Monday, April 4, 2011

Love Oliver+S Birthday Party Dress

I have a lot to catch up with - March was a strenuous month, with kids regularly sick, Mr. Frabjous on duty trip for almost a week and myself suffering from a nasty flu whole last week. Nevertheless, a lot has been accomplished sewing-wise, and today I am starting to upload those images and blitz-tutorials I've been working on while handling all this March madness. And I am starting with...

...Oliver + S Birthday Party Dress

This is my, more casual version of this happiness

The dress looks longer at this images - it  ends at the knee. 

Pattern Sizing:

I used Size 6 for my 5-year old daughter - hoping she would be able to wear the dress next year as well  - and found that the size fits her exactly. I am very happy with the fit, but this is a dress for one season only. Size 5 would have been too small and size 7 too large.  So depending on you child’s measurements, you may want to go one size up. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Image: Oliver + S
I believe it does. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Instructions were great! I do have some sewing experience, but since it was my first pattern by Oliver + S, I have consulted the instruction sheet on each step of the dress construction, and the instructions were very clear.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I liked everything about it: the style is versatile and the pattern is drafted very well. I wish the pattern paper was not so soft though – couple of pattern sheets are torn already (I am using tracing wheel), and since I am planning to use the pattern again I will have to transfer the pattern to the pattern paper.

Fabric Used:

I used rather lightweight linen, with very little stretch to it.  I discovered that it stretches when I came home, but decided to use it for the dress nevertheless. I stabilized the fabric with cotton batiste, which created some bulk, but all in all I think the dress is still quite cute.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I try, whenever possible, to apply couture techniques to the garments I sew (to learn and to practice), but it was an overkill for the dress. I added batiste underlining (it was a very lightweight, little stretchy linen blend) to stabilize linen and to reduce wrinkling. Well, underlining added bulk at the neckline where the pleats are placed as well as at the hem. Not a big issue after a lot of pressing, but worth considering.

Another change I should not have made is adding bigger seam allowances. The pattern includes ½” seam allowance, but I have added another 1/8”.  The problem is that the center front pleats are designed with 1/2 “ in mind and adding more than that will prevent the fabric from folding neatly. So, consider that when making this dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I will definitely sew it again. I already have a very nice Robert Kaufman cotton print lined up. I also want to buy a smaller size for my other daughter, as the dress is really adorable.


It is a wonderful dress. I enjoyed sewing it a lot and it took me literally one day to make it (with all the underlining etc.). Moreover, the design is so versatile that you can make at least three or four different dresses using one pattern.

Lightweight cottons and linen are probably the best choice for this style.


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