Months ago, I received an email asking me if I’d be interested in writing about my favorite Oliver + S pattern for their blog. I accepted (duh). This was before Project Run & Play! I chose the Building Block Dress. It’s the one I turn to over and over again whenever I have an idea. Since I had some time before my post was due, I made a little something new. It has been so hard not sharing!
This was right on the tail of Project Run & Play. The first week, SewSophieLynn made this really cute blouse for her daughter. E has very slowly started wearing outfits other than leggings and T-shirts. She’ll wear flowy, loose blouses every so often now too and she loved the back closure on the blouse. On top of that, I wasn’t satisfied with the split sleeve on the silk cardigan of that first week and I wanted to try again.
I started with the pattern bodice and added length to get it down to the hip. I used the A-line dress instructions but added a lot less width. Just a little bit to give better range of movement.
I did a separate button band because I wanted to create a wave. I created a template from a wavy cutter I still have from my scrapbooking days. And well, I simply followed the instructions for a scalloped edge, only on the buttonhole side.
For the neckline, I did a facing and added a small curved dip right at center front. It’s subtle but I love that detail.
And finally, the sleeves. I did the modification for a long puffed sleeve but I added width along the whole sleeve rather than just the top. Then I cut it down the center, taped it at the underarm, and added a hem allowance to both edges. While making the sleeve, I finally realized that the critical modification to make for this kind of sleeve is added length and an elastic at the wrist. Thankfully, my sleeve was already long enough and I just added an elasticated cuff. I used some handstitching at elbow height to keep the sleeve from flopping open the whole way. It looked like weird wings otherwise!
Since I’ve made it, the blouse has been worn quite a few times. The buttons I chose for the back are a little heavy for the rayon fabric so the blouse tends to get pulled to the back a little. Short of switching those cute buttons, I’m not quite sure what to do about it. But hey, E wears it as is so maybe nothing?
This shirt is lovely! Your post on the Oliver and s blog is quite inspirational. I’m itching to be done with the dress I’m sewing for myself, so I can get the building block dress book out again.
Thank you! I really love giving life to the ideas floating around in my brain and that pattern is an awesome base to start from.
I love the wavy back detail, and the dip at the neckline! Love the buttons too.
I think the dip is my favorite part too! Those buttons had been hanging around my stash for so long. I kept trying to use them in other projects but couldn’t find the right fit. It’s nice to finally put them to use.