Almost two years ago, I sewed these three dresses for Indigo, all from the same Portabellopixie pattern. The elastic sleeves and neckline along with the sash that ties around the waist (versus a fitted waist) makes for a dress that lasts a long time, especially being the Portabellopixie dresses tend to be on the longish side. Indi has worn these dresses again and again, and surely they will be passed along to Evie. But it was finally time for a new dress from this pattern. I decided to go with Option B - the petal dress.
Coming back to this pattern two years later, I realized that I can now more easily compare and contrast this pattern with the Oliver + S patterns I am so used to sewing. Both Portabellopixie and Oliver + S patterns run for around $16 each. Both are made by indi sewing pattern designers. Portabellopixie patterns offer several different options with each pattern, whereas Oliver + S patterns generally offer only two options which tend to be quite similar. Because Portabellopixie offers the various different options with each pattern, there's a lot you can do with mixing and matching between the options to create even more variety. Also, Portabellopixie patterns run from 6 months - 8 years. Oliver + S tends to break up the pattern sizes, like 0-3 years and 4-8 years. So if you have kids my kids' ages, that means you'll be buying two patterns if you want a dress for each child.
Both pattern designers have instructions that are far superior to what you would find from a chain store pattern. But where the Oliver + S patterns really shine is in the pattern details - it is truly like taking a sewing class. As I was sewing this Portabellopixie dress, I would think, "Oh Liesl would have had us notch these curves or understitch this seam". If you want to learn technique, Oliver + S is the way to go. Still, sometimes all of those details can perhaps be a little overkill, especially when you're only trying to sew play clothes. Even though the three dresses I sewed may not be technically perfect, they have held up for two years and are in good enough shape to pass along to Evie. I'm happy with that!
All in all, I'd say that the Portabellapixie patterns are perfect for beginner to intermediate sewists. And as it were, Portabellapixie designer Sandi Henderson is having a 50% off sale on all of her patterns right now, although I didn't see this particular pattern on her list.
Indigo loved this dress and wanted to wear it to her Mother's Day celebration at school today. We had a cold front here (50s and windy, known in Wisconsin as a heat wave), so we had to layer the dress. I love that this dress will not only be great for the summer, but she can also wear it with layers into the fall and winter.
At Indigo's school there's a dramatic play area that's set up as something new each week. One week it's a Japanese tea garden, the next it's a dentist office or a campground. This week's theme was "fairytales". Evie came along with me to the Mother's Day celebration and my girls had a fabulous time with all of the princess garb.
Next weekend, I'm going to make Evie her own version of the dress. If you decide to tackle a Portabellopixie pattern, too, I'd love to know what you think - and see pictures, of course!