Good morning! Since this new spring pattern from Oliver + S is called “Garden Party Dress“, it seemed necessary to find some kind of floral fabric. I’m trying to challenge myself more these days, so I ventured into my bin labeled “silk and silk-like stuff”. As soon as I saw these bright orange poppies, it was a done deal.
Back in the days before I was trying to bust my impossible stash and when I used to buy fabric (a trickle of nostalgic tears here), I would take K with me to one particular fabric store. It’s a small shop nestled in our former neighborhood, and there is a big table smack dab in the center of the store with all the catalogs splayed out. K and I had a routine: she would plunk herself down at the table and start paging through the catalogs, looking for kids’ costumes. I would then run around the store to snatch at whatever fabrics caught my eye — I usually had approximately 10 minutes before K would start an epic meltdown.
But one day, I decided to let K choose fabric. “Whatever you want, honey,” I said magnanimously, and then proceeded to say no to the leopard fur, the shiny (and outrageously expensive) silks, and the garish cartoon-ish prints she inevitably gravitated toward. Finally, at the sale corner, she spotted the poppies and the $5/yard price was acceptable.
This is actually lining fabric and some kind of cheap-o polyester. As such, it’s sort of plastic-y and sheer, but it looks a lot like silk if you don’t stare at it too long. Using the front bodice from the Garden Party Dress as a base, I quickly assembled a slip because I couldn’t be bothered to attach a lining to the dress. I figured that since I make so many sheer dresses for her, she ought to have something to wear underneath.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record with how excellent the instructions are, etc., but what was interesting about this dress is that I’ve made one that is extremely similar from a Japanese pattern book before here. Oh, that jacket – I love it so. Anyway, the dress was not a success, and I remember having a bear of a time understanding the instructions and couldn’t get the gathers quite right. K rejected is as itchy and I was very sad to have wasted that beautiful pink linen.
This time, the fit is fantastic and K was eager to try on the dress. Huzzah. She even chose the button for the back, and I approve of her choice wholeheartedly. This here is a size 7, and I used far less than the 2 1/4 yards of fabric required. So effectively, this dress cost less than $10 if you don’t count labor. We won’t think about the labor, though making it hardly felt like work. And maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s boutique-worthy and looks pretty expensive. K wore the dress to a birthday party that was held at one of those ceramic painting places in the local mall – as we walked through the fancy, enormous mall, I was surprised by how many people stopped to compliment K on the dress.
Another awesome pattern from Oliver + S! So fun to sew up and this one came together even faster than the hide-and-seek dress since I didn’t attempt any piecing together. I’m so grateful whenever I get the chance to try out these amazing patterns. Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t branch out from my Japanese sewing books, and how sad would it be to miss out on all these fabulous indie patterns? Thank you, Liesl!
Side note: K is reading Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events right now and is completely immersed. She refused to put down the book, but obediently followed my instructions to turn, give me a side profile, sit, etc. The girl is a professional.