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New Pattern: Grammies Dolls Sandys Dress and Bloomers

I received this pattern for free in exchange for testing. As always all opinions remain my own. I have a Love/Hate relationship with tes...

I received this pattern for free in exchange for testing. As always all opinions remain my own.

I have a Love/Hate relationship with testing for Grammies Dolls. And you're probably now thinking that's a horrible thing to say, but let me explain.

If you're a long time reader, you know I'm all about the quick and dirty sews. The faster the better. Grammies Dolls sews are NOT quick and dirty. You see Grammies Dolls is all about the traditional methods and heirloom sewing. Smocking, hand basting and hand stitching. SO not fast. But I think its important to challenge ourselves to do new things. To do things that we otherwise hate AND to prove to ourselves that older and more traditional is often better (usually much better). I'm sure Theresa of Grammies Dolls sighs every time I ask, can I top stitch this instead? What if I do xyz? Do we REALLY need to do this this way?

So, as always, its been torture a pleasure to test for Grammies Dolls. Today's test was the Sandy's Dress and Bloomers and it was well worth my time. The Sandy's Dress and Bloomers is a fabulous summer dress or tunic in sizes nb-16 years. With the different options for the bodice (smocking, free embroidery, or plain), dress or tunic length and bloomers, this is a great pattern to make more than a few different options and get different looks each time.

This pattern uses bias tape to make a beautiful binding along the neck and armscyes. I cheated on this and used topstitching. I regret that completely. I should have taken the time to hand sew the binding in place. My daughter just fit into the size 3 and it fit a little looser than I would like. If I was going to redo it, I'd probably scoot the button over just a tiny bit. But I've been noticing more and more that her measurements don't quite fit into the size charts the way I would expect. I think she may have narrow shoulders (something she didn't get from her mom). This pattern includes a proper skirt placket which she recommends hand stitching into place. Yes that would look nicer than my top stitching. No, I'm not sorry that I cheated. :)

For what its worth, the thing that I like best about this pattern is the bloomers. Probably because they're fast, LOL. I used a piece of left over bias to make my casings and then threaded some ribbon that I had through the casing. They're super cute and it would be easy to change out the ribbon and put in something new to change up the look. I could see this look amazing with some beading lace (that is what its called, right?). I was pleasantly surprised to have my older 2 daughters (8 and 5) ask when they were going to get some of those shorts. I never thought they'd be interested, but apparently I was completely wrong.

This pattern includes layers and a very careful printing layout so that you can be sure you print the right pages. For my version, I only needed to print 6 pages, which means that you can quickly get past the printing and pattern assembly and down to business. Obviously smocking is going to take a LOT more time. I've never smocked before but I don't like things that take a lot of time. However, you can buy presmocked pieces online that you can use for projects, so don't rule out a smocked piece just because you don't want to do the smocking yourself.

This is NOT a quick sew, but it is a rewarding sew. The finishing techniques are good and I'll probably throw together more than a few pairs of the bloomers because those are fast. And of course, there's a sale as part of the release! Use coupon code: newlisting to save 20% off the entire Grammies Dolls Shop.

If you love heirloom type sewing or traditional sewing techniques, you're really going to like the Grammies Dolls Patterns. If you're wondering which patterns I might recommend, I've blogged:
Lilith's Sweater Dress
Penelope's Pencil Skirt

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  1. I just love this dress. I did all the hand stitching and even made my own bias tape. But I only sew one thing at a time. I don't think I could handle everything you do.

    1. I do each project one at a time. The challenge is in slowing down enough to work on projects like this that deserve proper attention.

      I might be crazy, but I actually like making bias tape. There's something therapeutic about it.

  2. Lovely blog and this is a lovely pattern. Great job. :)

  3. Lovely blog and this is a lovely pattern. Great job. :)

  4. Looks like a great twirling dress!

  5. Looks like a great twirling dress!

  6. I would cheat, too. Hand sewing is torturous to me. This looks super cute, though, and my girls love this sort of style, so I think it needs to join my stash!

  7. your dress is adorable, and dd looks like she loves it, I might have lined the bodice to avoid bias

    1. Lining the bodice would have required drawing in wider seam allowances. I'm not sure which would take longer. Adding in the seam allowances or doing the bias.


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