LBD with Polka Dots!

I started the oliver + s school photo dress a year ago, originally planned to be worn in Vancouver last Christmas, where it is much colder. Those plans fizzled and I finally placed it back in the sewing queue, just in time for American Thanksgiving!
oliver + s school photo dress
I’m not sure why I didn’t finish this little black dress–it’s the perfect special occasion dress without the ruffles & frills. Instead, it’s graced with classic lines, a beautiful collar, cuffed sleeves and a hidden kangaroo pocket. I regret not finishing this dress sooner–I cut the pattern in size 5 so there’s not much room to grow! Luckily, the dress fits perfectly.
oliver + s school photo dress
The fabric is a black polka dot cotton flannel, purchased here, previously used to accent the fox backpack. It has a soft thickness to it that makes the fabric warm and gives it a wool-like structure, without the scratchiness. The lining is Kona cotton in black.

The instructions for the invisible zipper were by far, the best I’ve ever seen. The zipper is perfect–truly invisible! This is my first oliver + s dress–the pattern is well-written and the illustrations are as always, super clear and helpful. I didn’t make a single modification, nor did I need to.

Froo’s first pose:
oliver + s school photo dress
Uh, right after that shot, Froo insisted on only silly poses. I uploaded the photos and showed them to Froo, which made her laugh hysterically. I asked her to take some serious ones, but then my camera battery died. Oh well, she refused serious, so we only have silly:
oliver + s school photo dress
oliver + s school photo dress
oliver + s school photo dress
oliver + s school photo dress
Not much luck with the close-up shots either:
oliver + s school photo dress
oliver + s school photo dress
oliver + s school photo dress
Finally, one happy pose. I think she’s just pleased with herself for shaking all her sillies out.
oliver + s school photo dress
I promise, this little black dress with polka dots is really pretty in person! It’ll keep my little girl warm and stylish during the winter months. A little grown-up(ish), yet fun at the same time. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Corduroy Mara Blouses

I first discovered the Mara blouse here, where I was blown away by the elegance and sweet detailing of the blouse. When I found out that the Mara blouse by Compagnie M was released, I quickly made my purchase. I finally got the chance to make a couple of my own!
Corduroy Mara Blouses
These ones will be shipped to a pair of sweet sisters–daughters of my bestest buds. They live in Edmonton, the frozen part of Canada during the long winter months. I used corduroy, hoping for warmth, in slightly bigger sizes and lengthened by about 2 inches, so the blouses can be layered underneath (and on top, of course).
Corduroy Mara Blouses
I chose shiny red buttons for the front yoke. I didn’t realize until sewing them on that the holes are fake! There is a single loop at the back. Although I generally like an asymmetrical look, I can’t shake my internal discomfort with the off-centered buttons. I think the next time I make this blouse, I will extend both sides of the front yoke to accommodate buttonholes for centered buttons.
Corduroy Mara Blouses
For the green blouse, which is surprisingly, my favourite of the two, I sewed the side seams with enclosed French seams–only because I didn’t want to change the thread colour on my serger. This made the armhole opening really bulky with the double-fold bias tape. I tried single-fold bias tape (my tutorial here) for the navy blouse, which made a big difference in the thickness of the seams at the armhole opening.Corduroy Mara Blouses
I really love these blouses! I hope the sisters like them. My mom used to make my sister and me matching outfits that were always slightly different. My sister would try to convince me that the one she had was somehow better than mine. It would make me envious until I realized that I would eventually get hers as a hand-me-down anyways.
My mom, sister & me
I convinced Froo to model the blouse, just before ballet class (I know, I know, I must learn how to tie a proper top knot bun):
Corduroy Mara Blouses
The navy one in size 7 was pretty big, so I had Froo try the green one on, made in size 4, which fit much better:
Corduroy Mara Blouses
When Boo saw Froo wearing the green blouse, he insisted that it was his turn to wear the green one. So I put the navy one back on Froo and took a photo. One day he might get mad… but today, I will post this photo in good fun:Corduroy Mara Blouses
Froo is requesting a Mara blouse in brown–her new favourite colour. All of a sudden, pink is done. I hope that passes soon, Froo’s entire room is pink. Froo recently completed her first hand-stitched project. A ridiculously expensive felt bear from a kit that she had to buy the last time we were at Jo-Ann’s. She was so determined and patient with the entire stitching process. Her bear now occupies a precious spot on her bed. Maybe the bear has something to do with her new favourite colour…
Froo's first hand-stitched bear
p.s. In the words of Andy Bernard, from The Office: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”