If you're looking for a dress to give as a present to the little girl in your life, the Limon Top and Dress by Willow and Co. is a lovely option. First off, the pattern's size range goes from 6 months to 12 years, which is a great value in a pattern. Because there are so many sizes available, the PDF gives you a cool option of printing just the size that you need by choosing layers when you go to print. Had I realized that, I would have been able to see where my pintucks needed to go much more easily and I would have saved some paper. No matter if you do print out all of the sizes; each size is marked by color and very easy to pick out from the others. Also, having a copy of the pattern with all of the sizes printed makes it so you can simply trace off your size instead of reprinting each size individually, which will save you time if you have multiple people to make this dress for.
As for the dress' features, there are pintucks on the front and back of the dress. Because of all of the pintucks, this pattern works best with lighter weight natural fabrics like linen, voile, lawn, or double gauze. Don't let the lightweight requirement keep you from making up a Limon dress for fall though. The lining called for in the pattern allows you to add another layer of warmth to the garment, and this dress could easily be layered over a top and leggings to extend its wear for fall.
The optional placket (not optional from 6m-3T to allow room for dressing) and ruffle adds a nice frill to the front of the dress.
The instructions have beautiful photographs that help you through every step. Even though the placket is a little tricky, this dress is not beyond the range of a beginner sewist because the text and pictures are so clear.
I followed the directions, but opted for a different treatment at the neck. The pattern calls for you to stitch the neckline and lining together, then press and understitch the lining at the neck. If you prefer to not have to understitch, you can follow these steps to create a bias binding at the neck.
- Cut a strip of your main fabric 1.25" wide by about 20".
- Press up one of the long sides of the strip to the wrong side by 1/4".
- After you've sewed in the lining at the sleeves, flip the lining so that the raw edge of the neckline meets the raw edge of the lining. Baste the two layers together.
- Make the slit for the placket, then sew the right side of the bias strip to the right side of the main fabric with 1/2" seam allowance. Trim off any extra binding. If you choose to not make a placket, you can simply sew the binding in a circle by bringing the short sides of the binding together and sewing a small vertical seam.
- Press the seam towards the inside of the dress, then trim the seam allowance down to 1/4".
- Fold the bias strip entirely to the inside of the dress and press to set it.
- From the wrong side, edgestitch the binding down around the circumference of the neck. Make sure that you use matching thread in your bobbin since the bobbin thread will be visible on the right side of the garment.
- You're done! You're left with a clean finish with a little contrast on the inside, and the lining will not peek out.
If you find that your fabric is a little bulky as you sew the placket, snaps might be a good option.
I was glad for that particular suggestion in the pattern as I tackled this heavier weight linen. While the linen pressed like a champion as I made the pintucks, my buttonholer would have had fits trying to negotiate its bulk in the placket. I had no matching snaps for my snap setter, so I chose sew on snaps for the inside of the placket and buttons for decoration on the outside of the placket.
Overall, the Limon Dress and Top is a fun pattern to sew up that makes for a sweet addition to any girl's wardrobe.
We'd love to see your Limon Dresses and Tops. Tag us on instagram @UpCraftClub. #limondress