Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sewing Pattern Testing- Made for Mermaids- Grace Dress

Posted by Heather at Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hello! After a brief Easter hiatus, I'm back to the sewing machine for some more PDF sewing pattern testing.

Today's pattern is by one of my personal all-time favorites, the Made for Mermaids. Introducing the Grace Dress! Featuring angel wing sleeves and a super twirly skirt, the Grace Dress is the perfect addition to your daughter's spring/summer wardrobe.

Let's talk basics, first;

-The Grace Dress comes in sizes 1/2 through 14.
-The Grace Dress can be sewn as a top, dress or double skirt.
-Size chart, fabric requirements chart and measurement chart are all included in the Grace Dress pattern.
-The Grace Dress has several sleeve options- simple (shown), double or lined.
-The Grace Dress has a button up back.
-The Grace Dress is all about the french seams. Directions are included within the pattern in order to achieve this technique. This means that the inside of your garment will be clean and beautiful- just like the outside!
-Like most of Made for Mermaids' current patterns, the Grace Dress has no trim pattern pieces. No extra cutting- Love that!
-My favorite feature of the Grace Dress pattern is the fact that it's the first Made for Mermaids pattern with size layers!! This means that with a couple clicks of the mouse, you only print the size you need. No extra ink wasted, no blurred lines to follow when taping and cutting. Just print the size you need and you're good to go!

Speaking of good to go, let's get to the good stuff- the Grace Dress pattern!!

I sewed up a size 6 width bodice with a size five length. Lil' Miss has recently been complaining about her shirts/dresses not having enough room when she moves around. So, even though she measures exactly for a size 5 with a 24" chest, I decided to bump up a size. I'm glad that I did! The size 6 bodice had just enough room to allow Lil' Miss to move and groove (and twirl and twirl and twirl. Trust me, your little one is going to want to twirl her heart out in the Grace Dress!!). I did a single skirt with hem ruffle and unlined sleeves. I used French seams at the armscyes. 

I used Waverly fabric from Wally world for the both the main blue and yellow accents. It's nice and sunny and bright (and, at less than $4/yard, it's a fabric bargain!!). This was my first time using the Wal-Mart Waverly fabric and I have to admit that I was pleasantly pleased with the quality. The fabric had a nice weight to it and did not fall apart during sewing (like other, cheaper fabric is prone to do).

I digress....

The real draw of the Grace Dress pattern are the sleeves. Floaty and frilly, the sleeves are meant to be sewn using light-weight material. A chiffon, lace, voile, etc. would work nicely. I would NOT use anything heavier than the quilting cotton that I used. The lighter your sleeve fabric, the nicer the sleeve will lay.

Made for MermaidsGrace Dress- Sleeve detail

Made for MermaidsGrace Dress- Sleeve detail

The skirt using the whole width of fabric (WOF) for the front and a whole width of fabric for the back. The ruffle uses 4x WOF!! In other words, there's a whole lot of twirl factor in the Grace Dress!! :-)

I really appreciate when a sewing pattern can teach me something new and/or explain another technique, better. I've used French Seams in the past, but I don't do it very often. While it can be tedious, the results are so clean and finished. Well worth the extra time! Megan definitely walks you through the steps of a French seam if that is something new to you. Studying the included pictures will definitely help a French seam newbie.

Instructions are also included in the Grace Dress to create a skirt placket. This is a little "cut" finished with bias in the skirt that makes dressing (on and off) easier. I've done something similar, on my own, in the past. It's nice to see the technique put into words, though.

This was a quick test, but it was so much fun! Thank you, Megan, for allowing me to once again test for you. I had sew much fun!!

***Disclosure: "I received a free pattern in order to pattern test for Made for Mermaids. The opinions expressed here are my own."***


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