Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress

fairy tale dress oliver & s.jpg

I've finished this dress after more than a year. It's such a relief to have finally completed it. However, it will probably be quite a while before I use this pattern again, not because it's bad; it's really the opposite. I think I was a little bit ambitious when I started it. The great thing is I've learned quite a few skills along the way, and that is priceless. 

This dress, as aptly described by my dear husband,  was my nemesis. I kept procrastinating to finish it for a super long time. I started sewing the dress I guess somewhere in March 2013 (I'm not even sure anymore). It has been so long! I bought the pattern for a project in my sewing class, back when we still lived in Washington. The overall process was so slow due to a few reasons. I brought Sarah with me to the class, so my attention wasn't really focused on sewing. They were 90 minute sessions of one on one instruction. That sounds pretty long, but I just felt every time I went there, it ended so quickly. I didn't try to finish the dress at home because I wasn't confident enough to attempt it on my own. Plus, when I was at home, I just felt like I had tons of other things to do. Sewing obviously isn't always my priority even though I love it so much. Does that make any sense at all? 

I started this dress as a size 6-12m. The actual finished dress is a size 12-18m. Sarah is now 28 months. Luckily for me, she's a peanut compared to most toddlers her age, so this dress still fits her nicely. What happened was that I made so many mistakes with my first attempt. Since this dress was initially an in-class project that I did for my sewing class, I double-checked with my instructor before moving on to subsequent steps. Without doing any cross-referencing with the pattern's instructions, I just followed what my instructor asked me to do. The pattern asked me to: 1) Attach the bodice to the skirt, 2) Sew in the zipper, and 3) Attach the collar. I instead, sewed the bodice and the skirt to their respective linings and attached both pieces together. I don't remember when I attached the zipper but I had totally forgotten to attach the collar. It's all a bit hazy for me to remember all the details, but here goes:  I think the main reason why I didn't remove all the stitches when I realized my mistake was that I had already trimmed the seam allowances of the neckline to 1/4" and even clipped them. I wanted so badly  to attach the peter pan collar, that I did just that and sewed a bias binding on top of all the layers. It ended being bulky. It was not the wisest decision.

Note to self: ALWAYS go through the pattern from start to finish, and read the instructions carefully! 

The 6-12m version sans the skirt.

The 6-12m version sans the skirt.

This is what happens when I get extremely frustrated. The zipper kept getting caught to the lining because I probably sewed the fabric too close to the zipper. The slippery lining fabric started to shred and it just looked awful. I was really at my wits' end. This was the result! What was once a dress looks as if it got terribly amputated. Yet, I'm actually glad I did what I did. If I were to just be satisfied with my mediocre work, I wouldn't have started the 12-18mth size dress from scratch, all on my own! Well, I had to do it on my own anyway since I quit my sewing class, and moved to Great Lakes, IL last September. I really miss going to that sewing class, and I miss Tammy, my sewing instructor. It was a fun place to be for me.

The dress before hemming.

The dress before hemming.

I used a 1" double folded hem instead of the 2" as suggested by the pattern, because of Sarah's height. The 12-18m bodice fits perfectly for her, but it would have been too short if I had used the 2" hem.

The tulip cap sleeves.

The tulip cap sleeves.

Does it matter if the sleeve's overlap is toward the back instead of the front, as shown in the pattern? When I realized it, I just couldn't be bothered anymore.  

I'm not really loving this dress, but I'm happy I made it. It took me over a year to finish it. I've learned a few new skills, and I think that what really matters. 

NOTE:

  • Type: Dress
  • Pattern: Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress, view A
  • Size: 12-18m 
  • Date Started: March 2013
  • Date Completed: June 2014
  • Skills: Cutting, Marking, Basting, Gathering, Piping, Installing Invisible Zipper, Tulip Cap Sleeves, Peter Pan Collar, Staystitch, Understitch, Blindstitch
  • Fabric: Jo-Ann Fabrics