Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sew and Tell with the Mayfair Top and Dress

http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/

Hi everyone!  July has snuck up on us, but we DO have a Sew & Tell Review for you all.  From now until the end of the month, we will have the Mayfair Top and Dress (and Spats!) from Terra's Treasures on sale for 25% off!  Below are some gorgeous photos and an excellent review for your viewing and reading pleasure.
 

Here are facts about this pattern: 

*  The top/dress comes as one file, and the spats come in a separate file.
*  The top/dress pattern/tutorial is 61 pages long and the spats tutorial is 8 pages long.
*  There are several options provided with the pattern such as either a 3/4 or short sleeve, ruffles or no ruffles, and 2 collar options (or omit it all together).
*  Suggested fabrics include: cotton, cotton types, seersucker, lawn, broadcloth, linen, and you'll need lace for the overlay.  You'll also need a knit stretch fabric with a 30% stretch for the spats.
*  A 3/8" seam allowance is included. 
*  All pages are numbered and labeled with the designer's name and pattern title. 
*  You'll find helpful information such as a Materials List, Size Chart, Yardage Chart, Finished Measurements Chart, Printing Instructions, and a Cutting Measurement Chart right at the beginning.
*  This pattern can be made in sizes 12-18m through a size 14. 
*  There is a color photograph to accompany each step in the tutorial.
*  Pages 1- 19 are the directions and pages 20- 61 are the pattern pieces.
*  Pattern pieces are all labeled with the pattern title and designer.
*  Pattern pieces have all sizes nested together with each size designated a different color. 
*  The pattern pieces and tutorial are professionally done, and you'll be very pleased with the quality of both.
 
Now, let's get to the fun part!  Katy M. was our amazing reviewer this month, and here's what she had to say about the Mayfair Dress...
 
********************
 
Hi everyone.  My name is Katy McKee, and I am reviewing the Mayfair dress by Terra’s Treasures.  I am a web designer by day, an aspiring seamstress by night, and a mother of 3 beautiful children 24/7.  I have a very busy schedule, so I am always looking for easy projects that can be completed quickly, but “cutely.”
 
http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/
 
I would consider my level of expertise to be intermediate.  I do make my own patterns from time to time (success alludes me at times) and always enjoy reviewing other’s work to learn new and old tricks of the trade.

First – let me start by saying that this dress is absolutely gorgeous, and I was really excited to get started on it.  The bones of the dress remind me of the old Victorian dresses you see in those faded black and white pictures.  Where the little girl is playing with her handmade doll, she has a bow in her hair (which has been rag rolled) and her cheeks are tinted with a touch of pink.  Everywhere a ruffle and a ribbon and no detail is spared. 
 
http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/

To create that same feeling in my dress, I chose very Victorian colors for my fabrics.  Pink linen for the main body of the dress, gray stretch lace for the top, and green damask velour for the spats and accent flower.  I added pearl buttons to enhance the Victorian flare.
 
 
Upon first glance of this dress, it looks very similar to other PDF patterns I have purchased.  The shape is very simple and the features aren’t anything I haven’t encountered before.  However, Terra’s Treasures’ skill level is on the higher end of intermediate, pretty close to expert.  While the pattern is easy to follow, it is very thorough in the desire to enforce correct technique.  This pattern is created with the longevity of the dress in mind.
 
http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/
 
The pattern is pretty easy to put together, but there are a lot of pieces.  It took me a total of a gazillion years… just kidding… about an hour to get the pattern pieces matched up and taped.  I always try to use card stock because its stiff edges make it easier to line up, and it doesn’t shift as much.
 
http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/
 
Following the instructions is easy… if you follow the instructions.  Because I sometimes go rogue and want to try something just a little different, I did improvise in some areas.

Rogue move #1 – I chose NOT to put an under-layer beneath the lace on the back, because it’s summer and I wanted the garment to be as cool and breezy as possible.  Plus, the lack of the under-layer is a little more modern, and my 8-year-old daughter prefers “cool and modern” to “Why did you go shopping in Downton Abbey’s closet?”
 
http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/

This adjustment proved to be slightly more difficult because I had to make minor adjustments to the instructions as I went along to accommodate the change.  Having done a lot of sewing for my children in the past, I recognized what those changes would need to be without having direction, but a beginner should probably follow the instructions as they are.  It is easy to get lost in this pattern if you don’t follow step-by-step.

Rogue move #2 – I did NOT finish the ends of the ruffle.  My lace was very thin and so I simply folded it in half, long ends together.  This creates more of a “poofy” ruffle and adds some whimsy to the dress.
 
http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/

Rogue move #3 – I did NOT use a knit fabric for the spats.  I was really excited about these spats because it was my first time making them, but I couldn’t find a knit fabric that I loved.  In hindsight, I should have settled on a knit.  There were numerous adjustments that had to be made to the pattern to accommodate the non-stretch velour.  Do NOT try that at home, folks… unless you are into trial and error.  And in that case, go for it!

http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/
 
Rogue move #4 – and yes, I strayed that many times!  I hemmed an extra inch on the dress.  My daughter is a size 8 and this dress is a tall “8”, which is great because there is some room to play.  I was able to get the length just right on her.  So if your child is shorter it’s an easy adjustment.  And for all of us girls that know what it’s like to be tall… this pattern is a win for us, FINALLY!

I definitely think the end result is worthy of one of those old black and white photos. We’ve gotten so many compliments on the dress and my daughter loves wearing it… and those spats (I love saying “Spats!”).
 

As far as regrets… I have none.  I probably should have picked a thinner linen for the body of the dress because this dress needs a fabric that is easy to pull / ruffle… but the outcome is just too pretty to complain about.
 
http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/

Happy sewing everyone!


*******************

 The dress, the girl, the photography... all stunning!  This is definitely a pattern you're going to want to have in your library.  It can easily be dressed up or down just by changing the fabrics to suit the occasion.  With the extensive size range, you'll be using this pattern over and over again throughout the years.  And don't be surprised if strangers stop you on the street to ask if you'll make their little ones a replica ;)   

Now be sure you head over to the website and get your copy for 25% off during July!  We'd love to see any version of this dress you've made.  You can share photos over in our Facebook Group.

And don't forget to pin this review so others can read about this pattern and save a little moolah while purchasing it! 

http://www.fairytalefrocksandlollipops.com/terras-treasures/terras-treasures-mayfair-top-or-dress-and-spats-e-pattern/
 

Go sew something magical!

 
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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!