Monday, February 11, 2013

Olivine Birthday Dress

'Tis nearly Liddy's Birthday.
So she jumped the queue and I made her a new dress.
Of course!
Its the Olivine dress by Clever Charlotte,and boy is it purty!
It has these delightful tucks and pleats that look sooooo complicated but are dead easy to pull off!

As Lidia is so slight I decided to draft a size  4t lengthened to a size 7/8.
In retrospect,I wish I had gone with the size 5 as I had to fiddle with the bodice and I ended up trimming more than I would have liked.
Of course I always could have made a muslin!

Any hoo dooty do,there is an excellent tutorial here put together by the designers themselves.
I have just blogged the bits I fiddled with.

First up I drafted the pattern.
I went with an aqua blue poplin lining,in the end I used several remnants and the lining looked quite pretty in the different shades.
So,I made up to the skirt following the pattern,very straight forward.
Things got a bit hinky with the bodice.
As I tried to draft a size 4 width and a size 8 length I ended up with an uneven edge.
As I had length to spare I folded the bodice in half and evened up the edges.
This is where a size 5 would have been better,'muslin' did I hear you say?
As the bodice had 'shrunk' I had to trim the lining.
Of course,because I had trimmed the bodice it didn't quite match the skirt.
I stitched two rows of gathering thread and eased the skirt to fit the bodice.

Next I trimmed the excess from the back bodice.
And again from the lining.
Then I sewed the shoulder and side seams.

I like to pre-press the hems on the sleeves.
I decided to line the sleeves to make sure the linen wasn't scratchy on my sweet sensitive girl.
The sleeve lining is the same as the main sleeve,I just trimmed a bit off the bottom.
In retrospect I could have trimmed off 1/2' more.
Next I gathered the sleeve tops.
And then sewed the side seams,unfolding the pressed hem.
Then I pressed the seam the opposite direction to the bodice side seam.
Thanks Liesl for the tip!
Matching notches and side seams I pinned the sleeves into the bodice right sides together.
I like to sew on the inside of the seam.
Even though I was lining the dress I still like to finish my seams.
I like to press well. It gives a good result and when lining a garment it can be difficult to press this seam well again.
When sewing wool or linen I like to let the garment cool and set before handling it again.
Next I pinned the bodice to the skirt,matching notches,side seams and pleats.
I did quite a bit of flipping the bodice back and forth to make sure everything lined up.

I neatened the seam and pressed it up towards the bodice.
And then removed the basting stitches.
Nearly there.
A quick fit-just!
Time to fit the zipper.
If you need any help have a peek here.
I find it helps me to stitch a hemming guide.
The next fold is easy as the fabric is cut and stitched that way.
I then constructed the lining the same as the dress.
I like to attach my label to the lining only.
My multi coloured lining.
I hemmed the lining by machine at this point.
Next I pinned the dress to the lining,right sides together,at the neck line.
I wrap the lining around the outside of the zipper.
(A little O+S tip)
Like so!
And you will get this lovely finish.
I like to use my pinking shears to trim the neckline.
I also like to double stitch any seams trimmed with said shears.
Just in case,I am that kind of girl!
I turned the dress through and rolled and pressed the neckline.
Once I was happy with the way the neck was sitting I gently pulled the lining from the dress and stay stitched the lining to the seam allowance.
This will help stop the lining peeping through when the garment is being worn.
I pulled the dress back together and pinned the sleeve seam together.
I unfolded the hem of the dress sleeve and then folded it back up to cover the raw edge of the lining.
Then I pinned it in place.
Then I pinned the hem up and the lining to the zipper edge and then I hand sewed it all in place.
Look at that beautiful line.
And those scrumptious pleats.
I hope she is happy when she opens it.

xx N


  1. Oh Wow, great detail with the photos and instructions as per usual,
    gorgeous dress, loving the tri colour inverted pleats on the skirt. the birthday girl will be delighted, I am sure

    1. Thank you!
      Its a little embarrassing to show ones mistake but if it helps others at least it is not all in vain.
      It is a lovely dress pattern,so sophisticated but still a child's garment.
      I adore the pleat detail.
      xx N

  2. Beautiful, I love it. Must, must, must make this. Happiest of Birthdays lovely Liddy xxx

    1. Yes,you must!
      I would love to see a Liberty insert version with piping popped under the pleats and top stitched in place.
      Thank you
      xx N

  3. You know, I wasn't going to buy this pattern - stop it!!! Gorgeous as always, Nicole. She is going to love it. Happy Birthday Liddy!!

    1. Sandi,you would love it for Missy C's Daddy/Daughter dance as she would be warm and it has pockets you could pop her pump in.
      Thank you.
      xx N

  4. Absolutely gorgeous Nicole. Hope Miss L has a wonderful birthday :-)

    1. Thank you Justine.
      Her party is not for a few weeks(no spare weekends) so she says she will have weeks of ner birthday.
      xx N

  5. I so love the peeps of color in the skirt!

    1. I wanted charcoal but Justine talked me off the ledge. She felt it needed the colour pop of the scarlet and she was so right!
      Thank you
      xx N

  6. Well done, you are the master at fitting tall and slim! It's completely lovely, and I'm sure she'll think so too!

  7. Thank you Susanne,definitely not the master (should have made a muslin)!
    But practice makes perfect.
    xx N

  8. No, no no! I thought I could resist this pattern, I just knew you would be the one to make me want it! It really is so beautiful, and will look so gorgeous on Liddy. I can't wait to see her smiling face in the dress. Happy early birthday sweetie!!

  9. Thank you Brittney.
    I can't believe my little girl is turning 9 tomorrow!
    She is so excited to get Birthday wishes from all over the world.
    xx N

  10. Add my birthday wishes to the list!

    Sorry this dress doesn't behave well when you try to make drafting adjustments, but I think you pulled it off in the end!

    And to your Aussie readers, should have Olivine in stock within a few weeks!

  11. My fault Erin,not the patterns!

    I checked out very nice and congratulations to you chaps!
    xx N

  12. Sigh. So utterly dreamy. What very lucky girls who get to wear this :)

    1. Thank you Sarvi, I loved this dress so much, as did Liddy.
      I should make another.
      xx N