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2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually

She needed something wear on her second day too, right? I’m not usually one for themed fabric selections – I tend to avoid Santa faces on my holiday clothing, and I’ll be the first to admit that colored pencils on a back-to-school skirt is maybe a little on cheesy side. But cheese or no cheese, these pencils were calling my name.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-10

I’ve had the Oliver + S 2+2 pattern forever (and made my very first Oliver + S garment with it, almost four years ago!) but I was never interested the skirt – I think the ironed pleats were too formal for my taste. But after seeing this version in the Flickr pool I realized it could have a softer look, and I was immediately sold.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-2

Unfortunately, I only have the smaller size range in this pattern, which goes up to 3T. I debated buying the larger size range, but the pattern pieces are all rectangles, so in the end I cheaped out and just tried to size up from the 3T. I added 1.5 inches to the length and an inch to the width, and then attempted to do some math to move the dots and notches around. I’d say I was semi-successful.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-13

The fit came out right, but I ran into some problems with the placket and ended up doing way more seam ripping than if I’d just used the real size 5 pattern pieces. And now that know I love the pattern, I’ll probably invest in the real thing so that I can avoid doing any math whatsoever when I make the larger sizes.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-3

And I really do love the pattern! True to Oliver + S form, it was simple and straightforward to put together, but full of professional details – the pleats, the side placket with a button and loop waistband closure, the flat front waistband, and the wide two inch hem. The placket itself closes with sew-in snaps. I don’t have much experience with these, and apparently sewed them in completely wrong (my mom was appalled and showed me the light, aka resewed them for me). The snaps work well, but I really like Justine’s version with the buttons on the outside of the placket. I might try it that way next time.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-17

The only thing I did differently was to add interfacing to the waistband, because I hate a floppy waistband. I should’ve just added it to the front, though – it got a little bulky when I pulled the elastic through the back.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-6Anyway, this skirt makes me happy – I just love it when a previously dismissed pattern suddenly becomes a favorite. That’s Oliver + S for ya.

Thanks to everyone who entered the Llama Fabrics giveaway, and I truly appreciate all the teacher gift advice! The three yards of fabric go to commenter #22, Lightning McStitch!

 

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jump rope in glow -- probably actually-10

So, Kindergarten. In two days. I can’t decide exactly how to feel about it, but like all milestones, it makes me want to sew. The first day of Kindergarten seemed like a good excuse to break out my favorite Oliver + S pattern, the Jump Rope Dress. I made it here and here, but I especially love this pattern for a back-to-school dress. It’s the same one I used two years ago for Lila’s first day of preschool dress, which she wore the first day and then pretty much never again. Maybe we’ll have more luck with this one.

jump rope in glow -- probably actually-6

I’ve already publicly declared my love for this pattern, so I won’t go into the full spiel here. But I will confirm that even after a two year hiatus, I’m still completely enamored with the Jump Rope Dress – it’s all those great little details, and Liesl makes it so easy to execute them. This is view A in a size 5 – it came out just a little big, but after three nights of work, I think I’d prefer to err on that side.

jump rope in glow -- probably actually-11

I’m always on the look-out for good Jump Rope Dress fabric, and this one (Amy Butler’s Quarter Moon in Mist from her new line, Glow) fit the bill for me. It came from Chio of Llama Fabrics, which brings me to the giveaway – who’d like to win three yards of fabric from Llama Fabrics?

llamafabricslogo

The shop has grown by leaps and bounds since last year (and has a great new logo!) – if you take a look around, you’ll most definitely find something (probably many somethings) to your liking. The selection includes lots of Art Gallery fabrics, which are some of my favorites. Chio ships quickly and her prices are among the best – it’s a great place to shop!

jump rope in glow -- probably actually

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post. (Speaking of comments, if anyone needs a comment prompt and has ideas for teacher gifts for a male teacher, I’d love to hear!) The giveaway will be open until the end of the day Sunday, September 7th, and I’ll randomly select a winner next week. And if you want to keep up with Chio’s sales and new additions to her shop, you can follow @llamafabrics on Instagram for a second giveaway entry. Just leave another comment here letting me know you’re following. The giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere!

jump rope in glow -- probably actually-4

Happy back-to-school!

jump rope in glow -- probably actually-5

 

 

