Monday, 13 July 2015

My Advent Calendar by Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Today I shall be taking a look at My Advent Calendar by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. This series includes 6 dresses (3 non-print), a cutsew dress, a kirt, 7 hair accessories, 2 pairs of socks, a handkerchief, a pullover and 2 blouses.

First up is the Scallop JSK. The bodice looks well fitted, although I think the shape looks a bit boring. I think the neckline looks a bit awkward and maybe a bit too high up. The scalloped neckline doesn't appeal to me, as I think the scallops at the bottom of the dress are enough scallops for me! At least the lace along the neckline helps to soften the appearance of the scalloped neckline. The straps look a suitable width and the lace along the outside of the straps has been really neatly gathered. The lace looks fluffy and creates a cute shape. The waistline features a polka dot ribbon "belt" and a large waist bow. I don't think the belt design has been executed that well and it doesn't do much to emphasise the waist area. The lace along the belt doesn't add much either and I dislike that the "belt" is only on the sides of the dress. The bow has a cute shape, but I feel it is too big. Thankfully, this waist bow is detachable, and I do feel the dress looks better with it detached. I just wish the polka dot ribbon part had been made in to a proper belt. The bodice has a raised panel in the front centre of the bodice, which has a scalloped edge and is then lined with lace. I feel this raised panel is a bit odd looking and I hate the scalloping. Instead of having a raised panel, I would have just broken up the bodice with the lace to give a paneled look. The raised panel is topped with 6 golden buttons, which have a pretty design. I think there is something a bit off with the spacing of the buttons and perhaps it would have worked better with 2 fewer buttons. There is a line of polka dot ribbon, just below the neckline, which is topped with lace which has heart shaped holes. This is such an interesting idea. The polka dot ribbon shows up inside the heart holes. I think it looks really cute! This ribbon and lace combo is used for the neckline bow too. The bow looks cute, but I think the tails need to be a little shorter. The back has a panel of shirring, which has been topped neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a fair amount of volume. The skirt flares out decently and there is enough space to create a decent sweet shape. The skirt design is kept simple and so, the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem has a scalloped edge and there is then a line of lace underneath. The scallops are perfectly formed and the lace helps soften things nicely. I think the choice of lace here is a bit dull, but is at least of a good quality.

Next is the Yoke JSK. The bodice looks well fitted. I think the bodice is an interesting shape, but the rounded neckline is a bit weird. However, I really dislike the way the straps have been done. They are gathered and bunched together where they are attached to the bodice. It looks odd and the straps are too bulky at the top. The lace along the straps only adds to the bulk. I don't think there is a single thing I like about the straps. There is a large waist bow, which is a cute shape and it sits nicely on the dress. However, with the large bows on the yoke, all these bows on the bodice look very unbalanced. The waist bow is detachable but I feel the waist area looks too plain when it is detached. Perhaps if the yoke bows were smaller it would look a bit better balanced. Weirdly, there is a line of lace just above the waist area. The lace is lovely, but it looks very out of place and I really don't think it needs to be there. The yoke is a pretty shape and I like the way the lace has been used around the edge. It does seem as though the yoke adds a lot of volume to the chest area, and I am undecided if that is a good thing or not. There is a line of polka dot ribbon running along the neckline, which has been threaded through lace. As previously mentioned, this yoke is topped with 3 large polka dot bows. The bows are a cute shape, but I definitely feel they need to be a lot smaller, especially teamed with the waist bow. I also feel the shiny polka dot ribbon used for the bows looks a bit cheap. For some reason, the bodice design reminds me a lot of something Bodyline would do. The back has a panel of shirring, which is again concealed neatly with a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has a good amount of volume to it and it flares outwards very well. There is the potential to create a very cute shape and the dress should hold plenty of petticoat. The skirt design is again kept simple, so the print is displayed excellently. The bottom hem is then finished off neatly with a ruffle of good quality lace. The lace is nice enough, but I think it is a bit too wide here. 

This is the OP. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted. I think the overall shape is cute. The sleeves have a suitable amount of puff to them. I do wonder if the sleeves are a bit too long though, as they certainly look quite long in the model photo on the product listing. I also feel the cuff part is too long and the bows on top of the cuffs are weirdly placed. I don't think bows are needed on the cuffs at all. Another thing I am not sure of is the bows at the waist area. I feel they add unnecessary bulk and are also positioned strangely. Also, the bow already has a couple of bows elsewhere on the dress and I feel there are enough without the waist ones. The stock photos would suggest that these waist bows are not detachable, which is a shame. The bodice features a solid white bib, which is lined with lace. I think the dress could have easily worked without this bib, but I suppose the bib is quite cute. According to the product listing, the bib is detachable, so I would definitely do that. The bib is topped with 6 gold buttons. The buttons are fairly well spaced out, although the top buttons are a bit obscured by the chest bow which is also on this panel. I feel the bow is quite poorly formed and again, it looks a bit cheap. I do feel this bow is needed though, just to balance out the bows at the bottom of the dress. Although the bib is topped with these details, it does feel as though there is a lot of the plain, flat bib underneath showing. Perhaps some pleats could have added some subtle detail and texture to the bib, without distracting attention away from the buttons and bow. The collar on this dress is so cute. It is a good shape and size, and I like the ruffle of lace lining it. The lace really adds to what would have otherwise been a boring collar. The back of the dress offers no shirring, so the size flexibility is a bit limited. There are waist ties, but they are very thin and don't look like they would offer much in the way of size adjusting. I love the shape of the skirt. It is very full and it flares out beautifully. It will hold plenty of petticoat and I think the skirt shape works very well teamed with the top half. The skirt is once again kept simple, and the print is displayed very well. The bottom hem has a double ruffle, topped with a line of lace with ribbon threaded through it. The ruffles look cute and finish off the dress nicely, and they are layered well on top of each other. I also think the ribbon and lace look cute here. This ribbon and lace line is topped with 2 polka dot ribbon bows. The bows are a good size and shape. I just worry about the quality of the ribbon used still.

Finally, here is part of the print close up. This series is available in ivory, pink, mint and navy blue. I personally don't think the ivory version looks that appealing, but the other 3 colours are quite cute. The colours on the mint version are a little unusual, but I think they work. My favourite has to be the navy though. As for the print itself, the sweets and stuff are cute, but I find the print a bit confusing. The bird cookies look a bit like chicks, which I would associate with Easter more than Christmas. Then you have the candy canes, which are a bit more Christmassy. This aside, I think the candy is well drawn and I like the teddy bear (which isn't shown in any of the print close up photos). I love all the cute wrappers. The ribbon background is also a good match for a sweet themed print. I like how the ribbons have been set out, as it sort of mimics a check print. I love the occasional bow on the ribbons too. I am not as keen on the numbers floating in the print though. I get that the print is meant to be advent themed, but I think the numbers stick out in this print and don't look as aesthetically pleasing.

So there are bits of this series that I like, but also a fair bit which I don't find as appealing. There are things I would change about every dress design and I think the polka dot ribbon looks a bit cheap. There are also bits of the print which I feel stick out and look out of place. So this is probably not a series I would go for, even if I was the sort of person who would usually go for holiday-specific prints. If I had to pick something I guess I would pick the OP in navy, but I would have to get rid of those waist bows.

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