Pattern Review: Fons en Sien Dress from WISJ

Pattern Review Title CardOnce upon a time, sewing for my daughter was a dream. The projects were quick and satisfying, they were always cute, and best of all, she always wore them without complaint! Now that my daughter is 4, however, she has opinions on what she wears...so, so many opinions. Suddenly, sewing for my daughter is, shall we say, a gamble.

When we got the Evelyckan Organic Jersey into the shop I immediately knew that I wanted to make something for my daughter out of the Leopard print. I figured it was a no-brainer since it's pink - her favourite colour (turns out it's the wrong pink, but we'll get to that) - and it has animals on it. Also, she straight up told me she loved the fabric. I waffled between making a romper and a dress, but ultimately settled on a dress because that's what she asked me to make her. How could I possibly lose, right?

I scoured the internet for a super simple dress pattern without buttons or embellishments, which proved surprisingly difficult to find, until I finally landed on the Fons En Sien Dress - a free pattern from Dutch Sewing Blog and Pattern maker WISJ Design. If I'm being honest, I'm always a little leery of free patterns, but due to the simplicity of the dress, I figured I couldn't run into too much trouble. Overall it was a very easy dress to sew, but it was not without a few minor (very minor, depending on your skill level) challenges.

Diptych of daughter wearing Sien Dress

The first challenge I encountered was the lack of seam allowances. For some this may not be a big deal, but could potentially be off-putting for a beginner. I've personally never had to add my own seam allowances before, but again, due to the relative simplicity of the pattern, it was a fairly easy process and only required a straight ruler and a chalk pencil.

The second challenge with this pattern was the minimal instructions. I have become accustomed to receiving very detailed instructions with my sewing patterns, so while the bare bones instructions of this pattern were mostly sufficient to get the job done, a few more details would have been nice. I also think that some things may have been lost in translation from the original Dutch instructions. But again, a very minor complaint.

In the end, the biggest challenge I encountered, however, was not in sewing the dress, but in getting my 4 daughter to wear it. I finished it just in time for her picture day, but she flat out refused to wear it claiming that it was now the wrong shade of pink. It took over a week, a lot of cajoling, and a little bit of bribing to finally get her to put it on. I think it's safe to say the last photo accurately captures her true feelings on the matter.

Overall, I really do love this pattern. It was a quick and easy sew, and the result is a cute easy-wearing dress. 

unimpressed 4 year old wearing Sien DressPattern Pros:

  • Free
  • Super quick sew
  • Good pattern for (confident) beginners

Pattern Cons: 

  • No seam allowances
  • Somewhat minimal instructions
  • No pockets

Difficulty Level: Confident Beginner (due to minimal instructions)

Overall Rating: 8/10


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