Alisha at Pink Poodle Bows asked me if I would be interested in trying out one of her patterns after I posted about one of her dresses here. So, my first request was for her to direct me to the easiest patterns in her shop. I was so excited when she said the Bella Strip Work Dress was an "instant gratification pattern". It also makes a dress from 12m to size 8!
It took me about 4 hours to make the dress but I would suspect it will take less time in the future especially for a size 4 since I have the pattern all ready now. The pattern was excellent and it is a million times easier to sew something from a professionally produced Etsy pattern than to sew something from a store-bought pattern. There are tons of photos, you can enlarge and reduce the pdf and you can print it out over and over again. Oh and if you run into a problem you can just email the author!
Make sure when you print the pattern pages for this pattern you choose "none" under page scaling and you choose "auto-rotate and center". Also, before you tape together any digital pattern always find a part to measure against a measurement provided to check to make sure that your printer didn't shrink or enlarge it.
I made Ava (who is almost three) the size 4 dress. She is big for her age and I wanted her to have some growing room. I used a nice weight fabric (important) for the cherry part of the dress and doubled the white fabric for the center strip because it was a bit see-through. I did choose the option to top stitch down the center strip seams from the front. I have made a dress for Ava before using inexpensive fabric and tried to make my own binding tape to finish the edges and it didn't hold up well. This time, I took a lot of care with finishing the hems and seams because I want this dress to really hold up to lots of wash and wear and so far it looks much sturdier than something store-bought. The only skills you need for the dress are to be able to sew a straight line - very easy and a perfect first dress to make.
You can find more sewing posts here.