Enter the Portabellopixie: Gracie pattern. I've had this pattern sitting in the stash for a little while and decided it was about time to pull it out and make it this year's Christmas dress. I really like Sandi's design on this one. Ruffles can be dangerous territory to venture in. It's easy with gathers and ruffles to get carried away and turn what should be a cute girl's dress into something that resembles a big, poofy, toilet roll cover. But I think the lovely close fitting bodice on this pattern, coupled with a tidy round yoke stops that from happening. It looks incredibly pretty on a little dancing toddler.
I'd read a few reviews on the pattern, where others had noted that the pattern measures small and it really does. I made "View B" of the dress and according the measurements on the back of the pattern, the size 3 should have been a very generous fit for my daughter. I thought I'd make the size 4 to be on the safe side and while it does fit, it won't for long. The bodice is very narrow and it's also a short dress, that actually looks more like a top to be worn over trousers (more so than it looks on the pattern cover). So I made her another version from a purple Hello Kitty print teamed with some Denyse Schmidt, in a size 5 so she'd have one with a bit more grow room in it. She loves them both and wore them all through the Christmas holidays, never wanting to take them off.
There is a lot of fabric in these dresses. Almost 3 yards. Those tiers have some serious gathering going on. It does make for an awesome twirl factor though and wins me bonus points in the mummy stakes with my little one!
I made a few changes to the pattern (apart from upsizing). I added about an inch or more of length to each of the gathers to make the dress longer. I also didn't follow Sandi's instructions for the yoke. I simply attached the yoke as I have previously done on similarly styled dresses (using stay stitching, clipping the curves, ironing and lots of pinning). As ever I was super grateful that I own an overlocker (serger) to finish the hem. Oh the epic hem! Almost all 4 yards of it! My overlocker made light work of it though with a super tidy rolled hem finish.