Thursday, July 12, 2018

Another Birthday Frock

I had always planned to make a frock for my nieces birthday present.  I picked out fabric and patterns and then the opportunity arose to make a refashioned frock, so now that it's done I have been working on the dress that was originally planned.

That was the 'Library Dress' from Oliver & S. It's the collarless view B with the shorter sleeves made in the 12-18 months size. The cottons I picked were all from my quilting stash as I wanted to use what I already had.  The floral is actually one of my favourite prints but I never found it looked great pieced into a quilt so it has been languishing in a drawer waiting to be turned into something more awesome than a quilt.  Obviously this means the dress is a little heavier than usual but I think it'll will be a nice autumn/winter dress.

Having chosen this pattern specifically for the purpose of making this birthday dress there were a couple of things I wanted to change.

Firstly - the pleats had to go - from a Mom perspective I always find them a pain to keep looking neat after laundering, who's got time for that?  So I added an inch to the sides of the skirt pieces with the intention of making it a little fuller and gathering it instead.

Secondly, I don't know if it's the choice of fabrics on the front of the packet but I hated the sash and wanted to omit it.  However, the piping is super cute, so it stayed but it is in the same fabric as the main dress.

As it turns out, the Library Dress as per instructions, isn't actually lined and only has a part facing around the collar and down the back where the buttons go.  My niece is only small and because of worries about comfort I decided to line the bodice. This changed the construction a fair bit, lots of hand finishing too.

The stripes worked really well on the outside and the whole bodice is lined with them too.

Please, ignore where my seam ripper slipped past the pin I had in position on one of the buttonholes - I have embraced 'visible mending' as I felt it was an honest approach to massive great hole. It was that or stomp my feeties and cry a little bit.

The dress looks a little odd on the hanger because of its adult size, the sleeves do sit properly - I promise!  I think the changes I made are effective, I definitely prefer the gathered skirt to the pleating.  However, I'm not sure I would bother to line it for an older child - overall I think it's turned out really well.  Super cute!

I think the collared version would make a really sweet winter dress, so that's in my head as a possible Christmas dress.


  1. Absolutely adorable! Lucky child.

  2. Thank you :) I posted it off to her mum yesterday - so fingers crossed that she likes it too!