introducing the croquet dress sewing pattern

Every so often my dear friend Brooke, who designed our logo and packaging , weighs in with a special pattern request. She probably thinks I just nod my head and go back to doing whatever I want to do, completely ignoring her in the process. But I actually listen very closely to her. She just doesn’t know it. She’s got great taste, so it’s in everyone’s best interest that I listen. Sometimes it just takes me a while to find what I think is the perfect answer to her requests. And this season I think I’ve answered two of her requests. The Croquet Dress is one of those answers.

A long time ago Brooke asked for a sailor dress. I thought that was a great idea, but I wanted to do a pattern that wouldn’t be limited to JUST a sailor dress. After all, many of you purchase our patterns and make them over and over again as your children grow. So why not design a dress that could be made as both a sailor dress and other dress styles?

So here is the Croquet Dress. It’s got a nautical influence and can certainly be made into a sailor dress, as demonstrated by S in her linen chambray version. It’s got a cute shoulder detail that takes twill tape or ribbon stripes nicely, and the little collar is very sailor-ish. Plus, I think the dropped waist with the bow has a nautical flair, doesn’t it?



But the same style can take on other appearances without the stripes. On this version we used the border print from my upcoming Ladies’ Stitching Club fabric collection (it will be available this coming July), and the results are very different from the sailor dress version that S modeled above.


Oliver + S Croquet Dress Sewing Pattern


There’s also a second version included in the pattern envelope. View B eliminates the collar and replaces it with a simple yoke that can be left plain or embellished. I think the yoke would look great with some embroidery or made up with a really special fabric that you want to highlight. You know, the scrap that you’ve been saving for just the right project.




Other details: This is a pull-on style with a keyhole opening at the back neck, which means no buttonholes! Also, the waistband is an elastic casing, so the dress is very comfortable to wear and can be adjusted for just the right fit. It’s not hard to sew. In fact, we’ve rated it two scissors. It’s a pretty quick pattern. Great for quilting cottons, linen, chambray, cotton shirtings (Can you imagine this in a men’s shirting? It would be fantastic.), you get my drift. And, as I mentioned, the straight hem of the skirt works beautifully with the border print in our upcoming fabric collection, The Ladies’ Stitching Club. I think it’s a great spring and summer dress, and it could also be really cute in the fall if you use a heavier fabric. The skirt isn’t very full, so it will still hang nicely even if the fabric has a lot of body.

So I wonder what Brooke will request next? I think I might know, but I’ll wait to see if I’m right.




  1. This is the pattern I’m most excited to try out out in the new line! So cute and so flexible – I can also see extending the bodice for a more A-line dress and a totally different look than the drop-waist. LOTS of options. Good job listening to Brooke – her taste is fantastic! 😀

  2. I can’t wait for April 2nd!!

  3. Summer

    When I see it in that Chambray I love it, which is funny because I was already in love with the badminton dress, but when you say no button holes..You are speaking my love language.

  4. Justsewit

    Hmmm! You now have me thinking of using this pattern sooner with the autumn suggestion. It is my daughter’s favorite out of the three newest patterns so maybe she will get to have one after all. It is so pretty and actually reminds me of the turn of the century middies the girls wore but looks more like it was influenced from fashions a little later in the century also. I have always loved this style and you’ve made it perfect for the now in all of us. I’d like to do an heirloom version just to see how it turns out.

  5. Hollie

    I’m so in love with this dress! I have the perfect fabric, actually a couple from my stash, in mind! Liesl, each pattern release is brilliant! I’ve been saying that for some time now, but you never disappoint. You have a gift, for sure!

  6. Laura

    So excited to order this pattern. I wish I could make it up for Easter, but I doubt I could pull that off!

  7. darci

    the version with the yoke, and in all one fabric is what sold me on this pattern. its very cute

  8. This pattern is beautiful

  9. Yolanda

    I love everything of Oliver.

  10. Donna

    I think this is a MUST HAVE.. Looks gorgeous in every combination. Can’t wait to give it a go.

  11. Rachel Crawford

    The is precisely the type of dress we have learned to expect from Oliver + S — so many variations possible, yet the dress as it is right now is one any little girl could fall in love with. I look forward to making it, but meanwhile I get to think about the textiles that would best suit it. I actually imagine a white dress with navy accents at the shoulders and the drawstring hip. Such a lovely modernization of the sailor dress. r

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