MN2107 Olive / Sewalongs

Inspiration and Ideas for the Olive Dress & Blouse

Inspiration and ideas behind the Olive dress and top pattern

There are a few patterns of mine that hold a special place in my heart. Olive is definitely one of them. I designed the original pattern years ago and it’s based on a top of my Mom’s that I loved as a child!

As we went into development to release Olive this year, I fell back in love with all the various parts of the pattern! The drop waist, patch pockets, loose fit and especially the v-insert. It’s a pattern that can be made your own through some vary careful pattern matching, mixing up the different variation elements and of course some creative hacks like adding ruffles, a tiered skirt or creating a colour blocked look!

I hope you get some great ideas from this Olive Inspiration post…let me know what you think!

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Olive absolutely lends itself to all things girly and lacey!

  • Add lace in place of the self fabric v-insert for a sheer look.
  • Making an entire Olive dress or top from an embroidered cotton with lining underneath is one of our favourite looks so far. Check out our model Shelley in the white Olive dress here.
  • Add some lace along the shoulder hem to peak out from underneath.
  • Adding a fabric ruffle along the whole neckline would create the most beautiful Little House on the Prairie vibe. Love!

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We’ve made quite the number of striped Olive samples! It’s a shape that looks fabulous in all sorts of striped fabrics: thick stripes, pin stripes and of course multi-directional stripes!

  • Change up the direction of the stripe between the bodice and skirt and even the patch pocket! Get your best pattern matching skills out for this one!
  • Extend the skirt a little longer and keep all the stripes vertical to create a little more drama.
  • We love these striped linen numbers as super casual garments. A throw over for a day at the pool, or a super casual matching set for lounging in on the weekend!

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While Olive looks beautiful in stripes and floral fabrics, we have made quite a few Olive tops and dresses in plain block colours. Linen, double gauze, tencel…take your pick! Give it a go by sewing every section of the pattern, including the patch pocket in the same colour. So simple, so chic!

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As we were looking for inspiration for this post, we began to notice the sheer number of gorgeous outfits you could make with Olive, in matching top and bottom sets! Combine with our new Opal pants, Tania culottes or Reef shorts to get your own gorgeous, relaxed twinset. OR…dare we say…your next pair of pyjamas?!

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We think Olive is a gorgeous top and dress all on it’s own, but making very simple changes to your pattern will give you an entirely different look!

  • Crop the Olive blouse, and leave the V-insert out all together.
  • Lengthen the sleeves on your Olive dress for a little more coverage.
  • Add a lining layer on the skirt of your Olive dress to peek out from the hem. It creates a layered look without adding too much bulk (can also be great for those more sheer fabrics!)
  • Lengthen the skirt of your Olive dress to make a midi/maxi dress.
  • Add a colourful v-insert in contrasting colours to mix up an otherwise plain colour Olive.


We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNolive  and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the pattern yet?!

Don't have the Olive pattern yet? Order it here!

Order Olive sizes 0-20 or curve sizes 14-30!

About Author

Anita is the Operations Manager here at Megan Nielsen Patterns, and happily works on multiple areas of the business in any one day! Anita is the first port of call for any of your customer service enquiries, manages daily operations and oversees all pattern production, graphic design, website maintenance, inventory management & drinking all the coffee/eating all the cookies in the cupboard.

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shankavi s
3 years ago

These maxi dresses are looking very pretty. I love to wear it. It is so stylish and cool. Perfect for every occasion. I glad to share our thoughts with you.
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