Friday, March 4, 2011

Janey's Dress Pattern by Olabelhe

I am so excited to have found Olabelhe! Olabelhe is a new line of patterns designed by Dawn Hansen. What I love about Olabelhe patterns is the feeling they evoke - one of innocence, simplicity & the simple joy of childhood.

I decided that my daughters 1st Grade Class' "Abigail Adams Celebration" would be the perfect opportunity to try out the "Janey's Dress" pattern. It has an old-fashioned, Regency Era, flair to it, and just as important, it looked quick & easy to make!

One thing I love about Olabelhe patterns is that they ask you to hand pleat and hand gather everything. I really dislike creating pleats & gathers, but when you do them free-form by hand, there is no pressure to measure them or make them perfect at all. I found the process is MUCH faster this way, too, and comes with much less frustration and profanity:)

You can see the sleeve gathers. Again, these were all done free-form by just eye-balling it and creating little pleats where I wanted them.

The top-stitching detail (around the neckline here) always gives a garment a clean, professional look.

The pattern doesn't call for a ribbon, but because I used all white fabric, I felt it needed a punch of color. I liked the gingham one, but T liked the bright blue velvet ribbon. Any color would work and the great thing is that the ribbon can be changed as often as she likes.

The pattern has you sewing the skirt into a tube, to form a bubble dress. Very cute, but not quite the look I was going for. I wanted 2 layers with the bottom layer a bit longer. The top is a Cotton Lawn Swiss Dot and the bottom layer is a solid white Cotton Lawn. I also wanted the dress longer than the pattern called for. So I made some very simple adjustments to achieve the look I was going for - again, I love these patterns because of their simplicity in design -- it makes it very easy to personalize them and tailor them to your specific needs.

Above, you can see the pleating - all done by hand. It's a little scary to think of pleating by hand - you may think it will look sloppy. I can assure you the look is really lovely. I always say that pressing your garment is the key to making it look professional. Make sure to press the seams every step of the way. It makes all the difference.

I have many more Olabelhe patterns in my shop - be sure to check them out. And stay tuned - Olabelhe is coming out with lots of new, gorgeous patterns this Spring!

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