This weekend we had special dress-wearing events for both Passover and Easter. With a birthday in late March and a dress to go along with it, I don’t usually sew something new for Lila to wear for the spring holidays. But I had to make an exception this year after her birthday dress, only a few short days into rotation, was tragically disfigured at the local bounce house joint. Avert your eyes if you wish, this ain’t pretty: I’d never seen a dress rip like this, but Rachel told me she had a voile Rollerskate dress do the same thing. I don’t know if it’s just the lightweight fabric, or maybe a combination of the fabric and the snipped seam allowances in the curve of the armhole creating weak spots? I can’t decide if the dress is salvageable (probably not, right?), so instead of trying to fix it I’ve mostly just been staring at it in disbelief. OH WELL. It’s sad, but in the big scheme of things, a ripped dress is not such a big deal. And at least she got to wear it for her birthday. And for a day and a half after that. So anyway, the point is, the birthday dress was clearly unavailable for this weekend’s festivities. Luckily I like an excuse to sew a new dress, and I happened to have some beautiful Japanese lawn on my hands. So I made her an Oliver + S Garden Party Dress. I made my first Garden Party dress last year around this same time – for some reason it didn’t get a whole lot of wear, but I really like this pattern and I felt like it was worth trying again. This time I used all one fabric instead of a contrast for the waistband and yoke pieces. It changes the look of the pattern a little, but I think I like it. This is a size 5, lengthened to 6. I finished the bias inside the armholes by hand – I tried it by machine when I made the dress last year, and I wasn’t happy with how it looked. It came out much cleaner this way. The fabric is a Sevenberry cotton lawn and came from a new sponsor, Jones & Vandermeer. Have you heard of this shop? I stumbled upon them two years ago when I was on a mad hunt for a specific Nani Iro double gauze print (this one) – they were the only place that had it, and I snatched it up right away (along with a few more yards of double gauze that are still sitting on my shelf – it’s so hard for me to cut into that stuff!). Since then I’ve visited their site often. They offer “100% curious goods” from around the world – it all began with yarn, but the shop now includes lots of unique and gorgeous fabrics, as well as other wonderful things for sewers and crafters. Their collection of fabrics is so beautifully curated – Liberty lawns, lots of Japanese prints from Yuwa, Nani Iro, and Echino (to name just a few), plenty of double gauze, and these super cool French lawns I haven’t seen anywhere else. There’s also a great selection of sewing patterns, tools and notions, and buttons (mother of pearl cloud buttons from France? I die.). And then there’s premade Liberty bias tapes, plus lovely ribbons, twill tapes, and other trims. You get the idea – there’s a little bit of everything, and all of it is thoughtfully hand-picked. Sorry to go crazy with all the links, there’s just so much good stuff. I’ve been a fan of the shop for some time, so when they inquired about sponsorship I knew it would be a good fit – it’s the type of shop I’m happy to share with everyone. And now for the giveaway – Jones & Vandermeer is offering up a $35 gift certificate to spend on anything in the shop! To enter, just leave a comment on this post by Friday, April 10th – any old comment will get your name in the game, but if you need a prompt, you can always tell me what you’d choose if you win. I suspect you’ll have fun browsing there, I always do!
Posts Tagged ‘oliver + s’
I never really gave this pattern much consideration, but over the summer I fell in love with this version from the Flickr pool and became obsessed with making it for Oscar. It never ceases to amaze me how one person’s interpretation of a pattern can have that effect. Anyway, I immediately traced the size 2 but didn’t get around to it until now, so, tragically, I had to retrace the whole thing in a size 3. Maybe I could’ve gotten away with lengthening the 2, but bigger is my rule of thumb for this kid.
I can’t say I love the fit. The arms are too long and the shoulders are big, and it’s a little hard to get on and off unless his arms are straight up over his head, which was same problem I had with Lila’s first Jump Rope dress. Is that just the nature of a garment with an opening like this?
But on to the fabric – I really wanted to make mine exactly like Audrey’s, I loved it so much. The sleeves are designed to be made with two different fabrics, but I joined those two pattern pieces and cut each sleeve as one piece, like she did. My plan was to use chambray, but then I found this Kaufman Shetland flannel in Denim – it’s textured and looks like chambray, and it’s the softest flannel I’ve ever felt. So I used that, and for the neck and pocket facings I cut into my precious half yard of Heather Ross moons. I wasn’t sure how much they’d show, and in the pocket facings they really don’t. But because the V opening is so low, they show plenty there. I top stitched everything in a heavy weight gold thread.
