Super Online Sewing Match, Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress

Super Online Sewing Match Round Two: Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress…

Hello Round Two!   Our assignment, received last Wednesday, was the Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress.  Oliver + S patterns are designed by Liesl Gibson.  Liesl creates charming, contemporary sewing patterns for children’s clothing.  Thank you Liesl, for my first opportunity to work with a downloaded PDF pattern.  It won’t be my last!  With this dress, I have now doubled the number of children’s clothing I’ve sewn.  Yup, a grand total of two dresses.  Years ago, I had the honor of sewing my niece’s wedding dress and I had enough fabric left over to make a sweet little flower girl dress for my great-niece.  Honestly, I didn’t think there would be a greater sewing pressure than making a wedding dress for a loved one…and now here I am. {insert big, goofy smile!}




The Roller Skate Dress


All righty…first up are some of the required photos for the judges.  

Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress, Super Online Sewing Match

Front View


Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress, Super Online Sewing Match
Back View

Inside Seams – Finished with Serger

The Fabric, The Inspiration, & The Pattern
The Roller Skate Dress pattern is available in sizes 6 months through to 12 years.  As fate will have it, the littles in my life are not so little as to fit these sizes, nor so big that they have littles of their own.  Yes, I do have a few darling nieces, but they do not live in town, so fittings and photos would be out of the question.  We were assured that photos of dresses, either on hangers or laid out, were perfectly acceptable; however, my preference was to make a dress that could be modeled.  I asked a friend at work if her eight year old daughter might agree to be my muse.  Yes, of course!  The only drawback, and a big one…she was away at the lake all week.  So, no measurements, and no fittings.  Knowing she was petite, I decided to make a size 6 dress.  And, it fits!  Wahoo!  For my inspiration, I called upon an eight year old child…one that had just returned from a holiday in California with her family.   While on holiday, her Mom had bought for her the most marvelous dress.  It was lime green and green gingham, fresh, cute, and it didn’t feel little girl at all.  It felt really quite grown-up and stylish, and the dress remained her favourite for a very long time.  Yes, I was my inspiration for The Roller Skate Dress.  I wanted to sew a dress for my young friend that had the same vibe as the dress I loved so dearly.   I love prints and colour, so I was really looking forward to using multiple fabrics.  I wanted a fun look…hip, but still sweet…and the bold flower pattern on zebra stripe {Ooh-La-La by Dana Brooks of Lazy Daisy Cottage} was It!  And the printed word art fabric…Oh My Goodness…perfect!  Uplifting, positive, and girl power to boot!  Reading these words as I sewed, really did make me feel positive, and I hope that my young friend feels it too! Last, but not least, I can’t forget the green gingham lining.  How could I resist a little ode to the dress that stole my heart.
Variations on a Design
The addition of a Peter Pan collar, edged with handmade green gingham piping

1″ Neck Facing 

Lace eyelet sewn along the armholes
Colour blocked with two patterns
Handmade green gingham piping between the two prints

Secret pockets in the front of dress
Lace eyelet sewn onto the lining hem
Fully reversible dress

Collar Detail – Woven Sew-In Interfacing, Handmade Piping, Understitched


Hem – Dress, Hand Stitched Blind Hem – Green Gingham Lining- Edged with Cotton Eyelet, Machine Sewn and Finished Both Sides – The eyelet peeks out below the dress hem.

Secret pockets x 2 in Front of Dress, edged with handmade piping

Eyelet Trim at Armhole

1″ Green Gingham Facing Detail

Back Closure with Button  

Fabric and Handmade Piping Detail

Fully Reversible Dress

I gotta tell ya,  I’m thinking the reversible dress could be brilliant for spilly people like me.  Going out for dinner,  a splat of sauce on the bodice, a quick flip of the dress in the ladies room, and Ta Da!…off to the theatre looking as good as new.  
The Challenges
Ah, the challenges.   I would say that the design of this dress evolved organically.  {A euphemism for…that looks so wrong, how about this?…better, but not quite right…maybe this?…close, but?  but what?, finally…BEST}  I didn’t have a model to drape and get an idea of proportion and scale, so there was some challenge involved in getting the right balance of word art fabric with flower fabric.   I laid the fabric pieces out and played with the proportions until it felt right.   I had also originally intended to apply patch pockets, but I realized that they just weren’t fitting in with the design aesthetic I was ultimately going for.   As far as the pattern itself went, I found the instructions to be very clear and concise.  Oh, I did find a challenge with the lay-out of my pattern pieces.  Not the fault of the pattern instructions at all.  Turned out the fabulous flower fabric was only 40″ wide, not the usual 45″…my bad, I should have made myself aware of the fabric width before purchase.  Good news is that I had bought extra for matching. It was still a bit of a squeeze to fit things on and have the flowers centred on the front, but I managed it.
The Humour
People, I’ve been practically chained to my sewing machine for two weeks.  But, this week the mister noted that I haven’t cried once……yet.

