favorite pattern: sharon aka mama knowles

Today we welcome Sharon, aka Mama_Knowles03, mother of five little ones and prolific Oliver + S sewist.  Sharon is here to share her favorite pattern, one she has sewn 16 times so far!

I’ve been smitten with Oliver + S patterns ever since I first sewed one.  I can tell you my favorite without batting an eye, and it is my second all-time most sewn pattern as well. It’s the Tea Party Sundress + Playsuit.  It was the first Oliver + S pattern I sewed my daughter when she was only about 18 months old, and it was love at first stitch!


tea party sundress


I remember I kept holding the tiny dress up to look at it as I worked on it saying “I can’t believe this dress looks this great!”  That’s what I love about Oliver + S patterns; every time I sew any of them they always look professional when I am done.  They are the best patterns on the market!

tea party sundress


I have used this pattern 16 times and counting; I never tire of sewing it.  I have used it for both my daughter and my toddler son.  It’s my favorite baby boy pattern too.


tea party playsuit


The dress and playsuit work so well not only in hot weather but also in cold. I have put the Music Class Blouse under my daughter’s Tea Party dresses and playsuit, and the Sketchbook Shirt under my little boy’s playsuits.


tea party playsuit


I like to line my Tea Party dresses and playsuits. At first I used Nicole’s tutorial, but now I do it a bit differently. I sew the inside dress/playsuit completely (but no hem), and then I sew the outside the same way.  Then I sew the two bodices together as in the pattern, and I hem both the outside and inside at the same time. It gives it a nice clean finish that I love.


tea party playsuit


I have customized this pattern a few times as well as sewing by the pattern. I added lace (inspired by the lovely Nicole!) and hand embroidery on another. On one playsuit for my daughter, I made the bottoms like Puppet Show Shorts with lace pockets.


tea party sundress


I have made my little boy two playsuits where I combined the bodice piece with the pants pieces so I could add an applique to the front.  I have sewn the playsuit up as pants.  I even used this pattern to make my little girl a frost fairy costume by cutting the skirt into a leaf shape.


tea party sundress


I have more customizing ideas for this spring for both my daughter and son. With this pattern, the sky is the limit!

Thanks for joining us here today, Sharon!  Check out plenty more of Sharon’s projects on her blog, Sweet Pea and Pumkins.




  1. Wow, Sharon, 16 times? That’s a lot! Wonderful job.

  2. Jenny

    16? Holy Cow! I don’t have this, and I am afraid my daughter is on the wrong side of the sizes.

    So “amortizing” out the price of the pattern, it has cost you less than a US dollar per make! That is a great bargain!

  3. Oh Sharon, you are a darling, thanks for the mention.
    You have made this pattern yours!

  4. 16? That’s quite a record, but this pattern is totally worth it (it was also my first Oliver+S and the one that got me addicted …).
    Congratulations, Sharon!

  5. The timing of this post is great for me. I just finished making my first tea party dress this morning (and am now doing a matching doll one). I added some eyelet in between the yoke and skirt. I love it and really enjoyed making the dress. I know I will make many more. I enjoyed seeing all of Sharon’s creations.

  6. Wow Sharon, 16 times is amazing! It was my first O&S pattern too, so lovely to make. I love all your versions, gorgeous.

  7. Thanks for sharing all these pictures, Sharon! I never was able to visualize this pattern on a boy, but I think my boys were too old when I discovered it. It is so adorable on a baby or toddler. I love your versions! They are classic.

  8. Sharon they’re all great but I especially love your boy versions! Did you count the mini version amongst your 16?

  9. Fiona

    So good to see your wonderful work given the ‘publicity’ it deserves, dear S. I’ve made the Playsuit shorts about 6 times now, and every mother loves it! Dear O and S; a wonderful resource of patterns, and advice for every sewist.

  10. Sarvi

    What a fun post, I love all the ideas for the different customizations! I want to try out the Puppetized version of the Playsuit, that is just way too cute!

  11. All of your renditions of the Tea Party pattern are wonderful, Sharon! I love what you’ve done with it. I have to say the fox one is my all time favorite!

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