A very special Oliver + S School Photo dress

Since Christmas, Miss Six has been wearing her corduroy School Photo dress every other day. She layers it with tights and a long sleeve top to wear to school. It has become her absolute favourite dress. But even better than this is the fact that I also love the look of it. It’s a very smart looking little dress. It’s also clearly very comfortable and warm, given that it is fully lined. 

Now, I don’t often sew clothes for people outside of my immediate family, but the idea of sewing this particular dress for my niece just seemed like the most perfect idea. My niece was born only a week apart from my Miss six, so I was confident with the sizing, as well as the style. It has been such a winner of a dress with my daughter that I hope it will be loved as much by her cousin. 

 
 
For my niece’s version, I used up my last little bits of leftover wool and cashmere scraps. I barely had enough to make this dress, and in fact, I still had to make a few concessions to stretch it far enough. The dress hem is only 1cm. I had to substitute a decent hem to get enough length in the cashmere panel. I also would have liked slightly longer ruffles on the sleeves. But these are only small things in the whole scheme of things.
 
 
 
My only modification to the pattern was in turning the sleeve panels into ruffles. I cut these on the bias which seems to make them curve around and under and hold a beautiful bell shape. This is very much what I wanted them to do, so I think I’m going to store up this idea of sleeve ruffles on the bias for next time.
 

 

I took my time making this dress. The hem was blind stitched by hand and the zipper was hand-stitched to the silk lining scraps, as was deserving of the beautiful fabric I was using. I’m also pretty pleased with my precision seam matching. I shared my newfound trick on how to achieve this on my Instagram account.  


All in all, the dress turned out beautifully. I’m super excited about sending it off to her cousin in Australia. It will arrive a few months before her birthday, but that’s how I roll with presents. My best gifts always miss the target date! And besides, I want her to be able to wear it while it will still fit perfectly, and on the odd chance that Melbourne gets a Wintery day or two before the end of Summer.

Oliver + S School Photo dress

This little dress is soon to be wrapped up and hidden for Christmas. Santa will deliver it to Miss Six. It should be perfectly snuggly and warm for winter school days. Miss Four agreed to model the dress. It’s a size 7 so it is understandably way too big for her. Seeing it on her gives me confidence that it will fit Miss Six well in a few months time.


I picked up the fabric from Tessuti several months ago. It was one of my last purchases before I left Sydney. It is a beautifully soft, brushed corduroy with just a little bit of stretch. I was actually planning to make my girls some trousers in it, but since they flatly refuse to wear jeans and long pants, I can’t see the point. So here’s to a little dress instead.


I know the print is a little unusual for a child’s outfit. Perhaps that is why I like it so much. I can see my eldest daughter looking very smart in this dress, paired with grey woollen stockings and some little winter boots.


As always, this Oliver + S pattern did not fail to impress. The instructions are fabulous and I love the little details. The front pocket is a winner (although I forgot to take a picture with it in use), and I love the look of that collar, even though it does look a little restrictive on Miss Four. I haven’t secured with the collar in the back with a hook and eye as the pattern suggests. I’m going to wait to see how it fits the true recipient before I do this.

I will definitely make this dress again, although for comfort and practicality, I may try making it without a collar next time. A wool or flannel version would be lovely for winter!