Sunday, May 4, 2014

Oliver + S Garden Party Dress

For my younger daughter's Easter dress this year, I used the new Oliver + S Garden Party Dress pattern. I'm always tempted to buy the new Oliver + S patterns when they come out, but usually resist unless I have a real "need" for one. An Easter dress seemed justifiable. I found the bodice shirring very appealing and a bit different than many of the girls' dress patterns out there.

I used an embroidered chambray fabric that I had in my stash. It is soft and lightweight and very easy to work with. The combination of an "easy" fabric and an excellent pattern made this dress a pure pleasure to sew.

The dress looks more complicated to make than it actually is. The instructions are excellent and the methods used make it easy to get a good looking product.

Rag curls! Boing, boing!

I slightly altered the pattern pieces to make it work with the border print - mostly just straightening out the side seams.

I expected that the dress would have a zip closure, but it doesn't. I would have liked a slightly more fitted bodice, but it has to slip on over the head, so a bit of extra room is a good thing. A zipper would have been difficult to insert neatly with the band and the gathering.

I like the eyelet border on this fabric. Most of the other versions of this dress that I've seen have the bands and yoke made out of contrast fabric. I felt like there was enough going on with the border, so I made the bands out of the same chambray. I had just barely enough of the border portion to make this work and didn't have the luxury of matching the pattern at the side seams.

I really wish that the dress was longer. I added two sizes in length when I cut it out, but it still looks short to me. It does look like the pattern envelope picture, I guess. I wish I would have checked that more carefully. To preserve as much length as possible, I did use bias tape along the hem. For the sake of modesty (some of those eyelet holes are large and high up on the legs!) I made a very simple slip for my daughter to wear with the dress. Adding a lining to the dress seemed way too complicated to me.

This is definitely another winning pattern from Oliver + S. The sleeveless top version is quite cute. I'm sure I'll use this pattern again in some form.


  1. This dress is SO adorable!!!

  2. Beautiful! I made my youngest daughter's Easter dress with this pattern as well! Love the eyelet border print!

  3. So cute! Great use of the border fabric.