Oliver and S Building Block Dress Book

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Have you seen the Building Block Dress book written by Liesl Gibson yet?  It's a game changer....really!

A couple of months ago, I saw a cute jacket pattern that I really liked.  I had never heard of the designer so I was a bit unsure about her sizing, etc.  So, what I decided to do was replicate the design using the skills I had learned from the Building Block Dress book.  (And, I actually bought the pattern so as not to be a copying scumbag....)

I have always loved the look of the Oliver + S Sunday Brunch jacket, but when I made it for Julia, she hated - yes, hated - the collar.  I wanted a light jacket, similar to that and this fit the bill.

I used some gorgeous Nani Iro brushed cotton from my shop.  I pre-washed the fabric as usual and it washed up great.  It's kind of a heavy weight flannel weight-wise.  I lined it with quilting cotton. 

I asked the lovely folks in the Building Block Dress Facebook group for advise on closures and they came up with large, sew-in snaps inside so as not to take away from the print.  A great idea!

Here's the result:

Next, I actually measured my child.  As it turns out, her measurement ended up being a size 4 for width, and size 8 for height.  No wonder we can't buy dresses off the rack!

I started with a fairly basic version - a pieced bodice, sleeveless.  I used the option to fully line the dress and an invisible zipper in the back.  The fabric is Japanese cotton sheeting - yes, it's Hello Kitty!  Ok, so maybe it's not everyone's cup of tea to use Hello Kitty fabric for a dress, but it works for the 7 year old!

I'm REALLY happy with the way this came out.  Julia told me this morning that what she loves about the dress is the way it fits at the waist, then flares out.  In fact, we took these photos, then she decided to keep the dress on...to me, that's a success!

While I love the look of the scalloped bodice, I didn't have the energy to do the hemline with the contrast....I think it's fine the way it is and may have been too busy with the scalloped hemline.  So, my laziness paid off! 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Yay!! So happy to see a blog post from you! I adore both of these makes. My daughter is pretty obsessed with Hello Kitty so she would FREAK OUT about this dress! The spin! The pink! The KITTIES!!! What's not to love? The jacket is beautiful and will be a great light layer in all seasons. Well done.

  2. Those both turned out so cute! I love the collar and yoke on the jacket. Dresses that aren't either incredibly short or way too big around can be tough to find for tall and slender girls! That's one of the reasons I make most of my daughters' clothes!

  3. Love both of these Janice and how beautiful does Julia look?!
    I admit I laughed out loud at your non copycat scumbag comment. Are you tempted now to have a go at the purchased pattern and see how it compares? i confess I just can't be bothered with the constant rush of new indie dress patterns when I'm pretty sure this book would get me there, and probably with a much better result. Still, now I'll feel bad if I use a design idea I see... :) Copycat scumbag indeed :)