The Rachel By Funktional Threads

In celebration of Earth Day coming this week on April 22, we're going to be featuring some reviews that work well for upcycling. Today Shae is here to tell us all about the Rachel from Funktional Threads.

Happy Earth Day everyone!  I'm Shae from Saflower Photography and Saflower Designs.  

One of the first dresses I made for my daughter was an upcycle made from my old maternity shirts.  I love the idea of taking something old, and giving it new life.  What better way to celebrate Earth Day, than to give new life to tired old materials?  

Last year I took this idea to the extreme and made my daughter and entire dress out of newspaper, coffee filters, and a sash from and old dress.  

Well, this year I decided she needed something she could actually wear without worrying about having it rip or getting it wet!  Enter the Rachel Dress by Funktional Threads.  This pattern "will shake you all night long!"  Seriously, what an awesome pattern.  

My first step in this endeavor was to hit up the thrift store and my own closet.  I've had this pink AC/DC shirt since college and I figured it was time to pass it on.  I think the total for all my "fabric" was under $5.  

After I gathered everything up, I had to decide which version of the Rachel Dress I was going to do.  See, this patterns comes with a TON of options!!  We are talking, solid bodice, pieced bodice, circle skirt. pieced skirt, layered skirt, different types of sleeves, a hood, etc.  The options seem endless.  I originally really wanted to do the layered skirt, but since I wanted to only use recycled materials in honor of Earth Day, I had to do the pieced skirt option.  The next one I do, I'll go for the layers.  

Ok, let's get down to the nitty gritty of this pattern.  

At first glance I was a little freaked out because it is 100 pages long.  The first 30ish pages are the actual directions, charts, etc.  The rest are the pieces.  Now, You DO NOT need to print off all those pieces!!  There is a great printing chart that tells you what pages to print, based on the options you choose.  

A few other things that are included in the pattern, which I think are awesome, are a notes page (for those who print the patterns) and a page of line drawings of the different options so you can actually get your colored pencils out, or raid your kid's crayon box, and figure out your fabric layout!!  I wish a lot more designers included line drawings.  

The directions are super clear and very easy to understand.  The steps are accompanied by computer drawings to make things clear.  

If you are an experienced seamstress there is a quick sew guide at the end.  Basically, its just a page of simplified instructions, no pictures.  This makes it nice because you don't have to flip through a bunch of explanations that many of the newer seamstresses may need.  

There is also an option to use fold over elastic, or FOE, for the neckline.  This is something I have never used before, but I know there are a ton of people who love it, so I thought I would give it a try.  I have a bunch of FOE for making headbands with and I just happened to have one that matches.  I figure it still counts as being Earth Day friendly since I'm Reducing my stash! Ha!  Ok, so am I a FOE convert?  Nah.  I still like using ribbed knit for my neckbands.  

Since I want to make this an honest, balanced review, I need to include some of the "cons."  

The first con would have to be the amount of pages.  For me, this isn't a big deal since I don't print everything, but I know there are a lot of people who like to print every page.

Next would have to be the directions for the FOE neckline.  I wish it went into a little more detail and I wish directions were given to make the ends nice and neat.

The last major con would have to be sizing.  It comes in even sizes.  So, if your daughter is a 3, you need to decide if you need to size up or size down.  One of the ways the pattern addresses this, is by including a "slim" option.  Even with the slim options, there still seems to be a slight gap in the sizes.  I chose to do the 4 slim.  My daughter wears a 4T in most ready to wear clothes.  The fit ended up being a little loose, so it does run a little on the wide side.  If you want the fitted look, you will have to go down a few sizes and adjust the length.  Luckily, the pattern gives detailed directions on how to do that.  

Over all, I think it is an awesome pattern!!  My daughter absolutely loves it and even asked if she could sleep in it.  I always feel like the true test of a design is by how much the kiddos actually want to wear it.  

Don't you give me no

Don't you give me no

Don't you give me no lies

You can't stop rock 'n' roll
You can't stop rock 'n' roll