18 April 2011
Made: Oliver + S Hopscotch Dress, version 1.0
Along with my fabric haul (aka "Christmas present") I finally bought one of the Oliver + S patterns. I've been drooling over these patterns ever since Liesl Gibson first published them. I'm a total sucker for the paper dolls on the covers, and I saw so many great garments that other sewists have been making from this line. The patterns run about $16 in the local shops which I find hard to swallow when there are so many free tutorials and cheap patterns available for children's clothes. But I finally splurged and bought one.
Of course, I was in such a hurry to get sewing that I tossed my new fabrics in the laundry as soon as I got home from the store. Imagine my shock when I changed the load from the washer to the drier and discovered that I had inadvertently washed my gorgeous new pattern. Oh the horror! Fortunately the pattern was in a plastic bag which saved it from almost certain demise. I was able to dry the pattern out. iron it, and still use it. Although it does look a little bedraggled to say the least.
The pattern was worth all the fuss! The directions and technical drawings are clear. There are good tips for sewing with knits both on standard sewing machines and sergers. And the design of the dress is really cute and kid-friendly. Those of you who dress toddlers know that they go into extreme freak-out mode if their head gets stuck in the neckline in even the slightest way. The overlapped front bodice in this design gives a lot of space for big-headed children to get in and out. I suppose the small-headed ones would be fine too.
The Sprout isn't a big fan of stiff pants or anything with much of a waistband these days ("It's tigh'!!! Hurt mah belly!!!" Sigh.). I chose to make her the longer dress version of the knit top in the cover illustration. A dress and a pair of leggings work well in our 50-degree-forever springs around here. Stick a cardigan on her in the morning and she's good to go.
Here's the first version of the Oliver + S dress I sewed for the Sprout. I made the size 2 and it fit perfectly. In fact a bit too perfectly. If I'm going to take the time and money to buy fabric and sew her clothes I want to make them a bit roomy so she can wear them for more than a few months. I also wasn't happy with the neckline and bodice. I don't know if you can tell here but I stretched the fabric too much while sewing and it still looks sort of sloppy. But overall, I'm becoming much morecomfortable sewing knit fabrics and I liked the style of this little dress enough that I went on to make version 2 (and 3 and 4)
Below is a photo of the Sprout who is currently a very uncooperative model. She is in constant motion and is not keen on the idea of posing for a photo. I think it lets you see the dress and the fit a bit though. The leggings are just some hand-me-down Carter leggings that had holes in their knees so I threw on some patches.
Come back tomorrow if you're curious about further iterations of this dress. Or if you just want to make fun of me for throwing my patterns in the laundry.