I'm back with a pattern review for one of Waves & Wild's latest offerings, the child's version of the Kinjarling dress & what a cracking pattern this is.
Designed for woven fabrics & with an age range of 2 to 12 years, you really get your bang for your buck with this pattern, with multiple neckline options: you can have V or round neck with buttons or snaps at either the front or back. There's 3 pocket options including patch, inseam & hip, a choice of 3 lengths & 2 options for the ties. I opted for the Knee length V necked bodice, with button front, inseam pockets & the wide belt & made age 5.
While the designers suggest that it's suitable for intermediate sewing skills, I reckon a confident beginner could easily tackle this, especially if using a nice stable cotton, such as the one I used; Windham Eden collection Flower bump, The bodice is relatively loose fitting & if you're not confident with buttons & buttonholes you could either omit them completely or just use snaps!
The dress is constructed using French seams throughout, except for where the bodice attaches to the skirt (I assume to prevent bulk in that part) & is put together in a slightly unconventional way. Rather than constructing the bodice & skirt separately & attaching the skirt to the bodice in the usual manner, the back bodice is sewn to the back skirt, then the front bodice is attached to the front skirt. The front & back are then attached at the shoulder seams & the side seams are left to be sewn in one go, again using French seams, including the pockets (if making the inseam option).
- If you're anxious about sewing French seams, don't worry the instructions are really clear and we also have a tutorial here for you too!
- Be aware that the seam allowance in the pattern is 1/2" not the usual 5/8"
- If you're not a fan of gathering, or struggle to get it even, here's a little tutorial on using elastic to gather with as an alternative.
- You can see in the above picture, that I have pre-pressed the hem allowance on the sleeves, I find it far less fiddly to do this before the side seams are sewn up, especially on children's clothes, to prevent me burning my fingers!
- I also sewed my buttonholes before attaching the bodice to the skirt, I think it would have been really difficult to get it under the machine with it being so close to the seam at the waist, as suggested in the instructions.
- If you're nervous about sewing buttonholes, I'm pretty sure this dress will slip over a child's head without any fastenings at all, especially the V neck version. There's pattern pieces provided for cutting both the front & back bodice on the fold, so no need to adapt anything. (I haven't got a 5 year old to check this theory out but did spot a YouTube video of someone sewing this dress up without front or back fastenings).
Overall, it's a versatile pattern that you could use again & again to get different looks. The full length maxi version would be lovely as a bridesmaid's dress or you could try sewing the skirt & bodice in different fabrics or just the belt in a contrasting fabric such as the examples below. There's also an Adult's Kinjarling pattern too if you fancy mummy & me outfits!
The dress is a relatively easy sew, where you can expand your skills by trying French seams or buttonholes for the first time. The trickiest part of this for me was sewing the ties within the French seams; you need to be really accurate with your seam allowances here & pay attention to where you place them but it is well explained in the instructions.
If you fancy giving this pattern a go don't forget that you can find the pattern here and we can print it on A0 if you like too!
We've also got lots of cotton lawns that would be suitable for this dress, which can be found here