Having bottled out of making the Oliver + S Library Dress some time ago, I’m pleased to say I did get around to making it – and of course, it wasn’t nearly so difficult as I’d feared.
I used the same chambray-effect grey polycotton as the last school dress, an off-white calico for the waistband, and substituted a beautiful woven ribbon (in mostly regulation school colours) for the piping trim. The buttons on the back took a little time, as I covered each in a snippet of the same woven ribbon:
The other change I made was to line the whole dress, as the polycotton I was using was very thin. I wasn’t really sure how best to approach the process, so I just cut one extra piece of plain cotton for every pattern piece in the bodice and skirt, and tacked each piece to its lining around the edges before I started. Yes – that took some time! And yes – I bet there’s a better way of doing it, so please do tell me if you know!
The pattern was easy to follow, and I learned a few new techniques, too: I’ve never made facings before, and came across understitching for the first time. Both were a little time-consuming, and I’d much prefer for the pattern to be fully lined, but the facings do give a really professional finish. I’d also love the option of a zip closure at the back of the dress: nine buttons look pretty cute in the photos, but are less cute when trying to get small children dressed in a hurry! N.B. it looks like there is now a tutorial for adding a zip on the Oliver + S website – hurrah!
I think this dress is one of my very favourite things so far. It’s stylish and cute, and I learned a lot from the pattern.
Let’s just hope it still fits next week, when school starts back up after the summer…