The spring Oliver + S patterns are here! And I couldn’t resist sewing all of them – they’re sooooo good! There are two dress patterns in the mix, and their arrival happened to coincide nicely with birthday sewing this year. Lila will be five next week, and like every year, a new birthday dress was in order.
This is the Garden Party dress, a lovely little party dress with a gathered bodice and skirt. It’s another a beautiful, clean design from Oliver + S – fun and girly without any crazy frills. Perfectly suited to my style.
The dress can be made sleeveless or with cap sleeves, and there’s a blouse option as well. The construction was simple and straightforward, and true to Oliver + S form, everything came together beautifully and without a hitch. I made a size 4 and lengthened it by one inch – I think it turned out roomy and long enough to fit for a good while.
The back has a keyhole opening, and the button closes with a thread chain. This was my first attempt at a thread chain – there’s a tutorial on the Oliver + S blog, but if your brain is anything like mine and needs a visual real-time demonstration for all new skills, this video did the trick for me.
Also – it you’re going to make the sleeveless version, I might suggest hand finishing the bias-bound arm holes rather than edge stitching them by machine (both are listed as options in the pattern). I had trouble getting around the tight curves without puckering, and I’m sure it would have looked much nicer finished by hand. I may even rip out my edge stitching and ((ask my mom to)) stitch the binding closed by hand. Someday I hope to have more patience for hand sewing…
And the fabric…oh, how I love this fabric. It’s Summer Grove by Day from Leah Duncan’s new line, Meadow – I picked it up from LiMa Sews where the whole line is available. Leah Duncan’s designs are among my very favorites, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Meadow’s release. Each of her prints is a like a beautiful work of art, and the canvas is Art Gallery Fabric‘s super smooth, high-quality pima cotton. Art Gallery’s tag line is “Feel the Difference” and I have to agree – their fabrics are far superior to your standard quilting cotton, and the soft drape is really nice for apparel.
For the bands and yoke I used a textured solid from In the Beginning Fabrics – Modern Solid in Coral.
Of course, Lila will not be having a garden party for her March birthday – Oregon weather does not allow for such things. Sleeveless in March is pretty unpractical around here as well, but that’s what cardigans are for, right?
Many many thanks to Liesl for the advance copy of this pattern – as always, my opinions are my own.