November 2, 2015

Girl's Smocked Dress Sew-Along #1.5: Pattern substitutions

All are welcome in this sew-along, even if you don't possess the exact pattern for the BurdaStyle Girl's Smocked Dress (08/2015 #137). This is a fairly basic pattern, which is good news for y'all renegades out there who refuse to conform to the harsh strictures of my authoritarian sew-blog regime.


What to look for: If you wish to follow along closely, matching your at-home version with the pictures & instructions here, make sure your pattern has these characteristics:

  • Basic flat bodice - without gathers, pleats, darts, princess seams, yoke, or multi-piece details
  • High waist
  • Scoop neckline
  • Set-in sleeves - not sleeveless, and not raglan, kimono, or dolman sleeves
  • Gathered skirt - not A-line or circle style

Your options: I scoured different pattern companies for lookalikes, and am happy to report an abundance of contenders for this sew-along. Mayhap you even have one of these in your stash.

What, no love for the indies? Sadly, no. I wanted to include indy patterns in the list, but I couldn't find any that matched the BurdaStyle pattern. Perhaps it's because the pattern we're working with is basic - a blank template upon which you can layer smocking and details. Indy patterns tend to go beyond the basics; they're fun and special, with unique lines that separate them from the "sloper plus add-ons" format you see in many of the big-name patterns. There's a place in this world for both. In this sew-along, we need the latter.

If you know of any indy patterns that fit the bill, please let me know in the comments. I'd love to include some!

Okay then, how's about a different drum: Yes! Select a pattern that diverges from the one I'm using, and enjoy this sew-along as a general guide. Since you're an experienced sewist who knows how to construct a basic dress, you'll probably get the most out of the pocket drafting and smocking segments of this sew-along.

And that opens up the indy door!

Hop over to So, Zo's blog to explore your options in her series "'So, Zo...' Investigates: Independent Children's Sewing Pattern Companies" Part 1 and Part 2. I'm telling you, there are some great indy patterns out there that would play very nicely with this sew-along, if you're willing to swerve a smidge.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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