Thursday, July 25, 2013

little red dirndl

I few months back Olbelthe patterns had a buy one get on free sale and I just couldn't resist.  I've always loved to see what Dawn sews for her daughter and couldn't wait to try a few more of her patterns.  You've already seen the dress version of the Mia Top that I made for Emily's preschool graduation, if you haven't just look up at the top of the blog, but I also got Heidi's Dirndl and needed to give it a go.  I've been doing a lot of sewing for myself lately and Emily was upset that in her words, "you used to make me things all the time and then you just stopped."  Now I get that she is pretty spoiled when it comes to ward-robing but she is also starting to get a little old for the younger print fabrics so I went ahead and made her a dress.
I am pleased with how this one turned out.  Most of her designs are variations on the same bodice and this one fall into that category.  It is very low cut in the front as dirndl's are with a full skirt and a contrast hem panel.  Sadly, the lacing is just ribbon sewed to the front rather then being functional or even fax functional.
Here is a close up of the front.  I added the ric rac to the bodice for a little more detail.
Here's some skirt action.  Now as to the pattern it was pretty good but not great.  I think some of my issues are more with indy pdf patterns but here goes.  There are no grain lines, notches, or markings for overlaps and center front.  This bother's me.  Yes I can measure things but I would prefer that it be on the pattern.  I also think the back bodice grain line is obvious but I'm hardly a beginner.  I also don't love that the size chart is finished measurements that imo may be a little off.  I didn't measure my final product but I made Emily a 6 and when I measured her chest this morning it was 20in there is some ease in the product but not 6 inches.  That could have been my sewing but I tried to be careful of the allowances.  I also still don't love the directions but this time I only followed them for the embellishment. 
Here's a back view.  I used snaps instead of buttons.  I also cut the bottom band extra wide so I could just fold it in half and serge it on.  Oh and I gathered the skirt instead of using the designer's tiny randomish tucks that somehow work out just right technique.  I tried with the last dress and didn't feel like mine looked nice though hers often do.

Final conclusion.  I like the final product and may use the pattern again but I think I will be giving this brand a pass in the future.  I just like what I like I guess.  I want to participate in Frances and Suzanne's site so I guess I will be trying some other indy brands in the future which should be fun.  I love the idea of supporting independent businesses but I'm also pretty picky about the product.


  1. Hmmmm, I appreciate your review. The only Olabelhe pattern that has tempted me is the Olivia/Mia. I'm going to have to go back and review what you said about that one. I agree that a lot of her designs look the same. I also sympathize with your complaints about the (non O + S) indy pattern designers. Other than the Roller Skate Dress, I think the only F & S Flip pattern that I already own is the Sunki, though I haven't used it, yet. And I doubt that it'll get done by October.

    1. Thanks, I sort of feel like a jerk for not being totally positive but I don't want to lie omit either. I bought the pattern for August and it looks good so far. Only goes up to a 6 but Emily only has a 20 in chest so we should be fine. Funny side note Roller Skate is probably the only O and S pattern I don't care for. Not sure why I just don't. If you end up getting Mia let me know I'm sure if I really sit and think I'll have a few more tips if you want them.

  2. Adorable dress. And I really love the Little red riding hood fabric.. SO cute.. Emily looks adorable!!!
    Thanks for sharing your honest ideas of the patterns. It really helps to be honest.