Oliver+s Book Report Dress and leggings – KCW Fall 2013

Book Report Dress - title image

Guess what guys?  It’s my birthday today and I’ve been given a strict order from my family that I will NOT spend all evening on the computer writing this post.  Jeez, what kind of family is that, wanting to spend time with me and all?!?!  With gifts and dinner being prepared for me (cuttlefish with capers and harissa followed by a celeriac and mushroom torte, in case you’re wondering…oh, and cupcakes…big ones filled with dulce de leche….and some divine dessert wine we picked up this weekend in Germany) I couldn’t protest too much.

book report dress - back view at bug house

So, let’s got on with it.  This is a straight-up all-girl, ultra-useful Autumn outfit.  The dress is Oliver+s’s Book Report Dress and the leggings are from Go To Patterns.  I feel a bit lame and unhelpful by saying this but both these items sewed up without any hitches (apart from a minor sewing machine error – skipped stitches and the top thread occasionally breaking…any thoughts on a cause?!).  I didn’t even alter or change a single thing.  It was such a treat to be in Liesl’s good hands while sewing that I decided to just follow the instructions and not tax my brain too much on alterations.  Plus these patterns are pretty much spot-on so why mess with a good thing, right?

book report dress - action 2

Book Report Dress

book report dress - action

This dress is rated as two scissors.  All other dresses I’ve made from Oliver+s have been three scissors and I really could tell a difference.  This one just came together so easily without any hiccups but without sacrificing any of the subtle details, professional finishes and overall style that we’ve all come to expect from Oliver+s.  To be honest, the most annoying part of this project was step one – making and sewing the button loops.  I don’t know why I find this process so tedious.  I even tried to use a tube turner which is a long skinny thing you put through a tube after you sew it right sides together.  It’s meant to turn the whole tube right side out but I can never get it to work.  Has anyone had any success with one of these?  In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it looks like this:

The black fabric is from The Village Haberdashery.  The mustard yellow is Kona cotton from my local fabric shop.

I sewed a size 6 for my 5.75 year old.  I knew it would come out big (some of her measurements put her in size 4) but I have an awful habit of making things too small so I was fine with a bit of growing room.

book report dress - neckline button detail

Overall, I do like the dress but I can’t say it’s one of my favourite pieces ever.  For me, the jury’s out on the shirt hem.  My favourite features are the hidden pockets along the front horizontal seam, the contrast yoke in the back and the button opening along the neckline.

book report dress - pocket detail

Go To Leggings

This is the second time I’ve made these leggings from Go To Patterns.  You can read about the first pair here.   With only two pattern pieces to work with you can sew these in an evening and be done in time to catch the news with a cup of tea.  Again, I made no changes or alterations – aren’t I boring today?!

book report dress - back

The petrol blue jersey is from Kitschy Coo and it really is a lovely colour – I’m wondering if I have enough left to make a pair for myself.  I had the size 5 pattern piece cut out so used that but just made it slightly bigger when cutting out the fabric because the first pair are already getting small and I was too lazy to trace the size 6.  This worked ok.

I’m being called for dinner so I’ll leave you to sip my champagne and enjoy!

book report dress - cuff detail

Realistically I will get one more KCW item sewn.  Let’s hope I can get it up before Sunday.

And, as Margot’s expression tells us, I think we’re finished here.

book report dress - final

Thanks for reading,
Laura x

19 thoughts on “Oliver+s Book Report Dress and leggings – KCW Fall 2013

  1. vinthillvintage

    Loop turners are maddening aren’t they? I like to leave my thread tail long when I finish stitching the side then tie it in a firm knot at the end of the thread. I push the loop turner through the tube then secure its hook through the thread at the knot so as I pull the tool back through the tube it pulls the thread down and eventually the top to the tube comes along with some coaxing.

