(hehehe, how about that cute little tan line peeking out?!?!)
I tested the dress in a size 4 (the dress option has since been lengthened.) I love a good A-line and can't wait to make some leggings to go with this. It's going to be a fantastic late summer/early fall piece! I love the shape of it and it's great for mixing a few bold patterns/colors but still keeping the over-all look clean and simple.
Now, I thought maybe I'd compare and contrast this piece with the Soleil pattern because I had someone ask me about them earlier today. First off, they are, over-all, VERY different patterns.
The Soleil has a high bodice with a gathered skirt and pockets. The opening in the back is a different shape and has binding around it as well as being lower in the back. It doesn't have sleeves. VERY DIFFERENT. If you're not someone that is comfortable altering patterns then I'd say, buy both! Or if you don't have a knit skirt pattern, or any other number of things.
Those things said, the friend that asked me IS comfortable altering things and DOES already have knit shorts/capris/skirt patterns and she only wanted to buy one pattern. So, for me, I said I'd buy the Cartwheel Collection because then you can use the bodice and mash it with ANY kind of skirt you want (twirl skirt, ruffles, the sky's the limit) without having to modify it.
With the Soleil, you have to modify the top to even be able to make the bodice of a regular dress. This is a big thing for us because we upcycle 99% of the time.
I also told her that the Cartwheel collection is a faster sew. You just press and hem the opening, stitch the back top and back bottom together and boom! You're ready to rock and roll with the rest of your design. The Soleil takes a lot longer because you have to cut and press your binding, bind it all, top stitch half of it, lay the pieces down NEXT TO the front piece to figure out where they need to be placed on each other, pin, top stitch the other half (this stitches the back top and back bottom together at the same time) and THEN you're ready to move on with the rest of your dress.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love the Soleil dress and I've made several and will be making more...but I won't be using it as the bodice for most of my upcycles. I'll just be using it when I want that whole dress. The Cartwheel collection has won my heart for an open back for regular upcycles! :)
And how cute are those shorts?!?! Grace loves the knit waist band too.