They make fantastic kid's clothes patterns and I fiddle with them then share ideas and how-to's on the Oliver + S blog. Sometimes it's hard to find the exact pattern you want, especially when you dress your kids as Evel Knievel, Elle Driver, or a giant Parmesan Cheese. Anyway, the point is, you can search for, then pay for a pattern, or you can work with what you've got.
Now we have a guide book for tinkering and fiddling. Liesl Gibson, of Oliver + S, has produced the Building Block Dress Book, which is an invaluable resource for those of us who want a dress a "bit like that one but not quite". And of course the first thing I did with the book was something that's not technically in the book. I made the basic silhouette dress in a knit fabric.
The Building Block Dress book gives a basic pattern then shows various sleeve adjustments, pockets, silhouette changes, necklines, finishes etc. I've shown which dress options I chose and given more details about this dress on the Oliver + S blog, Click here for the blog post.
I liked the idea of making a T-shirt dress and using various solid knits from the stash. All of these fabrics are what are known as "dry knits" - they're synthetic, lightweight with lots of drape and a nice matte finish. Oh, and they're cheap. These were all various $2/metre finds. The green has already been used for a T-shirt for me, the purple has been used as a dress for A, and the blue and brown were just mellowing in the stash.
I think she's pretty pleased with the twirliness of the skirt!
The Building Block Dress as it's meant to be sewn in a non stretch woven, has a button placket at the back. There are instructions for altering to a zipper finish, various other back closures, or even moving the opening to the front. Of course, in a knit fabric I just eliminated the opening altogether.
The pockets and neckband were bound with a double folded strip of knit fabric - another technique that's covered in the instructions of the book, although using bias strips of woven fabric. once the pockets were sewn the dress came together very quickly on the overlocker. The sewing machine only came out again for the twin needle hemming - which is looking a bit tunnel-ly here, but the dress has come straight off the drying line and been put back on without any ironing.
I detest ironing, which is probably why I've grown to love sewing with knit fabrics for the kids! Speaking of poor ironing skills, my snazzy new photo backdrops that I bought on Ebay have come creased and folded and will take a lot of ironing and hanging to get completely wrinkle free. They're fun though, and a new backdrop definitely helped us to power through this photoshoot on a busy Saturday morning.
Ok, so that's enough pictures of a kid in a T-shirt dress, right? You read the word give-away in the title and you've come this far, I need to let you in on the plan.
When I ordered my copy of the Building Block Dress Book, I figured the postage can be such a big cost, I may as well get two copies and share one with an Aussie/Kiwi as a little pre-Christmas blog gift from me to you. I was going to try and define my postage range a bit better and thought about FIFA World Cup Groupings, but since we left Oceania and joined Asia, it all got confusing and it seems a far stretch to say that postage to Turkey is affordable. Let's just say, if you're in Australia, or believe you're a close enough neighbour, then feel free to enter.
Building Block Dress Book Giveaway
If only I had time I would make a dozen of these dresses, they are so easy for her to wear, fit perfectly and look great. Plus I have a LOT of knit fabrics that need to be used up.
You can find all the posts I've written for Oliver + S via my "Off Track" page on the blog navigation bar at the top, or by clicking the Oliver + S See Me Elsewhere button. Or, on the mobile phone viewing platform, right here. I'm unashamedly in favour of these patterns as they are so exceedingly well written, in addition to great drafting and nice designs.
The Building Block Dress Book is like a huge bundle of Oliver + S patterns all in one place. OK, so it take s a little bit of effort to alter pattern pieces and get the dress you're wishing for, but once you learn how to do it, the world is your oyster.
...and there's an idea for a costume! - Flipper and I were invited to an Alice in Wonderland party ages ago, and I did consider dressing him as the Carpenter, me as the Walrus and the kids as little oysters. I wouldn't be surprised if I needed to make an oyster costume and found some of the necessary techniques in this very book! Did you see Liesl's daughter as Don Juan? Crazy good costume
And now I'm just going to add all the other photos 'cause I can't choose which to leave out....
Pattern: Oliver + S Building Block Dress: basic silhouette
Size: 5 with length of 6
Fabric: various synthetic knits