I must have had this book, Vintage Style for kids by Fiona Bell for well over 3 years. I have had the fabric and everything to make my first project from the book for at least a year. I even had the pattern printed out and cut out. I am pretty sure I had a burst of enthusiasm about a year ago when I watched Great British Sewing Bee. When the new series came around and I realised that I had made one garment in the entire time, enough was enough. Less than 2 weeks ago I bought fabric to make a top for myself and decided I don't want to use any patterns I have, so I was going to go and buy one. I knew I had to make the dress before I could purchase any more patterns or fabric for clothes!
First thing to do - print out a new pattern and stick it together and cut it out in the next size up as my child has already outgrown the old one!
The book has a cd in the back of it which has pdf files of all the patterns. They don't fit together very well at all once you have printed them. There is no layout showing you how to lay out the pattern onto different widths of fabric. The book tells you how much fabric to buy but it is vastly too much which is a real waste of money. It also only gives you one amount to buy for each item, so you buy the same amount to make a garment for a 7 to 8 year old as for a 24 month old! It is obvious that in publishing the book no one made up the designs and actually printed out the patterns stuck them together and worked out how much fabric or layouts.
I have the size 3-4 and the size 5-6 cut out and I am a little concerned that the front bodice pieces are exactly the same size and the skirt appears to be the same waste size for both, but just longer for the size 7-8. There is a separate pdf for each size on the cd instead of having them all printed on one showing how they get bigger like on normal patterns. As they never cut these out this worries me.
The first piece I have to work on is the front bodice which contains the pin tucks. The pattern piece is the size it needs to be after you have made 8 pin tucks in it. I can see that it would be helpful to have a pattern piece of the size the front bodice needs to be with the pin tucks so it is the right size, but I also need to cut it from fabric so I think I need what the pattern piece I cut needs to be like more. Luckily I read the book reviews for this book on amazon (after buying the book) before I cut out any of the patterns in fabric. I can see why people might be upset about that. So I just made my pieces much much longer so I can put the tucks in and still have it the right size.
In the photos of the finished dress in the book and the illustrations of how the dress goes together the pin tucks are shown going are towards the shoulder and are in the yoke seam. However, the pattern shows them only up to where the yoke joins. This is another indication they never made the garment using the supplied pattern.
Other things wrong with the pattern included that the sash was far too wide and after I had made and attached it I had to remove it and make it thinner. Also, the size 5-6 dress is very small. It only just goes on my 4 and a quarter year old! Looks like she'll will be wearing it every other day until she grows out of it!