Oliver+s Croquet dress

Well, I seem to have got away with the last rip off dress so I thought I’d throw this next one out there, too and see whether this one will have someone ringing the lawyers!

You see it all started with this post on the Oliver+s blog. I became scarily obsessive about this dress in particular.


I loved it. The croquet dress, even though I have the pattern, has never been my top fave. I just don’t dig that droppped waist. I’ve have learned by now though that even if the Oliver+s patterns don’t grab me at first sight, if I don’t buy them, I’ll regret it! Either someone will post a version on the flickr group or Liesl will do a customisation on the blog or I’ll make it up and fall totally in love with the construction method or the finished item on my kids.

I made other things but this dress kept haunting me and nagged to be made. As previously mentioned, orange isn’t the top fave in this house so at least that was changed. And I’m not ready to dress my 7 year in silk as yet. I wanted an everyday dress to wear to school. Plus silk scares me.

Here’s my version:

Yes, purple. I’ve actually being properly SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) for Elsa this winter and purple and navy is the theme. I’m planning to do another blog post about that, however.

I extended the A-line shape as Liesl suggested and cheated a bit by copying the lines of the School photo dress. I added a full lining as this is meant to be a transitional item to Autumn. I also bias bound the arm seams and hand stitched the hem. Here’s the inside for those who are interested in such things:

Here’s the back:


















The keyhole back opening is pretty and easy but makes for a dress which is a little tricky for her to get on and off on here own. Difficult when she’s still swimming every day at school.

The ribbon detail wasn’t hard at all although I really wish I’d started that left hand ribbon closer to the centre. it is supposed to look like water running down so I wish the four ribbons started closer then gradually got wider towards the hem.

Oh and I made the leggings, too. The Oliver+s Playtime pattern. In purple. Gosh I’m so on task with this SWAP thing.

I did manage to get some modelled pics, somewhat reluctantly. I tried to make myself stop using the auto mode on the camera but that might not have been a good idea!

The weird hunchback pose:


















The scary alien pose:



















The Snoop Doggydog pose:


















The I forgot which side my heart is on pose:


















Golly, who knew modelling was such hard work:


We both like this dress. I am delighted to have found a modification and pattern adaption which means I will almost certainly make it again.

Pattern: Oiver+s Croquet dress
Fabric: Shot cotton outer, recycled sheet lining. Polyester organza ribbons


Oliver+s Fairytale dress

So, is there such a thing as plagarism in sewing? If so, I’ve committed it. I hold my hand up, yep, it was me. Guilty as.

You see it all started with this dress from Nest Full of Eggs:

I loved it. Everything about it. The wide stripes, the colours. Just Wow.

And then this wide cream/orange striped heavy cotton sateen turned up on the sale table at Spotlight and I just couldn’t resist. Now orange has never been a favorite colour round here but somehow that was overlooked in the urge to recreate this beauty of a dress.

So here’s our version, made for the end of year celebration at school. The school leavers make a speech and are generally made a huge fuss of and since Older Brother was leaving this year, well that seemed like a good enough excuse for a new dress.














So, maybe the stripes aren’t quite as wide. And I forwent the pockets so it’s maybe not a complete copycat? The stripes are not home made and by skipping the pockets I didn’t need to match those stripes at the side seams. So call me lazy. I love this dress and it made my daughter feel like a million dollars.

It is lined with an old eygyptian cotton sheet which is incredibly soft and smooth. The tulle layers are sandwiched between the dress outer and the lining so there is no scratchiness. I made a muslin and got a good fit from the size 7 with only a few minor adjustments. I followed the instructions on the Oliver+s blog here.

I did have to stripe match at the back seam, however. I’m quite pleased with the results. I hand finished the hem for a lovely smooth finish.














I just wish I had a picture of her wearing it. This is the best I can do – she’s on the stage at school in the front row. I think you can just make her out!
















Well? Am I guilty of sewing plagarism?

Pattern: Oliver+s Fairytale dress without collar or sleeves.
Fabric: Cotton sateen lined with egyptian cotton.


Oliver+s 2+2 blouse and Clever Charlotte Finch shorts

In line with the ‘floaty pastel blouses and practical comfortable shorts’ theme I had going for Elsa’s imaginary summer wardrobe I made this set.

The 2+2 blouse I’ve wanted to make forever. It’s such a stylish, detailed and pretty design. And what better fabric to choose than Liesl Gibson’s own Lisette lawn and twill. On sale no less at Spotlight for $10NZ/metre.















Yellow is neither Elsa’s nor my favourite colour yet this buttery lemon colour appealed in the shop. Elsa was never so convinced, unfortunately and she’s only worn these a handful of times. I wish I had a blouse in this light soft lawn.
















Mother of pearl buttons and my first attempt at corded buttonholes. Like. A lot. Much less ‘homemade’ looking. You can just see a peek under one of the buttons. Have you tried them?


I tried SO HARD to pattern match with the shorts. I’m gutted that that middle, most obvious pattern is so far off. Grr. Do you have a special trick for this you would like to share with me? I turned the first cut piece upside down on top of the next fabric and matched up the pattern before cutting out. Is that what you do?

Patterns: oliver+s 2+2 blouse, Clever Charlotte Finch shorts, unlined.
Fabric: Lisette lawn/Twill.