Thursday, April 10, 2014

PlayTime Dress-A Tutorial

Oliver+S PlayTime dress
Cute, right?
Would you like to make one?
You wish is my command.
Interface the neck facings.
Pin the shoulder seams matching the notches.
Sew the seams and press them open.
Neaten the outside edge of the facing.
If you use size and naming labels, attach them now.
Stay stitch the necklines.
Start at the shoulders and sew towards the middle.
Pin the back bodice pieces to the front at the shoulder seams matching notches.
Sew, press and neaten and then press the seam to the back bodice.
This finish is fine for a light to medium fabric. I really wish I had finished the edges first and then pressed the seam open. It was a bit bulky in the linen/cotton mix I used.
Flip the bodice and topstitch if you wish!
Pin the facing to the bodice, right sides together, matching notches and shoulder seams.
Sew together.
When you reach the shoulder seam, consider reversing a few times. This will strengthen this seam when it is trimmed.
Trim the seam and cut the corners.
I wish I had notched the curves, I will next time.
As directed, press the seams towards the facing from the right side of the garment. This works so well!
Turn the facing to the inside and gently push the corners out.
Finger press the neck line.
I was really unhappy with the shoulder seam bulk I had. My fault for not doing an open seam. I had to use discipline to get rid of the lumps.
Gently pull the facing from the bodice and under stitch the seam allowance to the neck facing, as far as you can, on either side.
Even though I am going to stitch the faux collar I decided to machine stitch may facings in place.
Press well.
Pre fold and press the sleeve seam as directed in the pattern.
Gather the shoulders of the sleeves.
Matching the notch to the shoulder seam ease and pin the sleeve in place.
Sew, check for tucks, press, trim, neaten and press again.
Press the seam towards the sleeve.
Give this a good steamy press and let cool.
Press again from the right side and remove any visible stitches.
Press again and let cool.
Unfold the pre-pressed hem and pin the arm and side bodice right sides together, matching notches and underarm seam.
Sew, press, trim the seam and notch the underarm curve.
This will help with ease when being worn.
Neaten the seam, the notches will be neatened too but still allow ease.
Press well.
Re-fold the hem.
You may need to press the hem again.
Pin the hem in place.
Pull the dress through to the right side to sew.
Press the seam.
If you sew on the inside of the hem it will be easier.
I did two rows.
As directed make the button holes now.
Would you like some tips?
After you have made the button holes match the notches and baste the centre backs, one over the other.

Apply an inch wide strip of interfacing on two of the pocket bags.
As the skirt panels are the same I marked my front one.
Pin the pocket bags to the skirt panel matching the notches.
I notched where the dots were marked.
Sew the seam with a narrow seam as directed.
Neaten this bit only, a zigzag will do.
Press the pocket away from the skirt.
Repeat for the other pockets 
Pin a skirt front to a skirt back, matching notches and pocket bags.
It can be helpful to draw the seam allowance before sewing.
After sewing, clip into the marked notch.

Neaten the edges.
The notches will open up a little and make this step easier.
Press the seam towards the front skirt.
The bodice seam should be pressed towards the back. This will stagger the seams and lock them together 
Press the skirt well from the right side.
Pin the pocket to the front skirt panel and stitch it  from the wrong side.
Press well.
Sew a narrow turning guide at the hem.
Press it up.
Turn up the hem again by an inch 
I went with two rows.
Gather the skirt front and the skirt back, separately, with two rows of gathering stitches.
Pin the skirt to the bodice, making sure you pin the front skirt to the front bodice.
Match the notches and side seams.
Pull up the gathering threads to fit and knot the ends so that you can safety ease the threads.
Ready to sew.
Sew the skirt to the bodice.
Check for tucks, press and neaten the seam.
Press the seam towards the bodice.
If the back seam is a bit bulky try a bit of discipline.
Topstitch the waist seam.
Remove all the visible stitching.
If you wish, transfer the collar markings.
Stitch over the markings.
And there you are!
Practical pockets-perfect for teddies.
We think so.

xx N


  1. Thanks for the detailed tute! Your daughter is pretty lucky to get such a fab dress :)

    Is there any reason you interface the side of one pocket?

    1. Thank you for your compliments Siobhan.
      To be honest, it was in the pattern directions but I suspect it is to give some structure to the front pocket.
      xx N

  2. I am an avid and admiring reader of your blog and I never cease to be amazed by the quality and quantity of your sewing ( and blogging) ! How do you do it ? Your fabric choices and designer touches are very impressive too. I sew for my three kids too , for a long time now, but have never been able to photograph each step. or blog regularly in the way that you are doing now. Your tutorials are extremely useful and even though, living in India I have no access to O &S patterns at the moment, I have already compiled a list of the ones I would like to own, given a chance !

    1. Deepa, what a truly lovely comment to find. You have no idea how much I appreciate your kind words, it made my day.

      I am sorry you cannot purchase O+S patterns. I hope you can soon.
      xx N

  3. Thank you for this post! I'm working on a playtime dress right now and it is so fun (and helpful) to check back here every few steps and make sure that I'm on the right track! It's especially nice to see how you neaten the edges as I'm new to using a serger. So thank you!

    1. I missed this, I am so pleased you made one too!

      I love sew-a-longs but they never seem to work with me sewing schedule.

      xx N

  4. This is just gorgeous! I've had a bit of a hard time with this pattern, but I absolutely love this!

  5. Honestly Brittany, I found this dress a lot more work than I anticipated.
    So many girls were 'whizzing' them up but I found mine a solid (but enjoyable) sew.
    Thank you!
    xx N

  6. Such a cute dress, Nicole! And an utterly gorgeous girl! Those curls!

  7. Thank you Rachel, its a lovely thing, to sew for little girls.
    xx N

  8. I just want to say thank you for blogging. I love seeing what you are making; your sewing is always inspiring. And your tutorials have come to the rescue so many times. (Tonight it was the inseam pockets.)

  9. Michelle, thank you so much!
    What a lovely lovely thing to say.
    xx N

  10. And where did you purchase such adorable fabric?

  11. From here Connie

    xx N

  12. Thanks so much for this, it really helped me with this dress:


  13. Thank you Maggie, I am so happy to be of any help.
    xx N