sewing for disney

We are delighted to welcome Ashley and Emily back to the blog. Take a look at their blog, Frances Suzanne, to see their fabulous sewing. They have stopped by in the past to share their favorite patterns: the Puppet Show and Music Class, and to talk all about tucks. Now they have a post all about sewing for a trip to Disney. Enjoy!

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress

Hello again, Oliver + S readers, we are thrilled to be with you today!

Several months ago, we began planning a trip to Disney World with our sister and two of our nieces. Part of the planning, of course, involved sewing. Our excitement grew, and “Sewing for Disney” became a reality.

Sewing for Disney with Oliver + S

But we wanted to challenge ourselves. Could we sew clothing that gave a “nod” to Disney, rather than “scream” Disney? Probably…much to our costume loving nieces’ chagrin. As a general rule, practicality wins with us. We wanted to create outfits the girls could wear every day, and people might or might not even know was Disney related. So the scheming began.

Oliver + S Swingset Tunic + Skirt
Snow White, Swingset Tunic + Skirt
Oliver + S Pinwheel Slip Dress
Tinkerbell, Pinwheel Slip Dress

We quickly realized that the Fairy Tale Dress could be used for many of the Disney princesses. We also realized that there are some color schemes (i.e., Rapunzel) that, for us, were daunting. But the most difficult decision was deciding on which character, pattern, fabric combination, and “angle” we wanted to take when creating our nieces’ clothing for the trip.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress and Class Picnic Shorts
Rapunzel, Popover Sundress Class Picnic Shorts
Oliver + S Hopscotch Dress
Merida, Hopscotch Dress

Of course, what’s the fun in creating all the girls’ Disney attire from one pattern? It would be easy, but not nearly as fun as mixing and matching patterns! Of the 14 outfits sewn, 11 of them were created using Oliver + S patterns … with only one pattern being repeated.

Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress
Belle, Ice Cream Dress
Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress
Anna, Ice Cream Dress

Our Alice in Wonderland creation ended up being quite subtle. Possibly too subtle to be considered Disney, but we loved how the dress turned out. To make the dress more Alice “official,” one might consider making the center panel white and the button tab blue. Also, the shade of blue we selected wasn’t an exact match for Alice, although we sure do like it!

Oliver + S Birthday Party Dress
Alice in Wonderland, Birthday Party Dress
Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts
Donald Duck, Puppet Show Shorts

Oddly enough, the day we visited Animal Kingdom we received the most looks and comments…hands down. Maybe because “dressing up” at the Magic Kingdom is commonplace, but not so much at Animal Kingdom. For this day we chose to sew one of our favorite Oliver + S patterns, as well as the Jump Rose dress (view A). This view of the Jump Rope dress was the reason we purchased the pattern, but had never sewn it before. Swoon. We absolutely loved how it came together and all the detailing. Even though it was merely “safari brown” and not anything exciting (like pink or a flower pocket), it was our niece’s favorite and one of ours too!

Oliver + S Music Class Blouse + Skirt
Animal Kingdom Safari, Music Class Blouse and Skirt
Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress
Animal Kingdom Safari, Jump Rope Dress

While we know a Disney vacation may not be on your current vacation plans (or even “to do” list for that matter), this challenge would be fun for any Disney loving child! Stretch those sewing limits…see what character you can recreate for a young one in the form of non-costumed children’s clothing! The possibilities are endless! Wouldn’t the Library Dress make a stunning Mulan? Or, as one of our readers suggested to us, using the Ruffle Halter Top to create a Jasmine inspired look?

Oliver + S Badminton Dress
Ariel, Badminton Dress

These outfits have become our nieces’ summer wardrobes, and a few other characters have been requested Aurora, specifically, was mentioned by CL and Elsa probably does deserve a moment in the spotlight. So, “Sewing for Disney” may be revisited…well before another Disney vacation transpires.

Thanks ladies!

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  1. Wow! What a lot of fabulously creative sewing. It’s been so fun to watch your oldest niece grow up over the years as you’ve sewn for her. She’s so big now.

    1. Thanks so much, Todd! We THOROUGHLY enjoyed challenging ourselves with this little project . . . by thinking “outside the box” at times. Yes, EA is growing up {don’t remind us :)}. She begins Kindergarten this year . . . so hard to believe!! RE: Oliver + S patterns: We are actually beginning the “Size 5 Project” for her – sniff, sniff . . .

  2. Kitty

    I’m not a huge Disney fan, but I love what you’ve done here. All the dresses are amazing and a fab nod to characters. …I’m now off to plan my trip to Disneyland to have the excuse to sew for my girls!

    1. We understand!! There were Disney movie and characters we had to learn about before sewing, and visiting, Disney. It’s always fun to have an “excuse” to sew, isn’t it?!?!!?

  3. Kari

    I agree, SO creative & such beautifully made garments. I loved how you individualized using color palettes, appliqué & especially the tulip pocket! An inspiration to me!

    1. We appreciate those kind words, Kari! The existing “tulip pocket” pattern piece made the Anna dress one of the easiest sews of all . . . less thinking on our part, thanks to Liesl’s pocket design :).

  4. Emi

    I really enjoyed following your entire Disney series. Every single outfit was so special! I love how each outfit was inspired by a Disney character so that it could be worn as a sweet everyday dress or ensemble. Lucky girls!!

    1. Thanks Emi! You always leave such encouraging comments . . .we appreciate it!

  5. Knitteresq

    Your blog post totally inspired me to make a few Disney outfits of my own! I used the Oliver + S popover sundress as a top and some red shorts for a Mickey inspired look. I’m on Instagram as @knitteresq if you want to check it out. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. That’s fantastic!! Okay, those big white buttons took the Mickey outfit “over the top”! Such cute inspiration . . .

  6. April

    The jump rope dress is so cute. One of my favorite dresses is so similar to the short sleeve style. It’s a Faded Glory dress, and I love it so much I have two. The fabric is a large plaid pattern & I have a black one & a blue one. The only differences are mine button the length of the dress & the skirt has four large box pleats that give fullness, and the pockets are on the bodice & they have buttons. The pockets & skirt are cut on the bias. I call them my dancing dresses, and now I’ll think of jumping rope too.

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