I don't sew as much for Little Miss Cleaver as I thought I would, or would like to really. I've made a number of little "ballet skirts" that get plenty of wear, but not too much beyond that.
I'll admit that some of it is hesitation on my part. LMC is developing strong feelings about what she wants to wear (yes to tutus and leopard print pants), and more often than not, when I pull out a mama-made dress, her response is, "I don't like that." Of course other days, she totally wants to dress up like Olivia. So there's a balance, but I'm a little gun shy about spending a bunch of time making something she won't wear.
This dress however was motivated by the fact that my 2.5-year-old is crazy tall for her age, and is solidly in 3T tops and some 4T bottoms and I have a number of adorable Oliver + S patterns that cap out at size 4. So I felt like I needed to get sewing.
This fabric/pattern combo has been sitting on my to-cut pile for quite some time and I thought now was the time to do it. The fabric was one of the fancy quilting cottons from JoAnn's and the pattern is Oliver + S's Family Reunion Dress. I cut it out in a 3T, with the 4t length, and it's actually fairly big on her, so it looks like I have a little more leeway to sew these patterns up than I thought.
My only previous experience with a paid Oliver + S pattern was the Birthday Party Dress I sewed for LMC's first birthday (so long ago - sniff!). I thought the end result was lovely, but the construction was a bit fiddly. And I'd say the same for this one, there are certain parts of the directions you just have to trust and "go with it" and hope that it works out in the end.
For example, in this dress you sew half the shoulder seam right sides together and the other half wrong sides together. The odd half ends up getting covers up the collar facing. The folding plackets/attaching hem facing is a bit confusing too, but works if you follow the directions. The only place I ran into a construction issue was when I clipped the corners after attaching the hem facing to the button plackets. I over clipped, and had to re-seam, meaning my bottom edges are slightly curved instead of square.
In the end, it came together nicely. I finished my inside seams with zig-zagging and added a little Miss Cleaver tag. The only change I'd make is that I wish I had done my top-stitching in a deep pink/red instead of the pale pink I used.
When I had the pieces cut out LMC insisted I sew it right then (which, not happening kiddo) and when I had it sewn but didn't have the buttons attached, she asked me to finish it so she could put it on, so I have hope that she'll actually like this one. She did wear it this weekend, but then changed into her Wonder Woman t-shirt halfway through the day, so you never know. At least Mr. Cleaver thinks it's cute, he told me so.