my favorite oliver + s pattern: ren from the inspired wren

Please welcome the talented Ren to the blog today! Over a year ago we featured her very clever project: an ink-jet printed lazy days skirt. She’s here now to discuss her favorite Oliver + S pattern. Thank you so much for stopping by Ren!

Oliver + S Jump Rope Dresses

Hello, Oliver + S Friends! I’m Ren Murphy from The Inspired Wren where I share inspired sewing, crochet, and crafts. I’m so excited to be here today to share my favorite Oliver + S pattern, the Jump Rope Dress.

Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress

My very first Jump Rope Dress. My very first ever sewn placket! Corduroy and quilting cotton, 2013

I confess it was very difficult for me to choose a favorite. Every time I read one of these posts in the past I would play a little game with myself to see what I would choose to write about, and every time it was whatever pattern I had most recently sewn. From my very first pattern, Puppet Show Shorts and Tunic, to the After School Shirt and Pants, to the Family Reunion Dress, to the Ruffled Halter, to mash-ups and beyond, I have never sewn an Oliver + S pattern just once. I have always sewn multiples of each garment with one exception; I still can’t get my model (and daughter), The Peanut, to wear the Lunch Box Culottes (which I love) because she can’t decide if they are a skirt or pants and therefore rejects them outright. I’m still hopeful they’ll grow on her because they are so very darling (and luckily I have the larger range of sizes so there’s still time for her to find the culottes love, fingers crossed). But if every other pattern becomes a part of the regular rotation in her wardrobe, I’m okay with one miss out of over thirty-five sews.

Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress

Christmas perfection! Taffeta tartan, 2013

Despite my love of all Oliver + S patterns, I’ve finally concluded that my current, and long-standing, all-time favorite is The Jump Rope Dress. It has so much going for it. The two views can create garments that appear so different at first glance; one of those singular patterns that gives you multiple staples for your little one to wear all year long. My favorite part, by far, is how much I feel like a rock star seamstress every time I complete one of the plackets, when all I really do is follow the directions as written!

Oliver + S Jump Rope Dresses

Lovely Jump Rope plackets, including an Easter dress work-in-progress.

So far I have sewn the Jump Rope Dress in corduroy, taffeta, poly-blends, and cotton and I’m not done yet. The fact that I have returned to it again this year, is my proof that I love this one.

I currently have an Easter dress version at the machine (another View A—clearly that full skirt reads “holiday” to me). I had to pull myself away from completing it to type this! But there’s a sneak peek up there in the placket-love collage. Lately my favorite make is View B with View A sleeves, minus the pockets, plus a shirttail hem and a thin-elastic gathered waist: a perfect little, on-trend shirt dress. I’ve already sewn two! (You can read more details about this hack at The Inspired Wren.) In a breezy cotton or a blend, it is the perfect tunic for Spring and Fall.

Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress

Darling B&W gingham in a poly-blend shirting. Sewn September 2015, worn, loved, and finally photographed February 2016.

I also adore playing with contrast fabrics on the plackets and sleeve tabs/cuffs. And apparently I have a thing for orange. (Aside: I have an orange front door, carry a large orange tote, and wear a decade-old orange blazer jacket. Yet I only recently realized it is my favorite color. Sometimes I just miss the obvious.)

Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress

I always love chambray with pops of color, here paired with quilting cotton, 2016

But now I must get back to finishing up that Easter version. Apparently I’m a sucker for a good holiday plaid. This time with bunny buttons!

Thanks for having me today, Liesl, Todd, and the Oliver + S team. It’s been a privilege.

The Inspired Wren

Come stop by The Inspired Wren and have a look around. Explore to learn more ABOUT ME, find a great TUTORIAL or two, or simply scroll through a gallery of Oliver + S Creations.

Need even more? You can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Would you like to take a little stroll down sewing-memory-lane? If so, head over to see Liesl’s introduction to the Jump Rope Dress pattern view A and view B from August 2009!


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  1. Ren

    Thanks for having me today!

  2. Sarah Helene

    Ren, your “Favorite” pattern, the Jump Rope Dress, you’re sewing your 5th version in a pastel plaid, an Easter dress for your girl! Of the 5, I love your first dress — turquoise print highlighted with bright orange trim on sleeve cuffs, pockets & under neck placket. BRAVO for putting lots of Mom’s love into this Oliver + s, a classic dress pattern indeed! What a sense of color and chic choice of fabrics.

    1. Ren

      Sarah, Thanks so much! That first version was totally copied from someone in the O+S Flickr pool and sadly I can’t quickly find it or remember who it was to credit.

  3. Susanne

    The Jump Rope Dress is one of my favourite O+S patterns, too. It is such a pity that the size range ends at size 8 – I would love to sew this dress for my older daughters.

    Perhaps, if we all ask very kindly, Liesl might consider grading the pattern up …???

    1. Ren

      Susanne, Wouldn’t that be nice!

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