When I was starting to work on the fall patterns last spring I got to thinking about the easy styling of both the Ice Cream Dress and the Hide-and-Seek Dress and how much you’ve liked those patterns. I suspect those patterns are appealing because they’re simple silhouettes that are also really versatile. They’re easy to sew, have a cute shape and style, and they offer a lot of options for creating a wide variety of looks–as can be witnessed in all the many ways you’ve been sewing them and posting them to the Flickr group.
Our new Carousel Dress pattern is similar to those styles in that it has a similar relaxed feel, and it’s a great pattern for beginners. But it’s also got lots of style and plenty of options that will keep you dreaming up new versions of the dress. This makes it especially versatile.
The dress has raglan sleeves with a simple dart at the shoulder for shaping. The neckline is finished with bias binding, and the back keyhole opening makes it easy to pull on and off without any fancy closures that might intimidate someone who’s not fond of buttonholes and zippers.
But the best feature, in my opinion, is the seam details. The pattern includes pockets that get sewn into the seams for a really clean finish, and you can do all sorts of fun things with those seams. Add contrast topstitching like we did on the chambray version for the envelope cover. Or have fun with the fancy stitches on your machine and do something like this, which has such a nice effect.
You could also take advantage of the seams to do some fun color blocking, like this.
As usual, we included two different views of the dress. View A has simple lines with a tailored feel to it. And View B is the girlier, frilly version of the pattern. I love the ruffled hem.
In terms of fabrics for this pattern, quilting cottons are obviously perfect for it. I mean, with all those colors and prints to choose from, what could be better? I think this is a great pattern to use if you want to experiment with mixing prints, too. Other fabrics that would work well would be linen and chambray. I chose Robert Kaufman’s cotton-linen denim for the cover image, and we added lots of topstitching with denim thread, which is heavier than regular thread so it will show up nicely for topstitching on jeans. You could also use fine-wale corduroy, sateen, lightweight twill, or even go fancy and try silk dupionni or shantung.
The Carousel Dress pattern is available now in both paper and digital format. I hope you’ll have lots of fun with it and that you’ll try all different ways of customizing it. I’ve added some ideas to my Customizing with Oliver + S Pinterest board to get you started. Maybe you’ll try color blocking just the center panel or just the pockets? I can’t wait to see!