Posts Tagged ‘leah duncan’

Here’s that stuff I meant to make for KCW. Turns out all I needed was three extra weeks!

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First up, Oliver + S Class Picnic Shorts.

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It’s true, Oliver + S patterns are spendy, but this one has definitely been worth its price tag. I’m on my fourth pair of Class Picnic shorts now, and I plan to keep making them for as long as she’ll wear them. This pair is pretty similar to the other ones I’ve made – I love these shorts in neutral fabrics so they go with everything. I decided on a size 5 based on her waist/hip measurements, thinking I would lengthen them, but as I was tracing the pattern pieces I realized I had absolutely no idea how/where I would add length. The curves, the facings…it was too confusing. They’ll be just fine for this summer but with a little more length they could’ve maybe gone another year.

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The main fabric is Andover chambray in Navy (great stuff, from LiMa Sews), and the facings are Kaufman’s cotton chambray with pin dots in Indigo. I bought the dots from Jones & Vandermeer but it looks like it’s out of stock now. It’s a great neutral (but still interesting) fabric and it’s lightweight with a nice drape. I decided to interface (with SF101 Shape-flex) all the facings pieces with the thought that the added structure would mean less ironing. The shorts haven’t been washed yet so my theory is untested, but I have high hopes. I also interfaced my main front waistband piece for a little more structure there, too.

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Now on to the top: The Oliver + S Swingset Tunic, the companion to my favorite skirt pattern.

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This pattern rather tragically only goes up to size 5, so I felt I had to squeeze one more in. Last year’s tunic still fits perfectly, so I just added a 1/2 inch to the length this time. The bodice construction on this one isn’t the most intuitive, and the finish inside isn’t the neatest, but you still end up with a pretty cute little top, so who cares. The triangles are Mojave in Aloe from Leah Duncan’s Morning Walk collection. Her stuff is always my favorite.

Okay then. Shorts with different top!

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Top with different shorts! Braids!

triangle swingset tunic -- probably actually-1Bonus hug photo!

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The end.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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

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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?

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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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