I took a couple of days making this, but the sewing was straightforward and easy, and everything was textbook Oliver + S, a.k.a a total pleasure. And despite the fit issues, Oscar likes it and I like it and sewing for boys is fun. The end.
Oh, and the winner of the Sewing to Sell giveaway was Lori! Thanks to all who entered :)
These were made (patterns traced, fabric cut, pants sewn) with lightning speed, in assembly-line style, on the 23rd of December. If you’ve left your Christmas Eve pjs to the last minute, this pattern is your friend. Inseam, Inseam, cuff, cuff, rise, waistband. Done! I bought both kids $4 Old Navy t-shirts and just left them as-is this time (except for the addition of some running stitches on Lila’s pocket) – bare bones, people. PANTS ONLY.
The turquoise birds (Red Eye Vireo) are from Birch Fabric’s first Charley Harper line, and Oscar’s penguins (Murre) are from the new line, Nurture. The Birch poplin has such a nice feel and sheen to it – it’s smooth and crisp and a little more substantial than your average quilting cotton…if that makes any sense. There are so many cool prints in these two Charley Harper lines, and you really have to see them up close to fully appreciate them.
The Oliver + S pajama pants are always a hit around here, but I do feel like I’m in a bit of a rut with them. Next year maybe I’ll try knit pjs (Flashback Skinny Tee + Fancy Pants leggings like Elizabeth’s), or maybe a nightgown (did you see Rachel’s?) for Lila. Or, more likely, it’ll be these again on the eve of the 23rd.
As I was going through my photos from the year, I realized I made not ONE SINGLE THING for myself in 2014. Terrible, I know. The truth is, I did sew a few things, just nothing worthy of sharing – I made a Wiksten Tank and the Liesl & Co Bistro Dress, and while they were both great patterns, neither was especially flattering on me. I’m still trying to figure out sewing my own clothing, and clearly it isn’t going all that well. Maybe 2015 will be my breakthrough year.
So what did I sew? Well, Lila scored a few new dresses. Fifteen to be exact.
The dresses definitely won out in terms of sheer numbers, but there were a few other things for Lila:
Oscar wasn’t fully ignored:
And there was an assortment of gifts and other random things:
These were my 2014 personal favorites:
I learned to use and love my serger this year (it only sat in the box until April – not half bad, right?), and I learned to love boy sewing just a little bit more. And what I already knew was reinforced: making dresses sure is fun. The truth is, I don’t have any huge goals for the new year. I just want to make pretty things and then marvel at my kids as they wear them. I know it isn’t much, but that’s what makes me happy.
So anyway, Happy 2015 from these two, my reasons for sewing.
I tried to keep my December sewing to a minimum this year, which was really very nice. Christmas clothes weren’t originally on my list, but then I saw the adorable plaid Art Museum vest Elizabeth (of the lovely blog Lizzieville) made for her little boy. She mentioned in the post that her daughter asked for a dress to match, and suddenly my kids needed matching Christmas outfits, too. And so, I sewed.
Elizabeth was actually the inspiration for the dress, too – I really loved her Library Christmas dress from last year, and I also came across this beautiful corduroy/Liberty version via my Oliver + S Flickr group search. So, despite having just made a Library dress (and swearing off this view), I decided on View B in baby cord with a floral band…but then I never found a good floral. I almost scrapped the whole thing, but at the last minute I looked through the piles of fabric already on my shelf and found this striped shot cotton.
I can’t recall why I bought this fabric in the first place, but I’m pretty sure it ended up lost in the stacks because the colors reminded me too much of Christmas. So anyway, long story short, I ended up with dark gray Kaufman cord, some forgotten striped shot cotton, and flat piping in a green Modern Solid. I sewed a size 5 lengthened to a 6, and also lengthened the sleeves by an inch. Lila isn’t a big fan of 3/4 sleeves so I wanted to pass them off as long sleeves. She won’t wear them rolled up, but I do love the notched cuffs.
There wasn’t enough corduroy for the facings (I squeezed the whole dress into a wide yard of fabric with some very careful planning), so those are cut from the shot cotton. Luckily Liesl has you understitch all the facing seams, so there’s no chance they’ll be peeking out when they shouldn’t. But they do make for a nice surprise inside.
Having made both views, I think the collar must give the neckline a little more structure and hold it in place, because the neckline on this dress gapes a little more than the collared version. Nothing too serious, but I did notice a difference.
Now, on to that bow tie.
