Library dress for Christmas

I didn’t get a Thanksgiving dress made for E, so I was determined to finish her Christmas dress in time.  I knew I wanted something with longer sleeves and eventually settled on the Oliver + S Library Dress.  I finished it maybe an hour before we needed to leave for a Christmas party.  This is a lovely dress, but not a quick sew.  While I don’t think it will become a staple the way some other Oliver + S patterns are becoming in E’s wardrobe, it was perfect for a special occasion.

library dress 2The main fabric is Kaffe Fasset shot cotton in grape with the waistband in Moda PB&J daisy mae navy and the piping in eucalyptus shot cotton.

library dress band

The shot cotton has such a nice shimmer to it and seemed festive while being wearable beyond the holiday.  I’ve used shot cotton for many projects and love it.  I don’t think I’d recommend it for this dress though.  The lack of right and wrong sides on the fabric made my head spin as I tried to keep track of what was what on the waist, sleeves, and front pleats.  The fabric is thin enough that I probably should have lined it, but wasn’t sure how best to do this with the pleats, what fabric to use, etc.  And shot cotton wrinkles like crazy, so please excuse the wrinkles (and piece of mystery fluff on E’s arm) in these pictures.  This project motivated me to finally order a sleeve ironing board yesterday.

library dress 1

library dress back

I love these metal buttons and was happy to find something fancy but super-flat, as the buttons run down the entire back.  I did hand stitch the back of the waistband and hem and was glad I took the time as theses parts feel nicely finished.

library dress side

I tried a suggestion from a friend and now keep E’s dresses in her drawer with her pants (vs. hanging in the closet) and it seems to have turned E into a more enthusiastic dress wearer.  So hopefully there will be many more dresses to share in 2014.

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13 thoughts on “Library dress for Christmas

  1. completely gorgeous! i love a holiday dress that doesn’t scream Christmas – this is perfect, i love the shot cotton (but yes, not the easiest to work with or iron!) and that band fabric, i’m off to look that up right now!

    • Thanks so much, Gail! I was pleased with how it turned out. The band fabric was a complete accident- I saw it in a quilt hanging at the cutting counter and asked what it was. The kind lady found the bolt in the back workroom and cut me a little strip. At home I realized it worked nicely with the purple shot cotton. But it seems not to be listed on their website anymore and a quick internet search didn’t turn it up in stock anywhere. Good luck with your search!

  2. So gorgeous! I have never used shot cotton for clothing but I do remember you using it before and I thinking I need to try it. I really want this pattern too but I have so many that I have used yet that I making myself wait.

    • I hear you about having too many patterns! I’m feeling overwhelmed right now and I wish I’d waited on some of the O+S ones and bought them in the larger size range instead, because they’re not going to get much use before E sizes out of them. But sometimes it’s so hard to resist, especially when there is a sale!

  3. this is so gorgeous! i love your honest reflections about this project. I’ve often wondered whether buttons down the back would be comfortable. i feel like our toddler wouldn’t notice but i’m not so sure about my older girls. choosing flat buttons was a good compromise. it’s obvious that you took great care with this dress and your fabric combinations are just perfect. it’s absolutely beautiful.

    • Thank you so much, Rachel! I’m such a fan of your beautiful sewing and writing about your family. It’s an honor to have you stop by here. And E didn’t comment about the buttons so I think they worked well!

  4. Pingback: KCW project #4-5: adventures with knits | lizzieville

  5. Pingback: Library dress, knit style | lizzieville

  6. Pingback: holiday attire |

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