Book Review- Building Block Dress

I got this book for Christmas and had the very best of intentions to use it immediately. Except of course life got in the way and the first time I’ve used it was just in time to make Mini Me a dress for her birthday in June. Oops!

And so to the book – the premise is if you use this dress you can design and Sew practically any dress you want for children.

Thankfully children are pretty much cylinders with arms and legs so making a pattern is relatively simple with no need for darts that you get with grownups.

You get a simple dress pattern to start with and using measurements can develop a block. My worry is that my children grow like weeds so spending oodles of time developing a block is a bit pointless if they’re just going to grow out of it next week. So personally I used her measurements to make a quick pattern and just hoped for the best.

I’ve got a skinny tall child – they give you standard measurements for a 2T, 3T etc. Mini Me turned 4 last week but I made a 3T bodice but a skirt of 4T length.

I enrolled Mini Me in designing her dress but she really didn’t understand the way she could pick and choose different designs. Instead she just pointed to the dress she liked best. Which it turned out was an arse of a dress to make – it had a curved yoke on the bodice and scalloped hem. After a few attempts at sewing this yoke I decided it was clearly designed for bigger children because it was so damn fiddly and started again with a straight yoke. I also ditched the scalloped hem at that point – there wasn’t enough wine in the house for me to attempt that.

And so the proof in the pudding is the final product- a fabby dress that my lovely girl loved.


At 25 USD I think this book is well worth the investment. I’ve bought a few Oliver and S patterns in the past which are around 16 USD and are great patterns. But considering the book covers almost every dress pattern you can think up it seems a complete bargain.

Now I just have to wait for them to come out with the trouser block book!

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