Elsie totally looks like a Scandinavian doll you could put on a shelf right? I was so happy to get a chance to stitch up the brand new Playtime Tunic and Dress pattern from Oliver & S. It's a great pattern! The design is classic and simple, but the pattern is well-contructed and super versatile with options to make a tunic or dress, in wovens or knits, as well as a legging pattern. (Which I didn't make here, but I'm sure I will put to great use this fall!)
I actually made a small and simple change to the pattern by sewing the facings on the outside. As the pattern is written, they go on the inside of the neckline and back bodice pieces and the shape of the front facing goes straight across. But there is a really cute option to topstitch them down with stitching in the shape of a peter pan collar, which you can see here on the O&S blog. Since I chose such a bold solid linen for the dress, I figured a visible "collar" in black would be really striking. (I'm pretty sure you can't call it a real collar if it's topstitched down!)
To make it happen, I simply changed the front facing pattern piece to that peter pan shape, and then cut 2 of them out of the black fabric, plus 4 of the back facing. I decided to still interface one set of the facings, but if I did this again, I wouldn't. It's slightly too heavy, and made it a little more difficult to do the buttons and buttonholes on the back.
Anyway, you then sew the two sets of facings together around the outside curve, turn it right side out, and then sew the right side of it to the wrong side of the bodice. Then you turn it to the outside of the dress, understitch the seam allowance, and topstitch around the whole thing from the right side. As soon as I finished that part, I realized I should have sewn my shoulder seams differently. In the picture above, you can see that the seam allowances stick out right up the collar. (And I have no idea why I didn't finish them all the way to the edge.) What I should have done is the same thing you do when you sew the outside facings on the Class Picnic shorts. So next time, I'll sew the inside inch of those shoulder seams wrong sides together, then switch to RST for the rest of the seam. That way, the seam allowances will be hidden under the facing on the outside.
So I just explained way more detail than most of you probably need, but would anyone be interested in a little picture tutorial for this modification? We could probably make it happen.
Elsie must be getting annoyed with all the technical sewing talk. We should move on!
The fabric is a gorgeous Robert Kaufman linen from Sewn Studio. As lovely as it is, I doubted my choice here more than once. I mean, have you ever seen me use so much pink? I don't use it for Elsie's clothes even in normal garden varieties, much less electric shocking pink. In the end, I love the color. Sometimes you just shouldn't fight the pink. I also worried that it would look too wrinkly, but I love the way it drapes in this dress, especially on that full gathered skirt.
I made mine in a size 2 with the skirt cut to 3 length. I probably could have gotten away with 2 length, but the long skirt looks a little fancier, and she won't soon outgrow it. (I should also mention the long sleeves are rolled up once in these pictures.)
It needed an extra something, so I added two beautiful ribbons from Sewn around the bottom. We have so many new ribbon designs in the shop and I couldn't wait to use them on the perfect project. I love the way they cover up the stitch line on the hem and almost look like one ribbon instead of two.
The back has three simple white buttons, which I only chose because it's what I had on hand. But the contrast on the black turned out nice. And I love the shape of the those back facings on the outside as well.
Elsie has strep throat and grew tired of this photo shoot very quickly. But she didn't want to take the dress off! She absolutely loved it, I'm guessing because of the easy shape and super-fun color. I can't wait to sew another one in knits with fun leggings to match. It's such a great staple pattern to have for fall, and I imagine this particular dress will be making an appearance on this year's pumpkin patch portraits.
To see just how versatile the pattern is, definitely checkout Cherie's adorable knit version of the tunic and leggings. I can't get enough of that Yuki.
You can buy your own digital or paper version of the Playtime pattern from the Oliver & S website. Just like in the spring, Liesl was kind enough to send the new patterns to Cherie, Kristin, Gail and I a little early so we could have some fun with them. We'll be rolling out our results all week, so keep your eye out for more!