Being in Shanghai, on one income, our family has a modest budget. So I’m welcoming the time to sew & be a pattern tester on the odd occasion for the independent pattern designers around the world. Plus, I’ve always been thrifty! This week, the Daisy Chain Top 06 was launched by Debbie for her Lily Sage & Co pattern collection and last week I finished it up for a play date in the park!
It is just WONDERFUL and completely quick to sew up. When sewing kids things, I want a pattern than is super quick but is really good looking and this Daisy Chain top is that kind of style for me. I love the shape and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember I tried this kind of hemline (with great wearability as I wear it ALL the time) a few years ago. Love it!
Debbie describes it as "a loose fitting, swingy, baby doll top that is perfect for Summer days. It has a fully covered, button up back, little sleeve ruffles, a flattering hi-lo bodice, and a gathered midriff skirt section.” I love the coverage it gives, for sun reasons and just aesthetically, I don’t really like spaghetti straps and halters on small children… covered up shoulders and back is great for everyday wear, and the breezy fit of this style means you can still keep cool.
The top comes in sizes 3-10 and for Elvy I tested the 4, but - oops - serged the wrong seam allowances and Debbie has since made it quite clear in the instruction it’s 13mm or 1/2 inch (and also includes both imperial and metric in her pattern notes which I find a great help because I tend to use both in my sewing for some reason). But I’m pleased with the fit.
I chose this cheapie Panda quilters cotton for my test because PANDAS are totally cute, but also Elvy looks good in charcoals and greys… she’s also a No Frills kinda child, so I made the version without the frill sleeves.
It was a dream to trace and sew, I love the shapes of all the pieces and I made the bias with my Chinese Taobao bias makers (all the colours here are super cheap, so I got them all) no trouble and I tried hard to stretch the bias tape around the curves because often I have problems with my bias… I should have used grey thread to topstitch but it still looks neat enough.
Everything went SUPER well including my BUTTONHOLES. I have not sewn buttonholes since maybe… this dress? It feels like five years, so I’m pleased my machine still can make them smoothly… I recall if you have the speed on fast they mess up more… and if you have thicker seams it has to go over behind the foot, it’ll get stuck as well. All of them were fine, and the only 4 matching buttons I had were these big ones, so they’re a little larger than the top perhaps calls for, but I like them.
So I have no idea how long it took to sew, but it was great in short little bursts of sewing (like the time I have these days around children and admin/life stuff) because it’s an easy project to pick up and put down. I hope to make more for other children, and can probably add a bit to the length of the skirt to make it a proper dress. I'd like to try some different fabrics too, I have some sort of rayon cotton (I think it is) that I'm sewing with today, and if there's leftovers I'll make up a Daisy Chain Top ... I reckon you could squeeze this into leftovers. I have 3 metres for an Anna dress, so probably won't need that much (I'm going to make a circle or half circle skirt for the International Anna Party!)... maybe!
Elvy is two years old and good friends now with my Felix (he’s 3 in September), and they’re a good match for personality and energy. Now they’re in little school together (a French run, English & Mandarin speaking kinder-type centre) they’re very fond of each other, and I’m happy because I quite adore Olivia, Elvy’s mum! Olivia is a photographer, and you can see her Shanghai blog (and she's part of the Shanghai Bloggers group too!) but find her photo collections here.
The fabric came from the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market, but since I returned there last week, the whole shop is different. Plus the woman sold me some fabric with lots of imperfections - luckily this panda one is ok - so I don't really want to link to her shop! For testing this pattern, I am not under any obligation to blog by Lily Sage & Co and opinions here are entirely my own. Debbie gave me the pattern to test for free, and has sent through the updated version that you can now find in her shop. Happy Weekend to you guys! xoxo