Welcome to Day 2 of the Duchess & Hare Blog Tour! I don’t know about you, but I tend to shy away from sewing patterns from designers I’ve never heard of. So, when Bernadette (of Duchess & Hare) requested bloggers to join her tour, I hesitated. A quick scour of the Pattern Review group, however, revealed Janet Vandermeulen’s glowing review of a Duchess & Hare pattern, so I eagerly signed up!
Duchess & Hare design children’s patterns with a modern fit and vintage style inspired by the 40’s and 50’s. Her current collection includes 9 girls dresses and tops.
About the Pattern
For this tour, I chose the Duchess & Hare Petit Four Dress. This was a no brainer for me because: those scallops! Aren’t they the cutest? As you can see in the image below, the pattern comes with various mix and match options: ruffle front, pieced back, sleeved, sleeveless, scallops, and a reversible apron. The apron is also available separately as a free pattern, so if you want to get your feet wet without a full commitment, then that’s a great place to start :).
The Petit Four is available in size 2 – 12, has a zippered back, lined bodice, and concealed seams. The pattern is available as a PDF with an option to have it printed in A0 at a print shop (this is what I did, though there aren’t too many pages to tape together if you go the “traditional” route ;-)). The pattern is considered intermediate because of the zipper and the curves.
The instructions were clear, though I noticed a couple of typos and a little repetition in places. I mostly ignored the instructions for the zipper and did it my preferred way.
The fit is spot on. For my eldest, I used a 4T bodice and lengthened the bodice and skirt to size 6. After making my first one, I decided to make one for my photobomber too. (It’s so nice to have children in the “I love matching my sibling” age!). I made hers in a 2T, since this is the smallest size in the pattern. It swims on her a little, but at least she’ll get a few years of wear out of it!
The pattern didn’t specify which type of zipper to use, so I just went with an invisible zipper since that’s my favorite type. I really need to go and buy more invisible zippers – I only had one white one so on my toddler’s dress I used a blue one. I might still replace hers with a white one when I get more though!!
Initially I made the pattern up without the reversible apron, but after seeing it on, I decided it needed more white on it – I was toying with using a lace trim around the bottom edge of the skirt, but in the end I just opted for doing the apron, since I could make it without having to go out to JoAnn again (because I *know* I can’t just buy one thing when I’m in there!!).
About the Fabric
I think this is one of the first things I’ve made where I’ve let my daughter select the fabric! She had been eying this Amy Butler quilting cotton from the Lark collection ever since I bought it last year. For the top and back of the bodice, I used a white eyelet fabric that I actually bought from G-Street Fabrics about 6 years ago while pregnant, with the intent of making something cute for my first born daughter!
I like the Duchess & Hare Petit Four pattern a lot! I can see myself confidently making these as gifts for friends since I can trust the fit. They don’t take too long to make, and while there are some areas where she suggests hand stitching, you can still do all the construction with a machine if you prefer. The dress also has great twirl factor, which is very important to my 5 year old! I think for my next one, I might use the same eyelet fabric at the top, and a lightweight denim with the curved bodice front. I have to say, after working with chiffon last week, it was so nice to do a quilting cotton project!
Enter to Win!
Thanks for stopping by today, and don’t forget to visit and share some comment love with the the rest of the stops on the Duchess and Hare Patterns Blog Tour below!