To begin, it makes sense to start with my Named Clothing Olivia dresses. When I posted the first one, I didn't think I liked it, but within a month it became my very favourite dress and I wear it far more often than I should. A couple of months later I made another two, raved about the pattern some more, and then decided I had nothing more to say. I have, however, made another three versions, and here they are:
Version 4 here is probably the one I wear the least, because I didn't shorten it at all and so it's usually too formal for my lifestyle. I don't want to alter it, though, because it looks great like this. This jersey was an impulse buy from The Textile Centre in Walthamstow, based almost entirely on how unbelievably soft it is. I really wish I'd bought twice as much and made a set of pyjamas too.
There's no elastic in the waist of this version. I really liked how it looked and felt without it.
Having now made a bright red, a bright orange, and a light blue version of the dress, I started thinking about having a rainbow of Olivias. Partly because I like silly gimmicky things sometimes, but mostly because I did some colour analysis on things I've made versus things I actually wear and discovered that I'm not the biggest fan of rainbow-coloured separates. I'm not sure what it is, I just don't like the way they pair with things most of the time and I'm much more comfortable with bright colours that aren't in the rainbow (fuchsia, turquoise, gold and so forth). I do, however, get a ton of wear out of my rainbow-coloured dresses, so this is basically how I'm to decide which fabric becomes which garment from now on.
I got this green jersey from Sew Over It. I don't shop there as much anymore because it's a LOT of girly floral to sort through, but occasionally they get something like this that's right up my street. I made this one shorter than the blue one but not as short as the orange one, and it's probably the most versatile length. This is my second favourite next to the orange, and I wear it all the time.
(please excuse this photo, my camera lens was dying and I had to do a bunch of weird editing to make the dress look OK. Next week I will have a shiny new lens and then we can all look at some much better pictures.)
Aaaand having gone about the rainbow thing for a whole paragraph, here's a black one. I knew I was in need of another short Olivia, and the right yellow, indigo and violet fabrics still haven't come my way. I got this from Girl Charlee at the Knitting and Stitching Show, and I'm going to be keeping a close eye on it. I haven't seen many reviews of Girl Charlee that don't contain one of two phrases: "Girl Charlee is terrible" or "Girl Charlee got in touch and offered me some free fabric" (I'm not knocking that, fabric is expensive and I'd struggle to turn down a freebie too), but I want to like them. I'd love a decent-quality knit fabric specialist, and they have a whole range of printed sweater knits. And this fabric is SO soft, and the colours in the florals are SO bright. I really want it to work for me. I want to believe that they took the negative reviews to heart and started sourcing much better quality fabric. I WANT TO BELIEVE. This is a very new make so hasn't gone through the wash yet, but this is what I know so far: it took forever to dry after the pre-wash, it was a pain in the bum to sew, it feels really lovely to wear, it is a really terrible fabric for making pockets. I will update when it's been through the machine a few times.
I made this version super-short and left out the elastic waist. This is probably slightly too short; I think it went a bit haywire during hemming. But it is super comfy and so far I really like it.
Next week: if all goes well with my new lens, a completely unnecessary evening dress. Yay!