4.10.2015

The Oliver + S Bubble Dress with a Peter Pan Collar

I'm a bit behind on my weekly blog post this week because I've had two sick kids and it's Birthday Week around here.  In the span of five days time, we have Tia's birthday, then Dan's the very next day, and finally Indigo's three days later.  Add in the fact that we also have a tradition of celebrating Birthday's Eve  - the last day of being whatever age you are and that birthday week often happens right around Easter and it makes for a lot of craziness!  But good memories and so much fun, too!

So today I am sharing the Oliver + S Bubble dress with the addition of the Puppet Show collar.  To ensure proper fit, I compared the Bubble Dress bodice to the Puppet Show bodice and ended up shaving off a scant 1/4" of the shoulder seams.  It was a very simple modification.

O+S Bubble Dress + Peter Pan collar 


There were a couple of things I wanted to mention about this pattern.  The Bubble Dress is one of my all-time favorite patterns for toddler and young preschool age girls.  But I had remembered struggling with the back placket as well as seeing some not-quite-right plackets in the Flickr pool.  That initially made me a little hesitant to try it again.

O + S bubble dress 

It's been several years since I've made this dress. Now that I have more experience, I immediately knew when I got to the final steps that there was an error in the pattern- if you own the original paper pattern -where there is a dot missing.   A very significant dot that makes the placket come together perfectly.   (Errata here.)  It's a simple enough fix once you know it's there and the final results are as beautiful as Liesl's always are.


bubble dress back

Another issue that I previously had with this pattern was that the elastic wasn't pulled high enough inside the skirt, so it kind of hung at the bottom like this.  To remedy that, I added 1.5 inches to the skirt length and cut off 1.5 inches to the skirt lining length.  This pulls the outer skirt further inside the underside of the skirt and creates a nice, full bubble.

O+S bubble dress 
Iris's 'cheese' smile

If I were to make this again, I might even add 2 or 2.5 inches to the main skirt fabric (again cutting off that same amount from the lining) to pull it even further under.   But I'm really happy with how it looks like this, too.

O + S bubble dress 

I clearly have a thing for peter pan collars and since I've made them so many times, I know it can be tricky to get them to to lay just right.   This time I decided to try cutting the collar on the bias to help it lay a little nicer.  I definitely think it helped to do it this way and will probably always cut these collars on the bias going forward.

O+S Bubble Dress


One thing I really love about this pattern is that it doesn't use a lot of fabric.  So I've always made the bubble dress in extra special fabric.  This was made from a yard of Liberty fabric - and I still have enough leftover to make a little something for Hazel.  The collar is a Cotton + Steel solid and the perfect accent color, in my opinion.

O + S Bubble Dress

Iris loves her Easter dress and we even commented on its resemblance to an Easter egg.  That made her week and she did not want to take the dress off.  She is so much fun and her age (3 1/2) is so magical!  I love it so much... and her.  Obv.  :)

iris lucia

21 comments:

  1. So I was just thinking to myself, hmmmm, haven't read a post from Rachel for a while, I hope I didn't miss one in my feed, perhaps I'll check just to be sure ... and BAM! There was a BRAND NEW POST here! What can I say? I have a sixth sense for good sewing!

    This dress! That collar! In mustard! Liberty! And of course I love this pattern, although it's one of the o+s pattern I don't have, I always adore it when it comes up on the Flickr group or in someone's blog. The cap sleeves and bubbly skirt are just perfection. Your fabric choice is wonderful and thank you so much for the tips - if I do sew this one, I will be sure to come back and read up on it.

    You know what else is perfection? Iris' smile.

