Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sew and Tell with the Clara Dress
 Hi everyone!  We're here to share our newest, and sadly our last, Sew and Tell Review!  This month we will be featuring the Clara Dress from Filles à Maman!  The Clara Dress is a versatile design with a sweet charm that can be worn for variety of occasions.  It's sure to be a staple in your little one's closet!  And just like all of our patterns featured on our Sew and Tell Review portion of our blog, this one will be 25% off until the end of the month! 
So what makes this dress so special?  Let's take a look at all this pattern has to offer! 
*  This dress can be made in sizes 12m, 24m, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
*  You'll receive 2 PDF file in your pattern download.  One is the tutorial with pattern pieces.  The other is an add-on for the optional heart-shaped pockets.
*  The tutorial is 44 pages long with 20 of those pages being the pattern pieces that need to be printed out.
*  All sizes are nested together with different patterned dashed line being used to differentiate each size. 
*  Measurements are provided to cut out the ruffles.
*  Lots of pattern markings are on the pattern pieces similar to a traditional paper pattern.  You won't be left guessing how to space buttonholes or measuring where to place the pockets. 
*  Pattern pieces are numbered and labeled with both the designer's name and the pattern name.
*  A 3/8" seam allowance is included in the pattern pieces.
*  This one pattern gives you several design option.  You can make this dress with either a cap sleeve or a long sleeve; with or without a bottom ruffle; and with heart pockets, curved pockets, or no pockets at all.
*  There are is a button closure going down the backside of the dress. 
*  This pattern uses a raglan-style sleeve, so no set-in sleeve construction required.
*  Excellent detailed directions are provided for constructing the pockets, making/applying bias tape, and making French seams.  I definitely picked up some pointers!
*  Colorful photos are included for each step so that you can clearly see and read what you should do.
*  Fabric requirements for are provided for both of the sleeve lengths and both the ruffled or unruffled options.
*  There's a really helpful Sizing Chart that gives you measurements for the waist, length, and chest for each size.  Be sure to measure your child before choosing a size.
*  Recommended fabrics include quilting cotton, baby wale corduroy, velvet, and lightweight denim.
*  You'll see French and English writing/labels throughout the pattern, but the version available on our site is the English version. 
*  Overall, I was very impressed with directions and the way the tutorial was put together.  Very easy to read and follow! 
Stephanie has done a fantastic review for us, so let's see what she has to say!  You can find her work on both Etsy and Facebook
My name is Stephanie, and I am the mom of four pretty terrific kids!  I homeschool my 11 and 9 year olds, and I also have 2 year old twins.  I'm pretty blessed to be running a home-based business doing what I love!  My first sewing project was when I was sixteen (more years ago than I would care to admit).  I've always loved crafting and creating, but sewing ended up taking a backseat to knitting for a long time!  I jumped back into sewing a few years ago to make clothes for my girls (because matching sibling clothes are a right of passage), and I've had so many requests that I have been sewing since!
This week I sewed up the Clara Dress by Filles a Maman.  I have a confession.  My two year old daughter has been insistent for the past several weeks that she has a Minnie Mouse dress.  She actually did not have one, so I planned to make her the most perfect one.  I purchased the fabric last week at JoAnn's for her Minnie Mouse dress.  Like any typical mom, I wanted my daughter to have a unique dress, so I've been looking for a pattern to evoke that style.  I also wanted it to be sweet, vintage-looking, and girly.  It's a pretty tall order and a lot to ask for, but I found everything I wanted in the Clara Dress.  The sweet yoke and vintage-looking fit were absolutely perfect for what I had in mind.
When I downloaded it, I must admit that I was a bit thrown by the 20 pages to print.  I printed that many for a tunic for myself a week ago and it seemed excessive, especially since there were also measured cuttings for the ruffled version I chose.  My fears were quickly put to rest.  I can honestly say that this pattern taped together more quickly than any other pattern I have ever done.  Everything lined up perfectly without any pre-cutting of the pages and I had the whole thing cut out and ready for my fabric in about 5 minutes. The fabric and elastic only took me another 7 minutes or so to cut.  Honestly, picking the right buttons took longer!
I measured my daughter and decided that I would do a 3T width because I figure this dress is going to get a lot of wear, and I want her to be able to wear it in the fall and possibly through to next spring.  She's currently in a 2T, so I modified the length a little and split it between the 2T and 3T.  I'm perfectly okay with making her a pair of coordinating ruffle pants in the fall if she needs them under it!  I also opted to only use interfacing in the button plackets and not the whole back piece.  That is mainly because my daughter is a very dramatic little person, and if her dress felt funny on her back there's no way I would get her to wear it.
The directions in this pattern are accompanied by great picture tutorials which are helpfully numbered for the steps.  It made sewing this dress together so easy and effortless that I had time to think about all the fabulous ways that this dress could be sewn up in the hour and half that it took me to finish.  There are several different options within the pattern that any beginning sewist could easily follow.  There are also many opportunities for advanced sewists to customize this dress in so many ways!  There are pocket options (including a too cute heart pocket) and sleeve lengths, and with very little effort this could be made into a tunic length top or a gorgeous special occasion dress.  I love how versatile it is.
The end result is absolutely perfect.  It's everything I wanted, and my peanut is beyond happy, so I couldn't ask for more.  I'm planning out a couple more, and I think I might try one of those lace zippers on the back instead of buttons and use heart pockets and make it tunic length to pair with some ruffle leggings for fall.
In my opinion, this pattern is a must-have for any mom sewing for her little girls.  It's quick and easy to follow, and there are so many opportunities to make it your own and personalize it for each unique little girl!  I love the Clara Dress and I cannot wait to make more of them!

Um... LOVE IT!  So glad that little cutie got herself a Minnie dress.  The addition of the yellow rick rack and that big yellow button on the yoke are the perfect finishing touches! 


Pair it up!

The Simple Girls Leggings from Amelie Clothing done in all black would be the perfect match for a Minnie Mouse inspired dress!  These are a true legging with a snug fit that make them perfect for layering.  Available in sizes 3 Girls- 9 Girls.
What's Minnie without her Mickey?  The Classic Boys Romper from Seamingly Smitten would be easy to transform into a Mickey-inspired suit.  Just make the half black, the bottom half red, and throw on some large white buttons... viola!  Available in sizes 6m- 4T.

 There you have it, ladies!  Hopefully you now know everything you ever wanted to know about the Clara Dress!  Now be sure you head over to the website and get your copy for 25% off during May!  We'd love to see any version of this dress you've made.  You can share photos over in our Facebook Group.


Go sew something magical!

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I agree, I love anything Minnie Mouse- inspired!

  2. This is fabulous! Very Minnie and very unique at the same time. Thanks for linking up to Inspire Us Thursday!

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate you hosting the link party!!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I'll try to respond as quickly as I can! Have a fabulous day full of sewing!