  2. Ashley @twynmawrmom

    Yes, it’s ok to be ‘boring’, if you didn’t struggle…you forget that we like to know what patterns are working for you! I’d like to try both of these! Oliver + S actually intimidates me, but it has been a few years since I opened up one pattern I purchased that had boy/girl matching outfits, which I had planned to do before the twins were 2?!?
    The thread tearing may be from needing a new needle? That’s what happens with me…

    1. Sarah

      LOVELY, lovely Oliver + s Book Report dress and leggings sewn PERFECTLY and a UNIQUE pattern design. I LOVE how the outfit is modeled appropriately by your daughter. Looks like the 6 gold fabric button loops turned out OK, although you commented it was the most annoying part. Your selection of flowered bodice fabric with gold skirt, back yoke/collar & cuffs seems “SPOT-ON!” Details shown in close-up photos reveal your precision sewing. BRAVO! for a stylish little girl’s dress complete with bright turquoise leggings and 6 buttons to match. Wishes for a HAPPY HAPPY Birthday–you deserve the champagne!! Sarah Helene in Minneapolis, MN

    2. laurabehindthehedgerow

      Don’t fear Oliver+s! It’s like someone holding your hand the whole way. I tried changing needle, changing thread, cleaning machine. I guess I should take it in to have it looked at but I can’t face the prospect of being sewing machine-less!

  3. Blogless Anna

    Happy birthday Laura. And super cute dress (and model). You can’t go wrong with an Oliver + S pattern… says she who started cutting out the pinwheel tunic this afternoon! I’m about to make some Go To Leggings for Miss A (it’s her birthday tomorrow!) and I thought I’d make a 3/4 pair to go with her birthday dress. I have a question about the leggings… how is the rise? My girls hate ‘harry high pants’ and enjoy there leggings at a more ‘hipster’ location.

    1. laurabehindthehedgerow

      Thanks, Anna. I’d say the leggings have a medium rise. They aren’t hipsters but you can’t pull them up to your nipples either! I’d cut the pattern out as is and then just chop off some fabric around the waist if you think they’ll be too high. You’ll knock these up in less than an hour I’m sure! x

      1. Blogless Anna

        From printing out the pattern, taping it together, tracing off the appropriate size, putting two girls back to bed who kept getting up and it was all done in much less that 2 hours! I ended up double folding the elastic (and therefore reducing the rise by 1 inch) mid construction. The band is slightly chunky (because of the extra layer of fabric) but I think still very wearable. Here’s hoping the birthday girl agrees! Thanks for responding to my query on your birthday. You’re the best!

  4. Jane

    Hi Laura, happy birthday. I have learned to love my tube turner. Tips for success – a thin enough fabric that turns easily, a bit of poly in the cotton can help here as well as it slips better (or silk) Sometimes I go for contrasting button loops in a more slippery fabric when I know the main fabric would “stick”. I pick up a bit of the fabric (around the seam is best) and make sure the latch is closed and then very gently ease the start of the tube over it to get it to start to turn. Once it starts to turn just keep easing small bits along so I don’t end up with a know at the end that will not move. It helps if the tube you are turning is not too long. You do get used to it eventually. Hope this helps, Jane

  5. helen

    Great outfit, I love the colours together and the contrasting buttons at the shoulder and cuff. I bought a loop turner after I had difficulties a few months ago. I haven’t used it yet so nothing to add! You are doing well for KCW, I have some jersey drying on the line after a pre-wash for a girls skater dress, not sure I’ll get it all done and dusted by Sunday evening, if not there is always next time!

  6. Emily Thompson

    LOVE the colors and those pockets!!! How fun!!! I’m a new follower on Pinterest…. I have a group board Sewing for Kids… its been growing fast, I’d love for you to join!! Follow me at ntcreations or just follow the board and I can invite you to join the group… we’de love to have you pinning your greatness :o)pop me an e-mail at nap-timecreations@hotmail.com Emily

  7. Meghan

    Happy Birthday Laura!! Hope you had a great day!!
    And your outfit is fabulous! Love the colors. The book report dress is next on my list….so glad to know it is an easy sew!

  8. fiona

    Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoyed your lovely birthday dinner 🙂 What a lovely outfit! I really like seeing patterns sewn up unaltered so I can envision how it would be if I made it (unaltered). I love those petrol leggings! I’ve cut out the pattern for my girls, but haven’t gotten to making any leggings yet. I also don’t expect to get more sewn this week…I’m already so tired! Enjoy your weekend 🙂


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