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  2. That collar IS the perfect color! This little dress makes us smile. We'd be delighted if you'd link up this little treasure to our Oliver + S link party here: http://skirtfixation.com/2015/04/hula-hoop-skirt-all-the-skirts-oliver-s-fat-quarter-shop/ You could win MORE Oliver + S patterns ;)

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  3. Oh, I love a good Liberty print, always gorgeous! And so nice in combinations with the mustard collar... And Iris's cheese-smile: to die for! :-))

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    1. Well thank you so much, Eva Maria! xx

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  4. Squee! So cute!! I love that collar; smart call putting it on the bias, it looks perfect. Love that you made it more bubbly, too. I haven't sewn a bubble dress in a long time but I LOVED how it looked on Em at this age! Okay you just sent me on a trip down memory lane - the last one i made for her WAS when she was 3! http://skirtastop.com/2011/04/24/happy-easter/

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  5. Iris is soooooooo cute ! I love her piggy tails, it is so nice for little girls. And this Liberty Pepper is awsome, perfect for your dress.with the mustard peter pan collar. I loove peter pan collar, I often add piping.

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    1. I thought about adding piping to this collar because - you're right - it is adorable. But it didn't seem quite right with this Liberty fabric!

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  6. Adorable girl, adorable dress! LOVE the addition of the collar. I've made two bubble dresses (a few years back now) and found I had to take in the elastic a couple of inches to make the dress 'bubble' properly. Hope your kids are better and that you enjoy your 'birthday week' - my daughter's birthday was today and it's always a busy time of year for us too, as we usually have Passover around the same time, plus Easter-related festivities. Exhausting!

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    1. Interesting! I hadn't thought about taking the elastic in!

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  7. Eeeeeep! Too cute Iris. 3.5 is a great age. They're chatty but still very naive and endlessly entertaining (and infuriating of course, but hey...)
    I haven't made a bubble dress in ages and if it wasn't Autumn I'd go cut one out straight away after seeing yours. You know I never knew there was an error in the pattern. I seem to recall a dot not being there but probably assumed I hadn't traced it. I know what you mean about seeing the ones with the V shaped gap. That's when I wish I was everyone's neighbour. I'd bring chocolates and make tea and we'd talk through the issue of the gap 😊

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  8. What a great modification to the bubble part of the dress! And I love it with the peter pan collar - although peter pan collars are the bane of my existence. I definitely have not mastered the art of having them sit flat. Plus I always have to iron them when they come out of the dryer. This fabric combo is gorgeous....made even more gorgeous by Iris's adorable faces!

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  9. Ohhhhh, what a beautiful dress. The fabric combination is simply perfection. And I love that you figured out some improvements :-) Another trick to all collars really is to make the layer of the collar you don't see a tiny bit smaller than the top layer. That way it prevents it from flipping upwards. I have a mini tutorial on my blog if you need it. Just send me an email and I will send you the link :-)

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  10. It is perfect with the collar. I never would have thought to add one to this pattern but now I am dying to make it so that I can. I love the Bubble dress too.

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  11. It fits her to a T. Well done mommy. She looks very pleased with her new dress and it suits her. Thanks for the tips on this pattern. I have had a copy for years but never tackled it as of yet ; )

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  12. Love! Cutting the collar on the bias, never thought of that!

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  13. Happy birthday week to your family! What a beautiful bubble dress! I have a special place in my heart for this pattern because it was the first Oliver+S pattern I discovered and tried. I botched the back closure but knew that these patterns were just what I needed to get back into sewing. The collar addition is so perfect, especially that lovely yellow.

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  14. What a beautiful dress. And that last pic is so great. Such a fun little girl!

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  15. I hope you've been having a wonderful week of celebrating! When the last celebration is over and everything is cleaned up, you need to put up your feet and enjoy a good book and/or nap!:)
    I love your helpful pattern reviews! I sadly don't own either of these O & S patterns, but your latest creation certainly makes me wish I did! And a Liberty dress - how special! Do you have a shop locally where you buy Liberty or did you order it on-line? Finding fabric like that here in West Michigan would be near impossible!:) And I love your tip about cutting the collar on the bias. Lilah (really, the only one I sew for anymore) has decided she doesn't like clothing with collars so I won't be able to try your tip anytime soon. But perhaps one day - and then I'll think of and thank you for sharing it!

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  16. oh man this is so adorable, and i think she's at the perfect age to wear this style. the collar - and the piggies! - are such lovely additions. happy birthday month over there!!

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