Friday 21 December 2018

Redemption via the Carousel Dress

To get myself up from my foetal position in the corner of the sewing room after the disaster that was the Ottobre bermuda pants, there was only one possible siren call...

The lure of an Oliver + S pattern. And better still, one of the very few that I hadn't yet sewn.

This is the Carousel Dress. It's a simple dress that's nice and easy to sew but is deceptively well shaped. I'd never paid it a lot of attention as far as patterns go, but I can't begin to explain how good it looks on A. I kept finding myself exclaiming what an awesome little dress it was. The shape is just delightful.

She had been invited to a friend's birthday party that had a unicorn theme. I'd spied this fabric in Spotlight previously and when she said yes to a unicorn dress I raced back to get some. You see, she's going through a no dress phase. Her outfits are usually a pair of her brothers old jeans, a T-shirt and a check shirt around her waist. It's a real Seattle early 90s grunge look. Amusing on a 7 year old, sure, but I was pining for all those lonely unworn dresses.

I haven't photographed the fabric well here. It's a lightweight denim chambray with little unicorns (Ed: A tells me they are called "alicorns" as they are technically a winged unicorn not a regular land-lubber unicorn. Thanks kid.).

I made a straight size 7 - her measurements fit the size 7 perfectly with the exception of height which is much closer to an 8. I simply couldn't be bothered adding length, so it's size 7 unaltered. I was nervous about it being too big and baggy, or shapeless, but honestly, it has the loveliest fit though the chest that makes the A line flare of the dress really pleasant.

This is View A with the gathered skirt. I like the idea of sewing View B in a corduroy for winter, but as much as I keep looking adoringly at this dress, I'd be wise to wait and see how much wear it gets. I think she'd rather I sewed her jeggings and flannelette shirts (sigh).

I sometimes think I must sound like I have taken a big swig of the Kool Aid when it comes to Oliver + S. Then I tell myself that I can be objective, 'cause see, I haven't even sewn this pattern, or that one, as they don't appeal. Then I sew them and they're gorgeous and I fall in love with the simple lines, well drafted shape and lovely, enjoyable sewing instructions. So I admit, I'm a fan girl. :)

And since I needed a pick me up, I know I chose exactly the right pattern for the job.

Pattern: Oliver + S Carousel Dress, View A (check the errata if you have an original paper pattern like I do) 
Size: 7 , no mods
Fabric: Denim chambray from Spotlight
NB: View A is normally made in 2 different fabrics and the fabric requirements lists 1 yard for each. Using the same fabric for both, with this 145cm wide fabric, I think I only used just over 1 metre in total.
Notions: thread chain (busted already, grrr) and single button from stash.


  1. Aw, I'm so glad you like it! Thanks for the lovely review.

  2. Ah, I love it!!! I have this pattern but haven't sewed it up yet either! Must try this one.

  3. This looks so great! I made this pattern for the first time this summer for my niece and my daughter, and really liked the fit and the interesting shaping. My daughter loves hers (despite the lack of a twirly skirt) - the pockets are definitely an added bonus. And sewing it was a treat!

  4. Well done. It's a beautiful dress - I hope A enjoys it and you can have a flanno-free winter sewing schedule. The jeggings could go under it...?

  5. I too have this pattern and haven't made it. Pretty much.for the same reasons as you mentioned...I worry that Julia would swim in it, but A looks lovely. I too am a fan of the Seattle 90s grunge look...

  6. Great dress and A looks so pretty in it. Hope it gets plenty of wear.


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