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 School Photo dress

I have to confess I made this entirely for my own gratification. It’s not really Elsa’s style and there’s only a little of Winter left so she didn’t really need another warm dress.

But there was this incredible dress on flickr that was featured on the Oliver + s blog with a tutorial so I was just itching to have a go. In fact I only bought this pattern to try this modifiction I though it was so amazing.

Now the dress is made I really do like the style and Elsa seems happy to wear it so maybe it was worth it after all.

I tried really hard on making the inside as lovely as the outside. I love the results and I think I’m now hooked! I hand sewed the arm lining to the bodice to hide the sleeve seam which is even above and beyond the oliver + s finish.

This is my invisible zipper insertion. I went to the shop to get the foot but baulked at paying over $80. I figured I’d find a way to do it. I did! Instead I used the embroidery foot #20 for my Bernina. I lined up the edge of the zip with the inside of the foot and moved the needle over a few notches so it landed just beside the the zipper teeth. The Oliver + s tip to iron the zipper flat before you start was really useful.

It took three trials and two zips before I figured this technique out.

Gosh the hangaroo pocket is fiddly. I guess that’s what I wanted to challenge myself with! This is a three scissor pattern after all.

Hope you don’t mind a few gratuitous shots of my girl. She was off from school sick today so I grabbed the opportunity for a photo shoot.

Anyway the inevitable has happened. Elsa has decided pink is no longer the only colour worth considering. I may have to have a garage sale for all the pink fabric in my stash!

She wore this dress to a birthday party last weekend. I was stoked she chose it. Well, and a little sad. It’s such a mature feeling dress. She’s growing up so fast.

She saved the best faces until last. She was very keen to put this last one on the blog but didn’t want to add the photo where she stuck her bum out to the camera!

I think she could be well enough to go to school tomorrow.

Pattern: Oliver + s School Photo dress
Fabric: Spotlight baby wale corduroy.