My favourite Oliver and S Pattern

A few things have happened over the past couple of months that prevented me from blogging (and sewing) as I would have liked. I had jaw surgery (I am fine, healing slowly…but at least I can eat solid food again), we took a family vacation (will talk about that in some future posts) and I was writing a post (and sewing) for the Oliver and S blog.   When Rachel asked me to contribute to the “my favorite pattern” series, I was beyond thrilled!  I even sewed 2 more after she asked.

To find out what my favourite pattern is, you’ll have to jump on over to the Oliver and S blog to see. :)

Oliver and S Round Up Part 1: Roller Skate Dress

Instead of making a separate post for every Oliver and S pattern I made over the last year, I thought I would do a quick round up of some of my first O and S sewing experiences.

The very first O + S pattern I made was the Roller Skate Dress.  I fell in love with this pattern.  It’s a fully lined, A-line dress with faux cap sleeves and some gathering just above the waist.  The back is in two pieces with a seam running down and closes at the top with a button.    It is such a timeless design.  It’s fantastic for showing off really awesome fabric because it doesn’t have any gathering so you can see all the details of your fabric choice.  The thing that puts it over the top, for me anyway, is that it is fully lined.  I’ve been pretty boring so far with my linings.  I’ve used either white or off white.  Yay!  But seeing how others in blogland have been lining their dresses with different colours, I am about to start following along and doing the same.

The first time I saw this dress was here.  It wasn’t the first time I had heard of Oliver and S, as I had purchased Liesl’s “Little Things to Sew” book when I first started sewing.  But it was then that I realized how many sewing patterns she had available.  Swoon!  They are all so gorgeous.  If you’ve never sewn an Oliver and S pattern, you have been really missing out.  Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands of cute patterns out there, but I have yet to come across another pattern designer who goes into the detail that Liesl does with her patterns.   I believe I’ve mentioned before that every pattern is like a personal sewing lesson.  She not only explains, how to do things, she explains WHY you are doing what you are doing.  The finishes on her garments are top notch.  Now, on to the cute stuff.

My very first Roller Skate dress was more of a “practice” dress.  It was the very first dress (that wasn’t a pillowcase dress) that I attempted.  I honestly didn’t think it was going to turn out.  This was about a year ago (Sept 2013).  At this point, I still hadn’t discovered how much I LOVED sewing.  Well, the dress turned out better than I ever thought it would.  I was beyond proud of myself.  The fabric I used was one I had found at Joann’s, the very first time I crossed the border to buy fabric.  It was when my fabric stash fit in a shoe box (more on how far that has come another day).  I was intimidated by turning tubes, so instead of making my own button loop, I used a piece of elastic.  One change I made is to remove the notch from the front.  I wanted to keep the front super simple (mostly because I was still learning).

Very first Roller Skate Dress

Very first Roller Skate Dress

Maya still wears this dress, even though it is a year old.  It’s a size 3T and though it is starting to get a bit short on her, it’s nothing a pair of leggings can’t fix.  One change I made is to remove the notch from the front.  I wanted to keep the front super simple (mostly because I was still learning).

 

Looking super impressed

Looking super impressed at the Biodome in Montreal

 

I made my second Roller Skate dress about 6 months after the first.  I was finally getting into a sewing groove.  I was no longer afraid of turning tubes, so I made my own button loop.  This dress is the perfect dress to show off a really cool button.  I don’t have any awesome buttons, but that will change one day.  I’m very indecisive and sometimes I end up buying everything I want, but more times, I end up buying nothing because I get too overwhelmed by selection.  Cool button selections does that for me, especially when I do most of my fabric/sewing supply shopping online.  This dress is also a 3T.  Maya had just turned 3 when I made it for her, and like the first one, she is still wearing it and as long as she has shorts (or leggings) on underneath, it still fits!  It’s so nice when clothing (especially something I’ve handmade) fits for longer than a single season.

The fabric I used here is Anna Marie Horner’s Lou Lou Thi Summer Totem by Free Spirit fabrics.  The pattern is really quite large and it was absolutely perfect for this dress.  Maya really likes this dress.  She says she’s a gardener when she wears it.  That girl of mine absolutely loves flowers.

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One thing I will change the next time I make this dress, is to lengthen the elastic.  I find it rides up a bit on Maya’s chest.  She doesn’t notice, but I am constantly pulling it down.  I may also lower the elastic casing just a tad to also try to keep it from riding up on her.

This photo is of Maya when I first made it.  It was a few days after her 3rd birthday.

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And here she is, this past weekend on my parents’ farm.  I know she’s 6 months older, but she still looks the same to me.

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