Read more below about how to convert the Izzy top into these lovely and easy to wear dresses.
Readers may remember that I made a couple of Izzy tops about a year ago. They were both intended to be used as PJ tops - read more here. In the event, Jane was so taken with hers that it became a favoured day-time top, so much so that she's still loving wearing it as a shorter top this year.
Age 2 Age 3
However, I found one small problem with the free pattern, which you can see some evidence of here in the two photos above. There is a back opening on the Izzy top, but it only goes down to the yoke seam. So I had to use a 'too big' version.
Although the back opening makes it easy enough to get the top over the child's head, we seem to have rather broad shoulders in our family, and the size 3T I made originally for Fleur was too much of a struggle to get on (and Fleur rejects any clothes that are a struggle, so that top went immediately to her younger cousin Jane). You can see above that the age 3 version is perhaps a bit broad round the neckline for Jane aged 2, but at least it would go on. (One or two comments on the Izzy top on the Climbing the Willow website suggest other people may have had the same issue of sizing.)
So I made the same thing a size bigger (i.e. 4T) for Fleur, and she was happy with that. It fits her well.
Here are the two tops side by side: age 4 and age 3.
So this year, planning to make dresses out of the pattern by just making the skirt part longer, I thought hard about this issue. And I decided I would extend the back opening BELOW the yoke, to enable the dress to pass over the shoulders more easily. This meant I could make the dresses in the pattern sizes that were pretty much supposed to fit them, without having to go up to a bigger size to get the dresses on them. You can read all about how to do this in my post on the subject. What it means is that you need to put a seam down the centre back.
And here are some pictures of the results.
Front view of size 5 version, for Fleur (now 3 and a half but very tall for her age)
In the back view below, you see I added two tabs for closure, as opposed to the one on the original Izzy top. And you may be able to see the centre back seam and deeper opening.
This view of the inside does show the continuation of the back opening below the yoke.
It's always so hard to catch Fleur relatively stationary - here's the best I can do. Apart from the back view at the top of the post.
Front and back of Jane's Izzy dress, the size 4 version (she's 3 and a half now):
(Sorry about the Christmas wobbly hair band - she loves it, and would happily wear it all year round. Anyway, it matches!)