Five and Ten Designs Dress – Pattern Review

I’ve already showed you some dresses I made from the Five and Ten Designs ebook Vol. III. The first dresses were from look #5

…and these are from look #4. You would never guess they are from the same pattern would you?

I used Cotton and Steele Bespoke Double Guaze for a soft, warm and carefree style.

Five and Ten Designs is a fabulous children’s pattern idea. You purchase one basic pattern and five designers each come up with two variations to make ten in total. Volume three’s basic pattern is an A-line dress that includes sleeves. For look #4 the designer provides excellent step by step instructions with high resolution pictures on how to add the drop waist, gathered skirt, fully lined bodice, reversible cuffs and back zipper.  It’s amazing because after you finish the dress you feel like you can alter any pattern to make whatever you want! You can apply all these techniques to an adult A-line dress pattern if you want. It’s an excellent teaching tool for any level maker. A beginner can take the first pattern and then work up from there one step at a time adding more tricks to their trade.

I just love the back zipper on this dress. I used what I had, so one matches and one has a bold contrasting color with metal teeth. I generally buy my zippers from Zipit on Etsy.

The fold over sleeve cuffs were exciting to see come together. I couldn’t tell from the model pictures what it would look like so I was pleasantly surprised with this detail. They add a simple classy touch with no buttons, and it gives your creativity room to work with wonderful contrasting or coordinating fabrics.

One thing I’ve determined is that the pattern runs really wide. The pattern skips sizes, jumping through 12 month, 18 month, 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10. Since my daughter normally wears a 3T I sized up to the 4 on the look #5 and it was huge! I made another in size 2 and it was still huge as you can see in the picture of look #5 above. Her width measurements fit the 12-18mo. size on the chart that came with the pattern and her length fit the 2, but I couldn’t justify sizing down that far when she wears a 3T in ready to wear. I continued disbelieving when I made look #4 so that also fit her like an enormous frumpy bag. The 12 month size I made for my younger daughter was also huge. It took a simple temporary fix to baste in the sides on the inside of the garment for this year and for these pictures (I took in 4″ total). Now I should get another year out of it. Yay! If I ever attempt these again I will size down about 4 sizes and increase the length.

I just love how feminine and playful this look is! My daughter realized she was on camera and voluntarily posed against the wall like this.  Oh dear….

Another thing with volume three is that it is still pretty new. I went ahead and bought it even though there weren’t any established reviews and in complete honesty I did feel a little like a pattern tester. The mistakes weren’t too difficult to notice, but there were quite a few, and I did have to stop and think about them for a while before deciding to go with my gut. One that I didn’t notice in time was that look #4 tells you to cut the back bodice on the fold and cut two of the front bodice. Obviously you want to flip those if you want the zipper to be in the back. But if you are just cutting away and following instructions like I did with the spark mustard dress then you will end up with a really high neckline. So be aware of that one for sure, easy fix if you know about it!

Normally I wouldn’t mention the mistakes and instead just drop a line to the designer, but in this case I’ve made several attempts to point these out to the designer and haven’t heard back, so I must give fair warning. I will definitely update this post if I learn the corrections have been made. I really like the idea behind this pattern. It is an excellent teaching tool and a money saver. It just seems as though it never went through a testing phase before being released.

The things you will learn and the confidence you will build as a sewer are a tremendous asset that this ebook has to offer.

Photo credit Little Victories Photography.

*I paid for this pattern myself and am receiving no compensation for my honest review. As usual, all opinions are my own.

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