I am sure I haven't told you all enough times how much I love E+M Patterns! Allison is the most pattern designer I know, and I love testing for her. So far I have tested Girl's Shirt & Dress No.6, Boy's Tank No.10 (yet to be released), her free leggings pattern and Girl's Dress Pattern. No.13. (Pssst... you didn't hear it from me, but there is a new gorgeous knit version on the way soon - keep your eyes peeled!). In return for testing, not only have I received the final versions of each pattern, but she also let me pick another pattern from her store. So yes, you'll see more E+M reviews in here!
After my first test, I simply HAD to have her Skirt Pattern No.1, perfect for a girl who loves to spend much of her day flitting and twirling about. I made a size 8, forgetting that I can often get away with a 7 on the bottom half of my giant 5yr old, so it is a little roomy but that means it should last her through until at least next Autumn, and maybe still fit at the start of next Summer.
Being a full circle skirt (with no seams on the skirt portion), it does take a little more fabric than most skirt patterns. However, I managed to scrape it into a single metre, by using a plain white cotton for the upper skirt lining (a stash busting win!). The pink contrast print was simply a leftover piece from a teacher gift from a couple of Christmases ago, and I probably could have managed to get the waist trim from it too, but was worried that it wasn't the perfect colour match, so grabbed some pink solid scraps I had left over from Maddy's kindy back pack.
The skirt came together pretty quickly and easily. I did cheat though and overlocked the upper skirt to the twirly bit, rather than following the instructions to fully enclose the seam in the lining. It probably wouldn't have taken much longer, but I am a bit lazy!
The pattern comes with a cute doll size, so of course I had to make Emily one too, but as I was scrounging to get the skirt out of my single metre, there wasn't enough left for a mini version. So I flipped the fabrics instead.
When I gave the skirt to Madelyn to dress her doll, a sudden cry of "but she doesn't have a t-shirt to match" rang out from her bedroom as she rummaged through dolls clothes. Not to worry - a Jocole Classic Tee to the rescue! She watched me sew it together and was thrilled at the addition of a heart applique. I think I will do a narrower neck band next time though, and girly up the pattern a little more with sleeve puffs and bindings.
Then we realised Madelyn had outgrown most of her tees from last summer too, and needed something to go with her skirt. I knew straight away that it had to be an E+M shirt - she has 3 of these now (plus the dress version), and they turn out beautifully every time. I modified it ever so slightly to have woven ruffles rather than knit. In order to ensure the woven didn't restrict movement at all, I cut the ruffles on the bias and also gathered them up a little more to take up less of the arm scythe. I probably needn't have worried though, and thought this would probably work very nicely with a bit of lace or broderie trim in the place of the ruffles.
You should have seen her little face light up when I told her she could wear the set on the weekend! I felt really mean when I made her take the skirt off after the photo-shoot to put something a little more practical for bike riding in. I think we need a few pairs of shorts next, to keep them both well dressed on our family bike rides to the beach through the summer.