When Marte from Compagnie M asked me to test her new pattern, I was all over it. I knew I didn’t have much time because of the whole sewing competition, but I’ve tested for her a few times now and I just love her patterns, they are so sweet! When I saw the style of this particular dress, though, I was so excited and knew I had to make room in my schedule! The Ileana Dress is AWESOME.
The Ileana dress is a vintage style pattern with a fully lined fitted bodice with an invisible zipper closure combined with a full or half circular skirt. You can choose between a raglan or regular bodice, three pockets, four collar and three faux button placket options. If you have her other patterns the Louisa dress, the Mara blouse or the Lotta dress you can mix and match all the sleeves and skirts and pockets. One of the pattern testers did the math and figured there were over 896 unique combinations that could be sewn with just this pattern!! Crazy!!
But the fact that you can have either a raglan bodice or a regular bodice really means you are getting 2 very different dress patterns in one, which is amazing.
When I first tested the pattern, we realized the bodice was a bit too big (Marte adjusted the pattern around so it is great now! This is why testing is so important, to make sure everything is perfect!) So I sewed another dress with the new dimensions while in New Jersey with my family. I didn’t want to be cooped up in the house sewing, so I brought the machine outside and hung out with everyone and watched the kiddos swim. Sewing outside is AWESOME!
Millie’s measurements put her at a size 5, but she is very tall so I cut the dress at a length for size 7. This is one of the reasons I love sewing! Most people don’t fit into just one size all around, you can mix and match and customize to whoever you are sewing for to make it absolutely perfect.
With this version, I sewed up a very stripped down and simple version of the dress. Regular bodice, no sleeves. I left out the button placket, used the sweet rounded peter pan collar, and did a full circle skirt. This pattern comes together surprisingly quickly!! I traced the pattern, cut it out and sewed it all in just one afternoon! With distractions!
Millie picked this fabric out and when I finished it she was SO HAPPY and put it on immediately. She is a huge fan of fancy dresses and this dress is no exception. That red makes it look SO formal, I love it! The full circle skirt makes it super twirly and fun, and what little girl doesn’t like to twirl her skirt around? Love it.
The hem of the skirt is finished with bias tape, which I find to be SO MUCH EASIER than trying to press up and hem the vast circumference of the circle. It also makes it look very clean and nice:)
I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of Millie at the bay beach down the road from my parent’s shore house. The sun was setting and it was so gorgeous out there! She didn’t want to get in the water anyway so wearing a dress was totally perfect. I love how wearing this pretty little number didn’t stop her from playing in the sand. I was laughing at how funny the setting was, I feel like this dress should be worn to a wedding or something, lol!
Honestly, I feel like I’m always searching around for a dress like this and Marte nailed it. I’ll be making many more of these, I’m quite sure it will be a go to pattern for me since it is such a classic style with so many different options.
There is a 10% discount code that is valid until August 11 if you want to snatch it up in her shop. It is available in both PDF and printed, which is awesome. The code is ILEANA10
Even though the original version I sewed is a bit too big, Millie adores it and she has had many compliments on it anyway. I’m going to try to get some photos and blog about it next week :)