May 19, 2014

Esmee Cottage Dress Pattern Review

See my full disclosure policy here.

For the complete review, scroll down to the bottom. First, I'm going to share pictures. Also, I purchased the pattern myself and I am in no way affiliated with Amelie and Henry.

This is what sold me on the dress. I love the bodice with the pleats. There are so many ways you could spin this dress. The pattern is sleeveless; since my girls were going to be wearing it to church, I added some cap sleeves.

It also features a pleated skirt and an underskirt. With all the gathers (underskirt) and pleats (skirt) it is super full and perfect for twirling.

I love the end result. It turned out just how I imagined it, and I think it looks so sweet on my girls. It's the perfect summer dress. I can totally see it at a summer wedding.

This is the back of the dress (obviously). It has a deep v neckline in the back. The actual pattern is even deeper-I raised it up a couple of inches, and I'm glad I did. I'll go into why in more detail in the review section.

Here they are up in a tree. Even a fancy dress doesn't stop them from climbing.

 Okay, now for the review. I really try to stay positive on this blog, but there were some problems with this pattern. Rather than gloss over them, I am going to be honest.

So, the positives:

The design of the dress is absolutely gorgeous. I am really happy with the end result, and the girls love their dresses too. When all is said and done, I'm glad I bought the pattern and made the dress. 

And the not-so-positives:

I think if I had to describe the instructions in one word, I would say incomplete. Several times during sewing I found myself wondering if this pattern had been sent to testers. The yardage chart was broken up into a few different sections, but not all the different parts of the dress were included, so it made it difficult to figure out how much of each fabric I actually needed. There wasn't a size chart at all. I ended up just using my girls' ready-to-wear sizes, and the dresses came out pretty generously sized. It falls off their shoulders a lot. I can only imagine how much worse it would be if I had cut the back as low as the pattern piece. (On the plus side, these dresses should last through next summer too.) I would recommend making a muslin of the bodice so you can test fit. I don't generally do that for children's patterns, but, in the absence of a size chart, I should have. A few of the instructions are vague as well. The pleats don't really give you much of a guide-it doesn't even tell you how many there should be. And since I made two different sizes, I had to figure out the pleats twice. 

In Conclusion:

Do I recommend this pattern? I guess it depends. Like I said, the design is gorgeous. If you're willing to put some time and effort into figuring it out, then yes. If you're completely new to sewing, I'd say probably not-I can see this being a frustrating beginner project.

I bought this pattern back when it was first released, I think in November 2013. It may have been updated since then. When I looked it up to get the link, the listing photo included a bow, which was not in my pattern. I did re-download May 19, 2014 to see if it was the same pattern, and it looks the same to me, but maybe you can't get updates that way.


Charity said...

I so appreciate your honesty about this pattern... I hate seeing bloggers raving about a pattern that obviously doesn't fit or is poorly designed.
Your girls are darling! And even though you had to put in some extra work, these dresses came out really well. =)

Renee said...

I made the same dress a couple months ago ( and have the same thoughts! The size chart was the biggest thing - I was sure I was overlooking it or something. It turned out extra long on my girl but luckily the shoulders don't slide off because of the weight of all the fabric. Also a lot of the instructions are written so poorly that I ignored them and just did them like I already knew how to (bodice construction). I'm actually happy to hear your honest review! Also, I love the cap sleeves that you added, and the wonderful floral!

Sara said...

I just bought this pattern and want to add sleeves too! Do you have a tutorial for how you did yours?

Terra Sews said...

Sara, I don't. I just borrowed sleeves from another pattern and tweaked them to fit this one.

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