Quite some time ago, I saw the most interesting dress show up in the Oliver + S Flickr group. Jan had used Kona cottons and the Oliver + S Puppet Show pattern to create her daughter a one-of-a-kind Snow White dress.
It’s been about a year since she made it, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what a wonderful job she did with it and how she came up with such a creative solution to making a wearable costume that made a little girl very, very happy. When we started this little series of posts on customizing with Oliver + S, I immediately thought of Jan and wanted to feature her fantastic dress.
I recently asked Jan if she would share her process, and she was kind enough to write up a description of how she did this for our series on customizing Oliver + S patterns. Here’s what Jan has to say about her project. Thanks, Jan!
The Thought Process
We were planning a trip to Disney World, and I had bought my daughter Delilah some princess outfits to wear. But as I looked at them, although they were pretty, they didn’t appear comfortable for hanging out in the Florida sun. The fabric was scratchy, and they were not sized quite right for her. I imagined her wearing them for all of two minutes and then needing to take them off.
So I decided to make her something to wear using cotton, something comfortable, that would breathe, and still be pretty and “princess.” I bought some fabric with princesses printed on it, and considered making a dress out of that. But when it came down to it, I just didn’t like the fabric.
I was trying to convince myself to go ahead with the project and started looking through my Oliver + S patterns to see how I could use the princess fabric. When I saw the Puppet Show pattern, it struck me that it could be made into a great Snow White dress. It probably helped that Snow White was the first Disney princess movie I showed my daughter, and by then I had probably seen it 100 times. Her outfit is so ingrained in my head!
I bought Kona cottons and used three different colors of buttons. Then I thought about the sleeves. At first I bought red ribbon and considered sewing that on in stripes, but when I held the ribbon to the blue fabric I just didn’t like it. I went looking for feedback by posting on the Oliver + S discussion forum. I watched the movie to see how the animated character moved in her dress. And I finally decided to try pleating in the red.
After I was done, I wrote a short tutorial on how I made the sleeves. The tutorial contains photos of the construction method I used and the dimensions of the pleats.
Delilah wore the dress at Disney World May 2011 when she was 2 1/2. She and I returned in January of this year and she wore it again!
Delilah wore the dress to dinner at Cinderella’s castle.
The princesses couldn’t get enough of her.
Snow White spent more time with us than anyone else!
We have actually gotten quite a bit of wear from the dress and it always gets compliments. I am going to make it again in a larger size for our next trip!