Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

The Olivia Dress – Simplicity 2865

So I’ve finished another project after a bit of a hiatus. Things were just so nuts in October. I was also working 40 hour weeks for about 4 months. This really cut into my ability to keep up with my hobbies when combined with everything else that got thrown at me in October. But I’m back at full form and raring to go on my sewing machine now

The pattern I used for the project is Simplicity 2865 which is an older pattern from their Built By Wendy line, a collection of patterns I really like. I’ve got quite a few of them stashed away. I made this dress in a red and cream interlock knit fabric purchased from Dressew.

This dress would have taken me a lot less time to sew if I didn’t have so many fitting woes! Can someone please remind me never to cut a size 10 in the Big 4 pattern companies? I’ve had nothing but trouble whenever I cut a 10. I should always be a 6 or lower. For this pattern, I should have cut the smallest size available which was a 4.

I cut a 10 because the pattern said the finished garment measurements for the bust was 32.5 inches. WRONG! I really should have measured the bust across the pattern because it was a lot more than that. I had to take in the side seams by 1.5 inches on both sides but only on the back pattern piece because I didn’t want to alter the front armhole shape. I also had to take in the shoulder seam by 1.5 inches. Even with these modifications, I had to throw the finished dress into the washer on hot water and then into the dryer to shrink it up even more.

I have a feeling even if I had cut a 4, it still would have been too big so it’s mostly the fault of my small frame. Luckily I did not have the recut the collar. Knit fabric is so forgiving to sew with! Anyways, I managed to get through the problems and now I have a cute dress.

Here is a close up of the little red candy buttons I sewed to the placket. I also purchased these buttons from Dressew.

Now the reason I call this dress the Olivia dress is because the inspiration came from a children’s picture book. Here take a look!

Can you see what I mean? I even wore the black and white striped tights to really capture the spirit of Olivia. This is a book series about a very petulant, adventurous, imaginative little pig named Olivia, written and illustrated by Ian Falconer. She’s quite a fashionable little pig too.

I love children’s books and as you know, I work at the public library so I constantly come across old classics and new ones to read. Children’s picture books are an inspiration to me because their whimsical nature is very appealing. I love to pour over the illustrations and get lost in a more dreamy place.

I plan on sewing more projects inspired by children’s picture books in the future. I think this is a great way to combine two of my great loves in life — sewing and reading. So expect to see more of the other sides of my life (the book worm and in a previous post, the nerd) in this blog as I slowly reveal them.

Outfit details: Shoes are from Payless (bought them this autumn and I love them!)
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One Response to The Olivia Dress – Simplicity 2865

  1. That is just gorgeous! Love the buttons, the fit (I have the same sizing problem with nearly every pattern I use… Not that I’m a 6!), and the fact it’s so adorably whimsical!! Those tights!! Amazing job, love it! :)
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