10.02.2014

I {Heart} Marcel Marlier and the Oliver + S Ice Cream and School Photo Dresses

When Suz and An asked me to take part in their current series, I {Heart} Marcel Marlier, I was excited by the challenge of making an illustration come to life through sewing.  I had never heard of Marcel Marlier but when An sent me examples of his amazing artwork in the form of children's book illustrations, there was no shortage of inspiration to be had.  Still, it didn't take me long to be drawn to two outfits in particular.

The first was this blue striped dress.


I immediately thought of the Tarikua and the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress.

oliver + s ice cream dress oliver + s ice cream dress (modified) 

In order to achieve the look I was going for, though, I needed to make a few alterations to the pattern.

oliver + s ice cream dress (modified)

I extended the yoke (front and back) by an inch or so.  I also removed the gathers and then gave the skirt an a-line shape.  

oliver + s ice cream dress (modified) oliver + s ice cream dress (modifed) 

I used this Kaufman essex linen/cotton blend.  It's so much easier to work with than 100% linen.  I love it.  I pieced it with a creamy white linen that I had in my stash.   

oliver + s ice cream dress

Finally I finished it with this vintage button, because I knew Tia would love it.

oliver + s ice cream dress (modified)

The second outfit I was drawn to was this yellow romper (?) below.


This time, I instantly thought of Indigo and the Oliver + S School Photo Dress, in corduroy.

school photo dress

The only change I made to this pattern was to the sleeves.  I adapted them to take the shape of the Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress, which I felt better matched the vintage illustration.  

oliver + s school photo dress (modified)

oliver + s school photo dress

It had been awhile since I had sewn an Oliver + S pattern and I had almost forgotten how wonderful they are to sew.

oliver + s school photo dress oliver + s school photo dress

I'll admit, I often skip some of the steps - like notching and (sometimes) basting.  But I know my garment will always come together beautifully when I'm sewing an Oliver + S pattern, even when I take a few shortcuts. ;)  Liesl makes it so easy. 
    
oliver + s school photo dress 

I bought the corduroy here.  The color was quite different from the photos.  I have to order almost all of my fabric online and it's always such a gamble as to whether the color was depicted accurately.  It's actually incredibly frustrating.  While initially I was not drawn to this color, it grew on me.  By the time I had finished sewing the dress, I absolutely loved it.   I think it goes so beautifully with Indigo's hair.

oliver + s school photo dress

oliver + s school photo dress 

Inspired by the first illustration, I thought it would be rather idyllic to take the kids to a local park with a duck pond to shoot these photos, in addition to letting them run, play and feed the ducks.

oliver + s school photo dress 

It seemed we had all of the key ingredients in place for some really lovely photos.   That was until Tia had a meltdown, Hazel had a maaaajor diaper leak, and finally, Iris accidentally disrupted a wasps' nest and was swarmed by wasps (!).  I swooped in, grabbed her and ran, and miraculously neither one of us was stung.  However I'm pretty sure at one point we had our own small symphony (cacophony?) of three crying girls.  Oh boy!

park day! 

That was enough for us to throw in the towel and call it a day.  We had promised Indian food afterward and since we forgot to pack a change of clothes for the baby, that was out, too.  Thankfully, we were able to have a do-over the next day and all went according to plan that time. 

park day

If you'd like to sew a Marcel Marlier inspired outfit, An and Suz are hosting a sewalong, which you can read all about here.  If you are looking for inspiration, you'll find lots of it on this Pinterest board that Suz put together.  The illustrations are so charming, whimsical and nostalgic.  I love them!

i {heart} marcel marlier

Thanks for having me, An and Suz!  Also, today Marte from Compagnie M is sharing her Marcel Marlier inspired creation.  You can check it out here.  


25 comments:

  1. I love both dresses. They look gorgeous on your girls. But I especially love the school photo dress - what a fun pattern, I haven't seen it before!! thank you so much for joining our series - it is always a pleasure to have you:))

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  2. Gosh Rachel. Those kids of yours just get better looking every day. That is by far the best ice cream dress ever sewn, your modifications are brilliant. I'm loving the colour of the School Photo dress and what a perfect pattern to pick for the illustrations.
    Apologies for having laughed a little at the outcome of your idyllic lake walk. Iris' little face with it's "I may, or may not, have poked at something with this stick" look is just too cute.
    Oh and we call those kind of disastrous nappy events a poonami.
    I'm glad there was a take two as the images are stunning.

