Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Bubbles and ice-cream

I've recently discovered Oliver+S patterns, and, like all new converts, I want to share them...

Do you know them already? I've been noticing them for a while, mostly in nice, boutique-y (read 'expensive') on-line fabric shops. They come in gorgeously retro packaging, with paper-doll cutouts of each pattern that speak to me of Bunty magazine (circa 1980) and must surely induce a similar generic-yet-personal response in every woman born in the twentieth century. They have a lovely typeface. They have wonderfully evocative names like 'tea party' and 'school photo', guaranteed to conjure up childhood memories. These are every little girl's dream party dresses, but also practical enough to be worn every day.

The patterns even come in a separate cardboard sleeve, so the little girl wearing the dresses could even cut the dolls out to play with (if she"s old enough to be trusted with scissors). Inspired!

And yet... despite all that it's taken me a long time to buy one. I'll whisper it: the paper-doll pictures, for all their good points, just don't quite do justice to the utter loveliness of these clothes. It was only when I saw them made up in real life that I was smitten. The oliver+s flickr group is very addictive, and every day there is something new and beautiful to inspire.

So, still early days for me.  Here's the bubble dress:

bubble dress front
bubble dress back - with poppers to close

Size 6-12m fits my six month old perfectly, with a little bit of wiggle-room. The pattern was a joy to follow. I'd never done a bubble hem before, but now I know the secret (clear elastic stitched to the seam allowance) I plan lots more.

And here's the Ice cream dress:

pocket detail
All the credit for this one goes to Christine at From an Igloo, who ran a sew-a-long last week.
I might have missed out on this pattern otherwise - it looks deceptively simple in the picture, but the beauty of this dress is all in the little details. I followed the sew-a-long almost to the letter, and only deviated very slightly in using my zipper foot to align the edge stitching instead of doing it by eye using a normal foot.

Oh - and I opted for the smock length option (again, a la village frock) so am thinking perhaps my baby will need some matching trousers? Maybe that's a project for another day...

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