inspiration: holiday sewing for girls

Time for those wheels to start turning. What will your little gal wear at Christmastime…

…or Thanksgiving dinner, family photos, a holiday dance recital, or to go see The Nutcracker?  There are so many “fancy occasions” coming up in the next month to sew for!  We talked about the boys last week, and now some inspiration for the little ladies.

gymboree plaid dupioni dress


The Music Box Jumper is a pattern that you might not immediately think could go “fancy,” but in a plaid dupioni silk or satiny Radiance, it shines!  Toss on a cardigan with white tights and Mary Janes, and she’s classically Christmas.

mini boden gold dot dress

mini boden

I love the two-fabric idea of this dress: cream on top, gold polka dots on the bottom!  You could achieve this look with a few of our patterns: the Bubble Dress, a collarless Fairy Tale Dress, even a color blocked Roller Skate Dress!  Dear Stella’s new Confetti Sparkle line is a nice choice for the skirt.

olive juice polka dot skirt

olive juice kids

If you prefer to go a bit more casual, check out this option – a twirly skirt and peter pan blouse with a cozy cardigan!  A Swingset Skirt with a Music Class Blouse is a great combo that’ll get a lot of use after the holidays too.  Perhaps in a Nani Iro Double Gauze?

plaid dresses

bonpoint  : :  zara

Plaid is so “in” and so “holiday” too.  The drop-waisted number on the left reminds me of an Apple Picking Dress without the button placket, and the one on the right looks like a Book Report Dress without sleeves. Love the idea to put the plaid on the bias for the pocket.

There have been so many beautiful examples in the flickr group, I feel that this post would be incomplete without a little roundup of actual Oliver + S sewing.

holiday school photo and puppet show dress

a stitch a day  : :  stitched together

A School Photo Dress in green wool with felt flower brooch could not be more perfect for the holidays, and a white wool Puppet Show Dress with red velvet collar and red buttons is simply gorgeous!

three girls in their oliver + s holiday dresses

s is for sewing  : :  nest full of eggs : :  skirt as top

And here – three different patterns, three different options for holiday sewing – these all have some customizations, so click through to the links above to go to the creator’s post.  On the far left, a Playtime Dress elevated with plaid and bodice trim.  In the center, a lovely gray Fairy Tale Dress!  And on the right, a Bubble Dress with added piping and circle skirt for ever-important twirl factor.

Got any suggestions to add or are you so on the ball that you’ve already made your special holiday dresses?  Please link to them in the comments!



  1. This was Christmas LAST year. Yet to get started on this year.
    We have a more casual day planned so I am thinking gold/white/silver and floaty.

    (Elsa says she is wearing pyjamas)

    Great post!

  2. I have a couple of suggestions to add, Mynorth added to the flickr group, a smocked Fairy Tale Dress: and a vibrant green Music Box Jumper:

  3. I’m enjoying these inspiration posts Liesl 🙂
    I made something a bit fun and casual for my little one – you can’t mistake the Christmas vibe, but it will be perfect for the Christmas fetes and break-up parties over the next few weeks.

  4. Emily

    Do you have any suggestions for a source for wool plaid in holiday colors? I have some ideas, but can’t seem to find the fabric I am looking for.

  5. Shannan

    Thank you thank you for posting this! I use O + S patterns all the time for knock offs and very single “hint” you present is much appreciated!

  6. I love this post! Thanks for the inspiration and the link to that confetti sparkle fabric.

  7. Last year I used plaid fabric with the picnic blouse lengthened for a dress.

  8. Thank you for posting my Playtime version 🙂
    These are such wonderful inspiration – love the luxurious fabrics and precious details!
    Obviously, I’m already planning a new Oliver+S dress for the Holiday season 🙂

  9. Jill

    I would like to do an Apple Picking Dress with a Peter Pan Collar. Would this tutorial work?
    I love that green school photo dress but doubt my daughter would go for it.

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