Before I start this post, I just want to note that I received this pattern for free as part of the blog tour. However, I only do blog tours for patterns that I wanted to sew in the first place, so you can rest assured that everything I say in this review is how I actually feel about the pattern, and it is not biased due to the pattern being free :)
I love the overall look of the Secret Garden Dress pattern, but it's a bit less than practical for the Michigan winter to come :) So I made just a few modifications while keeping the feel of the original dress. In other words, I kept the v-back, the bow and the circle skirt because those felt like the essential components of the pattern, but then I added sleeves and shortened the length to make the dress work better for us right now.
I started with the size two, but since I was planning to make the dress from a knit, I knew I would need to size the dress down about one size. Unfortunately, the pattern doesn't go any smaller than a size two, so I just winged it, and I think the fit turned out pretty good! I eliminated the side zipper (not needed with the knit) and added binding to the neckline instead of using a lining. I also added sleeves from the knit tee pattern I used here, shortened to just below the elbow length. I'm not sure what you call that length, but it's not quite elbow or 3/4. I've heard people refer to 5/8 sleeves before, and although it seems like such an odd length, I'm guessing that this is what you would call a 5/8 sleeve :)
I love circle skirts because they are so much fun for twirling, but Mae really doesn't need any dresses right now, so I drafted a high-low hem to turn the dress into a top. I didn't hem the skirt for these pictures, since my stretch twin needle broke the other day, but I think I will hem it before Mae wears it the next time so the sides hang a little neater.
The last thing I did was finish the back of the dress with a small knit bow just below the v-back. It's not nearly as impressive as the original flounce included in the Secret Dress pattern, but it fits the scale of the top much better. Plus it's a bit more practical for tucking into snow pants when it's -20 outside!
Red Stripe - Funkaliscious Fabrics
Bindings & Bow - Cotton/Rayon jersey from fabric.com
Leggings & Shoes - Target
If you want to buy your own Secret Garden Dress pattern, use the code "SGTOUR25" until the end of the day Saturday either in the Etsy shop or on the E+M website. Or you can purchase through Craftsy which already reflects the discounted price.
Here are a few links for you to check out - the blog tour has so many great versions of the Secret Garden Dress!
The Adventures of Captain X and the Gingerbear Princess - Once Upon a Sewing Machine - Thread Riding Hood
Make sure to enter the giveaway for patterns from all these great sponsors before you go!