Q: What do you get when you cross Alison Glass’ Handcrafted fabric with the Oliver + S Hopscotch skirt pattern?
A: The only article of clothing I’ve sewn in a month!
Okay, there’s my icebreaker. Now we can get to the skirt. This yard of the Plus print in Strawberry had been burning a hole on my shelf for some time, I just couldn’t decide how to put it to use. I hope I did it justice. The whole Handcrafted collection is stunning, the colors really glow. It’s hard to capture, but I think these photos are the best representation.
I’ve made the Hopscotch skirt several times, so there isn’t much I can say about this pattern that hasn’t been said. I love the style, though – simple but sophisticated, and the elastic back waistband makes it practical to wear. And of course, the pockets are genius.
I’m feeling inspired to sew some summer things for Lila, more skirts for sure. And last week I bought this pattern to sew for myself. There’s an 83% chance I’ll chicken out on that one, though. We’ll see.
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Kids Clothes Week spring edition is officially over, but I’m back with one more project I finished last week.
I knew I must have something on my shelf to go with this KCW’s Wild Things theme, and it turned out to be these dinosaurs. After a couple nights work, they became a little Sketchbook shirt.
I made this shirt in the smallest size when Oscar was 7 months old – I was so excited for him to wear it, but it never really fit right. This one is better, but not perfect. I made a size 2 (lengthened to 3), and I’m wondering if I should’ve slimmed it down to 18-24 months, because it’s a bit too wide in the shoulders. And there’s something not quite right about the sleeves, I had trouble getting them to lay flat in the shoulder seams.
But it’s still a decent little shirt, all in all, and the dinosaurs are pretty cute…even if that red one on the sleeve happens to be breathing fire. (?)
Maybe I just need to play around with this one a little more, but are there other button down shirt patterns people like to sew with? If you know of one with a great fit, I’d love to hear. I do love a little boy in a button down…
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We had a short bout (now over) of beautiful summer weather, during which I learned two things: Oscar is low on warm weather clothes, and he looks awfully cute in his sister’s old elephant pants.
Sailboat pants appear to be the only usable hand-me-down among the our stacks of outgrown handmade clothes – he’s now worn the elephants and these (from 2011!), and since it’s Kids Clothes Week and all, I thought it might be nice for him to have a pair of his very own.
The striped chambray (from Kaufman House of Denim) had been earmarked for several different projects, but I decided to just use it already – it’s neutral and plain, which is normally how I like my Sailboat pants. I did turn the stripes sideways for the side panels though, to keep things interesting. And anchor buttons, because obviously.
It’s been almost three years since I’ve sewn a pair of these, and I had forgotten how much I love this pattern – the construction is smart and simple, and they’re surprisingly quick to sew. There are some nice little details, too, like the side vents and the button panel, and they’re easy to get on and off with the elasticized back waistband. Plus: cute. And unisex! When people ask which Oliver + S pattern to start with, I usually recommend this one.
I will mention though – I made a size 3, and the placement dots for the bottom buttons seemed way off to me (which I think I faintly remember from last time) – my advice would be to make your buttonholes (as marked), then stick a pin through the hole to mark where you want to sew on your buttons. And if you happen to have a paper copy of the pattern, check the errata on the website – there are a few (fairly obvious) little things that need correction.
Anyway, that wraps up my first days of KCW. The theme this time around is Wild Things, and while there’s certainly nothing wild about these pants, I’m hoping to sew another warm weather item for Oscar that might fit with the theme a little better. We shall see. Happy sewing!
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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!
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Well, I sewed one thing for this round of KCW. It felt like a major accomplishment! I must be getting lazy in my old age. Here it is, a new-to-me pattern, the Oliver + S Nature Walk Pullover.
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 :)
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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.
I used Moda’s Indigo Pinstripe for Oscar’s cuffs and waistband, and the green contrast on Lila’s is one of the Cotton + Steel Basics, Dottie in Picnic.
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.
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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.
garden party | hide-and-seek | jump rope A | franklin | jump rope B | library B | hide-and-seek | mini poppy | carousel | roller skate | first day | roller skate | little joey | library A | geranium
The dresses definitely won out in terms of sheer numbers, but there were a few other things for Lila:
swingset tunic | school bus tee | sleepover pjs | 2+2 skirt | bucket hat | swingset skirt | swingset skirt | shearwater kaftan | bunny pjs
Oscar wasn’t fully ignored:
bow tie | happy homemade hoodie | bucket hat | hawthorn sweatshirt | small fry skinny cords | sketchbook shorts | field trip raglan | bunny pjs | dmk peacoat | art museum trousers
And there was an assortment of gifts and other random things:
baby girl’s coat | lullaby layette | ice cream dress | seal pjs | square floor cushion | lap duvet | divided basket | emmeline apron | rain cloud costumes
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.
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