Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Abstract Floral Olivia Dress

More Style Arc from this newly self-christened Style Arc devotee! This is Style Arc's Olivia dress:


You might remember last year when this fabric, rayon challis from Joann, was making the rounds on the sewing blogs... remember Lauren's beautiful Southport maxi? And Monica's gorgeous Roscoe blouse? Abbey's Saltspring maxi? I remember several other garments popping up around the interwebs around that time, too, all beautiful. I myself bought some when I was in the States visiting family, then shoved it into my overflowing stash back in Bangkok and promptly forgot about it. Whoops!


I finally busted out my two yards for Style Arc's Olivia dress. Style Arc describes Olivia as, "a great every day dress to have in your wardrobe that is very easy to sew. The flattering extended shoulder line along with the elastic waist makes this dress suitable for different occasions." You know how I feel about easy-to-sew, easy-to-wear every day dresses. They're pretty much my bailiwick.


I was able to eke my Olivia out of two yards of fabric because I cut it on the cross-grain, which is why the print might look a bit different than on some of the other garments made from it.


After trying my Olivia on, I raised the armholes by 3/4" because my bra band was showing a little bit in the underarm.


By sewing the casing just slightly larger. I was able to use wider elastic (1/2" instead of 1/4"). I prefer wider elastic at the waistband as it seems to stay flat and twist less. The waistband casing is created by sewing the bodice and skirt together with a wide seam allowance, and then pressing and sewing that seam allowance upwards.


The neckline is a teeny bit wide. I could have take a small wedge out of the front so it doesn't collapse inwards at the center front. But it's still totally wearable.


While I didn't make the belt that comes with the pattern; I may make a fabric sash at some point. Or just wear it either without one or with a store-bought belt. Only time will tell!


I really like my Olivia dress! I wear this type of dress a lot. It reminds me a bit of the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dresses I made as far as wearability goes, but even more comfortable. Although I still wear mine regularly, I find that sometimes Bettine's pegged skirt can be somewhat restrictive for walking/sitting and the sleeve cuffs and tabs tend to sag on my rayon challis version.


I wore this dress out for dinner and drinks (and a few rousing games of Jenga) right after taking these photos. Two thumbs up. As I said to my husband while we walked through the sweltering streets of Bangkok, "I love this dress because it feels like I am wearing nothing." So while this simple, elastic waist dress is unlikely to change lives or win any awards for novelty, it is highly likely to be worn a ton!


43 comments:

  1. That's really cute! Have you ever made a Comino Cap? It's really similar, and I love mine a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I haven't made the Comino Cap yet... you've definitely gotten your money's worth out of that pattern!!

      Delete
  2. yours is beautiful! I think I need to remake mine and re-draft the neckline and raise the shoulders - I tried fixing it after I sewed it all together, but it's still gaping too much :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Sorry to hear yours was too gapey... I could see that- the neckline is quite wide. I hope your next version is a keeper!

      Delete
  3. Really gorgeous. It's simple yes, but so chic and the perfect background pattern for a beautiful fabric. It's in my stash, for next summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It is a good blank canvas for a pretty fabric.

      Delete
  4. Love your version - maybe I should give this pattern another try in some better quality fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!! I think it's worth a try- has the potential to be a wardrobe staple.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing this: I have the Olivia pattern and haven't made one yet. I think now I'm going to alter the neckline before I cut. Yours is pretty and looks very breezy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This seems like a Katie dress! Yeah, the neckline is a teeny bit too wide... pretty much my only complaint, though.

      Delete
  6. This is lovely...must add this pattern to my wish list.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks so good on you! Love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this dress on you! It's now going on my list of patterns to get. That fabric is so pretty, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emi! It's a great everyday dress... I'll definitely plan to make more!

      Delete
  9. that looks fantastic, perfect combo of fabric and pattern. lovely

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like the fabric on the crossgrain, and the dress/style is very pretty on you. You have a good knack for picking what you like to wear and what looks good on you. Not everyone can do that. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie! I feel like my style has crystallized a bit more recently, although I still make the occasional stinker, for sure!

      Delete
  11. This dress exemplifies "Meg Style" in my book - soft and relaxed shape, cut on sleeves, rayon challis (or jersey), ding ding ding! It should be called the "Meg Dress!" I love it. I am not a huge dress wearer, but I feel like I'd get a ton of use out of this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Inder! It's funny: I don't consider myself a dress person, either, but living in heat like this has turned me into one. I feel like this is a great every day dress- I'll likely wear it with flip flops regularly!

      Delete
  12. I love how soft of a look this one has. It does look perfectly floaty for your climate. Nice look with the crossgrain too! I'm always plotting how to get a dress out of the least amount of fabric--dresses that only take up 2 yards are a pile of awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! Yeah, it was pattern tetris to get it to fit on there- cutting it flat and on the cross-grain was the only way!

      Delete
  13. I love how soft of a look this one has. It does look perfectly floaty for your climate. Nice look with the crossgrain too! I'm always plotting how to get a dress out of the least amount of fabric--dresses that only take up 2 yards are a pile of awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow....this is pretty much my perfect summer dress. I'd completely overlooked it on the StyleArc site, but, once again, your version has completely sold me on a pattern. Please stop making such awesome clothes! It's costing me a fortune in patterns! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Ha ha, sorry to be a pattern enabler!!

      Delete
  15. Meg, do you find Style Arc's sizing to be pretty close to their size charts? Love this dress on you by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julie! I find them to be pretty accurate so far. For this dress, I cut a straight size 18 even though the size chart told me to cut a 16 on top and 18 on bottom (I was too lazy to print out the size 16 bodice pieces since they are separate, non-layered PDF files). But next time I'll cut the 16 top and think I'll have the fit nailed.

      Delete
  16. Meg, do you find Style Arc's sizing to be pretty close to their size charts? Love this dress on you by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's really cute and it looks great on you. I thought, too, that it looked kind of like Bettine but I like this one a lot better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Masha! Yeah, this dress is a bit more relaxed than Bettine, and breezier. I do still like the look of Bettine's tulip/pegged skirt, but this skirt is more practical.

      Delete
  18. Great dress Meg and totally you! I like the fabric turned cross grain... gotta love a cut on sleeve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Margo!! I adore cut-on sleeves, particularly for the heat. And because they are easier to sew than set-in sleeves!!

      Delete
  19. Love it! It really does look like Bettine, but actually the simpler cut is really quite nice - a throw on and go dress is right up my street aswell - may add this to the list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emma! It's a cute pattern and insanely quick to sew!

      Delete
  20. Great dress & great review. I loved that you included a snippet about how this dress compares to Tilly's dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anna! The two dress patterns are cousins, but not twins ... Same same, but different, as they say here in Thailand!

      Delete
  21. This reminds me that I still have 2 yards of that rayon hanging around in my stash! I really like this dress on you. It looks so comfortable yet really put together. You are inspiring me to check out Style Arc patterns!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Teri! You should definitely check Style Arc out- they have some really great patterns.

      Delete
  22. This dress looks awesome!! I love that fabric - the colours are making me swoon!

    ReplyDelete
  23. looks great on you 😍 love the fabric! must make this soon

    ReplyDelete
  24. You have a real flair for picking out gorgeous colors for yourself. All very flattering!!

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete