July 23, 2013

For round two of the Super Online Sewing Match the challenge was sewing up this adorable little dress pattern from Oliver and S – The Roller Skate Dress.  Amazingly enough I have never sewn one of their patterns before so I was really excited to give it a try.  I now know why their patterns are so popular (aside from the fact their designs are simple, European style, children’s clothing) – the patterns are professional and well made, with detailed instructions.  I learned quite a few tricks as I put this together and had a really great experience doing so.

When thinking about fabric for this challenge I realized that if I kept shopping in the garment district for these projects I would soon go broke so I decided to look into what I had in my closet to up cycle.  Then I remembered this amazing Anthropologie dress (originally $178) that I got for $9 off the clearance rack because of two 10 inch long rips in the skirt.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to salvage the dress to wear, but at $9 I couldn’t pass up the amazing fabric and knew it would be a great up cycle project of some sort.  So finally, 3 years later, it is getting turned into a little girl dress.  The fabric is an amazing navy and white striped silk/cotton blend with a beautiful drape.  The lining was made from the lining of the actual dress – 100% white cotton, which was essential because the outside fabric is somewhat sheer.  I did have some moments in the middle of sewing this dress that I cursed my choice of fabrics as it was a little slippery and tricky due to the silk content, but in the end I love how the choice of fabric makes the dress feel a little more upscale and dressy while still feeling youthful enough with the nautical color palette and pattern.

Collar :

In my opinion this was definitely the hardest part of the dress.  It took me a few tries to get everything perfect.  But in the end I love it.  I feel like the wave/point goes well with the nautical feel of the fabric. In the back I added a button loop and a fabric colored button that I made out of some scraps of matching fabric.

Hem :

I created a wide 4 inch band across the bottom of the skirt as the hem.  I liked the visual interest of the horizontal with the vertical stripes.  For the lining I made a simple 1/4 inch hem.

Inside Seams:

Because of the sheerness of the main fabric I used french seams to keep everything tidy.  I also made a little thread chain on both of the side seams to connect the lining to the dress to keep everything in place.

Waistband :

I couldn’t use the patterns instructions for the waistband because the elastic would have shown through my main fabric, so instead I created a small casing which I stitched to the lining to encase the elastic.

Outside :

Inside :

Well, that is it.  I kept it pretty simple and clean, but I am really proud of the attention to detail and finishing work of the seams, lining etc…  

Can’t wait to make a tunic version next.

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  • Reply Michelle July 23, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Great Job Kelli! Beautiful workmanship and I love that you used the Anthro dress!

  • Reply Kristie July 24, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Love it, it looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply katherine h July 24, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Cuter and cuter! Great use of the Anthro dress.

  • Reply Jessica July 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Your version of this dress so lovely, especially because it is upcycle! I’m impressed by the details too–good luck on the sewing match.

  • Reply lisa g. July 24, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    beautiful dress! i haven’t tried any Oliver & S patterns, but this one i’ve thought of getting–and may after seeing your version. well done on the finishing!

  • Reply Lucinda Poel July 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    love, love this! The contrast striped band along the hem is such a great detail – makes me wonder if I can stash shop some striped fabric to try the same! And your choice of collar fabric is a great contrast to the rest of the dress. Just stunning!

  • Reply Anonymous July 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    this is beautiful. great job!

  • Reply Laurel July 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    This is lovely! Such a great use for that print!

  • Reply Beth July 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Love the band at the bottom. Most of the versions of this dress I like have something different going on at the bottom. Great re-use of fabric.

  • Reply nest full of eggs July 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Making a thread chain to connect the lining to the dress is a brilliant idea!

  • Reply Leuinda Fields July 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Wow! I love up-cycling projects and this one is fabulous. All the little details are so charming. A winner for sure!


  • Reply nest full of eggs July 27, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    I think people would love to see this dress over at the O+S flickr group:
    If you are on flickr and able to add it…

  • Reply gingermakes July 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    This is so, so pretty! I absolutely love it, and what an awesome upcycle! Alpha’s smile kills me– she’s so cute!

  • Reply ashley July 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    This looks incredible Kelli! All the details and finishings are beautiful. And I miss that cute little face :). She’s looking so grown up.

  • Reply dixie August 14, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    she looks so cute! (and dare i say grown up, such a stylish little lady) loved that you re-used an old dress and ran the stripes in different directions. i bet you’ve got a lot of fabric left. maybe you could whip up a top for your little boy? 😉

  • Reply Sarah Culp October 7, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    I am IN LOVE with this dress!!

  • Reply Sarah Culp October 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    I’m in LOVE with this dress. Kelli, you are a sewing wizard. Alpha is the sweetest little thing – and so adorable in that dress!

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