Thursday, May 30, 2013

Little Grad

My little Emily is officially a preschool graduate.  Its hard to believe but honestly she is just getting to be more and more fun so its hard to me to morn the growing.  Plus as I tell people all the time having them grow up beets the hell out of the alternative that none of us want to consider.  Her school does a big thing and they have been using the same homemade caps and gowns for at least 20 years now. 
Now I knew about this but there was also a singing part beforehand so we all know Emily needed a special dress just for the occasion.
I had been hanging on to this Dewberry Sparrows fabric for most of her life.  It reminds me of her namesake so I wanted to make the perfect dress from it.  I also only had 2 yards so I knew if I didn't use it soon I'd be in trouble.

I actually made this dress at least a month ago but have been waiting till graduation to post.  I've also been having trouble figuring out how to review the pattern.  I made it using the Olabelthe Mia top pattern with some modifications.  I had been eying her Olivia dress pattern since it originally came out but for some reason it only went to a size 8 while Mia went to a 12.  Since my previous experience with these patterns has been that they run small I wanted to be able to use the pattern as many times as possible.  Especially since this looks like more of a big girl dress design to me.
So to start the dress is beautiful and now having made it I can tell  you that its not super similar to anything else I've come across and the final product is stunning if I do say so myself.  That said I didn't love dealing with the pattern.  Some of these things are just my preferences but there are no pattern markings and the directions are very wordy.  I also didn't love that there were lots of nonspecific "little tucks" used on the top and skirt.  I ended up just gathering the top and while I used the tucks for the skirt this time next time I will likely just gather that as well.  In addition I felt like I had to read and reread things a lot bc the directions are wordy and contain some unnecessary information.  That said these are just my preferences.  I think I've been getting a bit spoiled by all my Oliver and S sewing.
I made her a size 6 with a good bit of added length since I wanted a dress not a top.  I probably could have done a 5 but the pattern only provides finished measurements without suggesting how much wearing ease to allow.  I also added an inch to the center band bc the bodice looked so short.  I think this would have been just fine either way.  I used the prescribed amount of elastic and its just right on Emily but she has skinny arms and narrow shoulders so that would be worth taking into account bc if you follow the bodice directions (I think you should I do love the way that part goes together) it will not be easy to adjust the elastic.
The biggest change I made was adding a contrasting button band down the back to make it button all the way down.  I was worried that it would be hard to put on and take off otherwise.  This also meant that once I got through with the bodice I didn't really follow the directions much.  I couldn't get enough of either of the buttons that I liked so I alternated between flowers and butterflies.

I love how this dress turned out and I'm glad I got the pattern.  It was not as easy to follow as my Oliver and S patterns are though and the total lack of pattern markings really bugged me.  That said I love the style of many Olabelhe patterns and I'm sure I will be using them again. 

Here is the after effect of all those cute fountain pictures.


  1. L-O-V-E it! I'm dying for an excuse to buy the Olivia, and the Mia looks like the same style in a top version. So by lengthening it, I think you did get the best bargain. And that Joel Dewberry fabric - PERFECT! Does she like it; it's not pink?!

  2. Congrats to Emily.. Tell her she looked beautiful.
    Love the dress and the button down the back was just
    the most beautiful Idea. Happy sewing.

  3. The dress is lovely, you picked just the perfect fabric and the modifications!

  4. Congratulations to your adorable and beautiful graduate! Her graduation dress is enviably stunning.

  5. Very pretty! I love the fabric!