sew + tell: building block dress book

We love what Maria made using the Oliver + S Building Block Dress book. She created two completely different looks which shows the versatility of the sewing pattern. Her own style shines through because the Building Block Dress book makes you the designer.

Here is Maria to give us the scoop.

Oliver +S Building Block Dress book

Name: Maria
Where can we find you on the internet? Blog, Instagram, Facebook

Project details: This project included two garments: a dress and a blouse. The dress didn’t required much change. I reduced the bodice and sleeves length and made a flared gathered A-line skirt (page 73) for extra twirling, a requirement from my girl. I also used the flutter sleeve instructions (page 66) to add a shoulder ruffle.

Oliver + S Building Block Dress

For the blouse, I moved the button placket to the front (page 133) and shortened the bodice. For the bottom part I made as a simple gathered skirt (page 74). As for the sleeves I just used the hem as an elastic casing.

Oliver + S Building Block Dress

In both garments I added a ruffle collar, made with a rectangle of fabric with twice the length of the neckline.

Link to your project: Building Block Dress, a Book Review

Pattern used: Building Block Dress

Fabric used: Corduroy and poplin

Did the fabric work well?

Both fabrics worked very well. The corduroy was very soft and had good drape.

How did the sewing go?

The sewing went smoothly, without problems. The instructions were very clear and helpful.

What was the best part?

Overcome my fear of changing patterns was definitely the best part as it was seeing how it worked exactly as I wanted it to.


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  1. These are both beautiful Maria. I love the mix of frilly, fancy dress/blouse styles with the quiet neutral fabrics. Add in those gorgeous girls and the knee socks and it’s just perfection. I hope you have a frame for that first photo!

    1. Thank you so much Shelley. This photo is definitely going to be framed.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed this project so much!

  3. Emi

    I love both the top and the dress! They are both so beautiful and feminine – and very recognizably your style! I love the fabric combinations you chose for them, and the styling is just perfect!

  4. Adorable! Creative and unique! You have done a lovely job!

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