Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Briabaloo: a pinafore dress

Recently I was approached by the lovely Eluned of Sewabaloo to review her Briabaloo, a digital pattern for a girl's shirt dress, pinafore and peplum top in sizes 1-12. The pattern looked very sweet, and I love nothing better than an excuse to sew a pretty dress, so I jumped at the chance!

I made the 'pinafore', which is a sleeveless dress with a gathered waist, in-seam pockets and buttons down the front. I really liked the look of the peplum top's collar, though, so I cut out the pieces for that too, and sewed it with some piping. It was easy to add the collar to the dress and I love the way it looks. The fabric is blue linen from Kim Anh Fabrics.

I'm so happy with the fit of this dress. As the pattern promises, it's loose-fitting with room to grow, but the gathered waist and additional ties at the back (which I somehow managed to stuff up - the casings are meant to sit right on the waistline) give it shape. The pockets are nice and deep for collecting treasures and the construction is beautifully thought-out and detailed, with neck, armhole and hem facings making the finished garment very professional-looking.

Briabaloo isn't what I would call a quick sew, like some of my Japanese patterns with very few pieces, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making the dress and seeing how lovely the finished product looks on R. Eluned's pattern instructions are absolutely superb, with clear illustrations and very well-explained steps to guide you. This is easily the most detailed and professional digital pattern I've come across from a small independent designer. Also, the pattern PDF includes layers, allowing you to print out the size you want, which makes cutting out the pieces so much easier. For my little beanpole I made a size 4 with size 6 length and the fit is just right.

Check out R's vampire teeth in the photo below! I was so glad I got a picture of them, because right after I did, one of those wobbly teeth fell out. Now she just looks like a one-fanged vampire.

As well as the Briabaloo, Eluned has a cool kids' animal costume pattern, and her blog is worth following for the sewing tips and tutorials she posts. She recently blogged a fabulous Christmas sewing wish-list, which should be essential reading for partners of sewing enthusiasts (if my husband is reading this, he should check out this link!). Thanks, Eluned, for the chance to try out your pattern. I couldn't be happier with the result.


  1. It is a lovely dress. I really like the lines of the pattern, but I also really love your fabric choices. Your daughter looks beautiful in it (and I love her hair!).

    1. Thanks Masha! But oh, the hair - it's the cause of so much conflict. I like long hair, but R's is insanely tangly and she's not very cooperative when it comes to washing and brushing. I'm really hoping she'll let me cut it sometime soon!