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Posts Tagged ‘oliver + s’

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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

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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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Lila graduated from preschool yesterday.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually

It seemed like a pretty big deal, so I made her a new dress.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-12

It’s her second Oliver + S Hide-and-Seek dress – we’re both really fond of the first one, which has been in heavy rotation since March. This is very much that same dress – chambray, size 4 (this time I added a 1/2 inch in length), short sleeves, no notch – it all seemed to work last time, so I didn’t want to risk it by making too many changes.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-15The fun thing about this pattern, though, (besides the genius welt pockets) is that you can do something special with yoke, which is framed so nicely by the side panels and skirt. The yoke on this dress was pieced from a striped shot cotton (Kaffe Fassett’s Broad Stripe in Bliss), which I purchased at Bolt a few months ago with this very dress in mind. Rather than cutting the front yoke piece on the fold, I cut two pieces on the bias (with an added 1/4 inch seam allowance on either side) and pieced them together to form the V.

1 rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually

Now, I’m no quilter, and while I suppose point matching isn’t rocket science, I did manage to butcher my entire 1/2 yard trying to get those stripes to line up just right. My first attempts were laughably off, and even when I got the pieces cut out correctly, they didn’t especially want to match up – shot cotton has some stretch even on the grain, so it wasn’t terribly cooperative on the bias. But I tried, tried again, and it all came together well enough in the end.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-9And happily I was able to use the few remaining scraps to eke out some striped pockets.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-5

I used the same Andover chambray as the last dress, this time in Denim. There’s so much to love about this fabric – the weight, the drape, the texture – it’s great for clothing and I pretty much want to use it to sew all the things. Luckily it comes in so many great colors that maybe nobody would notice if I did? The thought has crossed my mind.

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So that’s it. Lila’s career as a preschooler is officially over. We went from this, her first day of preschool two years ago:

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To this, her very last day:

last day -- probably actually

She had such a happy year at school, and is so ready for Kindergarten, whether I’m ready for it or not. And no graduation is complete without a cheesy senior portrait to commemorate it all. It would’ve been better had she been peeking out from behind the tree (or maybe side lying with a tuba), but this one will have to do…

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-8

 

 

 

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lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-2

As you may have heard, Rae‘s lovely new line for Cloud 9 Fabrics, Lotus Pond, is now available in all its glory!

LotusPond-600-wideThe prints and colors are so happy and summery, and I had (and still have!) so many ideas for what to make. But in the end I couldn’t get the bucket hats out of my head. I mean, picture a kid down by the pond on a summer day, catching butterflies and snails and frogs, and try to tell me you don’t see a bucket hat on that kid’s head. Right? Anyway, there was that, and the fact that both of my kids happened to need new summer hats. So there you go.

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The weight and feel of this fabric is perfect, and Cloud 9 prints on organic cotton which makes me feel all happy inside. I chose two of the larger scale prints, which I like for hats because you don’t have to worry about anything matching up at the side seams or the print looking straight along the curved brim. And I love those blues together.

There are some fabulous boy-friendly prints in this line. I went with Lily Pond for Oscar.

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And Lila’s is Meadow Blossoms in Blue.

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The pattern comes from Liesl Gibson’s Little Things to Sew book, but it’s also available as a free download on the Oliver + S website. I’ve made it year after year (Lila’s hat from two years ago still fits, but a new one was in order) – it’s quick and easy and fits well. I widened the brim on Lila’s, same as last time, by one inch all around – inspired by none other than Jessica of A Little Gray. More sun coverage and more big sunhat floppiness. And I’m a big fan of avoiding hand sewing whenever possible, so I used the “look, no hand stitching!” technique (Jessica again!) to construct both hats. A pleasure to sew, even two in a row!

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-12

Another nice thing about the pattern is its reversible-ness. Lila’s hat reverses to Andover chambray in Mustard (same stuff I used for her Hide-and-Seek dress), and Oscar’s to good old Essex yard-dyed in Denim. I love that you get two hats in one with this pattern – one fun print, and one neutral solid.

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-5

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually

And Oscar is wearing Lila’s first pair of Sailboat pants – finally a usable hand-me-down!

Okay, visit Made by Rae this week for lots of Lotus Pond inspiration – there’s a Lotus Pond Extravaganza in the works! Thanks to Rae and Cloud 9 for having me along!

 

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I finally finished up the third of the spring Oliver + S patterns, the Lullabye Layette. Just one of the many things I had planned for Kids Clothes Week but didn’t make – that’s always the way.

lullabye layette -- probably actually-15

It’s such a sweet little set, and I was so happy to see a little baby pattern from Oliver + S. The sizing goes up to 24 months, but to me this kind of thing is cutest in the tiny sizes (and for girl babies!), so I opted to make it in 3-6 months as a baby gift. Good thing other people keep having babies so I don’t have to miss out on sewing stuff like this.

 

lullabye layette -- probably actually-4

The pants are shot cotton, which I chose for its baby-softness and orange hue – they’re light and airy and they feel great, but I should probably apologize in advance to their recipient because I have a feeling they’ll end up a wrinkled mess out of the dryer. It’s love/hate with shot cotton, I tell ya.

lullabye layette -- probably actually-3

I added a little band of the shirt fabric on the back pockets by making some single-fold bias tape from a one-inch strip (cut on the grain). And I swapped out the snaps for buttons, only because I had three matching buttons in the correct size, which was too good to pass up. Otherwise I followed the pattern to the letter, and no surprise, it all came out just right.

lullabye layette -- probably actually-7

Originally I chose the print (Leah Duncan’s Gentle Breeze from her Meadow line) for Lila’s Hide & Seek dress, but after I got it home I decided to set it aside for the layette. It’s such a delicate little print, it seemed just right for a baby girl.

lullabye layette -- probably actually-2

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the pattern comes with two addition garments, a sweet little jacket and a bubbly bodysuit. I highly recommend the Lullabye Layette, both for its undeniable Oliver + S quality and its squishy-baby cuteness. Thanks to Liesl for sending it my way!

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

sewing_machine_button_300_square

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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.

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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.

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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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