introducing the new family reunion dress sewing pattern for girls

Every little (or not so little) girl needs a unique special-occasion dress.

I’m not talking about the dress-up-party-make-it-with-six-pink-ruffles-and-sparkly kind of dress. I’m talking about the you-need-to-look-nice-but-not-like-you’re-trying-to-look-too-nice kind of dress. You know the dress I mean. It’s the one you wear for the school performance. The one you wear to grandma’s house for Easter Sunday dinner. The one you wear to this summer’s family reunion.

Family Reunion Dress

With a dress like this, the specialness needs to be in the little, and subtle, details. Short, sweet, slightly puffed sleeves with soft gathers at the cap create a unique silhouette that no one else will be wearing. Pintucks add a refined flair to a top or a bodice without making it seem overly fussy.

Family Reunion Dress

A button closure up the back provides an opportunity for you to add interesting visual details by choosing unique buttons.

Family Reunion Dress

Our signature hem facing, when completed in a contrast fabric, provides for a little surprise pop of color at the inside of the dress. And the rows of optional topstitching near the hem give the hem a little extra body while adding a fun detail to echo the pintucks.

Family Reunion Dress

The Family Reunion Dress is one of those dress patterns that can take on a wide variety of personalities depending on the fabric and embellishments you choose for the children you’re sewing for. The silhouette is clean and simple yet traditional and classic. For example, let’s say you make the dress in a solid-colored linen. Without any additional embellishment it can look minimalist and contemporary, relying exclusively on the structural elements of the pattern itself. But if you add a little contrast topstitching, some lace, or a little embroidery it will start to look like a classic heirloom that’s been handed down for generations. You’ll achieve an even wider variety of looks once you start thinking about prints and patterns. A small floral will look sweet and delicate.


Family Reunion Dress

A bold geometric print would give it a a more playful or casual feel.

The facing at the neck includes a unique construction method that we also used on the Class Picnic shorts. I don’t want to give away any surprises, but I’m almost certain that once you see how this is done you’ll use this technique over and over again in other sewing projects that involve outside facings. It’s really fun, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done this way before.

Choices, choices: you can make this pattern as a dress or a blouse, and you also have two options for embellishing the front, just below the neck band. The first is a simple little tab that highlights four tiny buttons of your choosing.

Family Reunion Dress

The second is a sweet little ruffle.

I imagine that you’ll think of additional ways to embellish this dress, too. I just finished making S a dress and added a little ribbon frill that I’ll show you soon. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.


  1. April 6, 2011 at 12:56 am Link

    I can’t wait to get started on this one!

  2. April 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm Link

    I am going to sew the whole collection of dresses and skirts/tops for my granddaughter to wear to kindergarten. Well, at least a few of them. For sure this dress will be one of them. I think I’ll make it with long sleeves in a baby corduroy.

  3. April 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm Link
    Cheryl Carpenter

    Love this dress! I want the pattern to make for my granddaughter for Easter.

  4. April 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link
    Cheryl Carpenter

    I love this dress! I want to make it for my granddaughter. Where can I get the pattern? Please let me know soon. I want to make it for Easter.

  5. March 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm Link

    I can’t wait for the pattern. It’s a wonderful dress!!

  6. March 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link

    That first one is PRECIOUS!!! I kinda want it in my size!!!

  7. March 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm Link

    It might be nice done in a lovely Liberty!

  8. March 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm Link

    So pretty and perfect! Will definitely be ordered in both size ranges. :)

  9. March 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link

    I’m most excited about this new pattern! Can’t wait!

  10. March 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link

    Which of those dresses will S be wearing to the family reunion this summer?

  11. March 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link

    Agreed – my favorite, and I’m sure it will be my daughter’s, too. Patterns are coming out early April, right? Can you let us know the yardage early?

    1. March 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link

      Yes, patterns will be available on our website next week. And yardage information is already posted in the Oliver + S Discussion Forums.

  12. March 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link

    That’s also the dress you wear when you go out to eat at a nice place and you need to look cute so people will say ‘oh how cute is she” instead of “I can’t believe they brought a 3 year old here.” Can’t wait pick the pattern up at my local shop.

  13. March 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link
    Alice S

    This looks like an excellent pattern. I always love the classics.

  14. March 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm Link

    so lovely. wishing i had my hands on that pattern already! :-)

  15. March 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link

    I’m really excited for this pattern! So sweet!

  16. March 29, 2011 at 11:55 am Link

    Oh, this is lovely. It would really help me with my stash-busting project. I have just the fabric in mind for it…

  17. March 29, 2011 at 11:44 am Link

    I LOVE it!!! Definitely my favorite for this season and quite possibly my favorite O+S pattern ever. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  18. March 29, 2011 at 10:56 am Link
    Katja Magus

    My favorite one in years, gorgeous as usual. Can’t wait!

  19. March 29, 2011 at 10:51 am Link

    That’s it. I need this pattern too!:)

  20. March 29, 2011 at 10:49 am Link

    This is my absolute favourite out of the new pattern!

  21. March 29, 2011 at 10:17 am Link

    I absolutely love the simplicity of that. The little button tab is precious. When will that pattern be available? I want to make those for my girls for Easter.

  22. March 29, 2011 at 9:51 am Link

    I am SO excited about this pattern! I can hardly wait.

  23. March 29, 2011 at 9:22 am Link

    Ohhh! Once more you have created a beautiful, beautiful piece of clothes. That dress will be a great success. :))

  24. March 29, 2011 at 8:23 am Link

    This is beyond cute and adorable! (and yet so practical).
    By far my favorite pattern for this season!! I’ll be stocking on both size ranges for sure, Lol

  25. March 29, 2011 at 8:23 am Link

    I am so looking forward to getting my hands on this pattern. Fabric already planned and prepped!

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