I love buying pdf patterns, especially when they go on sale. Quality is all over the place, though, and sometimes it’s hard to predict what you’re going to get before you open up the file and start reading it through. The Kikoi Ruffle Dress is an adorable pattern in the photos, but when I read through the “tutorial” to make these sister dresses, there were a few changes that I wanted to make. (I know most people are different, but I personally don’t love patterns with photos for every step. I’m not particularly visual, and photos of white thread on printed fabric don’t help much. Well written technical text with diagrams where needed would be my preference. As would a strong line diagram so I can judge what I’m getting without trying to decode a set of photographs of finished samples. Although sometimes I buy things just to figure out how the designer worked out the puzzle of putting something together).
The biggest change I made was to line the bodice instead of using bias tape for edging. I also moved the seam where the ruffles join to the back (even though that put a seam in the ruffles down the center front) because I thought it looked weird for one side to be flouncy and the other more “flat”. I used my rolled hem foot for the bottom edge of the ruffles, and that was awesome. I wish I had extended the back piece a little further so there was a better overlap since I used buttons instead of snaps. I also think 1/4″ seam allowances are on the slight side for clothing, but it would have been annoying to cut 1/4″ off the pattern and then add 1/2″ on, so I left it or did a slightly larger SA sometimes.
These were a gift, and I started wondering about the fit on actual children toward the end. I made a 4T and 12 mo. The bodice is basically the same width for both, just a different length (which might be accurate because kids grow up, not out much). But the under-skirt didn’t seem to have a lot of room for movement. I learned some things about the different ways of assembling ruffles for skirts, which means I analyze new patterns with that feature differently now.