Hello again! I’m Kari, from That's-Sew-Kari. I’m starting off my first sew of 2016 with the Li’l LDT from Love Notions. A few months ago, Tami of Love Notions released the Ladies LDT for free to her sewing group members. Everyone loved it so much, she decided to mini-size it for our favorite little ladies in our lives. This pattern covers sizes 2T - 16 and is FULL of options. You can truly customize it with all of your daughter’s favorite options.
THE OPTIONS (my choices are in BOLD)
3 hem lengths: shirt, tunic, and dress
4 necklines: banded, cowl, hooded (gnome & rounded), asymmetrical
5 sleeve lengths: tank, cap, elbow, bishop, long
Inseam (side) pockets, high-low hem
As soon as I saw the tester photos coming in, there was a long sleeved, cowl neck, tee version that sold it to me (Kudos to whomever you are!). I knew I had to make it! Of course, my daughter hates long sleeves and prefers dresses, but hey, this pattern has plenty of options to fit each child. After consulting my 4 year old, we decided on a cap sleeved, cowl neck dress with YES pockets. HA! Four year olds know what they want, right?!
I originally had a gray/white polka knit picked for the cowl (see pocket closeup), but my daughter was dead set on the pink. I snuck my polka dots in though… haha. The main dress is cotton lycra (from Mama Made & Beautiful) with a nice medium weight. The cowl neck is also cotton lycra (from Purple Seamstress) , but slightly less weight.
The pattern (if you print all options) is 36 pages long. However, you can print only the options you need by consulting the chart on page 3. There is also the layers functionality so you can print only the size(s) you need. Even if you do find yourself assembling all 36 pages, the pattern is truly no trim and super easy to line up.
I did run into a roadblock before I could start sewing though due to my daughter's atypical measurements. In the pattern, it mentions to choose the sizing by chest size and simply use the lengthen (or shorten) line to adjust the height. My 4 year old has a 20” chest (size 2) but is 41” tall (size 4). I found the lengthen line, cut it and taped a piece of paper under the gap. To figure out how to regrade the A-line angle on the side, I consulted the pattern. However, there was not an explanation (or pictures) on what to do. I needed to add 2.75” which threw my angles way off. Because I’m a pro-craftinator like so many of my friends, I had waited until the last minute (aka the night before the due date) and couldn’t wait for answers. I decided to improvise. I retaped my size 2 back to its proper silhouette. Then I cut the size 4 pattern (just the edge) from the armpit down and taped it on top of the size 2 to achieve my desired length. I would like to see a detailed explanation included in the pattern though on how best to redraw the angle, and the designer has agreed to do this in an upcoming blog post..
While I like the cowl, it didn’t turn out how I expected. The other pictures I have seen, it appears much drapier. I think it could do with how the sizes got mixed together. My normal routine consists of changing the upper bodice around the neckline and armscye to reflect her taller (than size 2) height. Because this was lengthened only below the armscye, I think it’s possible that her neckline and cowl are a bit too small for her height. It’s also possible that the others were not using a cotton/lycra blend
Also, important to note: The pocket marking is above the lengthen line so if you do need to add length, be sure to adjust your pocket height (or your pockets will be too high).
Regardless of the roadblock before sewing, the dress turned out so adorable and came together rather quickly, and if you don't need to mix sizes like I did, you can expect a quick, rewarding sew! I will definitely be making more of these -- of course, hopefully trying out some of the other options I printed. Plus, how perfect for pictures was this washer & dryer set my girls got for Christmas?! I’ve already got her washing up my fabrics for my next pattern test…. hahaha!
How cute is that Washing machine and dryer set? Maybe I'd do laundry more often if I had a pink set, but in the meantime I'll check out these other adorable versions (and even a mom and me version from Kara!) of the Li'l LDT. -Sarah