Posts Tagged ‘oliver + s’

silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually-7

I made this shirt two weeks ago, so it’s technically a cheater KCW project. But Liesl of Oliver + S just announced her collection of digital t-shirt patterns (kids’, women’s, and men’s – you can outfit the whole family!), and I was a tester for the kids’ version, the School Bus T-shirt pattern. I sewed up one for each kid, so I thought I’d share Lila’s today.

silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually-10

The School Bus pattern is a basic t-shirt that comes with several options – three different sleeve lengths and two neckband widths. This is View B, with a more feminine, capped sleeve and a narrow neckband. Views A and C are your standard short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts. It’s so nice to have basics like this from trusted sources like Oliver + S – you always know just what you’re getting into, and it’s always something good. And as with all great basic patterns, the options for customization are endless.

school bus t-shirt-9

I sewed a size 5 and was really happy with the fit – it’s relaxed but not overly roomy, and the capped sleeves and narrow neckband definitely give View B a girlier feel.

silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually-14

The silver dot knit came from a sale rack Old Navy tee. I don’t know if it was the fabric or the fact that I skipped the walking foot this time, but it sewed up like a dream.

silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually

If you want more info on any of these new T-shirt patterns, check out Liesl’s introduction post on the the Oliver + S blog. Each pattern is available on its own, or you can purchase a “Family Pack” that includes all four (men’s, women’s, and two size ranges for kids). I’m looking forward to trying the women’s Metro T-shirt myself. After KCW, of course.


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As usual I have many projects on my list for Kids Clothes Week, but OBVIOUSLY my number one priority was brother/sister bunny pajamas for Easter. I never pegged myself as the type to sew coordinating anything for my children, but apparently I am exactly that type.

sleepy bunny pjs -- probably actually-6

Every year I envision myself making Christmas pajamas, and every year December fills up with other things. In fact the only year I actually made them, they were finished in November. That’s probably the key. Anyway, I found this cute bunny fabric right before the New Year, and fresh with my failure to deliver Christmas pajamas, I snatched it up for Easter pjs. I figured four months of lead time should be enough to make it happen.

sleepy bunny pjs -- probably actually-7

The pants are made with the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas pattern. Oscar’s are size 18-24 months and came out pretty big, but I’m not concerned – they’ll probably fit tomorrow. He is huge for his age and just keeps on gettin’ huger. And I would’ve preferred to make Lila’s in a 5 (her last pair were 4s), but since I only have the smaller size range in this pattern I used the 4 and added a 1/2 inch to the rise and another 1/2 inch to the legs, which worked out just fine. I like that the cuffs on the Sleepover Pajamas can be rolled up or let down for a more adjustable fit.

sleepy bunny pjs -- probably actually-10

I used Old Navy t-shirts for the tops, and added snoozing bunny patches. T-shirts are easy enough to make, but at $4 a pop, they sure are easy to buy, too.

sleepy bunny pjs -- probably actually-3

The bunnies (Bunny Brigade from Critter Patch Organic) are from Clothworks and were designed by Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish. So that explains why they’re so cute. Just like her embroidery patterns.

sleepy bunny pjs -- probably actuallyThe cuffs and waistbands are Lizzy House’s Jewels in Aqua and Peach.

sleepy bunny pjs -- probably actually-8

I hope to finish at least one more project this week – in the meantime I’ll be perusing everyone else’s KCW creations!




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Okay, Lila and I have collectively changed our minds. This is her birthday dress:

a hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually

She’s actually come around to her Garden Party dress and has agreed to wear it with a sweater, but she declared a strong dislike for its sleevelessness early on. I knew she wasn’t a fan of what she calls “half-quarter sleeves”, but I had no idea that a lack of sleeves would cause such heartache. Luckily, a Hide-and-Seek dress, complete with proper sleeves, was already in the works.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-13

I really enjoyed this pattern. For me, the Garden Party dress was the easiest to love at face value, but I could tell the Hide-and-Seek had great potential and I was excited to play with it.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-24

