N’s second Easter dress is the Oliver + S Bubble Dress, minus the bubble. Two Easter dresses probably seems like overkill, but I haven’t made a lightweight dress for her since approximately last June, and I wanted to be prepared for possible festivities on Saturday as well as Mass on Sunday. So, two dresses seemed appropriate.
I’ve been eyeing the Made by Rae Geranium dress ever since it was released, but haven’t yet pulled the trigger. And this pattern is the main reason. I realized that without the bubble, the Bubble Dress is very similar to my favorite variation of the Geranium dress. So rather than buying another kid’s pattern, I decided to use my Bubble Dress pattern while N still fits into it (which won’t be much longer, the biggest size in my copy is 18-24 mo), get some value for the $14 I paid for the pattern, and wait to buy Geranium until I need it.
As with the Roller Skate Dress, I didn’t want the weight that goes with a fully lined dress, so I left out the skirt lining, hence no bubble. Instead of stitching the bodice lining to the skirt lining after I had sewn the main skirt piece to the outside bodice per the instructions, I simply turned under the bodice lining by about 1/2 inch and topstitched it down to the outside bodice. That also nicely hid the skirt seam.
I had to read the instructions for the back placket a couple of times, but once the light went off in my head, I realized that this was a super easy and efficient way to make a really nice-looking button placket. It looks so polished from the outside!
The Bubble Dress was a nice, easy sew, and the finished product is darling. I had thought about adding flat piping at the waistline to break up the pattern just a bit, but I was rushing to finish before the kids came home from school, so I decided not to bother.
Pattern: Oliver + S Bubble Dress
Size: 18-24 months
Fit: Right on. This is likely the “correct” size for N right now, which is good since it’s the biggest one in my pattern. The sizing is probably one of the most annoying things about Oliver + S patterns. To get the full range of sizes in one of their patterns, you have to pay $30 instead of $15 because the size ranges are limited.
Fabric: This is a broadcloth that I picked up ages ago from Chez Ami. It’s nice and lightweight for summer.
Modifications: I omitted the skirt lining, which means I also omitted the bubble. That makes the dress more simplistic, but also much faster to sew and cooler for the summer months. I also used pearl snaps in place of the buttons. I really didn’t feel like sewing buttonholes!
Physical pattern: I bought this pattern almost 18 months ago, so I actually have it as a printed pattern. It is the same quality you would expect of an Oliver + S pattern. The pattern is currently available only in digital format.
- Nice, easy sew. A great “blank canvas” for a cool print.
- Lots of opportunity to get creative both with and without the bubble.
- Easily modified to use snaps if you don’t want to bother with buttonholes.
- In my opinion, the sizing is the biggest con to this pattern. I have the smaller size range, which means that it goes from newborn to 18-24 months. N will outgrow that size soon, which means that I’d have to buy the next size up. This really annoys me about Oliver + S patterns. At least the newer ones all go to 4T in the smaller size range so you can get more use out of them before having to size up.
Overall grade: B. I mark this pattern down simply because of the sizing. It just makes it a really expensive pattern, especially for a digital pattern, when you have to spend $28 to get sizes birth to 5. Particularly when the Made by Rae Geranium dress pattern is very similar and available for $10 for the same size range with more built-in variations. When N outgrows this pattern, I will likely get the Geranium dress instead of the larger size range of the Bubble Dress.