We are FINALLY back to add some much needed patterns to our Junior Miss size range. The Dandelion recently had new life breathed into it with the Aspen Romper add-on and I realized that this was one pattern I wanted to extend into the next size range. Those who have been around us for awhile know that Sofiona's focus is about making sure the tweens and teens have somewhere to go as they size out of kids size charts. And as both my own girls are solidly into the top few sizes of the girls’ range, the pressure is on to get more patterns into the Junior Miss collection.
So I give you Miss Dandelion and this time it's a little different. Let’s quickly look at the details.
Still the same:
- same criss cross back detail
- sleeveless tank style
- 1/2 circle peplum
- visible or hidden facings for the neckline and armscyes
- can be paired with Miss Aspen for a romper
New for MISS Dandelion:
- darted bodice with 4 cup sizes
- a short, slightly flared sleeve
- 1/2 circle knee length dress
- 1/4 circle maxi length dress
Not included from the girls’ Dandelion is the tank top option without a skirt.
Tester time brings out the surprises and tells us what we should be aware of for potential fit concerns. Fabric is a factor to consider and I highly recommend taking a look through the intro to Miss Aspen blog post if you plan to make a romper. The fabric choice has a much larger impact on that option.
Making the Miss Dandelion as a skirted option is more forgiving since we are not dealing with the crotch depth looking right, but there are still a few things to consider about different fabric types and proper fit.
Fabric suggestions for this pattern are light to medium weight knits with good recovery and if you are looking for a fairly easy, no fuss project I’d stick with cotton lycras, light french terry, liverpools, etc. Fabrics with a bit of structure and not a lot of drape.
For the adventurous or more experienced sewists I encourage experimenting with other knit fabrics like bamboo lycra, double brushed poly, stretch velvet and more. Some testers used these fabrics and I’m just loving the results.
One tester even played with adding some lace detail with her facings which added such a beautiful finish.
I am someone who doesn't like to muslin things, but as I do these tests I feel more and more amazed that any outfit I've made actually fits me. Our bodies are SO different from each other. It's crazy. The somewhat fitted nature of this particular pattern makes it a really good idea to make a practice garment first and here's one reason why.
This tester is 2" taller than the Sofiona draft height of 5'5". So with that in mind she lengthened her bodice the appropriate amount. It all made pretty good sense. But she noticed that the back was gaping open and something needed adjusting. With some investigation, we realized that the waistline was sitting too far below her natural waist. I recognized this from the girls' Dandelion tank top which you can see in this post. So while her overall height IS taller than the pattern draft, her back length from base of neck to natural waist is actually shorter. With the fitted waist wanting to rise to the smallest part of the body, it was pushing the criss cross back up and open which was also affecting the front neckline and shoulders. By removing some length from the bodice it allowed the dress to settle where it should and the back immediately lay nicely across the back. With that test run done she was ready for the real deal and look how beautiful that dress is in scuba!!
The facings on Dandelion need to be addressed. They have long been a bit of a confusion to customers and Miss Dandelion is no different. By labeling them as “visible or hidden”, some people have understood that the visible option was basically a band and this just isn’t so. The measurements in the cut chart are calculated for a facing that is turned over against the bodice and topstitched down. This is a different percentage calculation than a band that is left flipped out away from the bodice. So, I want to clarify that the facings on the Dandelions should be turned completely over no matter if you choose the visible or hidden facings. The difference is whether you attach them to the right side of the fabric to turn to the inside of garment (hidden facings) or if you attach them to the wrong side of the fabric to turn them over to the right side of the garment (visible facings.) I hope that helps to explain that a bit.
Still on the topic of facings, let’s talk about the lengths in the cut chart and some troubleshooting helps. As I just mentioned, the cut chart includes cut lengths at a certain calculation. I came to these amounts based on what was found to work for MOST knit fabric types. I’ll show you 2 tester examples where they needed adjustments.
This first example is using double brushed poly. DBP is typically heavier than a regular cotton lycra and is known for that wonderful soft drape. We love it for dresses and tops. When it comes to DBP, the recovery is not as strong as some other knits and doesn’t keep things pulled together and fitted quite the same. So for these facings, this tester chose to cut the neckline facing shorter than the cut chart suggestion in order to create some structure to that criss cross back. Without shortening that facing, the back could drape down a bit too much or the front of the bodice might end up a bit too wide and stretched out looking. The amount to remove varies depending on the fabric so I like to just baste my facings on to check before I commit to a stitch type that will make me scream at having to seam rip. You know what I’m talking about, right?? Here our tester just sewed it on by feel. Some people live on the edge like that! LOL And here she is in her Miss Dandelion with the Miss Aspen Add-on.
This second example is using the more recognizable cotton lycra blend. These fabrics are so great for beginners and for fast sewing. Easy to use and nice to wear. However, some brands have a fairly strong recovery. More so than others. I wish I understood fabric more to really understand the why and how, but I don’t. I just know that I can have 2 fabrics that both say 95/5 content and yet one is clearly more structured and has a stronger recovery. This arm facing shows you what can happen when this facing is made from the stronger knit. See how it’s flipping out? In this case, the facing needs to have some length added to it instead of removed.
For a bit of visual help on why this occurs, picture the arm opening as a circle going around the arm. Now picture the edge of that facing on the inside of the garment as another circle going around the arm. (It is close to that second line of topstitching in the picture.) You can see that as the garment lays against the body that facing is a slightly larger circle. So when the facing is pulling back with its strong recovery, it’s not a big enough circle and is forcing the outer edge to flip out. I have a few more photo tips on the actual sewing technique for these facings as well in the Moss blog post.
Sleeves!! I’ve heard a few people talk about a sleeve for the Dandelion and for Miss Dandelion I decided to go ahead and add one. The slightly flared silhouette matches the bottom half of the outfit without creating too much volume on the top.
The skirts were a mid-test addition. I had considered it earlier and then the testers convinced me that I should really add them. I’ve told them they’re going to get me in trouble the way they know they can twist my rubber arm so often. But it does make these patterns true collaborations. Without a whole lot of soul searching I just decided to add a knee length to the 1/2 circle peplum so both those lengths are in one pattern piece. But the Christmas hack I did for my oldest last year was strong on my mind. It is the most beautiful Dandelion I’ve made and I knew I wanted that sleek maxi length. So it’s a separate piece in a 1/4 circle width.
Basically what you should really know is that you will want to check the Pages to Print chart in the tutorial before hitting print. This pattern has a high page number count!!! Or just hit “Buy” on that projector you’ve been eyeing.
All junior miss patterns are drafted for 5’5” and for this reason we include lengthen shorten lines in the bodice so you can make height adjustments. I’ve included a line through the bodice at the armscye level specifically for the younger girls who will often have a shorter shoulder to apex measurement than a mature body will. Always, always, always make a quick muslin before cutting into that good fabric. There are tips for what to look for in the tutorial. We want you to have a great fit, but we also know that each body is very unique and we sew to fit our individual shapes.
I can’t wait to see your Miss Dandelion. Remember it’s also available bundled together with Miss Aspen for more outfit possibilities. And if you are making this for a tween or teen in your life, we are EXTRA excited for you. This age group is not always excited about having their pics taken and we get that, but if they don't mind, we'd love to see it in our FB group.