Oliver + S Building Block Dress Book

Imagine it. Make it! You don’t need to be a designer or pattern maker to create and sew the dress of your dreams. Let Liesl Gibson teach you how to alter the elements of a pattern to make exactly the dress you imagine. With the included Building Block Dress pattern (sizes 6m–12) and Liesl’s detailed pattern alternation instructions, you’ll learn how to create almost any dress you can imagine. Use the skills you learn in this book to customize other patterns as well. With these techniques, you’ll look at sewing patterns as just the starting point for your creative expression!

Rather than presenting a set number of projects to complete, the book shows you how to alter a sewing pattern to develop and sew a dress of your own design. You, in effect, become a designer yourself—without needing to have years of education or experience.

The books works like this. You start with the book’s worksheet to design a unique girl’s dress—selecting from different sleeves, silhouettes, pockets, hems, necklines, closures, and linings. Once you have designed your dress, you use the book’s detailed instructions to make a series of simple and straightforward alterations to the classic girl’s dress pattern (sizes 6 months - 12 years) included with the book. With your completed pattern, you follow the book’s step-by-step instructions to sew your dress. By mixing and matching different design elements, you can make literally thousands of different dresses—all from the one pattern included with the book. Suddenly, a relatively novice sewist can make almost any dress she or he can imagine!

The concept for this book is especially empowering because the techniques taught here can be applied to other sewing patterns as well. You will learn how to add a collar, change a sleeve shape, develop different pocket styles, add fancy hems and necklines, include facings or linings, and change from a button closure to a zipper. If you can envision a new garment style and have a sewing pattern to use as a jumping-off point, you can make exactly what you want.

Featuring inspiring photographs of eighteen different dress styles made with the techniques presented here, the book includes a full-size pattern sheet for the basic Building Block Dress.

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