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a double gauze geranium -- probably actually-2

We’re at that point in the summer where despite the heat, sewing warm weather clothes doesn’t make much sense anymore. Kindergarten starts in less than three weeks, and the list of things I want to sew for fall just keeps growing. I guess this is sort of an in-between dress – the navy feels like fall, and the double gauze is light and summery. And Rae‘s all-mighty Geranium Dress pattern is just right for every season, of course.

a double gauze geranium -- probably actually-5

The Geranium is far and away Lila’s favorite dress to wear. These two (and especially that first one) have been in constant rotation for a full 18 months now. Her devotion to that Amy Butler number has been especially unwavering – we’re talking at least once or twice a week – pretty much whenever it’s clean and I’m not able to talk her into something else. They’re both nice enough dresses, but it’s seriously starting to hurt my eyes to see her wear them. They’re just a tad short, too, like about three inches above the knee. It’s been time for new Geraniums for a loooooong while.

a double gauze geranium -- probably actually

I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but those cute little faux cap sleeves, but this time I sewed view A from the waist down – gathers and patch pockets. Gathers seemed like the way to go with double gauze.

1 double gauze geranium -- probably actually

The bodice is lined with Art Gallery Pure Elements in Sweet Mint, which I dare say is the perfect shade of mint green. And mint buttons to match.

double gauze geranium -- probably actually-3

I found the double gauze (made by Pickering International) at a great little local shop called Josephine’s Dry Goods. It’s beautifully soft and reverses to white with navy dots on the other side. I only bought one yard, but luckily it’s 56″ wide and I was able to squeeze a size 5 out of it. Just barely.1 double gauze geranium -- probably actually-3

Anyway, there’s not a whole lot I can say about the Geranium pattern that hasn’t been said before – it’s great! Your kid (if she’s anything like mine) will love it! I’m off to make a few more.

double gauze geranium -- probably actually-5

 

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sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-6

I cut out these Oliver + S Sketchbook shorts for Oscar at the end of July, then realized that shorts season is rapidly coming to a close and I better sew them up. The fabric is Bradford Herringbone from Robert Kaufman (purchased locally, but it’s available at Imagine Gnats) – it’s a cotton/linen blend and has a nice weight for something like this – I might have to pick up a little more to make a pair of Art Museum trousers for the fall. Lila also got a pair of shorts from this fabric (seen in this post) but the pattern is still in the works so my lips are sealed. It’s a good one though!

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually

I went back and forth between making an 18-24 months and a 2T – but since they only needed to fit for a couple months at most, I went with the smaller size, and they seem to fit just right.

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-11

Anyway, the Sketchbook pattern is really simple and great and all, but I managed to make things complicated and I’m going to bore you with the details. I made the same mistake as last time and cut the “pocket lining” pattern piece from a print, and the “pocket” pattern piece from the main fabric, when it should be the other way around. I mean, it had been two years since I made this particular mistake, but it sure did annoy me to have made it twice. But that was really no big deal considering the sizable hole I cut into the butt with my serger knife while finishing the final inside seam. I should have just scrapped the whole thing, but I had just enough fabric to cut one more back panel, so I picked apart three serged seams to remove the damaged piece and reattached a new one. So yeah, hardly worth it for a boring old pair of shorts, but they’re done now.

And there are some pretty cute dinosaurs hidden in the pockets. RAWR.

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-3

In other news, Oscar loves this baby doll just as much as his sister ever did. Also pretty cute.

sketchbook shorts -- probably actually-10

 

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lions on rollerskates -- probably actually

I really missed the boat on summer Kids Clothes Week. We were camping in the Redwoods at the beginning of the week (who plans a camping trip during KCW?? Not me, I assure you) and then Lila went to the beach with her grandparents for a few days, leaving me without a model for the one thing I made. But let’s just pretend I’m not a day late and a dollar short and focus on this lion-clad Roller Skate dress.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-4

The print is from Sarah Watts’ August collection for Cotton + Steel. How great are those lions? Plenty great, I say.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-5

For my past two Roller Skates I’ve added the optional neck facing – I really like how it looks, but it would’ve decapitated those poor lions, so I skipped it this time. It’s kind of a big scale print, so I tried to center the heads on the bodice in the front and back – this dress has a seam down the center back, so I lined things up horizontally, knowing I couldn’t match both the side seams and the back seam. Not perfect, but not too distracting, I hope.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-9

