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Izzy & Ivy's Macy Giggles Dress - Sewing Pattern Review

 

So, while I wait (impatiently) for my fiberfill to arrive, I thought it would be a good idea to get started on sewing some birthday gifts for my niece.


I picked up an Izzy & Ivy Designs pattern sometime last year, and I finally liberated it from my pattern pile for this occasion.  Am I the only one that gets lured in by the great photography and exciting fabric used for these indie patterns?

Instruction booklet for adorable girls' sundress. Girls sizes 2t - 14. This booklet contains only the bodice pattern pieces; it includes detailed instructions for sizes, pictures, and skirt pattern guides.
Izzy & Ivy Macy Giggles Sundress Booklet
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Normally, I'm a commercial pattern girl. I learned on the big name patterns, and I am accustomed to the ease and convenience of those tissue-paper-templates and idiot-proof-instructions. So, I thought I would do a review since indie patterns are new to me.  That being said, the problems started almost right away.  I didn't realize it when I bought this, but the Macy Giggles design uses a TON of fabric.  For size seven, they require more than 3.5 yards!!  Whaaaaat?  I mean, I know that I am stash-busting this year and should be grateful to get rid of so much in one sewing project, but that seems excessive to me. Do the girls in the picture look like they are wearing that much fabric? What if I had to buy new material for this? I'd be broke!!  But, I do have lots of fabric on hand, so I soldiered on..  And I was perplexed to find that there are only two pieces of pattern in this envelope - front bodice, and back bodice. Umm..weird.
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That's when I flipped through the book and noticed that the rest of the pieces are just measure and cut. Which seems convenient...until I had to decipher the measurements.  Is that 24.5" wide by 34" long for the skirt pieces, or what?
 


After comparing the measurements on both pattern views as well as the trim dimensions, I figured it's actually 24.5" LONG by 34" WIDE.   Already. Annoyed. And, I hadn't even gotten to the "step-by-step" instructions yet! So, I got through all of my cutting, decided to skip the pockets since I don't care for them, struggled through the skirt facing description, and fought with my serger (which seems to have a timing issue). During this adventure, I made a few changes/additions of my own, and I am pleased with the final result. But, this pattern definitely proved to be a bit of a challenge for me. 
 
Review Summary - Izzy and Ivy Designs "Macy Giggles"
Skill level - Intermediate
 
(Disclaimer - I am receiving no incentive for this review. This is a pattern from 2009 that I picked up on the sale rack last year. The designer may have addressed some of these issues in their more recent offerings.)

Pros:
  • Fun, contemporary design.
  • Easy-to-trace pattern pieces
  • "Measure & Cut" instructions reduce bulk in the envelope
  • Izzy & Ivy tag included

Cons:

  • Way too much fabric being used here. With all of the gathering in the skirt, they could have cut down a bit. (Most home sewers do it as much for frugality as for art, so you should not have to spend more on a DIY  summer dress than you would to buy a new one.)
  • Measurement instructions are difficult to understand. (I can't imagine that adding a "w" and "l" to the type would have been too much trouble.) Also, there are no grainline indicators to help decipher the measurement mystery.
  • Pictures and instructions are not clear or confusing (especially the skirt facing section). I can't imagine trying this out as a beginner.
  • The flower embellishments in the cover photo are not included in the pattern instructions. I would advise against showing sewn-on accessories that pattern purchasers cannot replicate without seeking out additional resources. It's frustrating.
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Kid's Romper Revamp: Creative Pattern Adapting

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Comment by Mary Ellen Edwards on June 2, 2015 at 1:44am

Thank you for this pattern review! I purchased this pattern last year to make it for my grand daughter. Oh my!
What a hot mess for me! First of all I resent paying an arm and a leg for a pattern and then have to print, copy, tape, cut, and guess about putting the pattern together before I even get to the article of clothing! This dress was a huge problem for me because I did not have my granddaughter here to measure and try the piece on. Yes, tons of fabric and I had to do the bodice piece over 2 or 3 times because I kept getting the front and back mixed up. The skirt facing was a nightmare too. It eventually turned out cute-not super cute but cute because of the fabric choice and my embellishments. I will not be buying any of this brand of patterns. .I think it is disrespectful to the customer to charge such a price for a poorly designed pattern! I would suggest that they make the front band noticeably different than the back, fix the skirt placket facing and lower the price.

Comment by Karen on June 1, 2015 at 6:09pm

It's so good to know I am not alone at reading instructions and thinking "what?".  I'm glad you persevered, and I'm sure your niece will be too!

I think I have been spoilt by some very good Indie Designers now, but I previously had some bad experiences. Of course I mainly make bags, but the same rules apply, that instructions need to be clear (a.k.a. idiot proof) and they need to hold your hand for the whole experience.  In my experience ChrisWDesigns, Emmaline Bags and Dogundermydesk all do this.  It's also why I don't do much in the way of tutorials - I'd need Testers!

Comment by Caroline Stedman on June 1, 2015 at 5:12pm

This pattern seems identical to the PDF pattern I own called Emory, same Designer. The total fabric required for a size 7 is 2 yards and the measurements for the skirt are now 2 X 17 3/4" X 38" . So a better use of fabric. The placket in the skirt is now a slit which is bound by a very simple facing. However, despite your issues, your dress is gorgeous  :)

Comment by Beverly Jane on June 1, 2015 at 11:28am

I like straightforward patterns.  I used to have the eyes to see every little detail on a pattern but no longer.  So, I would pass this up at 3.50 yards of fabric.  I have great-grandaughters and they are as cute as can be.  I buy them things they love and look for patterns that I love.  This one is too much for me.  But, it is cute.

Comment by Sue Smith on June 1, 2015 at 10:05am

Oh...and Really cute dress. 

Comment by Sue Smith on June 1, 2015 at 10:04am

Bravo! I have veered off the path of commercial too and become frustrated and annoyed. Maybe you will make them see the light! 

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