You may have noticed that, despite being a haberdashery that's main interest is in providing beautiful fabrics and patterns for dress making, I haven't done any blog posts that actually feature clothes so far. There is a reason for this. I love making clothes and one of the things I'm really looking forward to doing is getting in beautiful new patterns and fabrics, picking out the ones that work well together, making stunning pieces of clothing and showing them off to you. Then giving you the means to make then yourselves. However, while the cogs are turning behind the scenes, we have to wait for these wonders to arrive and, therefore, I must wait to show them to you.
That being said, I couldn't resist showing you one pattern that I adore and will definitely be featuring in the Three Bird Fabrics store. This is the 'Fairy Tale Dress' by Oliver + S.
Oliver + S is part of Liesl and Co. and make a range of gorgeous contemporary children's clothing patterns. Most of their patterns are designed for children ages 6 months to 12 years and the Fairy Tale dress is no exception.
The pattern includes two versions of the dress featuring several differences that are interchangeable depending on your preference. You can choose between a Peter Pan collar or a modified Peter Pan collar, which is more rounded. The dress can be sleeveless or have tulip cap sleeves and you can have either a tubular waistband with a front bow detail or a large bow that is attached at the side seams and ties at the back. The dress bodice is fitted, the skirt is gathered at the waistband and the whole piece is lined. It closes with a concealed zip at the back. It even has a tulle crinoline making it the perfect dress for a special occasion.
The versions I choose, for the dress I made, include a Peter Pan collar.
Tulip Cap Sleeves
And the large bow tying at the back
The fabric choices available for this dress are extensive, light to medium weight woven, which gives you huge scope to use some really beautiful fabrics. I chose a medium weight cotton fabric from designer Bethan Janine at Dashwood Studios. This specific design was from a collection called Nature Trail. The bodice, skirt, sleeves and collar were made from the double boarder piece in that collection, using the boarder edge along the base of the skirt and the less detailed center for the rest.
For the bow I used a different design from the same collection called Summer forest. Unfortunately, this fabric is from one of there older collections, which I stashed away when I fell in love with it upon first seeing it and decided I would save it for something special. Therefore, it may be a little difficult to find now. However, do not loose heart as Dashwood produce many designs which are just as beautiful and include double boarders, many of which I'm hoping to have in store.
Oliver + S give the pattern a difficulty rating of 3 out of 4, implying it would be more suited to sewers at an intermediate skill level which I think is accurate. The instructions are clear, easy to follow and pretty well illustrated. I made one alteration to my dress which was due to my choice of fabric. The pattern includes an extra wide, triple thick hem to add more weight to the skirt so it stood out more. As I was using fabric with the pattern along the boarder I didn't have enough fabric between the salvage and start of the pattern to include such a large hem, so I included only a small double hem. This didn't really affect the look of the the dress as the medium weight fabric and the tulle crinoline helped the skirt stand out anyway.
I would certainly recommend this pattern to anyone looking to make a party dress for a little girl. I have received more compliments and requests for information on where to buy this dress than any other dress I have bought or made for my daughter. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this post my daughter has out grown this beautiful dress and so it will be stored away until I find someone else to wear it. Although, it does mean I get to make a new one and I will be sure to show it off to you when I do.