Pattern Testing the Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress

Have you seen the Cowl Neck Dress and Sweater by Heidi & Finn? It is super cute, and oh so trendy.

So I was very excited to be a pattern tester for the newest version of the pattern, which now includes a sweater, a short-sleeved version, and an expanded size range from 12m to 12Y.

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
The kids really like the tops and they are very comfortable.

And is it ever easy to sew! I finished about one project per nap. I love one-nap projects!

In the end, I made this pattern six times: three tops and three dresses, in three different sizes.

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
This is the size 2T.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
This is the size 5T, in pink.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
This is size 7Y.

This project calls for knit fabric, and obviously a sweater knit would be ideal, but sadly the choices were limited at my local fabric shops and I had no time to order online.

The smallest kids chose the fabric for the tops (ack! so cute to watch them choose fabrics) – a slinky rayon jersey. In that fabric, the tops have a retro 70s vibe.

The pattern changed slightly during testing, and now has a banded waist, but these tops were made before the change.

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
Such a cutie!
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
This is a rayon jersey and it has quite a bit of drape.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
In this fabric, the top has a bit of a 70s vibe.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
The size 5 was a bit large. Next time, I’ll go down a size.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Sweater, sewn by The Finished Garment
The size 7Y is a much better fit.

For the dresses, I chose a ponte de roma that has a bit of a soft, sweater-knit texture. This fabric gave better results than the jersey. It’s a stable knit that is still very stretchy and has great recovery.

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress,, sewn by The Finished Garment
This is my favourite fabric for this pattern. It’s a ponte de roma, and has just the right amount of structure, without being stiff.

I only made two changes. First, I shortened the sleeves by 1-2″, depending on the fabric and dress size. Second, I attached the cowl neck first, before starting the sleeves. I find it easier to work this way, but it’s just my preference. See a discussion on sewing flat versus in the round, here.

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress, sewn by The Finished Garment
The dress is a huge hit.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress, sewn by The Finished Garment
Especially the bow.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress, sewn by The Finished Garment
This fabric is really the perfect weight for the dress.

I didn’t use a serger – I don’t have one. I just used my regular machine, which has a faux overlock stitch and I hemmed everything using a double needle. This worked very well.

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress, sewn by The Finished Garment
Ack! So grown up.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress, sewn by The Finished Garment
I love the look of the dress.
Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress, sewn by The Finished Garment
This dress is perfect for fall weather.

The results were great. These tops and dresses are cute, cute, cute and the kids love wearing them. Yay!

Summary

Pattern Review: Cowl Neck Dress and Sweater by Heidi & Finn, available in sizes 12m-12Y.
Fabric: Rayon jersey for the tops and ponte de roma for the dresses.

  • Dakota stretch rayon jersey knit Hearts in navy, pink and teal (medium-weight knit, 95% Rayon/5% Lycra, 4-way stretch, 25% vertical stretch and 50% stretch across the grain).
  • Ponte de roma in grey, (medium- to heavy-weight knit, 80% Polyester/15% Rayon/5% Lycra, 30% stretch across the grain), magenta, and dark teal – not shown – (medium-weight knit, 50% Polyester/45% Rayon/5% Lycra).

Sizes: 2T, 5T and 7Y.
Cost: Pattern: 0$. Fabric: About $12 per top and about $16 per dress.
Sewing Level: Confident beginner.
Modifications: I shortened the sleeves, by 1-2″, depending on the fabric and dress size.
Results: Great. This was fast, and I love the trendy look.

Disclaimer: The pattern was generously provided by Heidi & Finn, in return for testing the pattern. As always, my opinions are my own.

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Dress, sewn by The Finished Garment
Adorable!

Linen and Butterflies

I can’t believe summer is  almost over. This morning when we all got up in was only 10 degrees celsius. Brrrrr.

So I thought it would be good to clear my summer blogging queue, and make room for the fall sewing.  This is one of my last summer sewing projects – two sets of the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as tops) and the Puppet Show Shorts, in sizes 4 and 7 for my bigger girls.

The Ice Cream Dress I’ve made before, twice. It’s just as cute as a top and even easier to sew. Since I was making matching shorts, I didn’t do any colour blocking this time around.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top) sewn by The Finished Garment.
Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top).

I love the way these turned out. The fabric, some quilting cotton,  was chosen by the kids. I picked this up at one of the local chain stores. I figure these will look good with jeans and they can wear them through the fall layered over t-shirts.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top) sewn by The Finished Garment.
Close up of the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (as top).

To go with the tops I made the Puppet Show Shorts, also by Oliver + S. This was my first time using this pattern, and I made it in one of my favourite fabrics, Cotton Linen Chambray from Robert Kaufman. I originally planned to bind the bottoms of the shorts in the linen, but working with linen on the bias is tough. The binding stretched out so much the shorts were barely gathered at the bottom. So I ripped it all out and started again. Still looks cute though.

Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts sewn by The Finished Garment.
Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts.

Now, some of you Oliver + S fans may have noticed that the Puppet Show Shorts do not come in size 7. I graded these up two sizes from the largest available, size 5. I also added two inches to the length, which is a little better for my 6-year-old. It wasn’t very difficult.

Pocket detail of the Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts sewn by The Finished Garment.
Cutest. Pocket. Ever.

I love the pockets on these shorts. Adorable.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
I tried an indoor photo shoot on the day I finished, but it was doomed. This is the only good shot I got.

These are the size 7, and she really did need those two extra inches. Next time I’ll make the binding a bit shorter so that it’s a bit more gathered at the bottom.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
We tried another photo shoot outside. This is the size 7.

I finished the outfits on a rainy day. After the first doomed indoor photo shoot we waited for a sunny day and had much better luck. But would the two kids pose together? “Nooooooo!” So you’ll just have to trust me when I say I made two whole outfits.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
This is the size 4.The button was left from my stash. There were only two but they are a perfect match. Meant to be.

This post is linked up to Make It Wear It Thursday.

Summary

Pattern Review: Ice Cream Dress (as top) and Puppet Show Shorts from Oliver + S.

Fabric:

Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler for Robert Kaufman.
Indigo Washed Cotton Linen Chambray from Robert Kaufman.

Sizes: 4 and 7. The dress comes in sizes 6 months – 12. The shorts come in sizes 0-5

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None. (Shorts were graded up a size to size 7).

Results: Great. I would recommend both patterns and would make them again.

Ice Cream Dress and Puppet Show Shorts sewing pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment.
Another shot of the size 4.