Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Portrait versus Molly

On my last post, I received this great question from Emily….

“I really like the dresses I have seen with your new Molly pattern. How is this one different from your Portrait Peasant pattern? Is it that the new one has elastic in the waist? Couldn't you put elastic in the Portrait Peasant? I love all your patterns. Keep them coming!

Thank you Emily! I myself have pondered “I have a peasant pattern out there, why on earth do another???” Well, the truth is that there are so many variations on the classic peasant, that one could do a thousand incarnations and still have a really unique design :) . This new peasant was dreamed up by fabric designer Jennifer Paganelli, and her flair really comes through in the styling. I really love both designs, and see them as distinct “cousins” of one another. I’ll compare and contrast for you…

The Portrait Peasant and the Molly Peasant are both traditional peasants in that they have elasticized necklines and arm openings. They are both very easy to put together, are empire-waisted, and come in a range of skirt lengths. They can both be made casual or formal depending on your fabric choices, embellishments, etc.

Style – This is of first and foremost importance, I think. The Portrait Peasant is very full and flowing…a very dreamy underdress or nightgown that can add substance to another creation. It can also stand alone, very princess-like. The Molly is more of a fitted peasant, and gives a dainty silhouette that is very hip and “now.”

Sleeves - Portrait Peasant has patterns and instructions for the whole range of sleeve lengths from cap to full length…but so does Molly! With the Portrait, you can add a cute bit of extra ruffle at the neckline and sleeve opening. Molly has a really awesome bell-sleeved option (which the Portrait does not).

Bodice – The Portrait Peasant’s front and back are cut from the same pattern piece, giving a relatively uniform neckline. The Molly has separate front and back pieces, which give a very sweet shape to the neckline. It is not low-cut by any means, just very delicate and flattering. Portrait Peasant has a loose, “babydoll” fit at the empire waistline, and Molly is elasticized for a fitted, yet comfortable look. You could put elastic in the waist of the Portrait Peasant, but the full skirt would make for a very bulky waistline. A better alternative might be to add a bit of shirring to the waistline of the elongated option

Skirt – The Portrait Peasant’s skirt is very full, and can have one or more ruffles. The Molly has more of an A-line type skirt, and is a great canvas for applique, embroidery, and/or your choice of trim.

Size Range – The Portrait Peasant is more “little girly” and only goes up to a size 8. The Molly is a great style for tots to tweens, and goes up to size 11/12. And for the teen and grown-up girl sizes, we have the Meghan Peasant which has very similar styling and all of the same great sleeve and length options.

In summary, the styles are different enough to justify owning both patterns :) . Both are loaded with tips and tricks to make for an easy, fun sewing experience. Between the two of them, you can make a peasant to suit all tastes and occasions. Check out these great side-by-side pictures from our Flickr Group...thanks so much to Jeanne for sharing!



HeatherSue said...

I love having both patterns! You did a great job of explaining the differences. Adorable pictures!!!

cupcake studio said...

Your patterns are great! They make me wish I had a little girl :)

Mindy said...

Great explanation Carla! They are both definately worth having! Adorable pics!:)

Amanda said...

Love your patterns. The darling girls in those pics are so cute... and I WANT HER BOOTS!!! Where did you get them? ***sigh***

Cathy said...

I love the great explanation of both patterns. They are definately distinctly different and worth owning!!!

That little girl in the pic is just adorable...I wanna eat her up!! :) Such cute outfits and boots!!!

Jeanne said...

I love having both patterns, definitely different! Now that my tween has outgrown the Portrait Peasant pattern it is fun to have the more fitted look of the Molly.

And I can't believe how much my baby girl has grown in those two pictures! Ack!

Stephanie said...

I agree, both are great patterns to have. Thanks for explaining the differences!

Tom said...

Thank you so much for explaining the differences! I love both of these patterns, and now that my little one is growing up, the Molly and Meghan will grow up with her!

Emily said...


Thanks for such a detailed response to my question. I can see now that I definately need both patterns. I'm ordering it today.

Aimee said...

Lily is a complete doll! I love the comparison of the dresses. I think the Molly is on my list now. It looks like it would be a wonderful dress for Kindergarten.