Holiday Dresses: Oliver and S Building Block Dress

I was thrilled by Liesl’s announcement of the Building Block Dress several months ago. If you follow this blog much you know I’m a huge fan of Oliver and S Patterns, so this book was a must buy. I don’t much sewing for people besides my children, but when I do it’s usually for one of my nieces. I had a vision of my daughter and her two cousins dressed in matching but not identical dresses for Christmas. Luckily, I had the time to pull it off.

My vision was a dress that was festive but not so much that it couldn’t be worn after Christmas. I found two fabrics in my stash that seemed to fit perfectly, a cranberry red baby corduroy and a sparkly blue chambray shirting.

I started with my daughter’s dress in size 6-12 months. I made the A-line variation silhouette, a gathered cap sleeve, and the tie collar.

This photo was taken before hemming or finishing the neckline, but you get the idea.

And my adorable baby girl, with crazy post nap hair and wrinkled dress.

The second dress I finished was made in a size 8. Since my niece is tall and thin, I lengthened the bodice and skirt to a size 10. That’s one of the best things about sewing.

My niece Ava pretty much designed the dress herself. She really liked the foldover pockets. These were the hardest drafting task of any of the three dresses, but they turned out great. I chose a cute button with a sparkly rhinestone center. Too bad I didn’t get a better photo of that little detail.

With the third dress I asked Bella’s mom if I could take creative license and she said, “sure.” I did remember that she liked the shaped yoke and wanted long sleeves, so this is what I came up with. This dress also has an a-line silhouette, which I think is ideal for babies and toddlers. Bella’s dress was a size 3T.

Instead of doing the yoke like the instructions, I made an external facing. It seemed like it would be a little easier to topstitch the facing down rather than fiddle with curved seams. 

The yoke/facing is straight on the back and has the cute scallops on the front.

This dress has gathered long sleeves with a cuff. If I were to do it again I would have gathered the sleeve head a little more and definitely sewn the cuffs on before sewing the sleeve together. It was a headache to get my sewing machine inside that little 7″ cuff.

The three girlies looking adorable in their matching dresses. Seeing them all together was such a treat. Next year I’ll have to treat the nieces on the other side of the family to matching dresses because this is definitely a once a year type project.



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