my favorite oliver + s pattern: ashley and emily from frances suzanne

Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne are back visiting today. They are two sisters who sew for their youngest sister’s three daughters. Last time they were here they talked about customizing the Croquet Dress. Today it’s all about one of their favorite patterns.

Hello, Oliver + S avid fans, supporters, and sewists alike! When we were asked to share our favorite Oliver + S pattern, brainstorming commenced, and a list was made. But, how in the world could we pick just one? So, we visited our Oliver + S gallery to see what “jumped out” to us as a favorite.

We tend to overanalyze in situations like this, and discovered some interesting things about our love of Oliver + S patterns! We were introduced to Oliver + S patterns three years ago while visiting our Jedi Master, and completely fell in love with them! It wasn’t until several months later that we sewed our first one, a Class Picnic Blouse. Currently, we own 32 patterns (excluding Little Things to Sew), and have sewn 29 of them in some shape, form, or fashion in the past two years. Now, to get those others from our pattern stash sewn.

In the end, our indecisive selves decided on…drum roll please…the Puppet Show Dress, Tunic, and Shorts.


Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress


Okay, we are :those people” who scoff at the sewists that sew a pattern over and over and over again. I mean, seriously, who sews a pattern 10 times (or more, by now), or 20 for that matter?!? Our motto has been, “There’s so many terrific patterns out there! Why in the world would you sew one particular pattern so many times?”


Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress


We, now, officially hang our heads in shame! Because, unbeknownst to us, we had become “repeater sewists,” sewing the Puppet Show Dress, Tunic, + Shorts more often than we even knew before signing up for it as our favorite pattern.


Oliver + S Puppet Show Dresses


As of today, we have sewn some form and combination of the Puppet Show Dress, Tunic, and Shorts nine times: four dresses, three tunic and shorts sets, and two stand-alone shorts.


Oliver + S Puppet Show Tunics and Shorts


So, obviously, we love it. But, then we asked ourselves: Why? Why do we love it so much?


Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress


1. Options! Yep…you get a lot of bang for your buck with this one–options, options, options. Sew a dress. Sew a tunic. Sew some cute shorts. Or do a combination of these options!

2. Finishing Details! This pattern has got the details. They are practically “hidden,” blending into the general look of the garment. Gathers, cuffs, darts, curved yoke, hem facing, top-stitching, a Peter Pan collar, and lots of opportunities for mixing of fabrics and / or adding piping (our favorite thing to do!).


Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress


3. Various sewing techniques are utilized! To continue on the “details theme,” this pattern gives detailed instructions on a variety of sewing techniques, adding to one’s sewing knowledge along the way. We feel as if we improve each and every time we sew this pattern. Technically, this may have been the first time we’ve sewn the hem facing correctly :)! #slowlearners


Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress


4. And…those shorts! We die…cuteness overload. Seriously. Such a precious look for a young girl, and one we want to take advantage of as often as possible since this pattern only goes to a size 5.

Our latest creation was inspired by this pin. We might have become a tad obsessed with Liberty fabric after using it as the accent fabric on the dress. Too bad our pocketbooks aren’t any larger or we’d create a “Liberty Stash” (wouldn’t that be awesome??)! Truth be told, we foresee a “splurge” for some more in the near future. We’ve been bitten by the “Liberty Bug!”


Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress


Since we couldn’t stop with this combination, we created another look, using the Puppet Show Shorts and another Oliver + S pattern. We are sharing that look today on our blog….and would love for you to hop over there and check it out as well!


Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts


As for future Puppet Show Dress, Tunic, + Shorts? Well, since we’ve yet to sew a “winterized version” of the shorts, we plan to make our Puppet Show Dress, Tunic, + Shorts creations an “even ten” this Fall / Winter by sewing a pair. The big question, though, is what to pair with it? Ideas? Suggestions? What pattern would you pair with a winterized version of these shorts, and how would you style them accordingly?




  1. Sharon K

    Love this post, it’s a great pattern! Everything you ladies have sewn with this have look very lovely. I plan on making he Puppet Show shorts in a wool plaid to go over leggings for fall/winter for my girl. I think they will look great paired with a Music class blouse and Sunday brunch jacket in the seam wool as the shorts.

  2. Ah yes, the Puppet Show pattern! You all have done so many cute outfits with it! What about making a long sleeve tunic and corduroy shorts? Paired with cable tights and mary jane shoes it would make an adorable outfit!

  3. Carol

    I love corduroy shorts in winter. The Music Class blouse pattern would be wonderful with them. Am anxious to read what others suggest. The Liberty fabric is beautiful by the way. I like your combining it with less expensive fabric. Thanks for the great ideas.

  4. Sarah Green

    I think the art museum vest would be adorable as a coordinate with the shorts for winter! I’d also go with a plaid wool, and I would line the shorts if I knew how.

  5. Oh, my! You two have sewn this one a lot! Every version is beautiful, and your post reminded me that I need to sew the blouse up for Ella to wear to school (if it isn’t already too small for her).

  6. Fun post!
    Not surprised you are repeat offenders as this is such a sweet pattern. Love, love, love the shorts and the sleeve cuff treatment on the dress.
    Up here in the Great White North I’d pair winter shorts with the Secret Agent Trench coat made from fur!

  7. Sharon K

    Sarah Green, The shorts are super easy to line, just cut out a set of the two “main” pattern pieces. (the short’s themselves part) and sew tighter then pop them inside with the wrong sides together of the wool fabric and lining fabric before you add the waist band or the leg bias. Does that makes sense?

  8. Charlene

    Darling dresses you’ve come up with! Thanks for sharing…gives lots of inspiration! Which pattern did you use for the long sleeves on the pink and white dress? Thank you!

  9. Hi Charlene! Unfortunately, we can’t give you a clear cut answer… we lengthened the puppet show sleeve to give it a long sleeve. It was a rough estimate, and guaranteed NOT the correct way :). If you have a long sleeve pattern of a dress that fits well, you might use that as a starting point to draft another sleeve {?}. We tend to over think things….

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