Girl sewing

Back at it!

I’m back at my sewing machine after my long hiatus and it feels go-ood!

I’ve finished projects for both J and N recently, but for today I’ll focus on my recent sewing for N. Namely, Easter dresses.

I wasn’t originally planning to make an Easter dress for her, what with being pregnant and laid up and all. But the other day I cleaned a massive quantity of outgrown clothes out of her closet, and after that, I realized that she didn’t really have any dresses that were appropriate for Easter festivities. Problem!

I have been busy prepping stuff for the kids for spring/summer sewing and the upcoming KCW, so luckily I already had one potential Easter dress already cut and waiting down in my sewing room. And I had recently received my lovely printed copy of the new Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress, which I had every intention of trying out promptly.

On Thursday I decided to “work” from home, since both kids were off at preschool or PDO. But since I had a nasty attack of pregnancy insomnia (worst pregnancy symptom ever — argh!) on Wednesday night and was up for almost 3 hours, my brain was in no condition to tackle legal work. I decided to sew instead.

I first tackled N’s Roller Skate Dress with the goal of making an Easter-appropriate dress that is still something she can wear throughout the summer. I ended up making a 2T for her so that she’ll have room to grow.

Creative Counselor: Roller Skate dress front
N’s Roller Skate Dress, all ready for Easter!

I must admit here that I kind of cheated on this dress. The pattern calls for the dress to be fully lined. While that would be nice in some ways, Kansas summers can be hot. Not Texas hot (thank God), but still pretty darn hot and frequently over 100 F, particularly in July and August. I know that I would be ridiculously hot in a lined skirt in that kind of heat, and I figured N would be too.

So, I left out the skirt lining. Instead, I cut the lining pieces off 1/2 inch below the bottom of the elastic casing and left the skirt a single layer. That allowed me to still have the nice finish on the sleeves and neckline, conveniently make the casing, but avoid the weight and heat of a lined skirt. And seriously, if I hadn’t told you, would you even know?

Creative Counselor: Roller Skate dress back
Back view. I think I did a pretty good job lining up the pattern. Not perfect, but pretty good.

The button is yet another one from the vintage button stash I inherited from Albert’s grandma and stepmom. I wasn’t sure I would find anything in that box that would go with my green and hot pink fabric, but lo and behold, this little beauty was in there. Perfect.

Creative Counselor: Roller Skate Dress detail
Vintage button

The dress went together really easily, typical of an Oliver + S pattern. Oliver + S really does a nice job with their printed patterns and instructions. I am rarely left scratching my head. The only thing I noticed about this pattern was that it appeared to lack any instructions on hemming. Either that or I was too dense to find them. Since I tend to test a lot of patterns, that was pretty glaring to me, not that it had any effect on my ability to finish this dress.

I plan to make several more of these for N for summer. I’ll probably try to choose fabric with similar colors so I can sew them assembly-line style!

Creative Counselor: Roller Skate Dress detail
Lining and border print detail

Pattern: Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress

Size: 2T

Fit: A little big on N, but I anticipated that. I hate making dresses that she outgrows after wearing them once, so I deliberately made this in a size that left her some room to grow.

Fabric: Main is the Lime Bandana border from Gypsy Bandana by Pillows & Maxfield for Michael Miller. The bodice lining is Pink Gypsy Paisley from the same line. I’ve had this fabric sitting around in my stash for at least 18 months. It was nice to finally use it!

Physical Pattern: I always get paper patterns where I can, and Oliver + S is one of the few indie children’s pattern designers that does nice paper patterns. The pattern quality is quite nice. The instructions are printed on heavy white paper rather than newsprint. They aren’t as nice as the nicest indie women’s paper patterns, which typically print instructions in booklets, but they’re as nice as you’re going to get in a children’s pattern.

Modifications: I did a partial lining rather than a full lining. I’ll post separately on how to modify the lining. It’s actually ridiculously easy.

Pros:

  • Super easy sew. It probably took about 1 1/2 hours of sewing, and that was with an exhausted pregnant brain.
  • Lots of options and potential variations. Beyond those listed in the pattern, you could modify the lining like I did, eliminate it all together by using facings and a contrast casing on the outside, and add all sorts of embellishments. It’s kind of a blank canvas.
  • The simplicity will make it super comfy.
  • No tricky closures. a simple button and button loop is all you have to deal with here.
  • Perfect to display all those wild quilting cottons. Also great for border prints.

Cons:

  • The instructions seem to lack directions on hemming. Not a huge deal, but it did leave me wondering how large a hem was intended.
  • No instructions that I could find on suggested length of elastic for the casing. Again, not a huge deal. I just used N’s chest measurement to cut my elastic, but it could be an issue if you’re sewing for a kid who’s not your own.

Overall grade: A. I think I’ll use this pattern a lot. It’s simple, versatile and a great run-around dress. My only “cons” are little nit picks that had no real effect on my ability to sew this pattern. Full recommendation from me!

I made another Easter dress for N to, but to avoid content and picture overload, I will post that one separately 🙂

0 thoughts on “Back at it!

  1. What a beautiful dress! I love that border print! I would never have known you didn’t like it; it still looks great!
    Thanks for linking up!
    (My husband is a 2L in law school; we’re almost done!)

    1. Thanks! I was so pleased with how this turned out.

      Wow, those are tough years to be juggling school, family, etc. Kudos to you guys! And good luck with next year’s job hunt, unless he already has something lined up in which case, congrats!

  2. This is gorgeous! The fabric is beautiful (I love green and pink together). It looks like it should be hanging in a high end shop with a ridiculous price tag! Beautiful job.
    🙂

    1. Wow, thank you so much for the praise! It’s always nice to hear from other people that my garments are nicely done. Particularly since I rarely hear such appreciation from a 2-year-old 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!

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