The dress has a contrast yoke with a gathered skirt, which together attach to side panels that run the length of the dress (or tunic, which is another option). You can choose short sleeves (shown here) or cuffed three-quarter sleeves. These sleeves were amazingly easy to set-in – hardly any easing necessary. I think it’s the first time in my entire sleeve-setting career that I didn’t have to bust out the seam ripper even once. It was glorious.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-23

One of my favorite features of the dress are the side seam welt pockets. I love how they look, and they were surprisingly simple to construct.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-6

2hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually

Like Liesl suggests, the yoke gives you a great opportunity to highlight a special fabric. I used a Japanese print from a line called Muddy Works by Tomotake for Kokka – it’s called Large Orbs and the color is an interesting mix of purple and gray. I found it locally, but all three colors of this print are available here. It only takes a half yard of fabric to accommodate the length of the yoke pieces, and you’ll have most of that half yard left over, so it’s not such a big deal to splurge on something special.

2hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-2

The mustard chambray is from Andover Fabrics. I’ve mentioned before that I’m always on the lookout for great chambrays – they are such versatile garment fabrics and have been a favorite of mine since I started sewing. Just about everything looks great made from chambray, and the available selection seems to have expanded quite a bit. LiMa Sews recently stocked the entire line of Andover chambrays – 18 different colors. I’ve seen them all in person and can attest to their loveliness. They have a nice weight to them, not too flimsy, but still plenty soft. It’s really good stuff.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-7

I know solid yellow probably isn’t the most practical choice for a little girls’ dress, but I loved the shade. Nice for almost-spring.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-5

And yes, this pattern was designed with a notch at the neckline, but what can I say – I think I’ve omitted the notch in almost every pattern that’s had one. It’s lovely with the notch, but you can easily leave it out – just a matter of preference.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-3

I sewed this dress in a size 4 – Lila is at the end of the height and weight range for a 4, but this one has a more relaxed fit, so I think sizing down was the way to go. I added an inch to the length as a precaution, but it ended up too long, so I took it back up an inch after hemming.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-26

Sorry about all the photos. The light was nice last night and I took too many. Plus, she only has six more days to be four years old.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-10

Again, thanks to Liesl for providing this pattern, it was a pleasure to review!

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The spring Oliver + S patterns are here! And I couldn’t resist sewing all of them – they’re sooooo good! There are two dress patterns in the mix, and their arrival happened to coincide nicely with birthday sewing this year. Lila will be five next week, and like every year, a new birthday dress was in order.

garden party dress -- probably actually

This is the Garden Party dress, a lovely little party dress with a gathered bodice and skirt. It’s another a beautiful, clean design from Oliver + S – fun and girly without any crazy frills. Perfectly suited to my style.

garden party dress -- probably actually-9

The dress can be made sleeveless or with cap sleeves, and there’s a blouse option as well. The construction was simple and straightforward, and true to Oliver + S form, everything came together beautifully and without a hitch. I made a size 4 and lengthened it by one inch – I think it turned out roomy and long enough to fit for a good while.

garden party dress -- probably actually-8

The back has a keyhole opening, and the button closes with a thread chain. This was my first attempt at a thread chain – there’s a tutorial on the Oliver + S blog, but if your brain is anything like mine and needs a visual real-time demonstration for all new skills, this video did the trick for me.

garden party dress -- probably actually-2

Also – it you’re going to make the sleeveless version, I might suggest hand finishing the bias-bound arm holes rather than edge stitching them by machine (both are listed as options in the pattern). I had trouble getting around the tight curves without puckering, and I’m sure it would have looked much nicer finished by hand. I may even rip out my edge stitching and ((ask my mom to)) stitch the binding closed by hand. Someday I hope to have more patience for hand sewing…

garden party dress -- probably actually-4

And the fabric…oh, how I love this fabric. It’s Summer Grove by Day from Leah Duncan’s new line, Meadow – I picked it up from LiMa Sews where the whole line is available. Leah Duncan’s designs are among my very favorites, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Meadow’s release. Each of her prints is a like a beautiful work of art, and the canvas is Art Gallery Fabric‘s super smooth, high-quality pima cotton. Art Gallery’s tag line is “Feel the Difference” and I have to agree – their fabrics are far superior to your standard quilting cotton, and the soft drape is really nice for apparel.

