I’ve been slowly taking shirts out of my daughter’s closet as the sleeves get too short and as I was doing that this week, I wondered what my daughter’s favorite shirt was.  So I asked.  Without hesitation, she said this one.
It’s made of fleece and is very warm.  If it looks similar to this dress I made a few month ago, it’s because this new tunic is made from the Autumn Grace Expansion Pack!  Now when you buy the Autumn Grace Dress, it has dress and tunic lengths, long sleeves and jumper (sleeveless), pockets, a regular neckline, cowl neck, and a hood.
Before I tell more about the expansion, I’m going to just say some things I really like about the Autumn Grace.
The style of the dress really appeals to my daughter.  She likes to be girly and wear dresses and she likes that you can see the flare of the dress really clearly.  I also love that it is fleece.  The weather is currently cold where we live and even inside our house I feel cold because I’m trying to keep the electricity bill low by keeping the thermostat fairly low.
So.  On to a review of the expansion pack.  Some of the expansions are not as value added as others.  The tunic length and the sleeveless options are easily reproduced by hacking the original pattern.  It is nice to already have the length figured out though…
I find the other options a great addition to the pattern.
 The pockets are a new-to-me technique using the front of the shirt/dress as one of the sides of the pocket.  And while you can fairly easily hack patterns to put in your own pockets, it’s nice to have the sizes and positions already figured out for you.  Plus, I’d never done pockets this way before and it can create some fun stitching on the front of the dress.  One of the testers even made raccoons out of the pockets!  It’s absolutely adorable!
The cowl neck is actually what makes this my daughter’s favorite shirt.  When I was pitching the idea of this shirt to her and getting her option about what options to test, I described the cowl as a scarf attached to her shirt.  And she loves it.  I used Ultra Comfy fabric from Joann’s for the cowl so it is just about as snuggly as you can get.  If Pigg#3 were wearing the shirt, he’d be in heaven and probably never ever take it off!  This cowl doesn’t lay quite as well as I would like.  It likes to ride up and become tall.  However, it also was not made from the finalized pattern.  That’s how it goes in testing…you sew the pattern, tweak it, sew sew up the new version, repeat, until the designer gets consistency through the sizes and the fit they are looking for.  The final pattern should lay better but still be a fairly thick cowl.  Pigg#2 likes the height of the cowl because it keeps her neck warm.  I also used Heidi’s twisting technique when making the cowl.

The last option is a hood.  I did not test that option but it looks really fun.  I was torn between testing the cowl and hood, but Pigg#2 voted for the ‘scarf’ so I went with that.  I will probably sew up more of these until some day in the future when we move to a warmer climate.  I just love knowing my kids are warm!