I really wanted to bring in one more color with the coral and navy combo, so I used a yellow button on the back and lined the dress with some soft Kaufman cotton lawn, also in yellow.

lions on rollerskates -- probably actually-3

Because you know, those yellow Salt Waters…

lions and rollerskates -- probably actually

This is a size 4 with an inch of length added to the bottom, which I creatively forced into my one yard of fabric. The 4 is still really wide on top, which eases my panic for the time being about sizing out of at least one of my patterns.

lions and rollerskates -- probably actually-2

Okay, that’s it. Hopefully I’ll make up for my lack-luster summer KCW performance when the fall edition rolls around. Fall sewing is my favorite anyway…

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Today I’m sharing my part of a collaborative effort on behalf of the wonderful Rachel of Stitched Together.

little dress -- probably actually

Rachel’s blog is one my favorites. It’s full of beautiful and inspirational sewing, glowing photography, and some of the sweetest models in blogtown. Rachel is expecting her fifth child any time now, and Victoria of As it Seams has organized a group of Rachel’s admirers to create a mobile for the new baby. The idea came from the mobiles Victoria and others have put together for the babies-to-be in their circle of friends. And while our group is composed of virtual friendships, each of us wanted to contribute to this exciting event in Rachel’s life – a new baby girl!

little dress -- probably actually-2

With three daughters and a fourth on the way, Rachel is the queen of dress making, and her girls wear them so beautifully. This baby has it made when it comes to stylish hand-me-downs, and I thought it would be fun to add a little dress to the mobile. This one is made from Essex linen, with batting in the skirt, a felt collar, and a few scraps and running stitches. I left the armholes open to slide a little wire hanger inside, which can be used to hang the dress on the mobile.

Congratulations Rachel, and enjoy these final anticipatory days as you wait to meet your new little girl. She is so lucky to join your beautiful family. I hope you both enjoy our collaboration!

You can check out the rest of mobile pieces via the links below!

victoria | as it seams // kristin | skirt as top

sanae | sanae ishida // suz | sewpony // nat | la gang a nat

 an | straight grain // heidi | elegance and elephants

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swingset tunic -- probably actually

It’s been hot hot hot around here. Time for some summer clothes.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-6

Seeing Lucinda’s latest Swingset Tunic in all its summery, polka-dot glory got me thinking about Swingset pattern, and then in walks that awesome Abe Lincoln Swinget Tunic that only Tara could’ve come up with. And despite the fact that Lila has a closet full of Swingset Skirts (1,2,3,4,5), I had never really considered trying the top. Why?? I dunno, but there was no time to waste, because this pattern maxes out at size 5.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-8

I’ve been having these moments of panic lately about Lila sizing out of almost every single pattern I own, especially my Oliver + S patterns, which I’ve spent years collecting in the smaller size range. If only I could magically trade them in for the bigger sizes. I feel the need to make everything one last time, (or for the first time, as the case may be) before all is lost. Dramatic, I know.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-2

I chose this little floral print called Ladylike Black Tea from Pat Bravo’s Carnaby St. line (purchased here). I’m pretty much basing all of my summer fabric choices on these yellow Saltwater Sandals.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-4

The bodice is lined with Michael Miller Cotton Couture, in Citrus I believe.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-13

Speaking of the lining, the only thing I didn’t love about this pattern was how the bodice was finished inside – it wasn’t quite as neat and tidy as other Oliver + S patterns. I really like the top though – I can’t believe I waited so long and missed out on years of Swingset Tunics. Clearly Lila is in despair over it, too.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-5

The good news is that the size 5 came out pretty roomy, so maybe it’s not the end of the road for this pattern after all. Kids mostly grow up and not out at this age anyway, right?

a swingset tunic -- probably actually

Okay, that’s it for now.

I leave you with two kids in a tub of rainbow rice.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-12

And in other news…

Last week’s Make It Perfect pattern giveaway goes to #91, Patricia! Toni will be in contact soon to hook you up with your free pattern.

And if you’re fabric shopping this weekend, LiMa Sews has a 20% off sale going on through July 21st with the code “JULY2014″ – good stuff over there, check it out!

 

 

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