Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Finished Project: Blank Slate Patterns - Fiesta Frock (Tester Version)

To those my readers who wonder why I don't sew more for my daughter...muahahahaha...  After last week's robot costume post, this week's dress post, I still have yet another unblogged dress that I made for my daughter (ages ago, it feels like) that I haven't managed to get photos of yet. Of course, then if you consider that I haven't photographed my recently-finished StyleArc Misty Jeans yet, written up the Blank Slate Denver Tunic on my own blog for my own record, or blogged the coat pattern that I tested back in September...yikes, that's a lot of unblogged projects.

Anyway, after the robot costume insanity, I needed a palate cleanser project. I lucked out in that Melissa from Blank Slate put out a call for testers for her new girls' party dress pattern, which I fell in love with from the sample photo. This pattern was a very easy sew with no fitting involved, and I think that the final dress is adorable.

Here it is...the Blank Slate Fiesta Frock!

Blank Slate - Fiesta Frock
You can see that the line drawing is pretty accurate:

Fiesta Frock line drawing

I love how the final dress turned out, and given how easy it was to sew, I'm planning to use this pattern for Eva's holiday dress this year.

Fabric and Notions Used


I used the following fabric and notions for this dress:
  • The main fabric is actually a Mickey Mouse quilting cotton, originally purchased to make a set of pajamas for Eva. I probably wouldn't have chosen this fabric for this dress; however, the skirt is a bit of a fabric hog (but it TWIRLS), and none of my dress-length cuts of fabric for Eva in my stash would have been enough fabric. Eva has been bugging me for a Mickey Mouse dress for a while, so I figured that I'd give her her way this time.
  • Collar and sleeve binding: a scrap of white cotton shirting from Gorgeous Fabrics
  • Buttons and bias binding (for the neckline) purchased from JoAnn's.
Faux Peter Pan collar

PDF Assembly and Pattern Drafting


The PDF for this pattern went together smoothly. One thing that I liked is that although the skirt is just a gathered rectangle, Melissa gives you the option of either printing/taping the pattern piece or drafting it yourself from the dimensions that she gives. I'm a printer-and-taper, so that's what I did.

I ran into no drafting issues, even though this was technically the test version of the pattern.


Pattern Sizing, and Alterations


This pattern is available in girls' sizes NB-10, so it covers a really wide age span. Eva's measurements best fit the size 3T, so that's what I sewed. I didn't make any fit alterations, and I'm happy with the off-the-printer fit.

Fiesta Frock - back


Pattern Instructions


Even though this was just the test version of the pattern, I only ran into really, really minor nitpicky things with the instructions, which should be fixed in the final version. (We're talking about a couple of typos here.) I hadn't seen the included method of binding the sleeve hem/sewing the side seams before, but it was easy to do and made for a nice finish. Melissa's method should be much easier, especially for the smaller sizes, than trying to attach the binding in the round on a small sleeve opening.

I'd rate this as a solidly "Advanced Beginner" pattern from a difficulty standpoint.


Final Thoughts

It's so nice to have a project where everything goes smoothly, especially after a difficult one like the robot costume.  Of course, Eva loves it--she finally got her "Mickey" dress, and it comes with a big twirly skirt!



  1. Gorgeous! Every little girl needs a 'twirl' dress :D

    1. Thanks! And she is definitely at that age where twirlability is very important.

  2. If only sewing for boys was so easy. Blank Slate has a great selection and great size range, but they're one of the few companies that does. Also, dresses are SOO much easier than separates.
    OK, whining over 😉
    Also, blogger insists on publishing me as Cake Flake, but this is Melanie S from Facebook.

    1. *waves* Hi Melanie!

      Ottobre is the only other pattern company that I can think of that has a decent selection for boys.

  3. I really need to hear how the Misty's went. I can't wear non-stretchy waistbands, and I'd love to know how these work for you.
    Have you tried Linda, Barb, or any of the other StyleArc stretch pants?

    1. I haven't been able to get pictures yet because of all the rain we've had this week, and our one full-length mirror in the house doesn't have very good lighting. BUT I can say that they are super comfortable--I just don't want to assess the final fit until I've seen photos. I know that there are a few alterations that I'll be making for my next pair, but nothing unexpected there. I'll definitely be making more of them.

      I have made the Linda pants--I found the legs to run much wider than I was wanting, but they fit nicely through the seat and crotch. I have the Barbs but haven't made them yet.

  4. What a beautiful dress. Your daughter is so cute in it. Xx