Birdsong Dress for Miss Ellie


I love Oliver + S patterns and over the years have found them perfect for fashion forward makes for wee people. From grandchildren to godsons, I’ve made quite a few over the years, from Sketchbook Shirts to Playtime Tunics (which pair nicely with leggings for everyday run around clothes) – what they all have in common is wonderfully clear instructions and beautiful drafting.


When I saw the lovely new Birdsong cotton prints from Dashwood Studios I knew I needed to turn to a more traditional look to find something with lovely lines to showcase the border print to its full potential. Yep, I know, it’s a bird print again (I am a self confessed ornithological pattern junkie &  I will never, ever learn!) The Family Reunion Dress was perfect, with lovely pin tuck details on the front and back and a gorgeous gentle A line cut.

I have to say though, I would never have picked this pattern based on the envelope illustration (seriously, creepy doll things that surely come alive and try and cut your face off while you sleep … aargh!!) however, there are some lovely versions out there on sewing blogs, so I knew the end result would be good.


My advice? Just squint your eyes when you first pick up the pattern and then ensure it stays face down so you don’t have to lock your gaze with the mutant scary faced doll creature on the front and it’ll all work out fine. Remember Chucky anyone? And yes, the reason that figure is holding its hands behind its back is probably because it has a knife. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Anyway, meet Ellie … she’s growing so fast I always have to make her clothes in the next biggest size up, just so she can at least get some decent wear out of them. That’s why this make looks a teensy bit big on her at the moment.


This was such an easy sew and the perfect showcase for a border print. I loved the little details on the facing and the back full length button panel. There’s plenty of growing room for the little miss, and of course, I made a matching reversible Oliver + S Bucket Hat to go with it, because, well, why would you not?


All these shots were taken on a camping weekend where we played with Lego and read books in Ellie’s little day camp next to the caravan, we stayed up way too late for small people (because we were so excited) and then did it all again the next day! The dress passed its stress tests with flying colours … it tumbled on grass, stood up to trips to the playground, wafted its way around woodland walks and was equally at home with hopping, skipping and jumping. It also survived a cake smearing incident with admirable fortitude. You can’t ask for more than that.



Published by t@uandmii

Colour mad designer rampages gleefully through the world of plus size sewing! Oh, and there may be shoes … and cats.

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