I have a wonderful commission to make Holiday Jumpers for 3 little girls age 2 to 6. Very exciting, but also makes me nervous as the children are not near me so cannot measure and fit them. To calm my anxiety and also to do a wearable test of the pattern, asked Now 5 if she would help me out as a live model and dress tester. She was more than pleased to work with me on the testing.
Last week during our "Craft Day" she let me measure her and paper pattern fit her.
Over the past week created a jumper, from McCalls Girls Dress Pattern 3831, vintage 1988,
This week Now 5 and her Mom came back for a crafting session and a girl's lunch in town. First on both of our agendas was trying on the dress.
Oh yes! she was happy with it and also the surprise matching flower headband. It fit very nicely. Now 5, wore the jumper all through the crafting session and lunch. So I got to see that it was neither too big nor too small; she was able to move about freely, looking pretty, girly and happy whether crafting or at the meal. Her Mom commented on how nice the full skirt looks too. The blue really highlights her blue eyes. I can see why Grandma's like to sew for grandchildren - what a joy to watch a young one be thrilled and enjoying something one has made especially for them.
Things I did different than the pattern:
Instead of putting fashion fabric casings at neck, front edge and armholes, the top is underlined with a silky cotton. Did this to make it smoother at edges, and so it would slide better over a knit tee shirt; and to be less problem washing.
All edges are top-stitched. Interfaced the front edge under the button/button hole areas.
Serged the hem edge; serged the skirt side seams and waist seam after sewing the seams.
Top stitched the waist; after pressing the waist seam up and catching the seam in the top stitching.
What I would do different next time:
The buttons were the size recommended on the pattern, but once finished, the overlap seems a bit shallow to me. I will extend the overlap another 1/4 to 3/8 inch the next time.
Ah, now, am so much more comfortable proceeding with the commissioned jumpers.