Pattern Review: Croquet Dress by oliver + s

Description (taken from pattern):  Short-sleeved, dropped-waist dress in two versions.  View A features a nautically inspired collar detail.  View B has gentle gathers at the front and a simple yoke detail which is perfect for embellishment.  The elasticized waist in both views is comfortable and features a cute bow detail.

Sewing difficulty: 2 scissors; a beginner with some experience.

Fabric recommendations: Light to medium weight fabrics like quilting cotton, broadcloth, shirting, poplin, chambray and linen.  I used quilting cotton.  Floral is Taza by Dena for Free Spirit in Cynthia and the solid is from Connecting Threads (and so you know - it is a very good quality that I'm happy with.)

So excited that button worked with this dress.  I won a set of these buttons from Incomparable Buttons a few months ago and I am happy to use one of them.  You should check them out.  Read their company story here.

Overall Design and Fit - Excellent!  I think it's a neat design, different than the usual.  I made a size 7 for Deanna based on her measurements.  I lengthened the skirt though (I cut it at the size 10 length), as I didn't think the size 7 skirt would have been long enough for my tastes (modesty.)

Written Instructions:  Overall they are good instructions.  Leisl Gibson has a way of making pattern instructions that 'regular people' can follow.  There are good diagrams and helpful tips throughout,  making it more than just a pattern but also a learning experience.  I do have to note one part of the instructions that I could not decipher no matter how many times I read it over.  In the "Attach the Drawstring Casing" section, Part 2 I couldn't figure out how I was to attach the casing to the top and the skirt.  I finally tossed the instructions aside and just winged it.  It looks fine and it works, but I'm not sure a more beginner sewist would be able to figure it out.  I will be emailing the company to make note of that and maybe they will explain further in their forum.

Modifications:  I  made a few minor mods to the dress, but nothing huge.  As I stated earlier, I added length to the dress.  I do this to most dresses.  Deanna is fairly tall and I like dresses to be modest.  View B has only the casing and the bow in a contrasting fabric but I decided to do the yoke and shoulder straps in the contrast as well.  I am glad I did, as I really like it.  One last change is the button closure.  I didn't make a thread chain loop, rather I made an elastic loop.  I wasn't in the mood for hand stitching.

Conclusion:  I like this dress.  It is different than the usual.  It isn't ruffly or lacy but still very feminine.  Aside from the small section in the pattern, it is easy to follow and fits together beautifully.  Success!  I hope to make it again in the fall with different fabrics, make it shorter and pair it with leggings and maybe a long-sleeved t-shirt under it.  How do you think that would look?

Time to go to church now Mom!  Just adding this photo because that garden in the front is where I've been spending most of my 'spare' time these days (rather than in the sewing room.)
Have a good week!  I am going here tomorrow. :-)  (To be honest, I am really quite nervous about being in such a gorgeous place.  I am really a down to earth, not very fancy person, but it'll be a good experience.)


  1. very nice dress - I like the pattern & the fabrics!
    and Wow - enjoy your time @ the Banff Springs!!

  2. Cute dress, gorgeous gardens, and a lucky mom...have fun in Banff!

  3. That hotel looks beautiful! Are you going to book some Spa time?

    The dress and your flower beds look great too :)

  4. Love the dress - looks comfy and cute but not too young.
    That's a pretty grand place you're going!! Have a wonderful time!

  5. this dress looks so adorable...i like the drop waist. have a wonderful time. the hotel looks amazing.

  6. Pretty dress, wonder what it's like to sew for girls ;). You'll do just fine at the Banff Springs. I'm a bit of a country bumpkin myself and I've been there lots. Have fun!!

  7. When I saw the first photo of this dress my initial thought was that would look fabulous a little shorter with a pair of leggings in the fall! So yes, yes, yes! to your last question :)
    HAVE a Fabuluous time in BANFF!

  8. The dress is lovely and I like that you did the yoke and the shoulder straps in the contrast too. I wasn't too keen on this particular patten at first but I'm starting to change my mind!

  9. Nice dress! It would look great shorter with leggings. Enjoy your time in Banff! - Linnet