I was given the opportunity to sew the Carousel pattern from Felicity Sewing Patterns. A two part pattern, Carousel contains a vintage styled, princess-paneled sundress, along with a bolero style topper. I had so much fun going through my stash to find coordinating fabrics!
*I was provided with the pattern for the purposes of review, but opinions and words are, as always, my own.*
Even with all the details and precision needed (curved seams) I was able to sew up two dresses as well as coordinating toppers in two nights - the first dress one night, getting used to the pattern, in a couple of hours. The second night I took about 4 hours to sew both toppers and the other dress. It's not a difficult pattern - Stephanie (Felicity Sewing Patterns designer) illustrates each step with clear photos, and the instructions are worded so that a confident beginner would have no trouble.
As far as technique goes, the pattern is suggested for an advanced beginner to intermediate sewist. The Carousel uses bias binding on the topper, and two buttons with buttonholes as well as a small side zipper on the dress.
The hem is finished with a gently ruffled strip. I love the construction method here - you get the pretty soft curves of a ruffle without all that annoying gathering! No extra basting and pulling needed, just piecing and sewing.
All the pattern pieces have grainlines and are clearly marked with any notations and placement points for details. Included also are pieces for a cute little bow, neatly finished, to add interest to the dress. I love the curved seams all over the dress - they really make the shape and flow different and special, and maybe I'm weird here, but curved seams are my favorite to sew!
I hemmed the sleeves on my toppers rather than using bias binding. Initially on the bigger size (I made a 3 and a 6) I came up a little bit short (less than 2 inches), and mentioned it to Stephanie. She was receptive to the feedback, and upon rechecking the total lengths of the bias strips and measurements of the pattern pieces, I did determine that there was sufficient binding for the pieces, and I can only conclude that the error was mine.
I feel the need to mention this for transparency, as anyone can see that the sleeves in the pattern listing photos are bias bound and mine are not! When I make another topper, I will be checking (and I suggest you pay close attention to) seam allowances and how much you trim from the bias binding when connecting ends!