children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Clever Charlotte Olivine

I generally sew each of my daughters a dress for their birthday (and one for Christmas).  They really enjoy having input into the fabric selection and into the pattern that is used.  Last year Stella chose some fabric for the Clever Charlotte Olivine dress.  I cut it out, but never sewed it up, as I was less than enamoured with her fabric choice.  Since then she has hassled me on a regular basis to finish her birthday dress.  Finally I acquiesced and it was finished just in time for her birthday this year!

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

It is a really pretty style. The contrasting pleats in the skirt and the radiating tucks in the bodice are so lovely! However, that fabric. You can see the issues – so incredibly awful to sew and to press in particular. Plus it shows every single crease. She had only had it on for about half an hour when these photos were taken – it looks like she’d been wearing it all day!  It came from deep stash and was originally given to me from someone else’s stash – I have no idea of the composition.

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

Now that I have ranted about the fabric, some discussion of the pattern. It is a beautiful pattern, and everything fits together just as it should. The instructions are comprehensive. The description from the pattern says: Plenty of pleats make the Olivine Dress our fanciest look yet. She’ll look great at holidays, birthdays, even sashaying down the aisle as the scene-stealing flower girl. What fun color combo will you choose to show off the contrasting pleats and pockets on the skirt? The lined Dress has an A-line skirt with a center back zip and full, gathered sleeves.

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

Now, as far as I am concerned those sleeves aren’t gathered, but are eased. The sleeve cap has lovely fullness, but is quite smooth after the sleeves are set in. The centre back zip is an invisible zip. The dress is fully lined, in quilting cotton in this case. That’s what Stella chose!

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

This is a straight size 6, with no alterations. I should have understitched the bodice facing/lining around the neckline, as it is rolling to the outside a little. And I had a hell of a time getting the pleats and tucks to look decent where they met. The fabric completely worked against me, and the shine of it makes it all look a bit dodgy in that part.

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

We really do like the effect of the contrasting fabric in the skirt pleats, and it’s not difficult to do that part. I used the blind hem stitch and foot on the machine for the skirt and sleeve hems of both the dress and the lining. So overall, this wasn’t a quick sew, but it was satisfying. Just don’t use a slippery shiny fabric like this one if you want a happier time during the process!

Clever Charlotte Olivine dress for Stella's 7th birthday

Happy Birthday my gorgeous girl – the years are flying past almost a little too quickly! And finally you have your birthday dress.


8 thoughts on “Clever Charlotte Olivine

  1. Good on you for sewing a fabric for her! Wouldn’t be my choice either but I can totally sew why she chose it and you did a fabulous job making something wonderful of it. I love the pattern design! My girls are enamoured with silk or anything like it too.

  2. lots of possibilities with this design, would look god with a ‘softer’ more drape-able fabric too. She looks every bit the birthday girl, love the bracelet.

  3. It’s a stunning design! Could imagine how floofy it would look withall cotton instead of the slinky. Totally hear you on the fabric – but what little girl isn’t going to love rose pink shiny slinky? Happy birthday Stella!

  4. What a beautiful pattern, the colours of your fabrics look great together but those wrinkles would annoy me no end! I haven’t let my daughter pick the pattern or fabric for her birthday dress yet, but I have a feeling that for her 6th birthday dress she’ll have a strong opinion to express!

  5. What an expert job you did with the dress and especially with that fabric! Despite the creases, it turned out wonderfully. Thank you for sewing one of our patterns! (Yes, and you are right that we shouldn’t use the term “gathered” for the sleeves. Good catch.)

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