When I was at the CHSI stitches show I was lucky enough to talk to the lovely Caroline from sew la di da vintage! Mainly we discussed sewing, dolls, vintage and her beautifully curly hair! And afterwards she was kind enough to let me take a pattern home to try! And was very patient whilst I spent a good 20 Min's deciding which one!
In the end I went for the Blitz dress because its got the easy summer dress style I'm attracted to at the moment! There's something very timeless about a dress in this style and the pattern hacking options are pretty limitless! Its also worth pointing out that all of the sew la di da vintage patterns are drafted and printed in the UK!
The pattern comes in a large cardboard envelope, which is very sturdy! Its slightly larger than a standard pattern packet so you can definitely fit your pattern back into it afterwards! The pattern itself is printed on paper rather than tissue paper so its nice and sturdy to use and will hold up to lots of wear and tear! The best part though is that the sizes are printed in colour! Which makes it an absolute breeze to cut out! Instead of playing guess which line is my size you just follow your colour!!!
The pattern measurements are also based on RTW sizing so you can cut whatever size you'd buy in the shops! But seen as shops can vary quite a bit amongst themselves then it is always worth measuring yourself! [It is quite nice though to have your measurements correspond with a size that's familiar, rather than one that's 3 sizes bigger than you thought you were]
I cut out a size 10 because I was bang on for those measurements! Honestly it was almost as though it was made for me! The pattern is sized from a size 6-18 which is a pretty big spectrum.
Now there isn't any recommended fabrics on the envelope or inside the booklet that comes with it. I guess that's because you can make this dress in just about any woven fabric but I know a lot of newbie sewers do like to have a fabric guide to help with shopping. Especially if your buying the 3m of fabric this dress requires!
FYI I went for a floaty viscose form abakhans, but I think you could make it in any type of fabric that has some drape [The skirt sits a lot nicer if there's some weight and drape to the fabric!]
It also doesn't mention needing a zip on the pattern envelope and there no back view to show you were a zip would go, it does however say you need a zip in the instruction booklet and on the website.
The instructions come in a little booklet which is far nicer than having sheets of instructions. Its got several cutting layouts and black and white photographs to correspond with each instruction. The photographs themselves are very clear and for once every single notch in the pattern matched up! This is something that hardly ever happens for me but the notches in this pattern were really well placed.
One thing to mention though is that the dart for the bodice lining isn't marked like a traditional dart. Instead its marked by two notches and a dot and you have to join it up yourself [its definitely worth drawing this straight onto your pattern when you've worked out where it goes]. This got pretty confusing for me because there two other notches just by the dart notches!
The other issue was the the collar piece with the pattern doesn't appear to be the same shape as the one in the instructions. Its not a problem as the new collar piece fits, its just worth mentioning in case anyone else has a "omg have I cut this out wrong?" moment!
The pattern calls for an invisible zip but I decided to do a lapped zip because it seemed more true to the vintage style of the pattern. Plus I didn't have a invisible zip that long!
The pattern has some great features like darted sleeves [although naughty Frankie just pleated hers instead of darting them so there'd be more of a poof at the top!], a collar and centre split [but if you want to wear it with the collar not done up then you need to line the bodice in the same fabric as you use for the main body of the dress, I used a different one and now a flash of pink peaks through when the collar is open]. The bodice bust has gathers instead of darts and is lined!
All in all its a really nice pattern. I love that its vintage but not too vintage. Its a pretty easy sew but I think you would need to have a few dresses under your belt before you make it otherwise you might get flummoxed by the instructions, They are not hand holdy in the same way as other indie patterns can be [for example it doesn't tell you when to press your seams etc, much like the big four patterns] , so I'd say its more suitable for experienced beginners or beginners who have access to an experienced sewer!
It does make a beautiful dress though and now I might have to treat myself to the other patterns in the range or maybe one of their fabulous doll kits!
If you get this pattern let me know how you get one!!