By Amy Mayen
If you don’t want all the nitty gritty details, scroll to the bottom for a short summary.
Have you been lusting for the Scirocco pattern by Figgys?
I haven’t worked with PDF patterns, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that no brain surgery was required to tape it together though. It was really easy!
I’m not thrilled about printing it each time I need it, or about transferring it to pattern paper- but I love the instant gratification of click, print, sew. Plus I feel good supporting independent designers.
The Scirocco runs size 18 months to 8/9. The stand out feature is a twist across the shoulder blades, and an adorable open back.
The front bodice a has a really cute embellishment technique.
You start by sewing a 1/2 straight seam down the center front. The bodice is cut on fold, so when you stitch it wrong sides together, then press it flat, you get this nice placket thingy. You can tuck lace, ric-rac, piping, ruffles, or whatever odds and ends you have under the sides.
I went with ric-rac. I love the half exposed look. By the way, this was my favorite part of making the dress. I pulled out every scrap of embellishments I have in the massive stash- it was sensory overload. There are so many cute options here.
This pattern is listed as advanced beginner. I think it’s an extremely fair assessment. I didn’t have any trouble sewing it up, but I admit I had to read the instructions for the bodice a few times. I had to lay it out and pin to make sure I had it right. And then unpin and pin again.
I liked it because the pattern says, “here’s the trick to the bodice”. Kinda like,” Pay attention. If you mess up this will be where.”
The instructions use the method where you pull the lining through the bodice and stitch in layers, so there are no seam allowances inside. I’ve tried to figure out how to do it on my own and not had luck. Also, I’ve tried using this method with commercial pattern instructions and ended up wanting to punch someone in the face. Mission accomplished on Scirocco, and I love the finish. The way it sews up, it feels like an expensive dress. You won’t find a lot of ready to wear constructed so beautifully.
Now, I should tell you- and this is the most important part of the review if you plan to sew the Scirocco dress-
IT’S WAY TOO SHORT!
I’m not sure if this is a common thing among PDF designs, but I could easily add 5″ or more to the size 8. I put it on Bella, the size 8 bodice fits perfectly on a size 8 child. But the skirt will need length added to the lining, bottom stay, and all 3 flounces. (Although, I hear the length is fine in the size 5T. See comments. )
I had to get a shorter model to show you guys this dress. Meet Maris! Isn’t she a gem?
( Maris is about a size 6 slim. Since I made a size 8, the bodice had to be pinned in on both side seams by an inch. The gaping you see around the neck, bodice back, & armholes is nonexistent when Bella wore it. )
Again, it just needs to be lengthened, a lot. I haven’t made the smaller sizes yet, they may be more proportionate.
The good news is this pattern is easily frankensteined though. The bodice will easily interchange with any elastic waist skirt or shorts. You would need a flat front, with elastic only in back for it to work.
I really like the fact that there are no buttons, ties or zippers. Girls can easily dress themselves wearing Scirocco, and that the dress is fully lined- so no need for surging. (I did surge my hems before folding over and stitching in place, but if you fold over 2x, there’s no need. )
Skill level: advanced beginner
Beautiful construction with no exposed seam allowances & no serging required
Bodice fit is true to size
Skirt needs A LOT of length added