This was a wonderful fabric for this dress – I love how it looks almost denim, but it is incredibly lightweight – a “light, crisp drape,” as they describe it. The fabric is Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Crossweave Indigo – I bought 4 yards of it, which was WAY too much, so I’m guessing that I only used approx. 2 yards (if that, because the fabric is 57″ wide).
The pattern is Oliver + S Hide & Seek Dress, and as with previous Oliver + S patterns, I found the sizes in the upper range to be incredibly far off. I suspect that this company sizes their patterns based on young kids, and then just mathematically increases the proportions, without actually checking to see if they fit real kids that age. Because my daughter just turned 9, I sized up and cut for the size 10, and cut the size 12 length for the skirt pieces. The fit ended up almost too tight in bodice, but a little oversized in the skirt, and the length was ridiculous – even cutting the length for a size 12, I had to add a FIVE-INCH panel at the bottom, just to make it reach beneath her knees! Since my daughter is at the 50%tile for height – that is, exactly average for a nine-year-old – I’d like to know which 12-year-old this length was sized on!
Also, this pattern was only available in downloadable form, which I’ve decided I don’t like – yes, you get it immediately, but it is a huge pain to print out the partial pattern pieces on regular-sized pieces of paper, and then to have to cut them all out, match them up, and tape them together. I much prefer the “hard copy” patterns!
I get really frustrated with patterns that don’t have a good, accurate fit, because even though you can make adjustments as you sew, at some points, there’s just nothing you can do, especially if the pattern pieces have been cut too small. Luckily, my sizing up worked (with the exception of having to add the bottom panel) and it fits her well enough.
What I do like about Oliver + S is the clear directions – by and large, I found them easy to follow, and I didn’t make any modifications. I also like all of the unique design features – welted pockets, cuffs on the sleeves, and the way that the dress has side panels that go all the way up and over the shoulders is really cool.
I used the Heather Bailey Embroidery Blooming Borders for the design across the bodice (inspired by a similar sewing project I saw on Pink Chalk Fabric’s blog). I love how much the little touch of embroidery adds, although I was amazed at how long it took me to embroider this small design – probably because a lot of it required fill-in satin stitch, which is definitely not my best embroidery stitch!
I used a really beautiful lawn fabric from my stash for the bodice lining – I think that the pattern actually calls for using a different fabric for the outside of the bodice, but since I used the same fabric for the entire dress, I wanted something pretty for the lining.
The buttons are also from my stash – handmade ceramic in a beautiful spring green, I found them years ago at a yarn store and they’ve just been waiting for a perfect project to use them for!
I’m amazed by how differently the color of the fabric photographs inside vs outside – I would say that the outside, natural light gives the more accurate color, although really the true color is probably just about in between the inside and outside photos. I love the cross weave patterning in the fabric, and how it gives flair to the simple chambray.