Friday, July 18, 2014

House of Mouse Caroline Dress and a Giveaway from Indiesew!

Another work-appropriate dress? Yes, please!

This is the Caroline dress from Mouse House Creations, a new-to-me indie pattern designer. 

A few weeks ago, Steve from Indiesew, a new online retailer/community dedicated to indie patterns, contacted me and asked if I'd like to work with them. We decided to do a pattern review and giveaway, and they let me pick the pattern.

After carefully browsing the patterns to find one that I would actually be willing to buy -- I got this pattern free, but I wanted to choose something I'd buy for myself even if I weren't getting the pattern free -- so I chose the Caroline Dress for several reasons. The price is not outrageous; it includes several options for different looks; it fits my personal style. 

And also, I was intrigued by these cap sleeves.  Aren't they interesting? They're not set in as sleeves at all, but instead are created as part of the bodice. The seam is slightly curved so that they lie well on your shoulders.

The pattern comes with long-sleeve, short sleeve and cap sleeve (seen here) options. It also comes with four different length options: above the knee, at the knee, below the knee (seen here) and peplum. Finally, it has two different necklines. I made the high neckline, but there is also a scoop neckline, which I'll probably try out at some point.

The skirt doesn't actually have a pattern piece -- just dimensions -- but, there are instructions for making either a pleated skirt or a gathered skirt. I chose to do pleats. I used a very heavy fabric for this, and I didn't think gathering would work well. 

And you'll never guess what that side seam is hiding....

Pockets! My favorite!

The dress is fully lined, which is my preference for most dresses.

The lining is a lovely cotton batiste in a nice slate blue. The main fabric is a fantastic mystery fabric that I bought from Charlotte. She was destashing and once I saw this fabric, I had to have it. It is fairly thick linen-look cotton, but very soft. But I don't mind the thickness, because my office is FREEZING! 

The best thing about this dress, I thought, was the fit. This is a straight-from-the-paper fit -- the only tiny change I made, which I make to every single pattern ever, was grading from one size at the bust to the next size at the waist. Not bad fit-wise, eh?

Now, while there are lots of similar patterns on the market, the huge strength of this pattern is the amount of hand-holding in the instructions. It has color pictures of every step -- this would be a perfect pattern for beginners, and I'd highly recommend it if you're learning (or if you're like me and are addicted to new bodice options).

I'm definitely a fan.

But now, the fun part! Indiesew has agreed to give a digital copy of the Caroline Dress to one of my readers. Yay!

To enter, leave a comment here and I will randomize next Friday, July 25, for a winner. 

Good luck and happy sewing!

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