They say that March rolls in like a lion and out like a lamb, and I'm sitting here listening to the freezing rain fall and coat the outside surfaces with ice. Can't wait for some lamby weather!!! I know that most of us, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway, are longing for warmer temperatures and more sun, but we know that the weather will flip flop on us before Spring is solidly here. This sometimes makes it hard to know how to dress your littles! Today we have the Charlotte Dress from My Childhood Treasures that makes a great transition piece while we wait for the gorgeous Spring weather and colors to emerge. Here to bring you this review, are two of our newcomers to Pattern Revolution, Rachel and Ren!
As a fan of other My Childhood Treasures dress patterns (the popular Elke and the hooded Sally dress are two favorites in our house and have been reviewed by PR here and here), I was excited to get the chance to review one of her latest patterns, the Charlotte dress . This new pattern didn’t disappoint - the silhouette is a flattering a-line and the fit is similar to other MCT patterns. I sewed a size 4 for my slim 5-year-old, and the fit was excellent. I added a little length to the dress out of habit and didn’t end up needing all of it this time. The yoke of the dress is lined which is a nice touch, and creates a clean finish for the neckline. Next time I might understitch the neckline instead of topstitching, though that’s a personal preference. The boatneck opening was a little wide for my daughter (she has narrow shoulders for her size), though it will be easy for me to bring in the shoulders a little bit the next time I sew this pattern. The Charlotte dress is a straightforward and easy knit sew that doesn’t take very long to complete. Each of these took me about an hour to sew - I also spent a fair amount of time selecting and cutting fabrics, and making sure the pocket was finished nicely (and reinforced on the back with a little bit of interfacing).
There are two views included in the pattern, one with short sleeves and one with a slightly flared ¾ length sleeve with a contrast band at the bottom of the sleeve. I made the ¾ length sleeve for my first version (with red interlock and strawberry print french terry) and they looked so cute! They’re roomy enough to layer a long sleeve tee underneath, and are fine as is, too. For my second dress, this pattern was perfect for the color-blocked velour dress I’ve been wanting to make all winter (I’ll give the credit to Hanna Andersson for that one, as their winter catalog included a velour version of their classic playdress). My only disappointment with this pattern was that there was no long sleeve pattern piece included, but I used the pattern piece from the MCT Willow dress and the sleeve fit perfectly. The generously-sized pocket was a hit with my daughter, too (and I appreciated the pocket placement guide that was included on the pattern piece). This dress is great in warmer fabrics like french terry or velour, and is equally cute in lighter weight fabrics like cotton/lycra. The Charlotte dress is a perfect staple knit dress to add to your collection with a good size range, flattering fit, and broad range of fabrics that can be used successfully. As a bonus, there is a comprehensive glossary included and great tips for working with knits - including a gauge for calculating percentage of stretch - I would have loved to have had these resources when I was just starting to sew with knits! With the two different sleeves included in the pattern, the Charlotte dress will be great as we transition from winter to spring - which I hope will happen SOON after this winter we’ve had!
Until next time,
A simple knit dress is a favorite style in our house. The Charlotte Dress from My Childhood Treasures fits this bill perfectly—sporty, clean-lined, with a feminine kick. Dress it down for the playground, dress it up for Sundays or parties. Options included in this pattern are short or three-quarter sleeves, a front patch pocket, and stretch lace trim.
The pattern offers one size measurement: chest. My model (and daughter), The Peanut, is typically one size wide and another size tall. Offering only one measurement makes it difficult for me to sew to her beanpole needs. But wait! The pattern directions also offer final dress length (shoulder to hem). It instructs you to put those two pieces of information together to decide on a size. The Peanut's chest is 20" -- that's less than a Size 2 in this pattern and the length we would prefer aligns with a Size 5 here. I'm never a fan of grading between more than two sizes difference, and I feared the chest measurement alone would not take into account her almost-six-year-old shoulders and head size. So I guessed and sewed a Size 3 wide (22" chest) and Size 5 long (finished length 24.5"). I would have been more confident choosing the correct size if I had more measurements on the size chart to work from. I followed the cut and spread directions to obtain the length on the skirt and drafted the sleeves and sleeve cuffs at size 3 wide but down to the size 5 line for each.
I'm always drawn to the boat neck collar-line, for myself and for The Peanut. And inevitably we both have the same slides-off-the-shoulder-result. This dress is no exception—gaping in front and back and a whole lot of shoulder slipping. Is it that the dress is too large (room to grow is good), or is that The Peanut is blessed with the same sloping shoulders as her mom, aunts, and grandma (sorry, kid)?
After all that—size guessing and shoulder slipping—I still really like this pattern. I love the clean lines, the simple, clear construction, and the versatility of a knit dress. I sewed it up here in a reversible knit interlock (stripes on one side, dots on the reverse), but the possible fabric and color combinations are endless. It can be made in a wide range of stretch fabrics (and the pattern talks you through the choices and gives sewing tips specific to knit) and it includes a lovely lined finish at the neckline. I’ll make it again. But first, I'm going to wait to see how The Peanut grows into that boat neck, then I'll know exactly what size to make.