The Olive Top and Dress

Megan Nielsen


I love Megan Nielsen Patterns! They come in beautiful packaging, they are unique designs, and I find the explanations are clear and the illustrations helpful. So when an offer to test The Olive dress came into my inbox, I couldn’t say no.

The Olive dress has a relaxed silhouette, a gathered waist, dropped shoulder and a V-neck with insert. 

I will admit, I have struggled with finding the right fit with Megan Nielsen tops. I find that they have a lot of additional ease to create the relaxed fit and that often I end up with a loose fit that looks too roomy. They look like they don’t fit as opposed to looking like a relaxed fit. Knowing that, I made sure that I worked with the finished garment measurements and skipped the body measurement guide completely. My measurements would have put me at a 16 grading to an 18 at the waist, however, based on the finished garment measurements I ended up cutting the 10 and doing an FBA (full bust adjustment).


I used the Closet Case Patterns tutorial (here) for doing an FBA on a dartless top with a dropped shoulder because it was a similar shape. I added .75″ per side.

I also chose to handstitch the bias binding down to the inside of the neckline. I had originally done it by machine, but found that I had some rippling along the stitching line. 


The trickiest part of the pattern was the insertion of the V insert. I made 2 versions of the dress and on my first one I didn’t add interfacing. It was easier to turn the fabric at the bottom of the V. On this final version, I added the interfacing (as per the instructions) and I found it difficult to turn all the layers at the bottom. Fortunately, the method was changed between the testing phase and the release.



The pockets of this dress are amazing. They are big and placed well. I will admit, they have become my go-to pockets (and pocket insertion method) for dresses that don’t have pockets. 

Final Thoughts

I am so happy I had the opportunity to test this pattern. It’s not a style that I would normally choose for myself. Will I make myself another Olive? Probably not, or at least not exactly as is. I am planning to add a self belt, or even waist ties to this dress to help bring it in at the waist for a little more shape. I think that would help me get more use out of it.