Dressmaking: When the perfect fabrics marry the best dress

I like to have a plan when I make. I like to set realistic goals, and ideally, I like to cut and use my fabric before it ever reaches the shelf. Of course, that sort of goes out the window when I way overestimate my time management abilities and forget to account for the unexpected things life throws out, well, pretty much daily. This happens more than I care to admit. I like to think I’m in control and if I want to, that I can just do it all. And it’s just not reality. It’s a ridiculous expectation. 

Last year, Liberty came out with their Garden of Dreams collection. After being rather disappointed with their regular spring and winter collections, I was thrilled to see this bright and beautiful bunch of fabrics. I was just smitten. I ordered one of my favorite prints, Land of Dreams, from Jones & Vandermeer with the purpose of turning it into an Easter dress for Layla. Of course I had just had a baby, my sister was getting married, and I was homeschooling Layla. So, it didn’t happen. 

But this year was different. Layla has outgrown nearly all of her dresses, and it was a need. So I pulled out that Land of Dreams print and my most favorite mustard Capel, and I got to work. She was certainly getting a new dress for Easter, and the timing was great because my idea this year was way better than last year’s. 

Ruffles. There had to be ruffles. I was wanting a pinafore look but with more coverage than they generally offer. 

So I turned to my trusty copy of  the “Building Blocks Dress”. I started with the bodice and shortened it. I cut the front bodice so that it would come together in theee pieces and the back with four. I made my own ruffle template, and added a waistband. 

I wanted a full circle skirt, which I was able to get from the yardage I had, though I admit I would’ve loved a double circle skirt here. I finished it off with some homemade bias binding. 

The back closes with mustard buttons, which seemed more dainty than a zipper. 

And the bodice is lined with the mustard Capel. I think that’s my very favorite part. It felt like such a splurge to line with something so exquisite, but I’m so happy I did.  I will most certainly repeat this in future garments 

This is my favorite dress I’ve made for Layla hands down. I think it has to do a lot with the fact I got to control so much of the design myself. Also she loves it, which makes me so happy. I don’t take for granted that she will like things I make just because I make them, but she does. She loves telling people “my mom made it” whenever someone comments on a handmade garment. It makes me feel, not embarrassed… maybe vulnerable is the the I’m searching for. But it also makes me feel so loved that she beams with pride when she says it. I know it’s special to her and I love that. 

I’ve been working on more garments for all of us, and I’ve been slow to post because I’m just the worst at taking pictures. I don’t have a camera, just my phone, and no sister around to lend her amazing talents anymore. So do bear with me. I’m trying to learn how to take better pictures but I do feel totally inept. 

 What patterns are you excited to try out this season? I’m working on a whole batch of shirts based off my closet staple, J.Crew’s aptly named Perfect Shirt, along with Sketchbook Shirts for the boys and more dresses for Layla. 

I hope this post finds you well!


Add a comment...

Your email is never<\/em> published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Hi there



Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way.

Featured Posts


Instagram feed




Please note: some links on this site may take you to Amazon or some other site where I may receive a very small percentage. You pay exactly the same thing, but I'll get a little credit for the recommendation which helps keep my site and projects FREE for you.

Olivia Jane Handcrafted