I read through just about everything the internet had to offer on the topic of making your own bow tie, but in the end I used Delia‘s free Mix and Match Bow Tie pattern and tutorial. I knew I could trust Delia. It was super simple and quick to sew – in fact, I bet I spent more time learning how to tie it than actually sewing it. But thanks to YouTube and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Lila and I must have watched this video twenty times, she thought it was hilarious), tying a bow tie is now on my list of life accomplishments.
Apparently bow ties are usually cut on the bias, but since shot cotton already has some stretch, I cut it on the grain. And I used velcro as my back closure method rather than swim suit hooks, just to make sure it was good and adjustable. It’s a little droopy (interfacing could have solved that) but I love it just the same.
Who knew I’d ever get so excited about a bow tie? And to think, I was so broken up about not having two girls to sew for…this is totally just as great. Maybe even better. Maybe. Sort of. Whatever, it’s great.
There were also some eleventh hour semi-coordiated Christmas pajamas that I’ll share just as soon as I can get my children to cooperate for photos. Hope everyone’s holidays were happy – enjoy these last few days of the year!
Oh hi, I’m back from my month-long vacation on the couch. Pretty sure I watched more TV in the past 30 days than in the last four years combined. But anyway, here’s what I have to show for myself – an Oliver + S Library Dress.
I made one from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s 1000 Cranes fabric last fall, and I’m not sure if it was the fabric or the pattern or the combination of the two, but that dress was one of my very favorites. Lila liked it, too – she wore it long after the length became indecent (which happened pretty quickly – this dress runs shorter than other Oliver + S patterns, be warned), and I was so sad to retire it. So here’s version 2.0 – more Rashida Coleman-Hale, this time in Tangrams from her Cotton + Steel Moonlit collection.
I love the colors in this print, and I picked a coordinating Cotton Couture solid for the band (Peony, I think). I went with View A again (short sleeves and collar) – I always feel like I should try the other options when I make a pattern the second time, but then I never do. If it worked out the first time and was well received, I usually just stick with it. The only thing I left out this time was the flat piping – I love how it looks but couldn’t come up with a fabric I wanted to use. And I remember from last time that with the collar and the bodice and the band and the piping, that seam gets really bulky. It was a bit more streamlined this time.
This is a size 5 lengthened to a 6, which I think came out about right. I can’t say that this closure method is my favorite – 9 buttons/buttonholes! But Lila doesn’t seem to mind it, and that V in the front makes it easy to get on and off without unbuttoning more than one or two buttons.
I don’t know, is this a stretch as a holiday dress? I sewed it in December, so I sort of want it to count. We’ll see, there could still be time for something slightly more festive…
Thanks to LiMa Sews for this beautiful fabric!
We celebrated Oscar’s second birthday last weekend. I made tiny party hats and wrapped miniature presents for a whole slew of little animals, and I sewed a second annual pair of birthday Art Museum trousers.
First, the pants.
I still haven’t done a whole lot of boy sewing, but I think these little trousers are my favorite in that category. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but they make my heart flutter. I kinda want to write Liesl a love letter for making this pattern.
Last year I made these pants in size 6-12 months, and this year I skipped over the next two sizes and made a 2T. With Lila I always preferred that clothes fit correctly at the time I made them – it took her forever to grow out of anything. This kid is a different breed, though – nothing seems to fit for more than a couple months, so roomy is fine by me. These pants do run really long – Oscar is off the charts for his age in height, and I hemmed them up an extra half inch and still had to roll them once so he won’t trip.
I became obsessed with making this plaid version after spotting a toddler in the wild wearing a very similar pair – I knew I already had the perfect pattern to replicate them, and I’ve been on the lookout for the right fabric ever since. I ended up finding it locally at Bolt – it’s a wool/cotton blend, really soft, just what I was after.
As for the hat-wearing, gift-bearing animals, they were inspired by this Oh Happy Day post and this pin – I downloaded the tiny party hat template from here and bought a bunch of Schleich animals to do it up right.
They were a bit of an investment, but I knew they’d have great play value long after the party, so I considered them a birthday present for Oscar.
My blog idol threw a second birthday for her daughter a few weeks before Oscar’s, which led me to this amazing cake. Mine was a little sloppy, but same idea. I still swear by this chocolate cake recipe, but this year I tried Alicia’s Cloudburst Frosting recipe – it was deeeee-licious.
As you can see from the two above, I managed to get zero decent photos from Oscar’s party, which I will just blame on the weather and daylight savings – it was dark all day! Oh well. The whole animal thing was by far the most fun I’ve ever had in terms of birthday prep. And that’s saying a lot, because I do love party prep.
Happy second birthday to you, sweet Oscar. Your dance moves are second to none, and you are a complete and utter joy to have around.