Tuesday 26 February 2019

Jump Rope Birthday Dress

It occurred to me, about three days out from A's eighth birthday that I didn't have a new dress to gift her. I've been sewing lots for her lately but a birthday called for a special dress.

It also dawned on me that there is a whole bundle of Oliver + S patterns that stop at size 8 (sniff). I desperately wanted to give at least one of them one last turn on the machine. I pulled out three patterns (Jump Rope, Playdate and Birthday Party) and some fabrics I thought would match. I made some pairings of fabric and pattern and let her choose. Of course she chose a different fabric/pattern pairing than I'd envisioned....

… And she chose the most complicated of all the patterns knowing full well I only had a few sewing sessions before the upcoming birthday. Cheeky sod.

So this is the Jump Rope Dress, view A. It happens to be the first pattern I ever sewed for her. Once I"d come home with my new baby girl, the very first thing I made was a size 2 Jump Rope dress in a Heather Ross fabric. It looked enormous next to this newborn (I'd say little newborn but she was a whopping 4.2kg at birth). it took her almost two years to grow into it. But here it is being worn.

I've always had a soft spot for this pattern. I've made the View A four times now and the View B once, and used the placket to make polo tops for her too. The placket instructions were one of the first sewing things that made me feel like a superstar.

The fabric that she chose was the one I had paired up with the Playdate dress. It's a synthetic something or other that is incredibly soft and has the black floral motif as a flocked velvet effect. I had it in mind as a more autumn/winter dress but she was not to be swayed.

The Playdate is a dress pattern I've only sewn once before and I remember being so delighted with it I wondered why I ever delayed. I'm definitely going to revisit that one while she's still a size 8, and maybe in another double gauze like the first.

I've got a feeling the fabric came from a local vietnamese fabric shop and so was probably less than $5/m. I've had it in the stash for a while now and I've no idea how long the cut was, but this dress pattern fit on it with less than an A4 page area leftover at the end. Seriously satisfying.

The metal buttons were in my button stash and have these sweet little carriages on them.

Don't look too closely at the fabric's pattern lines. There was only just enough fabric to cut the dress pattern and definitely not enough to think about matching the background plaid. That's kind of liberating really. ;)

As predicted, I thoroughly enjoyed the sewing, and while there's lots of steps with pockets, beltloops and belt, sleeve tabs, collar and placket... It all still came together easily and fairly rapidly.

The fit on this little dress is just divine. I'd be delighted if a shirtdress bodice came straight out of the packet and fit my shoulders, chest and waist like that!

Of course I'd traced off view B as well and once I saw that bodice fit I couldn't help myself but sewed that version up too! You'll have to wait for cooler weather to see that one.

There's no way I can let go of those other patterns that max out at size 8. I've already cut the Birthday Party dress. I have plans for the Playdate, fully intend on making another Sunday Brunch "suit" and might even crack out the Sailboat pattern again as shorts... Cause from now on, unless I'm sewing them as gifts for someone else's kids, I'd have to wait until I might be a grandma!

And now, I'll leave you with A's impression of a flamingo!

Size: 8
Mods: none
Fabric and buttons from stash


  1. that is adorable and a great use of the print.

    1. THanks Beth. I'm enjoying using up my fabric stash, although I do hardly seme to be making a dent in it. ;)

  2. Perfect dress and A is certainly comfortable in it. I love following the links as I haven't been following for that long and it so cute to see the photos.

    1. Thanks Sharon. I'll continue to throw in the back links and the Flickr shots! Cheers

  3. Beautiful. Looks great with the fabric and the buttons are perfect too. Sounds like you have a lot of sewing to do to make the most of the O+S patterns! Sadly, all things must pass, as George Harrison once sang...

    1. He must have penned that song after he went on that one, single date with my mum. True story (if by "date" you're happy to accept riding the bus home together after a band gig). It's our family story claim to fame!

  4. My very favourite O+S pattern, I couldn't count how many I have made.
    It is gorgeous and a very happy birthday to her!

    1. Isn't it a cracker! Bring on the cold weather 'cause I've got a view B that needs photographing.


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