Lila’s first day of school came and went almost two weeks ago. But the day after Labor Day will always be the real first day in my book, so I’ll commemorate it by sharing her first day dress today. The Oliver + S Jump Rope dress has become our tradition for the first day of school – she wore it the day she started both preschool and Kindergarten, so I figured we might as well just keep on going.
The truth is, her Jump Rope dresses tend do a whole lot of hanging around in the closet and not much else. She didn’t wear last year’s more than five or six times, and the one before that, even less. But the other truth is, I don’t care. I love making this dress, and I love seeing her wear it, even if it’s just a handful of times. It’s still worth it. And the pattern only goes up to size 8, which means I may only have two more first days left! I better start searching for a replacement pattern.
This little floral print is Kimberly Kight’s Clothesline in Periwinkle from Cotton + Steel, which I ordered from Llama Fabrics. It’s been on my radar since Cherie used it here, and while I’m not a purple person, there’s something about this combination of colors that I really like.
My love for this pattern was officially declared here, and if you have any doubts about making this dress (I had many before making it the first time!), there’s a decent little pep talk in that post that I hope might convince you to forge ahead. I must say, sewing it this time was the best yet – the pattern is so well constructed that you can undoubtedly make a beautiful dress the first time around, but it sure does come together like butter the sixth time.
Happy official first day of school!
Read Full Post »
Here’s that stuff I meant to make for KCW. Turns out all I needed was three extra weeks!
First up, Oliver + S Class Picnic Shorts.
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.
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.
Now on to the top: The Oliver + S Swingset Tunic, the companion to my favorite skirt pattern.
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!
Top with different shorts! Braids!
Bonus hug photo!
Read Full Post »
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.
Read Full Post »
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…
Read Full Post »
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!
Read Full Post »
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!
Read Full Post »
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 :)
Read Full Post »