In The End
  Sigh…I like this dress.  I like it a lot.  So much so, that I asked the mister if we could have one…you know…a little girl.   Bwa-ahh-ahh-ahh!   I can’t thank my lovely model enough!!!  I am so grateful that you agreed to pose for some photographs.  It was a pleasure sewing for you my sweet friend.  Thanks bunches for stopping by dear readers!   I’ve met some lovely new readers, I’m loving your comments, and I’m very, very hopeful to be moving on to the next round!


  • Reply dm siverson July 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Beautiful, a great colour/ fabric combination and so practical. I also admire the craftsmanship on finishing. Good luck!

  • Reply amy mayen July 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Wow- your design is gorgeous, your craftsmanship is impeccable, I'm thoroughly impressed every time I visit. I'm laughing a little though…I knew it wouldn't be long before you start borrowing kids to sew for:)

  • Reply thequirkypeach July 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    GENIUS! I love love love that you made this reversible – so great! And the print matching is great too! Do you know if the fabric with the typed words is still available somewhere? It is too cool 🙂

  • Reply Imogen July 24, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Outstanding! You are so talented, this is a gorgeous dress. I love the patterns, the trim and the Peter Pan collar. I want one, can you make me this dress! Haha.

  • Reply Flo July 24, 2013 at 3:19 am

    That is adorable! I love the reversible idea too, how clever. Great job, on to round three!

  • Reply Christine July 24, 2013 at 4:14 am

    I am blown away!!!! I love all the details and fabrics. I can't imagine being talented enough to make such an amazing dress but I am truly inspired to sew more.

  • Reply lattegirl40 July 24, 2013 at 4:51 am

    fantastic!! amazing that it is reversible!! you're not leaving the contest!! see you again next week in round 3!!!!!!

  • Reply Val Sparkle July 24, 2013 at 5:34 am

    You are so talented! The details, the colors, the secret pockets – and it's reversible! Forget the little girls, you should be making custom dresses for us big girls!


  • Reply Marla Robinson July 24, 2013 at 5:44 am

    So so talented!! These dresses are amazing.

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo Style Files July 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Simply adorable! I love all the details.


  • Reply Anonymous July 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

    A lovely dress!! Brava – all your details are beautifully done!! Good luck in round 3.

    Helen in Malden, MA

  • Reply July 24, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I'm so impressed! Sue, you are crazy talented! I love all the tweaks you made to this dress – genius to make it reversible! Also, I'm totally blown away by your craftsmanship – every stitch is perfect!

  • Reply Anonymous July 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

    This is an amazing dress, and so cute! You can tell from the pictures that your model really loved it. Well done!

  • Reply Shirl July 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I looovvvveeee this. Especially the printed word, but hey all the fabrics you chose for this dress are wonder bar. Too, too yummy. And reversible!. That is just the icing on your cupcake, my friend. So well done!


  • Reply Melanie July 24, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Holy cow! You've got some mighty talent there, Sue!! These dresses are too beautiful. Good luck moving to the next round.

  • Reply Linda F. July 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Love this! The “hidden” pockets are genius. Great job.

  • Reply nest full of eggs July 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I really like the piping, hidden pockets & that it is reversible, but what I love the most is the lining edged with cotton eyelet!

  • Reply Ofelia July 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Sue, you have some amazing sewing abilities! The details on the dresses are so well done and time consuming and of course she looks so cute!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment! It really is appreciated.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks Amy. Yup, you were right about the borrowing, LOL. How do you manage to stay out of fabric stores my friend? There is just so much fun stuff for kids!!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks Quirky Peach, if I might address you as such, :).

    Oh yes, I should have mentioned the type words fabric is by Quilting Treasures. I bought mine locally at Fabricland…not sure where you're at.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    LOL, I kinda wish this dress would fit me too Imogen.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks Flo! Thanks for the positive words!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Aw, thanks Christine. That is so rewarding to read that you are feeling inspired to sew more!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Aw, thanks for being so supportive!!! I'm hoping!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Hey Val! I suspect that posts about sewing and children's wear may be of little interest to you, so I really, really appreciate that you've taken the time to leave such a lovely comment. I feel warm and fuzzy all over! Thank you!!!!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks Marla…these projects are really helping me to improve my skills.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks Suzanne! I'm always looking extra closely at the details on the vintage dresses you wear. Designers really knew how to embellish clothing just right back in the day.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Thank you Helen! I very much appreciate your positive sentiments!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Aw, thanks Erin…I swear you've got magic fingers. You create beautiful outfits on your beautiful blog.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you so much! Yes, my model was indeed wonderful!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Hey Shirl! Okay, hon…you're making me hungry! Thanks for the very kind words. I'm reading your card everyday…I'm possible! 😉

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Hey Mel! As I said to Val, I'm so happy to see many of my VisMonday peeps stopping by and taking the time to encourage me onwards! {{hugs}}

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Thank you Linda. My model thought the pockets were fun too.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I think that cotton eyelet is a sweet touch too, and I'm happy to hear that it's your favourite part of the dress! Thank you!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you so much Ofelia. Yes, the details add to the time factor, but in the end, so worth the effort.

