The Lee Dress for Princess Charlotte
The Children’s Corner Lee dress is perfect for a Princess Charlotte pattern hack.
Children’s Corner patterns have been around for quite a while . The decades of experience is evident in the quality of the pattern.
There are a lot of long-time Children’s Corner fans in the heirloom sewing community. One attraction is that multiple sizes are included in the pattern and the sizes are not nested. You can make an endless number of garments in various sizes without tracing off the pattern. This is a big plus for those who make a business of sewing heirloom children’s wear.
After sewing the Lee pattern I understand the attachment. Now I’ve made three of them!
Perhaps Not the Best Choice for Beginners
Beginner sewists may want to try the Lucy sundress/jumper, the Louise dress or stick with view B for the Lee dress. Children’s Corner says the experience level required for Lee pattern view A is expert. I agree with that , with one caveat: there is so much information in the instructions that an intermediate sewist could manage this pattern just fine with a little extra Youtubing to learn smocking techniques.
The instructions are very detailed and informative. There is a comprehensive glossary of terms and a full page of basic smocking instructions.
The pattern pieces fit together beautifully and the finished garment is fantastic.
Two minuses I noted were the lack of notches to indicate the front and back of the sleeve and armscye and the lack of an indication of center front or center back on the bodice pieces.
Pattern View A
For my first attempt, I made view A with the smocking in size 24 months, but I revised the neckline because I wanted to copy those cute little dresses that Princess Charlotte wears. Here’s the pattern hack if you’re interested in making your own Princess Charlotte dress: Instead of the Peter Pan collar, cut a strip of fabric two inches wide. The length will depend on the size you are making. For size 24 months I cut a strip 13″ long. Sew each end with right sides together . Turn right side out and fold the strip in half with wrong sides together and gather the raw edge to make a ruffle. Baste the ruffle to the neck edge and finish with bias binding.
No Wonder Tape? No Problem.
The pattern instructions call for Wonder Tape to attach the piping and yoke. Wonder Tape is a great time saver! However, if you don’t have any, you can hand basted the piping to the yoke and then hand baste the yoke to the skirt.
What I Learned
If you’re used to sewing with a 5/8″ seam, the 1/4″ seams may take a little getting used to. With 1/4″ seams, make sure you aren’t using a zigzag needle plate in your sewing machine. Switch to your straight stitch needle plate. This prevents the edge of the fabric from getting sucked into the hole in the needle plate. When the seam allowance is only 1/4″, the edge of the fabric is right on that hole instead of to the left of it.
Another thing that I did differently the second time I made this dress is that I added a strip of interfacing to the center back where the button holes and buttons go to prevent the fabric from puckering.
Want To Try It?
If you’re interested in trying out this pattern, I have put together a kit with everything you need…yes everything! Even the Wonder Tape! Get it here! Or you can buy the pattern and choose your own fabric. Happy sewing!