Princess Bella Dress - mini pattern review

A long time ago I won a couple of Izzy & Ivy patterns. One was for the hats I made here and the other was the Princess Bella Dress.

The pattern itself is very straight forward and not complicated at all. There are no pattern pieces. All you will have to do is cut different size rectangles. The top layer of the dress is made from four separte pieces, all of which have to be finished on all edges. So, if you have a serger you will be ahead of the pack. I do not own one, so had to double-fold and stitch all those edges. It took a lot of time! Twice!
The most difficult part, in my opinion, was to get the top shirred from a total width of about 60 inches down to 23 inches. Is that even possible???!!! I tried several times and did not get it reduced by that much. So, in the end I added 1/4 inch elastic on the inside all the way around. Not as the pattern intended, but it works.

When placing the shoulder straps on the dress, I would recommend checking the fit before you sew them on. For me, they were a bit too far apart, if I would have strictly gone by the measurements given in the pattern.

Since there are two layers of fabric on the dress, I chose a light voile for the bottom layer and a sheer swiss dot fabric for the top layer. I think that was the best choice I could make, otherwise the shirring whould have probably not worked at all and the dress would be way too bulky around the chest and too warm for the summer. With the lighter fabrics it will be great on it's own or layered with shirts and pants. It will also last a couple of seasons/years, because of the loose fit at the top.

All in all it's a very cute dress and easy to put together, though a bit time consuming.
The girls love it. They say, they feel like Fairy Princesses in them.


Lauranie said...

OMGosh!!! They LOOK like little Bella Princesses!! And soooo excited to have such beautiful dresses!!! Great job, Momma!! All of that time was worth it!! As far as the shirring goes....? I have never started with 60 inches of fabric, sounds expensive!! HA!! I usually just go with the 45" width of my regular fabric, so I can't offer any opinion...sorry :( I think the addition of 1/4 elastic is very practical, it will help support all of that shirring so the elastic thread won't "POP" like sometimes happens to my shirring!! All in all, it looks wonderfully done and they look sooo happy!!

birrrd said...

Very fairy dresses indeed. I love the fabric you used! Does'nt add too much but still enough to the magic of the dress. :)


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