Tuesday, July 9, 2013

in stitches: heidi and finn chevron dress pattern review

I have been carefully looking at our consumption of clothing lately as a family. Not really doing anything about it, but feeling rather guilty about grabbing cheap, mass-manufactured garments as our kids grow (and grow and grow!). I walk a fine line, balancing precariously between what our budget allows, and the clear ethics in buying quality and taking more care of it. I have an automated response to kids clothing sale racks in large department stores: grab a couple for now, and a bunch for next year. Especially t-shirts, because knits are so difficult to sew, right?

Well sewing up this dress has proven to me the value and ease of sewing easy-to-wear, comfy play clothes for kids, using knits. The Chevron Dress pattern by Heidi and Finn is a fantastic design to cut your knit-sewing teeth on, and the instructions hold your hand right the way through.

The bodice is a simple shape, lined to avoid tricky bindings, and fits comfortably without gaping. I loved the clever way this pattern put the top together.

The skirt features a pieced chevron shape, utilising different coloured or patterned fabrics. I used a soft grey and white stripe, teamed with a rusty red and bright white. There was some very smug self-satisfaction as I pressed the centre-front seam open to reveal a perfectly-matched chevron.

The elastic in the waistband is probably the trickiest part, but once you master using a zig-zag stitch to sew elastic directly into the seam allowance, you will be able to use it in many applications. I like to use a three-step zig-zag stitch and clear elastic for this.

I added a couple of belt loops to the waist as I sewed the top and bottom together. I plaited together three strips of the knit fabrics I used in the dress to make a chunky tie belt. I love the nautical look the colours and the ropey belt give.

So now I am on the hunt for knit fabrics, so I can make all manner of play clothes for the kids. And a couple more cute chevron dresses for the little miss.


  1. I struggle with the ethics of clothing too. We just don't have the budget for much more than Big W. And to be fair to Big W...I don't know where or how they produce their clothes but they do last.

    1. Don't think I didn't grab a bunch of basics for the big boy off the Big W sales racks this week! And then we pack them in a box for the next kid, or pass them on. If they haven't been trashed too badly ;)



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