KCW Day One: Soleil Dress and a Giveaway

Welcome to Kids Clothes Week! It seems I have two non-paying jobs at the moment – that of mum and of pattern tester. But I love it and how could I not – I mean just look at these amazing indie sewing pattern designers producing seriously impressive, innovative yet user friendly patterns. Today’s designer is no exception, she’s a blogger, pattern designer and she is also the brains behind the Pattern Workshop e-course helping others reach their dreams of releasing patterns for sale. I’m talking of course about Lauren Dahl of Selvage Designs.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in the testing of Lauren’s debut sewing pattern, the Soleil Dress. Yes I sewed this during testing last week, but Lauren is releasing the pattern today – so here it is! Take a look:

soleil 1


The Soleil Dress is a straightforward knit dress with front pocket detail and a gathered skirt. There are no closures to battle with, the dress slips over the head just as a t-shirt would. You’ll notice that Miss. A loves those pockets, she loves to walk around with her hands inside.




Lauren’s step by step tutorial is impeccable – there are both diagrammatical and written instructions which I like. This is a really straightforward project that a beginner could easily achieve. This dress will definitely become a staple in Miss. A’s wardrobe and as the weather cools down here in Australia, a cardigan and some leggings will extend the wearing season.

The dress also comes with an open back option for added interest and I’m tempted to try this version next. Truth be told, this is the second Soleil dress that I made. The fabric I used (I don’t know exactly what it is but it’s like a cross between a knit and sweatshirt fabric – it’s not fleecy but has the weight of sweatshirt fabric) has a lot of stretch in it so I thought I would reverse the fabric for the bindings. I loved the look of it, but unfortunately I misjudged just how stretchy the fabric is because the dress would not go over her head 😦 Miss A was devastated, so quickly added a placket at the back. Here is version 1:


Cute dress – but not really the done thing to test a pattern and make big design alterations while you are sewing, oops! Hence why she now has two fuchsia knit Soleil dresses. Back to the review:

The good: stylish, fun and quick to sew. Fantastic and thorough instructions that a beginner could easily follow.

The bad: ummm, don’t really have anything to say here. I’m very confident that you will be as impressed as I have been if you sew this pattern.

Will I sew it again? yeh for sure!

Now to the giveaway – Lauren has generously given me one copy of the Soleil Dress pattern to giveaway. Just click on the link below to enter – Good luck!! Or if you can’t wait to see if you’ve won there is a discount code for $2 off until April 11 – just use the code: soleilrelease2


a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Gorgeous! Love the pattern and fabric combo. My 2 year old loves walking around with his hands in his pockets too, i feel guilty when he is wearing a pair of the quick elastic waist shorts i made him without any pockets and he looks down wondering where they are!

  2. I love that fabric so much!! I’d love to see the back of the first dress too πŸ˜‰ That would be fabulous option that would open it up to many more fabrics! O loved the pockets too, but she’s not very ladylike in the way she waves her arms around when she has her hands in them, ahem… Legging under all dresses, all the time πŸ˜‰

    1. ha ha, yes I can relate to small children showing their undies off everywhere πŸ™‚ I was thinking of writing a tutorial for how to add a placket when you make the neck too small, so the back of that dress may make an appearance soon πŸ™‚

  3. Ooh…Renee I love it! This is the first soleil that I have seen without the open back, and I really like it this way! Super cute!

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