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  3. I love, LOVE, both dresses, but especially the school photo one - that color! I have looked at the Oliver and S patterns many times, but was still not really convinced up until now. Great Marcel Marlier tribute!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mieke. That means a lot to me.

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  4. Love them! The yellow corduroy is really great. I like the school photo dress better this way with the short sleeves too. Your photos turned out gorgeous, but I totally understand about how shoots go with a baby and volatile little kids. Man it can really be CRAY

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  5. Twice the O & S goodness! You always amaze me, Rachel, and this latest offering is just more evidence of your awesomeness! Color-blocked Ice Cream dress, gold corduroy School Photo dress . . . both born from the creative mind and skilled hands of yourself. Love them both individually, but also paired together - as shown in the last photo (which was my favorite:). Good call on substituting different sleeves for the corduroy dress - love the way the shorted sleeves look for this one.
    And sorry about your less-than-stellar attempt at a photo shoot, but glad to hear that it was all redeemed in the end:) Lucky for us, as we get to enjoy these fabulous photos!

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    1. Thanks a million, Lucinda! And wow, your latest was absolutely stunning! Unbelievable, as always!

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  6. Here in Belgium, we'recrazy about these children's books, and I must say you did a tremendous job in paying tribute to the illustrations. I absolutely love both dresses! They are so simple yet interesting, the colours are gorgeous and the pictures to die for. Excellent job!

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    1. Thank you so much, Eva Maria. That is such a huge compliment. I'm glad you feel I did the illustrations justice. :)

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  7. Simple but beautiful, these sister dresses!

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  8. Oh my. You sure do have storybook children. So so beautiful. The sewing is gorgeous too

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  9. Once again, you've hit it out. of. the. park. Rachel, these dresses are beautiful! So simple and beautiful. I can't decide which I love more! Linen pieced stripes? Luscious golden corduroy? You're killing me!

    But your stories are even better. Oh no! Poopsplosion (or is that pooptastrophe? we used both when mine were small babies) AND a meltdown AND a wasp's nest? That *is* dramatic! Glad you were able to make it back again for these idyllic photographs.

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  10. This is my first time commenting here. I just wanted to say how beautiful your sewing is. I love when your posts pop up on my blog feed, I'm sure to enjoy a lovely story about your family and see some inspirational sewing. Beautifully done.

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, Kerry! I really appreciate your words of encouragement!

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  11. I'v been brought up with Martine, this character is very familiar to us, french people. Over the past years it was very smart to change the title of books like "Martine is showing her panties" (her dresses are often quite short, no ?).

    So two friends of mine organize last year a sew along about Martine that you can see here : http://coudreautourde.canalblog.com/archives/martine/index.html . I've sewn a cape for Jeanne and she still loves it for it is "a princess's cape (?!).

    Anyway, your Martines are just perfect. The school photo dress is one of my fav pattern but... it seems scary to me (I know, I know...). Indigo's dress is very Martine like and the color ("moutarde", no ?) is so deep... And Tia is wonderful, as usual.

    Sorry for the diaper attempt, the wasp's nest, (but this is soooo funny).

    What about "Martine and her family met a wasp's nest " ? (naughty girl, I know).

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    1. Wow, I really enjoyed seeing your Martine inspired sewalong creations! Gorgeous! And what a coincidence that you and your friends created one, too!

      Thanks for this comment. It definitely made me laugh. :)

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  12. WOW! I didn't even recognize the ice cream dress in Tia's (it's fantastic!) and loooove the corduroy school photo dress too! That mustard color is really nice on her. I really need to make another of those; it's such a fantastic design. Love your photos, too. Gorgeous.

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  13. Gorgeous children and well done on getting some sewing in, I know that is not easy with a new born.
    xx N

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  14. Love both of these dresses ! I'd love adult sized versions 😄 the blue is perfect - and the I love the maize on Indigo too! Well done.

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  15. Both dresses are amazing!! You have managed the catch the vibe from the original dresses without having them look TOO vintage - not an easy task so well done!! :-) Aamzing.

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  16. ohhh!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE what you made! Those dresses are phenomenal!!! Wow - just gorgeous! I love them!

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  17. Amazing dresses! They are both vintage and modern at the same time. The school photo dress has such a nice look, and the colour really suits Indigo. Sorry to hear about the first round photo shoot. It's so much easier to laugh about it later on :)

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  18. These dresses are lovely! Viewing this post reminds me of such fond memories of my childhood. Mother sewed sweet little dresses and rompers for me and my sister when we were young. I love your choice of both style and fabric. Great job!

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