The shape and the details, the Olivia is such a quintessential little girl dress. I chose this amazing fabric I’d picked up from Michael Levine during Fabric Weekend, Kokka Trefle. It has a Snow White motif in black, red, grey and a bit of toupey brown. It just may be one of my top favorite fabrics ever! My using this fabric for this pattern should tell you something about the Olivia Dress and how awesome CINO patterns are.
When you make a dress for your daughter in amazing fairy tale themed fabric, it seems only appropriate to take her up to the woods for a little on-scene photo shoot. With Ivy in her Snow White Olivia Dress, I packed a basket of apples and found an amazing location up a little deserted trail in a nearby canyon one morning. It was beautiful and so quite.
And then things almost went a bit too Brothers Grimm on us.
I'm snapping away, and after a while Ivy starts pointing into the trees and saying "doggy! doggy!" and then pretending to bark.
She’s super excited about it and trying to get away from me and across the path into the trees. And that’s when I remember there are cougars up that canyon. In fact, if we were to have driven up just a bit further, we would have passed signs warning us, “Cougar Sighted in Area and Has Shown Lack of Fear Toward Humans”. So I grabbed her, and start heading down the trail as quickly and loudly as I could. Almost to our car, and I look over and there is deer carcass all torn to pieces down in this ravine right next to the path we were on. Like, right there. Like, chest cavity ripped open, missing a head. My hands were shaking as I buckled her in as fast as I could, waiting for a giant killer cat to pounce on my turned back. I never did see anything, and for all I know she just saw a skunk or even an actual stray dog. But something had been eating that deer.
And that’s how Ivy and I almost gave our lives for the perfect photo shoot.
Not to be overly dramatic or anything.
Now, back to the dress.
The dress has such sweet and pretty little details: bound neckline and arms, optional gathered sleeves in two lengths, tunic or dress options, a gathered skirt. I paired the Kokka with some thin-wale corduroy from my stash in a pale grey. For a bit of variety, and to give the corduroy a larger role, I added a band of it around the bottom dress' skirt.
I chose to make Ivy’s Olivia Dress with the sleeveless option. Now that the weather is cooler, it’s easy to layer tights and long sleeve shirts under for warmth. And because of how roomy the Olivia is, I’m hopeful Ivy will still be wearing it next spring and summer, when we can move to short sleeve shirts, or none at all. The Olivia also has a great size range: 6months to 8 years. I made Ivy a 12-24 month. It is a bit big through the bodice. But Ivy is very small, with only a 16 inch chest. I didn’t go smaller, because I like that she will get more use out it, and I think the style allows for growing room without looking overly baggy.
I’m incredibly happy with how the Olivia Dress turned out . It’s a pretty quick sew with nothing too technical. There is a button placket, but with the neck binding finishing things off and the skirt coming straight off the bottom of the placket, even that goes in easier than most. The pattern prints cleanly and goes together easily. The instructions are clear and straightforward. This is definitely a staple pattern to have in your stash for little-girl-sewing.
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Pattern: The Olivia Dress by Craftiness is Not Optional, which I was given for free in exchange for my honest review
Fabric: Kokka Trefle from Michael Levine (not on their site, but there is some AMAZING other Kokka HERE) and grey thin-wale corduroy from my stash