I purchased this Oliver +S Jump Rope Dress pattern last fall, hoping to participate in a sew-a-long and have a dress for my daughter to wear this past spring and summer.
As you can see that didn't happen. She does have an adorable dress to wear this fall though. (It is really hard to get decent pictures of a not quite 2 year old)
I am very happy with this dress. It is cute and it is a great transition dress as our fall temperatures vary considerably.
I really, really wanted to fall in love with this pattern company. Their packaging is really cute and the dress designs are timeless. The designer Liesl pops in on the online forums regularly and requests feedback on the patterns. It's easy to want to love these patterns. I have heard tons of great things about Oliver +S patterns but I have to say for the price I was a little disappointed. It was a good pattern, the dress wasn't difficult, and it turned out well, but for $15 + shipping I can buy 7 or 8 patterns from my local fabric store, 15 if I catch the $0.99 sale. With a little creativity you can come up with the little touches that give the charm the Oliver +S patterns have.
The instructions are very similar to other commercial patterns. I had read that there were no raw edges in these patterns, but only the placket and collar edges were enclosed. The instructions for how to lay out the pattern for cutting is not in the instructions, but on the pattern papers. The pattern pieces do not have markings showing where to lengthen or shorten the bodice and the skirt, that was a little disappointing.
My daughter measured at a 12-18 month size but when I compared the pattern to another dress I had just made her, it was bigger than the 3T pattern. I ended up making the 2T size and crossed my fingers it would fit. Although it is difficult to pull over her shoulders, once it is on it fits beautifully.
Changes I made:
- Used French seams
- Lined the skirt
- Shortened the belt loops
- Used biased tape to enclose the seam where the skirt and bodice meet
- Made the skirt 1.5" shorter
- Used a 1.25" hem instead of the recommended narrow hem
- Used the placket for the smaller sizes
- I only put one pocket on the dress using the view B pocket.
- I wish I had also made the belt longer and used interfacing to help stiffen it some.
The inside of the dress is almost as pretty as the outside. The dark brown fabric is from Patty Young, I used Kona cotton for the lining. My contrast fabric was leftover scraps from Hobby Lobby. You can't see it well in the pictures but the majority of the top stitching is in pink thread, that might be my favorite part.
The popularity of Oliver +S patterns is really nice in that there are tons of examples available. It is easier to picture what your finished project will look like with different combinations of fabric when you can see pictures. This helped me TONS as originally I thought I would use a much busier fabric. I do really like this pattern, I just don't think it lived up to the hype. I won't be rushing out to buy additional patterns unless I can find them on sale. Since I already have the fabric my next project will be view B though.