Pattern Review: McCalls 5304
Pattern Description: Infants’ Tops, Dresses, Panties, Capri Pants and Hat. I made view F, the dress in the upper left hand corner, without the bloomers.
Pattern Sizing: XS to XL. I made the size Large based on measurements and pure guessing on my part. Wish me luck that this puppy fits!
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes and no. I added lace trim to the bottom of the skirt, but not to the collar. I thought the scale of the trim I had was too large for the collar and also it would have been too much, in my humble opinion.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes and no. They were, for the most part, easy to understand and follow, but there was one section where you attach the collar to the dress where I must have not followed correctly because part of the ends of the collar were sufficiently enclosed so I have some raw edges exposed. I had to “make it work” but it’s not as tidy or as perfect as I would like. In the end, I had to make a choice between ripping out four lines of stitching on each side to make it perfect or moving on and finishing the dress in the time I had left to finish it before traveling for the holidays.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
- I liked the simplicity of the pattern and the cuteness of it
- Seemed like a quick sew, and it was!
- Based on Katie’s review, I’m not confident of the placing of the button/snap closure on this pattern.
- I think it would be easier to finish the raw edges of the hem before you sew the facings closed, so I would reverse those instructions in the construction order.
Fabric used: I used a batik cotton I bought at Vogue Fabrics in downtown Chicago at Chicago PR weekend this past year. It was a matching fabric to my other niece Haley’s bday dress which I made earlier this year. I thought it would be cute to dress them in somewhat coordinated fabrics. I will find out when I see them both wearing them together. Hopefully I can post a picture after the holidays. The batik’s hand was slightly stiff, probably due to the process of batiking. I think it will soften as the garment is worn and washed.
Pattern changes or design changes made: Besides eliminating the trim on the collar, I changed the button closure to a snap. I didn’t want to fool with a buttonhole on this dress. Where it would have been situated, had only one thickness of fabric and to interface it with no facing covering the interfacing would have disturbed my inner perfectionist too much. (Apparently the collar ends didn’t disturb it though.)
Any new techniques learned during construction of this pattern? Since the skirt of the dress is quite a-line, gathering the excess length of the hem to hem the dress is required. I’ve never done this before. It was a little time-consuming, but otherwise very easy. I added a ribbon to the interior to protect the raw edge of the hem.
Any problems encountered while sewing this pattern? Other than the collar ends being exposed on the interior of the dress (see comments above), I didn’t have any other problems. It’s a pretty straightforward pattern.
Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction? I used my Singer Featherweight for most of the construction. For any zig zagging needs, I used my Emerald 183. The ratio probably ended up around 90/10.
Will you sew it again or recommend it to others? I don’t know if I will sew it again. I have so many other kid patterns in my stash. I would recommend it cautiously, as I have not seen it on my niece Chloe yet.
Conclusion: I think this is a great pattern with a lot of room for customizing. It’s simple yet has some great bones for classic infant/young toddler looks. Just beware the tenuous sizing and questionable placement of the button or snap to close it.
And now for some pictures of course!
I hope Chloe likes it!
Happy holidays everyone!