This was the last thing I sewed in 2013 - I finished it off on the morning of Christmas Eve, in time for our family dinner that night. It all seemed very appropriate - using the Oliver + S Family Reunion pattern to make a dress for a family gathering, and the supplies were all gifts from family too - my mother in law chose the Liberty Hera and Lillian's Berries at Britex in San Francisco for me to make a dress for M with, and the buttons were a gift from my parents - they brought them back from a haberdashery shop in Paris in 2008 or 2009, and I have been waiting for the right project for them.
And it all went together perfectly - I love the Liberty Hera, but the grey and blue is quite sophisticated for a little girl, so the heart shaped mother-of-pearl buttons added just the right amount of playfulness.
I like the contrast for the yoke and tab, and I also used it for the hem facing, so you get a little flick of contrast when it is worn. The shape of this dress is so sweet - the pintucks make it gently bell shaped, which is very pretty and also comfortable for warm summer weather. The Liberty is the perfect weight for warm weather too, and it was very easy to pintuck. I had been dreading doing all those buttonholes down the back, and although they weren't difficult I realised afterwards that the head hole is big enough to just slip the dress on and off without undoing the buttons, so next time I would be tempted to stitch the placket shut and stitch the buttons on as a decoration.
As usual I found the extra detail involved in the Oliver + S patterns, which often puts me off or slows me down at the beginning, is totally worth it in the end, as the finished dress is lovely and really does look like something for a special occasion. I have a few more never-tried O+S patterns, so I think one of my sewing goals for 2014 will be to make at least one thing from all my O+S patterns, and not to buy any more until I do.