garden party dress -- probably actually-5

For the bands and yoke I used a textured solid from In the Beginning Fabrics – Modern Solid in Coral.

garden party dress -- probably actually-7

Of course, Lila will not be having a garden party for her March birthday – Oregon weather does not allow for such things. Sleeveless in March is pretty unpractical around here as well, but that’s what cardigans are for, right?

garden party dress -- probably actually-6

Check out Kristin’s Garden Party dress, too – also in Meadow! And stay tuned for the Hide-and-Seek Dress, which turned out to be my surprise favorite of the three!

Many many thanks to Liesl for the advance copy of this pattern – as always, my opinions are my own.

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roller skate dress -- probably actually-5

I wanted to make something for Lila to wear on Valentine’s Day. It was supposed to be pink or red or covered in hearts, but try as I might, nothing brilliant came to me. So instead I just finished the Oliver + S Roller Skate dress I cut out and abandoned during Kids Clothes Week. I had major trouble getting motivated for this round of KCW – I guess sometimes you feel like sewing, and sometimes you feel like watching bad TV.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-3

Anyway, it’s my second try at this pattern, and I really like the Roller Skate dress. It’s simple to put together, very customizable, and uses only a yard of main fabric for a size 4 – it’s really rare to be able to make a dress with just a yard anymore. I made View B with the neck facing but left out the notch, much like I do on just about every pattern that includes a notch.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-4

She’s about to size out of the smaller range in most Oliver + S patterns, but this size 4 actually came out pretty roomy. I like the fact that it can be worn with a shirt underneath, too.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-13

The fabric is a chambray stretch shirting from Robert Kaufman (available here). It’s very lightweight and drapey, and I think it worked pretty well with a lined dress like this one. I’m always looking for good chambrays, and I’m hoping this one will wrinkle less than Essex linen.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-7

And those colorful half-square triangles are Gem in Mango from Helens Garden by Tamara Kate, which I bought to make a skirt but decided I could spare a little bit for the facing. It doesn’t take much, and I wanted to use something that would stand out since the dress is otherwise very simple. I added the ribbon (another option in the pattern) for that reason, too – it just needed a little extra color.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-8

That’s all. Many more dresses to come, I hope.

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Oscar is making a triumphant return to boy clothes today:

field trip raglan -- probably actually-3466

And the elk are back! I was sure the (new to me) Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-Shirt would be a pattern worthy of the yellow Elk Grove knit I’ve been hoarding since last Kids Clothes Week. It’s true, I almost never cut into the good stuff on my first attempt at a pattern unless it’s Oliver + S.

field trip raglan -- probably actually-3386

This pattern is now available on its own in digital format, so if you’re looking for a great raglan pattern but aren’t interested in the accompanying cargo pants, you can buy just the T-shirt portion of the pattern. Same goes for the Playtime Leggings and the Seashore Bloomers – both are available as stand-alones. I love the idea of splitting up the patterns this way so you can pick and choose just what you want to sew. Of course, you never know – I’ve purchased a few patterns for just one garment and ended up loving the one I thought I’d never make (Class Picnic Shorts!). But still, this is a great option to have.

field trip raglan -- probably actually-3464

Anyway, Lila’s elk Hopscotch shirt ended up on the small side, and I think I may have overcompensated with this one. It’s an 18-24 months and it’s all-around pretty big on him. It’s definitely a more relaxed fit than the one other T-shirt pattern I’ve tried, so I think lengthening the 12-18 month size would’ve been fine. He’s suddenly a huge kid though, so I’m glad this one will fit for awhile – this fabric really is an all-time favorite.

Oscar still walks like a drunk man, which means a lot our photos looked like some variation on this:

field trip raglan -- probably actually-3481

We called it quits after four minutes, and he already had wet hands, wet knees, and a wet behind. His modeling skills are still developing.

