August 21, 2014


 Hi all, I was planning on waiting until we had moved out blog over to blogger to post this - which is why my blogs posts have been so minimal of late, but I have a few great patterns that I wanted to review - starting with this one.

 This is the Joey dress from Make It Perfect. It was released a couple of weeks ago, much to my great excitement. I had known this one was coming for some time - Toni contacted me around five months ago now and asked me to test a pattern for her that would appear in the third edition of One Thimble Magazine. It was a ladies dress pattern named the Daisy Chain Dress. When a pattern is released through One Thimble, it is only able to be purchased through the One Thimble site three months following publication. After that, it can be purchased via the pattern designer.
 Anyway, I loved the Daisy Chain dress. I've made loads of them, it is one of my favourite women's dress patterns ever. The Daisy Chain Dress had a name change to the Skippy dress when Toni released it on the Make It Perfect site, hence the name Joey for the baby version! I love those Aussie names. When I first saw the Daisy Chain Dress (now the Skippy Dress), my very first question was "when are you releasing the girls version?" So I've been looking forward to the Joey dress with great anticipation and it has lived up to all my expectations!

 The Joey dress includes options for long sleeves, three quarter length sleeves and short sleeves, as well as a normal round neckline, or a cowl neck for the cooler months. There are lots of options and you can mix it up with prints and plains to make very different looking dresses. The Kangaroo pocket is perfect for little hands. Here is Zoe discovering the pocket. She pretty much looks for pockets in everything now.

 And once those little chubby hands went it, they weren't coming out!

 I love the fact that the Joey dress makes for perfect everyday wear. I do love creating beautiful party dresses, but a girl only needs so many party dresses. The Joey dresses that we have are on high rotation at the moment as they are perfect for play. Zoe is an active little girl who spends most of her time trying to keep up with her brothers, and this dress is as practical as it is cute.

 The pattern is designed for knits. I love knits, they are hands down my favourite fabrics to sew with and to wear, both for Zoe and for myself. I am really picky with my knits now though, and poor quality knits just aren't worth sewing with. They can be difficult to source, and I tend to hunt around and buy them whenever I see something that I love for a reasonable price, because I know it will not be available for very long. I've got a good stash of knits and I don't part with them easily!

Austin had his school athletics carnival on last week and Zoe needed a yellow outift. Austin's house colour is yellow, and I am always the embarrassing mother wearing house colours and cheering way too loudly (I just can't help myself). I digged the lemons out of the scraps bin, along with some yellow merino wool scraps left over from a jumper I made myself, and paired it with some grey knit. 

 The hood does not come with the pattern, but is easy enough to add. It was perfect for keeping this little girl warm on a windy day.

 This is a really great pattern for those who are unsure about sewing with knits. The instructions will walk you though, and Toni has lots of posts on her blog explaining how to sew with knits, and why you don't need a fancy machine to sew with them. The hardest thing about sewing with knits is finding fabrics that are good quality and getting the right fabric for the right project. I tend to favour high quality cotton knits that have 5 to 10% spandex or lycra, and they are pretty much the only ones I will order over the internet. Others I find locally when I can actually feel the fabric and see how it drapes. One thing rings true with knits - you really pay for what you get. Some of the European knits can be quite expensive, but their quality is far superior to anything else I've come across.

 The only changes I made to this pattern, besides the hood were - I increased the length of the waistband so that I didn't have to stretch it too much when sewing it on. I don't mind a bit of stretching during sewing, but I don't like to stretch it out too much, or you'll get wavy seams, especially if your fabric doesn't have great recovery. The other thing I did was to add a 1/2" to the bottom of the top front and back piece so that the waistband sat lower down on Zoe's tummy. We are dealing with quite the pot belly here, and it is that little bit more flattering if it sits that little bit lower on her belly. I took a 1/2" off the skirt to make sure the length remained the same.

I already have some short sleeved versions sewn, but it has been a little too cold to get them on for photos, so Ill blog about them in future. I peronally would love to see Toni release this pattern in a tween size - to catch those girls in sizes 10+ to 16, as my nieces are growing fast and four of them now fall into this sizing. It is rare that you find a pattern that is flattering for girls and women, but this one ticks the box. Make sure you let Toni know if you would like to see it in this size too, so she can figure out if it will be worth her while.

I hope to see all the little Joey's out there in blogland soon!

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