastic thread, but I'm not sure if I just bought an elastic thread that doesn't pair well with my machine, or if my sewing machine just doesn't like elastic thread.  I tried all combinations and read some tutorials and YouTube videos online, but still a no go.  Instead I just used 1/4 inch elastic, back stitched, pulled the elastic as tight as I could while I sewed, got to the end of my fabric, back stitched again, and then cut the excess elastic.  I winged it, (as I have since learned another way to do that) but it worked perfectly.
This pattern reminded me of a pricey designer that does a lot of dress like this, which I find myself drooling over all the time, so I was so excited to find this, and I will for sure be making these in a lot of different fabric combos!  It's a go-to pattern that will grow with her and be cute at all ages!  I couldn't be more happy with it!
 Here's a few more because she's so darn cute!

The fabrics used on that dress are stunning!  And Laura is right, the eyelet apron does give the dress a very delicate, feminine look.  Great job!  This is perfect for spring! 
If I had to guess, I would say that Laura used a computerized Brother sewing machine.  They are NOTORIOUS for being bad at shirring.  Notorious I tell you!  BUT, don't think it can't be done!  I've turned into a shirring machine (as has my sewing machine) since I read a blog post about shirring with a Brother.  Check out this post from Creative Heart.  She walks you through each step of how to make your machine play nicely with elastic thread.  I went from being so discouraged and frustrated to having my machine shirr perfectly.  I hope it works for you, too!!  If it doesn't, don't give up!  Someone out there has your machine and has gotten it to shirr properly.  Leave a comment with your machine model, and maybe we can help you out!
If you like the peasant style, here are some other options for you to take a look at...
Say hello to Autumn's Peasant Romper from Create Kids Couture!  The elastic neckline, bell-sleeves, fun mix of fabrics... everything you love in a peasant dress- in a romper!  Super comfortable while still being super fashion-forward.  Your little girl will beg to wear this one!  Available in sizes 18m- 6 years. 
Everyone loves a pretty peasant top!  They never seem to go out of style and are flattering on everyone.  This is the Poets Peasant Top from Ginger & Louise Pattern Co.  It has a sort of Medieval flair about it.  Very romantic and such a classic look.  I love it in the white Swiss dots, but there are so many possibilities with this one!  Soft, small-scale florals would look lovely!  This pattern is available in sizes 2T- 6 years. 
Alright ladies, don't be afraid to shirr (and let us know if we can help!), fill your little princess's closet with cute peasants, and don't forget to purchase you copy of the Apron Twirl Peasant Dress for 25% off.  Now go sew something magical!! 


  1. Laura D. did a wonderful job on her sewing. That's great for a beginner. Fabulous photos as well. Stopping by from Sew Many Ways.

    1. I agree... great work for a self-proclaimed beginner! Whimsy Couture's patterns are very easy to follow and produce great results :) And I would love to be to take photos like that! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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