Oliver + S Plus Sparkle!

Classic. Oliver + S Library Dress in blue textured cotton | The Inspired Wren

My final project of 2015 was The Peanut's Christmas dress: an Oliver + S Library Dress with bonus (refashioned) bling!

When I add to my family's wardrobes I make a point to never sew or buy items that would only be good for one use. Unless it's Halloween, then I pull out all the stops for a single wear. Seriously. But that's a post for another day. Today we're talking about Christmas, and stitching up a dress that is perfect for the holiday season, yet wearable beyond.

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This Christmas I decided to start with The Peanut's ever-favorite color, true blue. Paired with lovely gray and crisp white, the blue is classic in the pleats of an Oliver + S Library Dress.

Classic. Oliver + S Library Dress in blue textured cotton | The Inspired Wren

The only other time I stitched up this pattern was in one frantic overnight marathon up against a first-day-of-school deadline. This time was so much lovelier and relaxed. (And then it was interrupted to impulsively sew matching family Christmas Eve pajamas with the very last fabric of the very last bolt of Christmas flannel I could find because Mr. Wren made the mistake of offhandedly saying they would be "fun" to his wife who happens to sew. Whew.) But the Library Dress came together like a dream, even the eight buttons down the back were sewn in the twinkling light of the Christmas tree while watching White Christmas. Sewing a small piece of love for my daughter was my relaxation among all the other demands of the season. Even if the elves didn't come and do it for me.

Love the delicate buttons down the back. Oliver + S Library Dress in textured blue cotton | The Inspired Wren

Gorgeous pleats! Oliver + S Library Dress in textured blue cotton | The Inspired Wren

There was one small glitch in the middle of sewing the dress. I wanted to add some piece of sparkle or bling to the waistband of the dress in honor of the holiday. I purchased a few pearly, sparkly buttons specifically for decoration. The first one I went to sew literally fell apart in my hand when I picked it up. [insert sad trombone] I was terribly disappointed. But, as it was pointed out to me on Instagram, at least it happened before it was on the dress instead of "out in the wild."

With the partially made dress in hand I went off in search of a new source of holiday/non-holiday appropriate bling. After stalking a few different stores for trim or buttons that would fit the bill, I found it in Joann fabrics. But not among the buttons, or the trim. There, hanging from a random display, was a collection of headbands. Clearly the head pieces were meant to be the final accent on someone's holiday attire. And that's exactly what I would use one for...just not on The Peanut's head.

Upcycled headband to waistband = Brilliant! Oliver + S Library Dress in textured blue cotton | The Inspired Wren

Once I got the headband home I took it apart. Not before trying it on and realizing it was quite comfy and I should have brought one for myself to actually wear. But there was a Christmas ensemble to be completed! The headband came apart; the inside of the waistband came apart; and the sparkle was sewn in place with a simple zig-zag stitch along the top and bottom edges. Thanks to matching gray thread, the stitching blends in beautifully. I admit the result is even better than the buttons would have been. It has even held up in the washing machine already, who knew that would work?

The Peanut is not one to wear sparkle regularly, but the bling is subtle; this dress has already made it to church on a Sunday. Plus, it's blue.

Darling. Oliver + S Library Dress in textured blue cotton | The Inspired Wren


Library Dress by Oliver + S, size 5


Waverly Textured Navy and Waverly Textured Grey, both 100% cotton and both from Walmart


I used prepackaged white piping along the waistband and it worked beautifully. Other than that I made a straight Size 5; I started to add length to the final hem but forgot to include the added length to the facings, so I cut it back off the skirt. Learn from my mistake: don't forget to add lentgh to all appropriate pieces when cutting.


I love that bit of sparkle. The Peanut and I don't do a lot of bling, but it works here. The dress was classic but missing something before I found that headband. The blue and white with the pleats are pretty fabulous, too. 
Classic. Oliver + S Library Dress in blue textured cotton | The Inspired Wren

Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.
Stars by Lilit Kalachyan from the Noun Project

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