I was chosen as a tester* for The Swinging Dress by Bellamie Boo Couture. It’s a cute design with a bit of a retro feel.
It’s a relatively easy sew as the back calls for shirring or “faux” shirring (elastic sewn through channels). It has an angular collar and halter neck ties.
I used some coral spots and stripes waves scale poplin (100% cotton) from the stash for my tester version. I chose to make the version with the bottom band, and was lucky to have some co-ordinating broadcloth (100% cotton) too, not an exact match but close enough. The bodice is lined with white top pop poplin (70%polyester/ 20% cotton).
I chose not to make the optional sash as dear daughter hates having knots tied behind her back as “it bothers her when she sits”. I figure a white or pink ribbon will suffice if need be as they are less bulky.
The dress is lots of fun but I found the back coverage a little low for my liking and I think the original lengths of elastic provided during testing for the back were too big and so the back sagged, but has been revised in the final pattern. The neck straps were also bit short to tie into a substantial bow in the tester version but has since also been altered to correct for this.
I chose to cut the tea length for my daughter who has had a major growth spurt and is a bit above average in height for her age but found the dress a bit short regardless, for what is considered ‘tea length’. I went back and added another band at the bottom with the main fabric, the same width as the existing band. I feel like it is more age appropriate at a longer length because she can play freely and I know she will get lots of wear out of it this way. Plus she seems to want most dresses at a longer length. Must be a phase, lets hope it continues well past the age of 16!
Since testing, I also changed the straps so they are attached to the back bodice to keep the back held up a bit more and lessened the gaping that was occurring at the front neckline.
The end product is a fun, twirly dress that my daughter loves and as a bonus comes in women’s sizing if you fancy the style. In all honesty however, I didn’t make a second version of this dress because I found the bodice wasn’t a good fit, having said that, I recently tested another pattern from this designer and the bodice was a good fit on miss 2. I may just need to tweak it slightly next time.
*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part in the testing process.