Rachel wrote this review for us and her daughter happily agreed to a photo shoot with her new dress! Enjoy Rachel’s review below, her ButtonsMagee blog and her introduction too.
Pattern
Oliver + S Tea Party Sundress
Description
“Girls’ dress and bloomers with unisex playsuit. Sundress and playsuit feature buttons straps, curved bodice seam, and optional flat piping.” The sundress is a pretty A-line dress with an empire waist.

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Tea Party Sundress by Rachel, ButtonsMagee

Fabric Recommendations
The linen worked well in making this dress. I would advise using lightweight and not handkerchief weight linen as it makes the skirt rather translucent. Any terrific quilters cotton would also look great. I will probably try this pattern again in the fall with some lightweight wool suiting material to be worn with a turtleneck.
Materials
Pattern states light to medium weight woven fabrics such as linen, broadcloth, calico, chambray or seersucker. Notions required are thread, two 1/2″ buttons, 1/2 yard optional flat piping, and elastic for bloomers. I used lightweight linen to make my dress.

For the 24mo dress it called for 1/2 yd.of fabric for bodice & hem, 1/2 yd for skirt, 3/8 yd for lining, and 1/4 yd interfacing. I found this to end up being more fabric than I needed, but they do a good job of showing how to lay out your pattern pieces.

Overall Design 5 stars
This dress is such a lovely style with a vintage feel to it. Small detail were definitely taken into consideration with the finished hem and bodice lining. I made the 24mo dress, and it fit my 2 1/2 year old perfectly. Because of the A-line style, this pattern seems very forgiving of different body shapes. There is a size chart though if this is a concern.

 

Written Instructions 5 stars
Even for a beginner in apparel such as myself the pattern was very easy to follow. The instructions were concise without being overly simplistic, and there is a glossary of terms used for anyone who might have a question. This was my first garment made from a pattern and I was please with how clear the process was laid out. After each numbered step there were hints to help make the sewing easier, which proved invaluable to me, not being experienced in sewing from a pattern.

Diagrams / Images 5 stars
The illustrations were excellent, with each new step in the instructions coming with a diagram. I found them very easy to understand and well detailed.

Pattern Pieces 5 stars
There is one very large white sheet of paper with the pattern pieces on it. Each size pattern has its own type of line, be it dotted, solid, or dashed. I traced my pattern onto white paper and it was very easy to make out the correct size. There were markings for pivot points, buttons hole placement and notching.

Overall Level of Difficulty Adventurous beginner to intermediate
The dress was fairly easy to sew and went together smoothly. I would recommend this to anyone who knows their way around a sewing machine and is looking to start making clothes. To make this dress you must be able to make buttonholes and match uneven seams, which may be a challenge for a very beginner.

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Modifications + Tips
Overall the pattern was exactly on target. I would recommend surging seam allowances. I don’t own one, and with the dress skirt consisting of six panels the underside of the dress looks pretty messy. However, this would not prevent me from making it again. This is definitely a pattern that requires precise cutting of the pattern pieces to avoid puckering. Mainly my suggestion would be to take you time and press the garment between each step.

Conclusion
The Tea Party Dress come together in one afternoon. It drapes beautifully on my daughter and could be made to suit all occasions. After making this dress I am hooked on the Oliver + s patterns.

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