P.S. My elk came from LiMa Sews, but it looks like she’s down to a couple Elk Grove Chevron knits. The Flight knits are coming soon though! And thanks to Liesl for providing this pattern – my opinions are, as always, my own.


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It’s Kid’s Clothes Week! And look at that, the button matches my first project. I should probably just quit now while I’m ahead.

first birthday ice cream dress -- probably actually-3295

Oscar’s dear friend had her first birthday last week, and since I don’t have a little girl to sew for anymore, I thought it would be fun to make her a birthday dress.

first birthday ice cream dress -- probably actually-3368

The pattern is the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress, and it’s basically the same dress I made for Lila’s third birthday, but with some peachy-coral/minty-aqua prints thrown in. I used something new to me for the main dress fabric – an In the Beginning Modern Solid (in Lead) – these are yarn-dyed solids with two tonal colors woven together, which gives them a similar iridescent quality to shot cotton. They’re very soft like the shots, but slightly more substantial. I wasn’t sure the recipient would appreciate getting out the iron every time the dress was washed, so I picked this fabric in hopes that it wouldn’t wrinkle quite as much. That’s the one downfall of shot cottons – they wrinkle like crazy.

first birthday ice cream dress -- probably actually-3316-2

Oscar was kind enough to try it on for me, but it barely cleared his big old head. His 6-12 month sized days are long gone…


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acatnap sleepover pjs -- probably actually-2852

Friday was “Pajama Day” at Lila’s preschool, and stuff like that compels me to sew. I had four days warning, which is plenty of time to make a pair, but here’s the problem with pajamas: there’s pretty much no print that doesn’t work. And having too many options paralyzes me.

acatnap sleepover pjs -- probably actually-2997

I hemmed and hawed over the fabric until Thursday morning, when I saw that Linh had listed Lizzy House’s new line, Catnap. It’s such cute stuff, and the coordinating Jewels and Pearl Bracelets are an added bonus. The Cat Dream print appealed to me right away – it’s just so fun and colorful, and if whimsical weren’t such a dumb word, I’d probably call it that, too. And catnap, cat dream, the cat’s pajamas…I couldn’t resist all the sleeping references. So I picked up some Cat Dream in Linen and Jewels in Peach, traced the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas pattern, and mentally prepared myself for a late night of sewing.

catnap sleepover pjs -- probably actually-2658-2

I’ve sewn lots of Bedtime Story pajamas, and usually I just make the pants, then sew a little patch to a t-shirt and call it good. But since the Sleepover Pajamas pattern was new to me, I decided to try the whole set.

catnap sleepover pjs -- probably actually-2682

Lila is in between a 4 and 5 right now, and while it pained me to buy the smaller size range for her, the size 4 turned out to be a great fit. One nice thing about the Sleepover Pajamas is that the pants and sleeves both have cuffs that can be let down, which gives the set a longer life (shown above with pant cuffs let down and sleeve cuffs rolled up). And it’s a unisex pattern, so there’s still a chance I’ll get some use from it after this pair.

catnap sleepover pjs -- probably actually-2756

And while I love the look of the Bedtime Story‘s kimono style top, I think I actually prefer this style in terms of fit and comfort, since the kimono ties were sometimes tricky to keep closed. Anyway, I was worried she’d reject the top since most of her pjs are knit, but she ended up wearing this ensemble for 48 hours straight! Kinda gross, but we had a lazy weekend. I’ll take it.

catnap sleepover pjs -- probably actually-2787

I can’t say I’d recommend starting this pattern the night before it’s supposed to be worn – I really enjoy sleep as a general rule, and I only engage in these types of late-night sewing shenanigans a few times a year. But every now and then I like a little challenge, and it feels good to just power through and make something from start to finish. Even if it means you have to finish it off with three orange buttons and one mismatched pink one.

catnap sleepover pjs -- probably actually-2875

And, as I knew it would, the pattern held up to the high Oliver + S standards: frustration-free sewing with good looking and fitting end results. If you’re going to stay up late, that’s the way to go. It’s crazy (or just poor planning), losing a night’s sleep to send your kid to school in cat pajamas, I know it is. But I’d do it all over again – they’ve already been worn the equivalent of twice, which beats a whole slew of other things I’ve made for her!

