A new dress, a look back and a look to the future

I can’t believe it’s already the end of September! Earlier this month, I got an email from Liesl of Oliver + S asking me if I would join in on the book tour of her newly released book, Building Block Dress. I figured it would be the perfect time to not only share a new book by the amazing Liesl, but also share some thoughts on my first season of KCW with you guys!


So first, the book! This is a departure from what I’ve seen in sewing books lately. The idea of the book, is that you get a block dress (or a building block, as the title suggests), and you’re given instructions on how to fit properly, customize and even redraft pieces so that you can build what ever dress of your choosing! There are, of course, a number of dresses that are already modified, with instructions for each modification, so that you can either recreate the dress or apply the type of modification to your own piece.


The book is, as with all things Oliver + S, very well put together. And you can tell there has been a lot of love poured into this book! It’s very well thought out and organized. And the size range!! I hadn’t expected it to start so low, if I had realized, I would have sewn the babe a dress… But you know, once you have an idea in your head, you have to roll with it right?!


I sewed A a size 5, which I modified by giving it an A line to the bodice piece and lowering it to her knee length, and colour blocked the top portion with this fun upside down V detail. The biggest change I did though, was with fabric. The book is designed for wovens, but you can easily take a woven parttern and change it up with a knit fabric. Which is exactly what I did! I used a navy jersey I had on hand, with a floral ponte de roma fabric I’ve also had in my stash for a while. And overall, it came together quite easily!


This was really a one hour project, even with the drafting of the pieces. And the results were definitely worth it! A loves it and I love it… But her loving it is what really matters right?! I mean, if my kids don’t love the pieces I make them and will never wear them, then what’s the point of sewing their wardrobes?!


Which brings me to KCW, the seasons and challenges are all about pushing ourselves to spend that time to sew for our kids. For one hour a day, four weeks of the year, we unite by sewing for our children. In creating wonderful pieces of clothing that they will love (hopefully!).


This summer season was a crazy one! Being my first, and being in charge of so much, was a big learning curve! One of the biggest things I learned, I need to be WAY more organized then I am right now… Oh, and graphics are definitely something I need to work on (which is why the May ones are still up….. ooops!!!!).


Looking back, there are definitely things that I need to improve on. But I hope that you all had a fun experience none the less! And looking forward, there are so many things I’d love to bring to you guys! Both site wise and community wise. But before I go and announce anything, I’d love to know WHAT you guys love/hate and what you’d like to see.


I would really appreciate it if you could help me out by filling out this survey. And if there’s anything missing on the survey itself that you would like to discuss, feel free to shoot me an email! And don’t forget, this book… Gah!!! I received a copy of it for free, but all opinions are my own. And if I didn’t already have a copy, I’d be running out to grab a my own copy of it, that’s how good it is!!! Not walking, running 😉 You can grab your copy here



I’ll be announcing the details for the upcoming season later this week, so make sure to be on the lookout for that!


Happy Sewing 🙂

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  • Reply Susan Terrill September 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Well, I love looking at all of the dresses and ideas everyone has, but I have recently become retired after having a career as an engineer for 28 years; I am a grandmother to three beautiful children for whom I sew randomly; I am trying to start a not for profit for refugee women in St Louis to become artisans by creating unique children’s dresses with the help of Leisl’s book, but since I have never had time to follow this tour full time I do not feel like I really belong. The group has a sense of being somewhat exclusive. I will try to keep up with what is happening. I love the ideas and creativity. I want marginalized women to see how creativity with sewing can open their brains and let them have fun so that they can recover from PTSD, gain self confidence, and not be vulnerable to the sex traffickers who prey on women in our cities. I know from the blogs your write that this can happen.

  • Reply Marisa September 26, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    What a gorgeous (and comfy-looking) dress! I am really coveting that O+S book…

  • Reply Rineke October 15, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    When is the next challenge?

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    Love this outfit! Looks amazing!
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  • Reply Nené Canela October 19, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Lovely outfit!

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  • Reply cheap toddler clothes February 14, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Amazing outfit. Keep it up the good work.

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