Flowers (or is that weeds?) in the garden – Oliver & S Roller Skate Dress

I am a huge fan of the Oliver & S patterns. They are classic shapes and styles that you can make time after time regardless of how old your child gets; the instructions are beautifully clear and well I’ve yet to have even the slightest hint of a head scratching moment and their pdf patterns tape together perfectly with no hassle whatsoever – which in my mind if a huge bonus!!

As with all my makes, there comes a bit of a story. Each year I make Honey a summer dress for school. The past 3 years, I have been revising and redrafting a self-drafted pattern. This year I felt like doing something different (read, I really didn’t have the energy to re-draft again, oh and fix last years mistakes!).

Last years self-drafted red gingham dress on a perfectly happy & year old!

Last years self-drafted red gingham dress on a perfectly happy & 7 year old!

I had thought that the Roller Skate dress would be a really easy pull-on style dress that would take some of the hassle out of getting changed for PE and maybe speed up the getting ready in the morning process (I can but dream?!). But Honey wasn’t convinced and suggested that maybe I could make her a dress in this fabric that she’d seen in my cupboard and had had her eye on for some time?

Yes – well every mother is a sucker for that routine aren’t they? So here it is, the ‘flowers in the garden’ version of the Roller Skate dress.

It is a seriously quick and rapid make and is fully lined! I took a few measurements first and decided to cut size age 5 for the width and size age 8 for the length and I couldn’t have asked for a better fit.


And the acid test, does my daughter like it? She loves it. Every time it reappears in her wardrobe fresh from the never-ending laundry cycle, it’s back on her again.

I’m sure you’ll all now want to see the school version that I’ve made, won’t you? …. well, ahem … I haven’t quite got that far and last years dress still fits!!!!


and yes, Mummy, there are LOTS of dandelions in the garden!




Back to school – Oliver & S School Days Jacket


Is it that time already? Of course it isn’t!! This was meant to be a spring/summer jacket for Honey but I’m running somewhat behind so it’s going to be an autumn jacket instead and perfect for back to school. It has felt rather odd though sewing a jacket in the midst of a heatwave!

I bought the fabric for this back in May and had planned to make view C of  Burda 9676, however the toile that I made, whilst fitting well on Honey, was really only going to be big enough for this year. As I was running behind with getting this started, I was hesitating even more and then I decided I’d see what other patterns were out there.

I turned straight way to Oliver & S and found the School Days jacket on digital download. Bingo!!

Some 70 pages of printing later, a spot of cutting and some sticking (I found masking tape worked really well, as it’s re-positionable), I had a pattern.  There were a fair few pieces. I cut a straight size 7. I find these patterns are pretty true to size and whilst generally being a little wide on my children are a good fit.

Fabric wise, I used a waterproof coated polycotton (no longer in stock) for the main fabric and a printed brushed cotton (again out of stock) for the lining for a little warmth. The coated cotton was surprisingly easy to sew – which is fortunate as the pins left holes (as expected) so it meant pinning only within the seam allowances.


This pattern is marked as intermediate mostly because there are a lot of pieces but I confess that setting the sleeves in with a laminated fabric would be a nightmare! I did do some hand basting to make sure things went together perfectly as I found that my fabric didn’t really respond to steam or any kind of pressing to get it to conform. I should really have basted the lining to the main fabric before sewing but it came together OK (although not perfectly) all the same. You don’t really have the luxury of unpicking with this fabric as every stitch leaves marks.

There are lots of really nice construction details such as the topstitching – I used topstitching thread  – and the way the lining is purposefully larger than the outer of the jacket to allow for wearing ease.


I am incredibly pleased with this jacket. I think it looks professional and well constructed with the brushed cotton giving it some body and will definitely fit next year (unless Honey has some unprecedented growth spurt)!!

Another resounding success from Oliver & S. In fact, I’ve just taken advantage of the discount on the Roller Skate dress and it’s waiting to be pieced together – less than 30 pages this time – phew.

I have one more jacket to finish sewing (of course Poppet needed one too) and then I’m hoping to get onto something for me.

But what to sew? Such a dilemma……