Say Hello to Zierstoff
Way back in October last year, Joanna from Zierstoff contacted me to ask if I'd like to try out one of their patterns. Zierstoff are an established German company that have recently translated their patterns and tutorials into English. The patterns are all PDF downloads for instant sewing gratification and they even have a YouTube channel with lots of useful hints and tips - perfect if you're a beginner as they even show you what to do with your printed pattern.
I can't believe it's taken me so long to get around to sewing up one of their patterns, but Joanna was very kind to still let me choose something! I decided to choose a pattern for my girls, and I was leaning towards a sweatshirt or hooded top but Eleanor made the choice for me in the end. She said the patterns "all look so pretty Mummy. Can I choose lots?" but she settled on the Rhea Dress.
With PDFs for the girls I don't tend to trace them, I just cut the size needed as I know I can print it again. For reference Phoebe is 2 and Eleanor is 4, but I actually printed out a size bigger for each of them. I blame my Mom for this - I'm forever buying them things they'll "grow into" and it seems it's a habit that's sticking!
I printed the pattern in both sizes just before we went to London. I thought our trip to Goldhawk Road would be be perfect for grabbing some fabric for both of them, and also keeping them mildly interested in the fabric shopping I'd planned. Of course, that didn't work out as planned, so I ended up ordering some jersey from Fabworks Mill for £3 p/m. (As a side note, I'd recommend them, the fabric came the next day and is great quality.)
Both of these dresses were such fast, easy sews that I wish I'd done them much sooner. I really like the colours the girls chose too. You'll notice that they've got the same colours, but in a different combination. I cannot stand matching clothes on siblings. Sorry if that's your jam but it's not mine. I'm happy for coordinating clothes though! That said my brother and I had some pretty awesome matching TMNT track suits but I digress...
My favourite part of the design on these dresses (and easier to sew than I thought) is the envelope neckline, like you often get on baby vests. Remember I said I'd sized up for each dress? I really shouldn't have as the necklines ended up being far too big, but that's totally my fault and a lesson learned for next time. If you have a look in the close up below, I ended up putting a couple of stitches across the neckline to stop it gaping too much, which I can unpick when needed.
The other close up you'll probably have seen on Instagram; I added an embroidery to each dress just to add a bit of interest to the plain fabric. They're both from the Custom By Me kits I was given at Stitches.
I made a little mistake on Phoebe's dress, can you spot it? Yep, the neckline is back to front. That said, I don't think it's a massive problem, and she hasn't noticed. I don't know how I managed that, I just wasn't paying attention!
Best compliment for these came from Andy who thinks that with the colour-blocking they look like we could have bought them. Good enough for me!
I think Eleanor made a good choice with this dress; it's definitely something they can be comfortable in whilst being as rough-and-tumble as they like. I also like that I can shorten this into t-shirt pattern for them both too. They live in t-shirts, leggings and tunics really. I've also got an idea for hacking this into something slightly different. Basically I'm using this pattern as the basis for their summer wardrobe, so here's hoping we actually get some sunshine!
Disclaimer: I was offered this pattern by Zierstoff in exchange for writing about it. The embroidery kits were provided by DMC through Stitches 2016. All opinions are my own.