I know right? Two blog posts in one weekend! Apologies for that, but I MUST share this gorgeous pattern, "Alivia" by the Handmaiden's Cottage.
This is the first pattern test I've done for the Handmaiden's Cottage, a real pleasure too! I've seen Lynn's patterns around and had been eyeing off her special "Tea Party Dress." (This one I'll have to sew up and give my 2 cents on at a future date!)
But firstly, may I introduce "Alivia." This 1950's inspired dress is the designer's nostalgic interpretation of a beautiful little dress she herself once wore as a child.
The original dress had a large circular collar and while Alivia has this option, she also has a variety of others. You may choose the collarless option as I did, or the circular cape-like collar or the scalloped collar (which also matches the scalloped skirt - if you choose to sew the scalloped skirt!)
Alivia is a PDF pattern that includes sizes 6 months to 12 years and suits adventurous beginners. The most difficult part of this sew would be the buttonholes - however you could also use snaps.
The dress can either button at the front or back - instructions in the tutorial provide both options. Each creates a delightful and different look!
The dress includes three sleeve options, short (as I've sewn,) long or sleeveless.
You may choose to add the belt loops and sash or leave it off.
The skirt also has several options, single layered rectangular, double rectangular layered, scalloped or scalloped double layer! This means you can create a garment as simple or as fancy as you desire! The simpler options were a real winner with the older girls who no longer favour frills.
My nearly 4 year old still loves a frilly, princess-y dress, so the layers, sash and bows really appealed to her!
If you would like to purchase your own copy of Alivia, please visit the Handmaiden's Cottage HERE.
To see more inspiration, please join the Handmaiden's Cottage Facebook group HERE.
To see even more inspiration, please visit my fellow testers & bloggers, Karina and Amy. Links below.
P.s. The Alivia pattern also includes a BONUS hand embroidery alphabet file! (See Amy's version for an example!)
Quickly I will now touch on the "Alice" pattern, another beautiful vintage style sew by the Handmaiden's Cottage.
This is my first Alice (yes I've sewn another, it's a wee bit special and you'll have to wait to see it!) You will notice I added pintucks to my centre bodice, this is not something that is included in the tutorial, but a sewer with some experience in sewing pin tucks will have no trouble replicating.
I also added pockets to my version! Also another easy add on. (Just make a pocket template - or use one from a pattern you already own and add them into the skirt side seams.)
My favourite feature of Alice is absolutely that dramatic tie up back bodice! I just adore it! There are very clear and clever instructions on how to construct this all properly, follow the steps carefully!
Alice can be sewn as a romper or a dress.
The Alice pattern comes with sizes 2T up to 12years included and suits advanced beginners to intermediate sewers. The construction of the bodice is the most challenging part of this sew and must be done correctly!
Although not mentioned in the pattern, I would recommend removing bulk from the seams where possible on the bodice - particularly if using quilting cotton instead of poplin or a lighter weight fabric.
Alice also has a cap sleeve option - instead of the ruffled version (like mine.)
I personally enjoyed the challenge of the sew and the end result is delightful!
To see more on Alice or purchase the pattern, please visit the Handmaiden's Cottage HERE.