I had the pleasure of trying out a new pattern brand this week: Olive Ann Designs. I made her Urban Princess pattern in both girl size 8 and 18" doll size.
Fourth Corner Quilts, carries this brand and the owner asked me to make her a sample of each. I chose to use Jennifer Paganelli's new fabric, Lucky Girl. I decided to go with Jill in Sky and Emma in Navy. Here's what I made:
This pattern is for sizes 2 thru 8 and 18" size doll. This is a paper pattern with tissue paper pattern pieces and printed instructions. The directions are moderately simple to follow although there was no mention of finishing seams. A seamstress with any experience would know a variety of seam finishes, however, and I chose to finish mine with my serger. Another seamstress I know also made this pattern and did French seams. The pattern had a few parts I found odd and hard to understand but I usually chalk that kind of thing up to my own extremely logical mind. I often have a hard time understanding directions the first time. This pattern has a unique way of making the shoulders. You make a gathered piece of fabric that you insert into each shoulder seam and sew into place. Never having done that before, it was a tad odd for me. But I think it turned out cute.
I also had a slightly difficult time lining up the triangle piece in back so that there was enough room to do a button and button hole closure. I had to redo placement of the back triangle piece on both the girl and doll versions a few times, pinning and repinning, until I finally got them both placed such that the back closed nicely and the triangle looked cute. That being said, this did not leave enough room on the doll version to do a button closure and allow for the dress to fit over a doll's shoulders. Thus, my doll version closes on one side, all the way down the triangle, with velcro. I happen to prefer velcro on doll clothing, anyway, because it is easier for small hands to manipulate.
The other seamstress I talked with did some interesting horizontal adjusting of her triangle piece to make it fit. It is always so cool to talk to other people who sew to see who does what, why, and how. We both decided this pattern is not good for a beginner because you really must have the skills to adjust it to fit your model. So, I say this pattern is pretty good, I will sew it again, and I recommend it to others who know how to go beyond a pattern and finish and tailor their sewing.
Hope that was helpful!