Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pattern review: Oliver + s fairy tale dress

If you've read many of my posts, you might see a theme.  But if it's not broke, why fix it?  So, I took advantage of the 40% off Black Friday sale (or maybe it was 50% off, I don't remember) and bought every Oliver + s pattern I thought I would sew.  Yep. That was November of 2013.  I sewed up the first fairy tale dress in December (I have plans and fabric for the girls' Christmas dresses for next year) and I've never been so proud of something I've made.  It is beautiful, a perfectly fitting, fully lined, complete with crinoline dress.  Stella was just getting into "tutus" when I made this and this one has three! (The lining, tulle and dress.) The best compliment came when I overheard my Grandma (who has sewn a lot of little girl dresses) tell my Aunt (who also sews) that it wasn't handmade, and I got to pipe in and say, "I made that!"

Best feeling ever. 

And it's held up through a ton of washings (since I'm posting this in June and she wears it almost weekly).  Sadly, there hasn't been any in focus documentation of the fairy tale dress.  Aside for these grainy, poor lighting, bad hair, end of the day pics.  Oh well, you get to meet the dog.  Her name's Blue. 


(Check out the adorable sleeves!  One of my favorite parts of the pattern.)
Maybe I'll take some real photos and replace these.  Don't hold your breath.  Down to the nuts and bolts:

PatternOliver + s fairy tale dress

Size I sewed:  Size 2T width/ 3T length (I went according to the size chart)

Material used:  Quilting cottons from Joann's, tulle for crinoline. 

Notions needed:  An invisible zipper.

Appropriately rated:  Intermediate.  Appropriately rated, but as long as the sewist has made a few other projects Liesl describes all steps clearly.  The invisible zipper was a cinch with her instructions.

Time spent:  A lot.  Like, many evenings, naptimes and a car ride to finish the handwork (but, I'm pretty slow).  It's a very involved dress with lots of pieces to cut out and many, many steps.  Plus, the lining is handsewn to the zipper to finish the dress and the hem looks really nice when done by hand.  The result is only possible because of the effort and it's worth it. 

Comments:  It was intimidating to start this project after reading through the directions.  But I trust Oliver + s patterns, so I just kept following the directions and plugging away and really liked the end result (a lot, can you tell?).  The only part I didn't love was the tube sewn to the waist.  Mine didn't ever get very tube-like and I probably shouldn't have sewn it on at that point.  It is a nice touch on the dress, but the pale pink fabric I used was kind of thin and cheap and just didn't hold it's shape very well. 

If you're looking for an amazing fancy dress pattern, this is it!  I would 100% recommend it.