Category Archives: Pinwheel dress

Last stop on the Pinwheel Slip dress brigade

Remember this maxi skirt that I made last Summer. It was a part of a two-piece set-acular. I still have the top. The skirt has been really great to me. The fabric is beautiful and I’ve worn it a lot. I haven’t stopped liking it but I’ve have recently replaced it with a maxi skirt that I like so much more. I’m a realist when it comes to knowing what I actually will wear and what I won’t and there’s only room for one winner in my wardrobe. Let’s just call it a leadership spill in the case of the maxi skirts.

The thing I love about maxi skirts is the huge amount of uncut fabric that goes into making them. In my eyes, this basically gives them two lives (if the fabric is up to scratch). This fabric was. It is a stunning voile that is heavier than your standard voile, but much lighter than a quilting weight cotton, and it has a pretty, slightly satiny finish. It still looks brand new, despite numerous washes and wears.


I was able to sneak two Oliver + S Pinwheel slip dresses out of it. I’ll call that a win. I cut one in a size 12, which is currently in transit to it’s recipient in Australia. The other was made up in a size 3 for my littlest peep. Well, to be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly sure what size I cut for this little peep. I suspect I made a mistake during some late night tracing because the skirt front didn’t match the bodice and I had to take a little bit out of the sideseams to fix it on the fly. It’s no big deal though. Little peep still loves her new dress. And she’s got this modelling thing down pat. Queue side pose with robot arms. And that FACE!

And now, are you ready for the grand finale of model poses.

Just for the camera, here is her best head tilt and phoniest smile. 

Another Oliver + S Pinwheel Slip dress

This little slip dress is a gift for a different niece of mine. I made it up in a lovely remnant of Nani Iro. I love this Oliver + S pattern so much. It’s not only great for using up pretty little scraps, but it is also such a fool-proof pattern for when you want to sew for others. I love the fact that it looks great as a little dress, but if you miss the mark slightly with the sizing or fabric print, it could also double as a practical Summer nightie.


Like before, I made this dress up in a size 5. My exceptionally tall Miss Five is modelling it but her slightly older cousin is a lot more petite. I think the dress will fit the her cousin perfectly.


This kid seriously out-cools the rest of the family. I want those sunglasses!





Oliver + S Pinwheel dress in Anna Sui

How cute is this little Pinwheel dress by Oliver + S! It’s a new-to-me pattern, so I thought I’d test it with a nightgown-suitable fabric first. The chambray is Anna Sui. It is a lovely, soft, pure cotton in a herringbone pattern. It looks lovely new, but it wrinkles horribly on washing and does not wear very well at all. I learnt this the hard way with my chambray man-shirt, which has sadly already been retired. I do wonder sometimes if some designer end bolts are sold off by the designers because they weren’t very happy with the fabric in the first place.

The pattern itself is very simple, but like all Oliver + S patterns, it takes a little longer than expected because of the special details. The bottom of the flounce is bound with yards of self-fabric binding (or contrast). You could always simply serge these edges, but it’s the little touches like the binding that make this dress so special.  


The fit is very good on my just-turned-Miss Five. I expected the dress to be way too short on her (as most unmodified patterns are). I think the length works perfectly this time, although I will probably lengthen her next version, while keeping the width exactly the same.

And before I sign off, I thought I’d also share this little refashion which isn’t really worthy of it’s own post. I made myself a Salme flared mini skirt many months ago. It’s been a really great Winter skirt for me and I’ve worn it a LOT. The beautiful wool twill was starting to look a little rough and woolly for my liking, but it was still perfectly good fabric for a five year old. I simply cut out the waistband and back zipper, and attached an elastic encased waistband. It was such a simple modification, but it has given some lovely fabric a whole new lease of life.