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So I managed to make it four years and eight months without sewing my daughter a tutu, but my run is over.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0420

Lila and I settled on a peacock costume for Halloween. It was definitely my idea – she suggested dressing up as a monkey, which I nixed, simply because I had no interest in monkey-sewing. Is that mean? One of these years I’ll let her choose, but after showing her Eric Carle’s peacock illustration she was genuinely excited about the idea, so I don’t feel all that bad.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0331

I don’t usually go for fancy or frilly in clothing or costumes, but the The Oliver + S tutu from the Little Things to Sew book has always appealed to me – it layers five colors of tulle on top of each other, and I like the effect. And I thought it would look nice in an array of peacock-ish colors – I picked green, gold, turquoise, teal, and royal blue, and layered the lighter colors on top. The colors show through differently depending on how they catch the light – it’s pretty, I think.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0414

Now…when shopping for my tulle, the colors I happened to want were of course located not in the $1.99/yard section, but in the “Italian fancy-guy tulle” section. So not only did it cost a bit more, but compared to the other stuff it’s softer and drapier…which probably isn’t really what you want for a nice full tutu. It works though – it’s not super poofy, and it’s not at all stiff or scratchy, which I think Lila will appreciate.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0322

This was another one (late) night project – it’s pretty painless to put together, you just need some floor space to lay out your tulle and you’re good to go. And the construction is pretty clever – it ties in the back like an apron, which means it’s adjustable and could potentially be worn for dress-up long after Halloween. In fact, I’m hoping to attach the peacock feathers in a non-permanent way to leave the tutu intact.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0400

One thing – when you attach your short ribbon, your stitches will show from the front, which I didn’t realize. I would’ve tried to match my thread better if I had.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Little Things to Sew, I highly recommend it – you’ll find lots of other wonderful projects in there. It’s beautifully written and photographed, and the directions are just as clear and detailed as any Oliver + S pattern. And while this is only my second project from the book, the first was the baby carrier, which is my all time favorite thing ever sewn. So I guess I have a special fondness for this book!

Okay, stay tuned for more details on the peacock costume. Felt feathers are now in production…


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corduroy art museum trousers -- probably actually-0350

The calendar indicates that Oscar will be a year old in 11 days. So I made him some birthday trousers.

corduroy art museum trousers -- probably actually-0144Do you recognize those pockets?

corduroy art museum trousers -- probably actually-0157

The pattern is the Oliver + S Art Museum trousers. I made them in railroad stripes last month, and that pair ranks as one of my favorite items ever sewn. For real, those pants make me so happy. It’s hard to say just why – the miniature grown-up details, the fit, the fabric – but it might also have something to do with starting to love boy sewing just a little bit. Anyway, another pair was in order.

These are made from Robert Kaufman’s soft, lightweight 21-wale corduroy in tan. I bought mine at Fabric Depot (and it’s all 40% off this week). I’ve sewn with this stuff a lot, and the quality is really nice.

corduroy art museum trousers -- probably actually-0366

I did the top stitching in orange to spice things up a little, and used Heather Ross’ guitars for the waistband facing and welt pocket lining. It’s pretty much impossible to get a photo inside those tiny welt pockets, and the insides will never be seen, but I can’t help it, I like knowing it’s in there anyway.

corduroy art museum trousers -- probably actually-0153

If you’ve never made a welt pocket, this is the place to learn. I’ll warn you though – if you’re making these for the first time and you haven’t made the vest, the welt instructions and diagrams are in the vest section, so you have to do a little extra thinking to transfer it all over to the pants. But it’s well worth the effort.

See how happy they make him?

corduroy art museum trousers -- probably actually-0158

That’s it for now. Next up is a little Halloween sewing. See you tomorrow!


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