Pattern Review: Town Square Dress
I consider myself a pretty thrifty person, so I love a good up-cycle/repurposing project. (Check out my post on turning an old college hoodie into a new, raglan hoodie. Today I’m reviewing a New Horizon Design pattern that is great for repurposing and on trend with the peplums that are popping up everywhere! The Town Square Dress/Top was released when New Horizon Designs was called Terra’s Treasures, so it’s been around for a while. However, I only discovered it about a month ago when creating my Belle Dress Hack so I thought I’d write up a review.
The Town Square Dress/Top has dolman style sleeves and options for a regular shirt, a banded shirt, a shirt with a flounce, and a dress with double ruffles. I made two versions of the pattern for a shirt with a flounce at the bottom. The black and white dot shirt is repurposed from a sweater of mine that REALLY did not fit my shoulders. And I chopped up some tops that didn’t work out (like this one) for the blue dot top.
For the most part, I’m really happy with how this fits. It’s not skin tight, but it is definitely slim fitting. And it seems to run a little long-somewhere in between shirt and tunic. Generally, I like that for my kids because it covers their bellies better and lets them wear the garments longer.
I find the neckline on this black and white dot version widens as it is worn. I suspect it’s the sweater I repurposed. Nut#2 hasn’t worn the blue one much so I don’t have a good comparison. Nut#2 also isn’t crazy about all of the seams across her chest. Actually, she threw a bit of a tantrum and complained the neckline was too low and made her look like she had woman parts! (I was rolling my eyes because that wasn’t true. But she was having a hard time communicating exactly what bothered her.) Nut#2 also doesn’t like the feel of the fabric bunching under her arm-but that’s just kinda how dolmans are. She hasn’t worn very many dolmans so that style is still in the ‘new and uncomfortable’ category..
Additionally, the neckline gets a slight bubble across the front center right underneath the neckband. I think the neckband is flattening out the upper curve of the bodice as it stretches to span the neck width. Next time I will flatten the top curve of the bodice and see if it fixes that bubble.
This is the first garment I’ve made my daughter without blending sizes! It was pretty nice! The black and white top doesn’t have any adjustments to the pattern whatsoever.
However, I did make some changes for the blue top. I merged some pattern pieces together to eliminate the trim piece based off my daughter’s preferences. My serger was getting serviced when I made these, so she might not have been so bothered if the seams were finished off nicely, but who knows. This child is picky about how clothes feel and generally does not like ‘new’ feels. After she wears them a while and gets use to them, she is fine. Still, if you have a child sensitive about how clothing feels, you should think about adjusting to avoid those seams.
Essentially, I took out the trim piece by merging the side bodices to the main pieces and then the trim piece on top. Then in the back I also added the top bodice piece so there is just one back bodice piece.
Last, I shortened the shirt an inch and made the ruffle at the bottom a half circle instead of a full circle.
Peplums seem to be all the rage right now and the Town Square Dress/Top fits right in with the trend. Although this peplum is a drop waist peplum, I find it sweet and appropriate for little girls. I love the color blocking, especially on the sides, and the ability to repurpose clothing to make the shirt.
At the same time, I’m not sure I love the trim. It looks super cute on some of the tester versions and odd on others. Personally, I think it looks odd on my black and white version. Perhaps having the neck band and the trim out of the same color throws it off for me. Or perhaps my daughter’s aversion to how it feels has turned me off subconsciously.
My favorite version is the blue dot top. I’m really digging the slight flair of the half circle skirt! Can’t wait for the weather to warm up so she can wear it!
For the most part, I like this pattern. The grading is logical, the pieces fit together well, and it is unique. With a few tweaks for some preferences, I think it’s a pattern that I will use over and over. I’ve already used the pattern to make the Live Action Belle Dress out of knit for dressing up and Nut#2 has been wearing that around a lot.
If you’d like to give the Town Square Dress/Top a try, you can purchase it at New Horizon Designs.
- Pattern: Town Square Dress/Tee
- Designer: New Horizons (Terra’s Treasures)
- Style: Slim Dolman Tee with colorblocking
- Fabric: Knit
- Size Range: 6-12M to 14
- Size made: 6
- Lengths: 3- Shirt, Ruffle/Banded Shirt, Dress
- Sleeve lengths: 2-Short and Long
- Sleeves cut on Fold: Yes
- Alterations/Hacks: Black and White version, No. Blue Dot, Yes-Shortened 1 inch, half circle flounce, merged color blocked pattern pieces to be one pattern piece.
- Clear Instructions: Easy to follow with illustrations
- Seam Allowance: 3/8″
- Layers: yes
- Trimless: No-but I prefer this because the pages line up better
- Dislikes or desired changes? I find the curve at the neckline is too much-it ends up flattening out because of the top band and then creating a bubble at the neckline,
- Sew again? Yes-It’s great for repurposing and using up small pieces of fabric
- Would you recommend it to others? Yes
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. This helps fund fabric for testing and reviewing patterns, and paying down student loans for my husband’s training. Additionally, I received this pattern for free for reviewing and hacking purposes. Regardless, I only recommend what I believe is quality.