Duchess and Hare's latest pattern, the U-Turn dress

When Bernadette issued a testing call for this new dress, it was so lovely, that I agreed to test it out even before I showed it to my daughter. This could have been a totally fatal flaw, but as it turned out, even Miss Fussy Pants liked the design! This is the U-Turn dress.



I tested out several variations of the non-reversible, round neckline dress, from the very first version to making up a muslin of the final pattern. I won't bore you with all the muslin fit pics.... most are of a very grumpy unkempt looking child! The bodice can be made with either a round or square neckline, and can be adorned with ruffles (either single layer or lined) or not. Although I didn't try it out, the dress can be made fully reversible.

My first dress was made up in a mashed age 4 width with age 6 height. The waistband was originally darted to give it shape, but in the end, this caused far more problems than the darts fixed, so this was the first version change.



I chose the vintage length skirt, with lined ruffles on the bodice for my first dress, as per Little Miss Fussy Pant's directions. The dress has three skirt lengths to chose from, vintage, ruffled and basic. The vintage length skirt should hit 2/3 of the way to the knee.



This first version came out a bit too vintage length and would require shorts or bloomers underneath for most (not my girl, she doesn't care!), so that was another change to be marked down for the final version. My girl could happily twirl and spin all day long on the beach in dresses like this!



And on to the back, the back is the one bit of this pattern that I adore the most. The shape is just wonderful. The back gently curves down each side, and when crossed over creates a wonderful soft v-shape.



The dress wraps over at the back, secures on the waistband with snaps (or buttons if you prefer). Don't be worried about an 'open' back skirt, the wrap over is large enough that even the strongest gust of wind won't deem the dress inappropriate.



I used a plain yellow cotton poplin for my bodice and waistband, and paired it with the bright floral, Floating World - Hiroshige by Snow Leopard Designs. This is quilting cotton and has a good weight to it, I would only use this on the non-reversible dress version, it would be too heavy in the reversible option.



My second version uses the final pattern, so it has a lengthened bodice, a straight fully enclosed waistband, and for this version, I chose the skirt ruffle too (again on Little Miss Fussy Pant's request). This was an age 6 bodice and skirt, and age 4 width waistband. I wished I'd gone for the age 6 waist which was Bernadette's suggestion, but I thought I knew better... however, I will now be unpicking the waistband and fiddling around letting out the seam allowances to make it fit for more than a few weeks!



We were at the beach again! You'd think this was the same day, but no, it was about two weeks apart in some very unprecedented warm weather that graced our patch of Cornwall.



This version has more ease in the waistband and a longer length, fitting more gently into the natural waist, and the ruffle skirt giving a bit of growing room in the length. This ruffle length skirt and the basic skirt both fall just above the knee.



This final version gives an even more stunning shape to the back!



Since these pictures, I have unpicked my original dress and replaced the first darted waistband with the new updated version. I haven't yet got pictures as my daughter has clearly had some sort of growth spurt and now the waist is simply too tight in the size I made it!

The U-Turn dress will be on special release price until midnight (PDT) Sunday 20th May. Why not join the Duchess and Hare pattern group on Facebook to check out all the other versions?!

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*Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission (the price stays the same for you) which will help me in the future to buy more patterns to share them with you!*

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