I've discovered a unique, new Spring and Summer dress pattern: the Soleil Dress by Selvage Designs. The moment I saw the sample version of Lauren Dahl's design, I knew I had to have this pattern!
I met Lauren in person last year at Sewing Summit. At first I thought she was Rae of Made by Rae! I'm pretty sure I never told her that! By the second class we had together (and I think we took a lot of the same classes), we finally introducing ourselves, and I learned her true identity! I had seen her name all over Facebook in the weeks leading up to Sewing Summit, plus, I have a few friends who had used her services for grading and digitizing their pdf patterns. I knew she was very talented!
Now, Lauren is just the sweetest thing (that's a southern expression I know Lauren will understand). I mean, how could I not like someone who stopped to tell me that I reminded her of one of Tinkerbell's fairy friends?! So, despite the fact that earlier this year I decided not to pattern test as often as I have in the past, I filled out the tester form and was chosen to test the pattern! I'm so glad she picked me, because the Soleil Dress pattern was fun to sew up. The test pattern was nearly flawless and one of the easiest pattern tests I have ever done!
Now let me tell you a little more about the features of the Soleil Dress. In case you didn't notice, it's made of knit fabric. For Ella's version, I used a t-shirt weight knit I purchased at Joann's. While this fabric did just fine for the construction of the dress and is actually a nice weight for summer, the hem wants to constantly turn up! I've never had a problem like this before, I may end up re-hemming it at a later date.
The Soleil Dress has a few distinguishing features that really caught my eye. The most obvious is the open back detail, but the pattern also includes pattern pieces and instructions for making a closed back version as well.
The second feature that my daughter really enjoys are the large front pockets. Those pockets are just perfect for the little girl who likes to keep a small toy with her at all times or who just likes pockets.
Next, the use of binding on this dress makes it so, so easy to sew together, plus it can add texture or detail to the overall look of the dress. Lauren encouraged her testers to try things even during the testing phase of the pattern as long as we told her what we tried and how it worked out. For the dress I made, I decided to try fold over elastic (FOE) instead of the ribbed knit binding that I would have otherwise used. I thought the FOE worked great for the Soleil dress, and I even told her in my feedback that I thought the bodice would be ideal for making a gymnastics outfit or swimsuit using a performance knit and FOE! The only minor modification I would do to the pattern the next time I make it using FOE is to cut the front neck opening a little deeper.
For Ella's dress, I used the size 6X pattern pieces, and I think the fit is spot on! All I need to do now is buy some more cool knit fabrics so I can make Ella a couple more Soleil dresses for summer! I think she'll need a new gym outfit, too. I'll be sure to let you all know how that works out!
Want to win a copy of the Soleil Dress pdf pattern from Selvage Designs? Simply enter below! A winner will be chosen at random next Saturday, April 19th.
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One final thing. You can purchase the Soleil Dress pattern through tomorrow, Sunday, April 13th and receive $2 off the regular price when you use code SOLEILRELEASE2. Congratulations to Lauren on her new venture at Selvage Designs! Can't wait to see what other patterns she develops!
Have fun sewing!