A couple of weeks ago, I was sipping my coffee and going through my daily routine, when I nearly fell out of my chair. There, in my inbox, was an email from Liesl of the incomparable Oliver + S, wondering if I would be interested in trying out some of her new patterns for women. I didn’t even finish reading and responded “Yes!!!!”
I chose the Weekend Getaway pattern to try out first because I absolutely loved all the details: the placket, the back pleat, the 3/4 cuffed sleeves. And because I am as ever a die-hard one-trick pony, I made it in black Essex yarn-dyed linen. I tried to select a brighter, fun color, I did. But I am who I am, and I have a never-ending stash of dark linen, so blackish-grey it was.
This is rated as a one-scissor project, which is the easiest possible level. I agree – it’s so quick to sew and I love that there are no closures to deal with. The dress slips over your head and you’re ready to go. The instructions are, as you would expect from Liesl, so very clear and helpful and I was impressed with the clever ways the pockets and facings were sewn to create a clean/streamlined finish.
Despite the loose fit, I think this is a flattering cut for a variety of body types. I went with size 8 based on my measurements and although the instructions recommend an FBA for C-cups and larger, I eyeballed the pattern pieces and thought I could get away without the FBA. I was right, though I did use a 3/8 inch seam allowance instead of the 1/2 inch as specified to give myself some extra wiggle room. I think I could have kept the 1/2 inch seam allowance without any problems now that I’ve worn the dress for a day. Above I tucked in the pocket flaps to see how it would look – I’m liking it.
It’s always a good idea not to sew late into the night (it’s also a good idea to iron a linen dress before a photoshoot). It was only while I was editing these photos that I realized I managed to sew the back piece incorrectly so that instead of an inverted pleat, it looks like a box pleat. It’s still a great dress and I love it. Now I want to stitch up a color-blocked version like the one on the oliver+s blog!
Having spent all that time taping together the digital pattern, I felt that I should also give the blouse version a go. I’ve had this gorgeously drapey cotton (lawn?) for what feels like centuries. It’s a bit of a departure from my usual monochromatic color scheme and the watercolor effect of the print is pretty:
I think it’s easy to skew hospital scrubs/gown-esque with this shape and print combo on my body type, so I gave the styling some thought (like five minutes).
I lowered the neckline since I knew that I would always have to wear a cami underneath the sheer fabric and channeled an on-trend girl with distressed jeans. I’ve noticed that there are a bunch of tutorials online on DIY distressing…this is authentic distressing after eight years of wearing these super awesome jeans non-stop. I actually don’t wear these out in public anymore because I’m afraid I will explode from the jeans and be forced to walk around in my underwear. Patching it is on my to-do list.
I got the pleat right this time, and this shirt was so fast to sew. Literally an hour and a half. I even finished the sides with french seams! It helped that I didn’t add the pockets, but even so, it wouldn’t have taken too much longer.
Next time, I plan on lengthening the blouse a bit more – I like my blouses to be on the long side, and this felt a touch too short for me. All in all, I’m happy with the way this one turned out. It’s a breezy, casual top that would get a lot of wear in the spring.
I did receive these patterns for free, but all opinions are absolutely my own. I already have plans to make the Everyday skirt and Late Lunch tunic, and you’ll be seeing those in the coming weeks. That Liesl, she’s so so so good.