|Kathie’s an artist with a life full of really interesting and “Wow!” endeavors. Don’t miss Kathie’s intro with more links for you to explore, and visit the Ramonster Blog for YOUR CHANCE TO WIN the Frida tunic Kathie made for her review today!
|Frida by Modkid is a tunic style dress and shirt with headscarf. From the pattern text: “Loosely inspired by a Mexican housedress, Frida is feminine, comfy and fun! Open side vents make it light and airy during warmer months and perfect for layering on cooler months.”
The pattern gives you the option to sew up either a short tunic version, a longer dress or a dress with added bottom ruffle. It also allows for playing around a bit with the sleeve style. I opted for the tunic style shirt, with the flared sleeve.
|Amount of fabric varies on which style is chosen (dress or tunic), but for what I sewed up (tunic shirt in a size six/seven children’s) it asked for 1 yard of fabric, ½ yard of lining material. The one yard of fabric includes the pocket and bottom contrast band, however, which they seem to encourage you to switch up and play with by using contrasting/complimentary fabrics.
The pattern also calls for 1 package ¼” wide elastic, although all you really need is about 4 inches.
|They suggest “quilting weight cottons, light-to-medium weight decorator fabrics, lightweight denims, linens and muslins, 44”/45” wide.”
I used a cotton blend that I’ve used for kids clothes a bunch that has sort of a linen like drape, but doesn’t wrinkle as much as linen. I could really see the tunic or dress being awesome sewn up in super duper lightweight cotton, like a batiste, since the top is already lined you could get away with seriously sheer fabrics. With the side vents that are part of the design it seems like that would make for a garment for our hotter than hades summers down here in the southland.
|I think that the tunic is pretty dang cute. It really does have kind of a sweet vintage Mexican vibe, although the fabrics chosen for the cover shoot for the pattern kind of take away from the classic-ness of the cut, in my opinion. (I am not a fan of going overboard mixing and matching prints. I like to keep the fabrics simple and let the details speak for themselves. But thatz just how I roll, yo.) I did end up feeling like the “flared” sleeve was a bit much, but it would be super easy to just cut the pattern down so that it didn’t stick out quite as much from the shoulder.
Front detail with cap sleeves & ties.
|The instructions in the pattern were great. Very thorough and clear. More so than what I’m used to working with, although for the sake of full disclosure I’m notoriously bad at following pattern directions anyway. After years of sewing in a more industrial format, I have a certain language of sewing techniques that I’m particularly attached to, and I tend to skip lots of steps in direction books when I think I can clearly see my way to the finished product. Sometimes this is great. Sometimes I end up doing a lot of seam ripping when I get a little ahead of myself. Anyway, enough about me. I followed the directions in this pattern as best I could, and I found them way easier to understand and negotiate than most patterns that you would get from the big pattern companies. There’s something to be said for having an entire booklet printed up to walk you through one children’s shirt pattern. It makes it all sort of dummy proof.
|Diagrams / Images|
|Lots of diagrams and images to guide you. Children’s patterns are, in general, pretty easy to navigate and assemble. But it’s always nice to have extra pictures to expedite your process so that you don’t end up feeling like you’re reinventing the wheel every time you sit down with a new pattern.
|There are 6 pattern pieces (bodice, sleeve, skirt, hem band, ties and pocket) plus an elastic guide piece. All were clearly marked as to size markings, etc.
|Overall Level of Difficulty||Confident Beginner
|This wasn’t the simplest item of clothing I’ve ever sewn, but it certainly wasn’t difficult. Familiarity with certain techniques like inserting elastic into a casing, clipping and turning, and pressing down seam allowances come in handy, but there is nothing in the pattern that I would deem daunting or challenging.
|Tips + Modifications
|~ For the tunic I chose to use the same fabric for the bodice, skirt and hem band, and then to play around with contrast in the lining and pocket fabric matching up with some embroidery I did on the bodice. I also block printed a wood grain print onto the hem band for a little texture without too much contrast.
Block printing the hem band.
~ For the hem band on the bottom of the tunic, the pattern has you fold it in half before it is sewn to the bottom of the skirt piece. I chose instead to sew one side of the hem band to the bottom of the skirt piece, and then turn and finish the bottom of the hem band with a regular 1” hem. I prefer this for two reasons; one, because it allows for a slightly wider hem band, which I thought would look good with the wood grain print I was using and, two, I’ve never been a big fan of a stiff looking hem band at the bottom of anything. I like the bottom of any shirt or dress to hang with as much fluidity as the rest of the garment as opposed to looking more rigid. Opting out of folding the hem band in half before sewing it on I felt would keep the drape of the garment a little softer.
Hem band & pocket detail.
~ One other modification I think I would choose to make if I were to re-make this pattern would be in regard to the ties that close the side vents of the tunic. The pattern calls for 4 separate pieces to be cut for 4 separate ties. Each pattern piece is then ironed down from either side and the ironed closed, ala bias tape. This was time consuming and in my opinion the same effect could have been achieved by cutting and sewing one long piece, then turning and topstitching the piece as a tube, then cutting into fourths and finishing.
|I thought this was a sweet, simple pattern for a little girl. The head scarf addition is super cute, too. It’s too bad my daughter won’t wear anything that isn’t made out of jersey or terrycloth (I’m not kidding. Jersey or terrycloth. That’s it.)
I enjoyed working with such a nicely laid out pattern with big colorful images and instructions. What’s not to like about that? Easy peasy.
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