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Oliver + S School Photo Dress

You don't have to read my blog very often to know I love Oliver + S sewing patterns.  These patterns have taught me how to sew.  Liesl's instructions are fantastic.   You can always trust them.  There are times that I have no idea what I'm doing or how it will come together, but I remind myself, "Trust Liesl" and every time, it works.  [I had to learn this the hard way from all those times that I thought her instructions had to be wrong, did it my way, and then spent lots of time seam ripping!]

When the School Photo dress pattern came out, my interest was piqued.  But it was seeing these photos on Flickr that clinched it for me.  The dress was so sweet.  It reminded me of something my mom would have worn as a little girl in the 60s.

I ordered the pattern, but put off sewing it because it had an invisible zipper.  I don't like invisible zippers.  I always botch invisible zippers.  When I do them, they're never invisible and they get all bunchy and wonky at the bottom.

To illustrate

bad zipper

really bad zipper

But as I said before, I knew that Liesl writes fantastic patterns and hoped that maybe this time would be different.

And it was.

If you hate this pattern but want to learn how to put in invisible zippers, buy the pattern for this tutorial.  It was so easy and went in seamlessly (pun intended).  And it made my day that I was finally able to put in an invisible zipper correctly.  It's the small things!

This dress was a lot of fun to sew.  It's fully lined.

I learned how to make a thread chain for a button loop.

I also learned how to make a kangaroo pocket.


If you do decide to make this dress, be forewarned that it's quite time consuming.  It took me as long to sew this dress as it did to make their jackets.  Also, be sure to finish the seams.  The instructions tell you to finish the seams.  In my past experience, when something is lined you don't have to finish the seams.  Not so with this... unless you want to hand sew the lining to the dress hem like I had to do.

 See, I should have followed Liesl's instructions!

In this case, all's well that ends well.


  1. This is beautiful. The pattern hasn't really appealed to me before but I love your version. Great job.
    PS - I have an Evie too :)

  2. So so sweet!! I don't know how you do it!!

  3. That dress is adorable, great job. And that last picture is so sweet!

  4. I'd love to be a fly on your wall during sewing time! GORGEOUS!

  5. This is a beautiful dress!! You are so talented =) Btw, LOVE your thankful leave idea - would love to do it with the girls all year round too. Just got back in town and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  6. Omigosh that school photo dress is glorious! Love that fabric so much. I have plans to make one of those; good to know I'll need to budget some time. :)

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