Pattern Review - Criss Cross Dress

Hello hello!  Melissa here from Ms Midge, I'm back with another great pattern to review!  This time round it is the CRISS CROSS AVERY DRESS by Pink Poodle Bows.   I have a few of their patterns, so was keen to give this one a go, for a nice fresh Summer look!   If you pop over to Patterns Only, they have 20% off at present!
First things first - this is a PDF pattern, and can be made in sizes 12months - 5.  After making a size 5 today, I'm pretty sure it would be quite easy to upsize it a few sizes - which is great, because I would love to make one for my nine year old daughter.  If you've never upsized before, I did a tutorial HERE.
Ok, as per my usual routine, I printed the pattern out and got stuck in to sticking it all together.  Nothing confusing about that.  You will end up with FOUR pattern pieces.

From those four pattern pieces, you will end up with NINE pieces of fabric cut out.  I'm making a point of telling you this, because I confused myself!  There's a front and back, a front and back bottom (border), a back casing, and four bodice pieces - two in each co-ordinating fabric.  So yes, it is a lined bodice!

The instructions are really quite easy to follow, and there aren't any steps that I didn't have trouble with.  I got my handy chopstick out to help with turning the bodice pieces (i.e. straps) out the right way, and I chose to top stitch everything.  I just think it gives it a better and neater finish.

When it came to the gathering part for the front skirt piece, the pattern gives you instructions to use a basting stitch, which of course if you're used to you'll be ok with doing.  I have mentioned in other tutorials my love for a gathering short cut.  So I'll give it out again!  If you set your sewing machine to the tightest tension, i.e. highest number, and your stitch length to the longest setting you will be able to pop your fabric in and as you sew, it automatically gathers for you.  Life-saver in my books!

There really isn't many tips or tricks I can give you for this pattern - it's straight forward and rather quick and easy to whip up.  I made the size 5, and my little model is a size 4, so it was a tad big.  BUT I do think the elastic lengths they provide to be put in the back casing, could be shortened to suit a tinier frame.  I have it pinned at the back for photography purposes!  Alternatively, you could also widen the bodice pieces at the front for a bit of a bigger frame.

All in all - a super pattern that I would recommend to basically anyone who would like to make a great Spring/Summer dress!

I used some of my personal fabric stash for this review, but rest assured - the girls have plenty of beautiful bright prints for such a pretty dress!  Go CHECK THEM OUT!
Thanks for reading, I hope you find this helpful and will see you again soon!
Melissa x