  • Reply pastcaring July 25, 2013 at 12:02 am

    What a beautiful dress, Sue. My youngest daughter would wear that in a heartbeat! I love the fabrics you chose, the pockets, all the gorgeous details, and so professionally finished too. Well done!
    PS. I have a couple of girls you are welcome to borrow anytime you like, I'll send 'em over! xxxx

  • Reply The Style Crone July 25, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Absolutely beautiful! Your talent exudes from the screen.

  • Reply Emalina July 25, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I'm in awe of your talent Sue, what a beautiful dress and so cleverly made. I love all the little touches, the pockets and the fact it is reversible. You're going to win the competition!

  • Reply Carley Lee July 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    What an amazing dress, Sue! Can it be made in my size?? That collar is adorable, and I LOVE your choice of fabrics/prints. Wonderful, wonderful job!

  • Reply Lynn Dylan July 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Oh, Sue, you have totally outdone yourself, and everyone else!! That is adorable, and I do mean ADORABLE! I love the fabric, the fit, the details; what craftsmanship!! You should win.


  • Reply Kathleen Lisson July 26, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Lovely young lady and I adore the newsprint fabric on the dress.

  • Reply Cheryl July 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Reversible?! Get out! I'm one of those spilly people that can't get through a meal without a splotch, I need a whole reversible wardrobe. Or maybe just a bib 🙂
    Great job making an adorable dress out of a pattern that I actually wasn't crazy about when I first saw it. (It's growing on me; your fellow contestants made some cute versions, too.)
    I haven't checked yet to see what your next project is, but I'm sure you'll ace whatever it is.

    p.s. Your model sure is a cutie!

  • Reply Jean at July 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Love this! Your creativity is inspiring, your model adorable, and the finished project is brilliant. Congrats!!

  • Reply Ariane Lasalle July 28, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Hi Sue!

    What a cute dress and what amazing skills you have!
    Really impress!

    Ariane xx

  • Reply ann wood July 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    This dress is just adorable and you have sewn the piece with such care and beauty. This young lady must feel really special to have such an amazing dress!

    blue hue wonerland

  • Reply Olivia Lane July 30, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Lovely! I love the fabric and all the gorgeous details and the fact that it's reversible. this is so sweet!

  • Reply dan July 31, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Wonderful, wonderful dress! I love all of it: the colour, the shape, the reversibility. . .and the young model is adorable! You are very, very talented, Sue! The dress also looks perfect in its realization. . .a masterpiece!

  • Reply Trina July 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Well you just made one little girl a princess for the taking. I truly hope she appreciates the love and care that went into the making of this treasure.
    Oh, the details that you thought of are so amazing. Absolutely love the three different patterns you chose, lime gingham is the most cheerful thing I have seen all summer and then to mix it with flower power and inspiring words, you, my dear, are brilliant! Can't wait for round three.

  • Reply cleartheway August 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    That dress is so cute! It's so well-made.

    Kate from Clear the Way

  • Reply Sandra August 2, 2013 at 7:44 am

    With apologies for being so late, congratulations on this lovely dress. Between your inspiration in design, fabrics, and trims, and your impeccable sewing skills, you have made a beautiful dress. Your model looks so happy to be wearing it! Oh and congratulations on winning this round; I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. Thanks for sharing such a lovely project. Those up-close photos, those judges. You wowed them!

  • Reply his_girl_friday August 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    So adorable! Great work!

  • Reply Rosy August 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Absolutely flawless! I love every detail of this dress ….. and … I love your sewing skills! You are soooo talented!

  • Reply Karen August 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Beautiful workwomanship and lovely design. I love how you made the dress reversible. Genius!

  • Reply Lynneb August 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

    This dress is just adorable. I love your fabric choices, Sue! Well done!

  • Reply Titanium Woman August 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Sue, the dress is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing all of the details. I really love how you constructed the pockets! I am in the process of planning my Roller Skate Dress and was wondering if you could give me a few more details on the pockets…what shape, dimensions and anything else you can think of that might be helpful!
    Again, beautiful work!
    Thanking you in advance,

  • Reply Titanium Woman August 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Sue – another question: I really love the detailed close-up photos you have taken. Can you give me some pointers? I'm struggling with my Nikon and lens and was wondering what brand/model of camera you use and which lens is giving you the quality close-ups of your details!!

  • Reply Wendy August 21, 2013 at 2:33 am

    That's a very lucky model to have scored such awesome dresses!

  • Reply Rachel August 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Great job!! Seriously, I can't even imagine sewing to that level of complexity!

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