my favorite oliver + s pattern: rebekah from wisconstitches

We love seeing what you create with Oliver + S patterns. The “My Favorite Oliver + S Pattern” series features Oliver + S fans who share what they’ve made, and as an added bonus we get to know them better, too. Let me introduce you to Rebekah who is stopping by to talk about her favorite pattern and share the many wonderful versions she has sewn. Thanks for being here, Rebekah!

Hello fellow Oliver + S lovers! I’m so honored to be here today to share with you my favorite Oliver + S pattern. Trying to choose between them is like trying to choose my favorite cheese. (I live in Wisconsin, mind you, where this is a hotly contested topic.) They’re all equally amazing for different reasons. It’s even worse now that I have a daughter and a son, and can make any of the collection (I’m at 19 patterns and counting…). What it really came down to are the time tested favorites, the patterns remade year after year. And of these, there is no argument that the Ice Cream Dress wins for both me and my daughter.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

I purchased the pattern in a spree when I knew I wanted to start collecting all things Oliver + S. It wasn’t until I started pouring through it that I realized what a versatile pattern it is. A wide variety of fabrications would make up well, and the different views that transform it from a blouse to dress to color blocking is genius. The sewing itself is simple enough for a novice stitcher, but lovely for the more experienced when you don’t feel like setting sleeves or doing anything overly laborious. Yet the details of the notches on the pockets and the yoke are so charming, you end up with a garment that never looks like a “learn to sew” pattern.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dresses

My favorite feature is how well it showcases a large print. The body panels on the middle of the dress are uninterrupted by plackets, pleats, buttons, or other details found in so many patterns. And if you’re like me, you get sucked into buying the newest prints to hit the local quilt shop. My first go was with a Riley Blake Halloween print, made up with a few changes to make the pattern fit on fat quarters. My daughter is so infatuated with this version that it’s still being worn as a tunic, even though she’s three sizes larger!

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

This ability to feature a print means I make her more versions as she requests them following her interests, whatever that may be. She’s been on a pirate kick for a year now, and this dress gets worn the second she sees it back in her closet.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

Another detail I love is the use of contrast on the yoke, pockets, and lower bands. They’re great places to add embellishment, as I did on my latest version. I recently found my grandmother’s box of midcentury transfer patterns, which hold great sentimental value to me as she taught me how to sew. The hand embroidery here features stem stitching, single daisy chain stitches, french knots, satin stitching, and a bit of backstitching for outline. The color of pinky purple proved difficult to match, so I used multiple colors at once to work the embroidery. I stitched the yoke in the opposite order as the instructions, as I didn’t want any topstitching to detract from the embroidery, and hand stitched the backs of the yokes in place for a clean finish.

Hand embroidery on the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

The cherry on top of this pattern is the single button at the back of the neck, which lets you use up fun things from your stash, or not be as concerned about finding buttons in quantity. It’s a perfect place to add just a bit of charm as a finishing touch.

Button detail on the back of the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

I recently featured the pattern in a sew-along on my blog, Wisconstitches, as I adore it so much I wanted to introduce it to my sewing friends. Follow me for more about kids and women’s sewing, quilting, home dec, and knitting! Like my Facebook page for more daily snapshots of what I’m up to as well as the latest blog posts. Happy sewing and love from Wisco!

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress sew-along

Labels: ,

10 Comments

  1. Thank you for having me today! So honored to be here!

  2. Emma

    Awesome article!!!!

  3. Deb

    Those are such sweet little dresses. I especially like the hand embroidery and the story behind the precious stitches.
    Thanks for sharing your favourite pattern!

  4. Marsha ratzel

    How did you figure out the fat quarters? Did you just use a different pattern piece on each quarter? My grand is still so little that I would love to try this strategy.

    1. Up to a size 2, a fat quarter will fit the dress body panels. After that it becomes too wide to fit on a fat quarter. The yoke and lower bands fit out of one fat quarter when I shortened the bands to fit out of what was left. If you bought 2 for the body and 2 for the contrast you’d be set!

  5. Patricia Hersl

    Happy! I so understand how you feel about these patterns. Right there with you.

    1. They’re the best! <3

  6. auschick

    I love making this one as gifts for people! It is so quick and easy! I have a cotton lycra panel coming soon and I’m wondering whether this would work with this pattern? Anyone done this in CL? May have to nix the V notch to pull it off though.

    1. I was just talking to a friend last week who used a knit; I’d imagine using a fusible like Fusi-Knit would work well for interfacing the notch and keeping the stitch lines from stretching out. I’ve been itching to try it myself, it would make such a comfortable dress!

  7. Rebekha, your dresses are adorable! I especially like the one with the hand embroidered kitten. How special is that!! Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

Post a comment