When I first saw the Enchanting Dress by Lilac Lane, I thought it would make a lovely holiday dress for my daughter, but time got away from me last month, so I spent New Year's Day working on it instead. I can't think of a better way to spend the holiday, especially since they say whatever you do on New Year's, you do all year long! Enchanting features a lovely A-line silhouette, with bell ruffle sleeves, a low back and oversized bow.
I made a couple sewing resolutions this year. One was to sew my fabric stash and another was to focus my energies on sewing garments that are comfortable, functional and could be worn everyday. Both of those resolutions came into play while I was working on this dress. I had almost enough of this lovely Jennifer Paganelli fabric to make the pattern, but was just a smidge short. I made it work by hemming the sleeve ruffles rather than folding them in half and making them a double layer as instructed in the pattern. I also omitted the bow to make the dress more carseat friendly. Day 1, resolutions kept!
The pattern covers a size range of 2T to 10 and includes a measurement chart to help choose your size. I ended up doing blended sizes because Abby has a 5T Chest, 3T Height, and 4T waist, which makes her a little more difficult to sew for than someone who falls in more average sizing. I chose the 5T as my base since the pattern says the chest measurement is key to the proper fit, and I'm glad I did. The dress is flowy while still having the perfect fit through the neck, back, and shoulders. When I make it again, I'll take in the sides a bit below the breast line to the hem and shorten the dress another inch. I'm getting better at blending sizes, but still haven't quite hit that sweet spot yet!
This was my very first Lilac Lane Pattern, and I was so happy to find these little placement boxes on each page of the pattern printouts. Abby "helped" me take it off the printer, so they really came in handy when I was tiling out the jumbled pattern pages to tape together. No guessing! I knew exactly where each page belonged. I'm also a big fan of the grid background. It comes in really handy for those of us who have to blend sizes and make adjustments to pattern pieces. The pattern is not nested and comes with a print guide, so you know exactly which pages to print for your size.
Since I omitted the bow, I decided I needed to add a little something back in for detail. I trimmed the sleeves in lace. So dainty.
I used this cotton crochet doily I scored at a yard sale to cover the low back neckline and continue down the back of the dress. Seriously, I love it! I had never used any kind of overlay like this before, but it was very simple once it was pinned in place to securely tack it down and incorporate it into the garment. I got a TON of these little handmade things in different shapes and sizes from a woman who was going into a nursing home, and I am so glad I rescued them and will be giving them new life!
I would rate this an adventurous beginner pattern. It really is very simple, but someone with only a little experience might struggle with the bias trimmed neckline since they can be so fiddly; however, it definitely does create a lovely clean finish to the garment. I had no trouble following the instructions or completing any of the steps.
Abby is very happy with her new dress! (Me Too!)
And her daddy thought she looked absolutely Enchanting.