Well, this might win an award for the latest-ever Kid’s Clothes Week post. I managed to complete about 90% of this outfit during the week but then getting that last bit done, photographed, and posted has taken quite a bit of time. But here it is, an Oliver+S playtime dress and leggings:
The leggings are 2T with a size 4 length. The fit on the leggings is perfect. The dress is 2T with quite a few inches added to the skirt. I’d already traced off the 2T when I bought the pattern last fall and hated to retrace. The dress fits fine now but I wish I’d used the 3T so it will fit next fall.
I bought the fabric for the leggings on a bit of a whim. Then I got home and realized that I didn’t have much to match this pumpkin color. I did have one yard of this Michael Miller mermaid print and managed to squeeze out the dress by cutting the pockets out of a different fabric and cutting a shortened sleeve sideways to the grain. For spring I actually prefer these shorter sleeves.
The only other modification I made was for the topstitching. I originally was going to skip the topstitching entirely because I thought the mermaids already had enough going on. But then I didn’t want the facings and pockets flapping around. So instead of tracing the pieces on the front (I have a great fear that my supposedly-washable marker and tailor’s chalk will not wash out) I just did the topstitching from the back, keeping a consistent distance away from my serged edges. Not perfect, but it worked.
This was my first time completing an Oliver+S outfit as intended on the pattern. Normally I make one or the other component, or both at separate times. It felt like a nice accomplishment to plan and make an actual outfit. And this project had a few other firsts as well:
1) First time using a serger to finish the raw edges. I followed Nicole’s tutorial for the playtime tunic and it was quite like having a sewing buddy at your side. As always, the Oliver+S directions for this pattern are very clear but I really enjoyed having all of Nicole’s pictures and explanations to cross-check my interpretations and learn some new tips. It was especially helpful to see how Nicole switches between the serger and the sewing machine. Using the serger made the inside of this dress so much prettier than my other creations. I may not be able to go back to zigzagged seams, and this pattern doesn’t really lend itself to my go-to finish of french seams.
2) First time using a double needle. It worked fine for a bit and then broke into quite a few pieces while sewing the waistband. Thankfully that part’s covered up by the dress as it’s quite a mess. I hemmed the pants with a thin zig-zig stitch and wooly nylon thread in the bobbin and it worked relatively well.
3) First time using snaps. Once I got everything out and practiced a few rounds it was so easy. I see more snaps in my future.
5) First time nearly ruining something with the serger. On the very last step I managed to catch a couple sections of the bodice as I serged the waist seam. Thankfully I was able to unpick the seam and miraculously none of the bodice had been cut by the knife.
We’re both happy it worked out because this is a sweet little pattern. It seems perfect for spring and fall when you’re not sure what the weather holds for you. Great for an afternoon walk on a windy, rainy, spring afternoon.
And that’s a wrap on spring Kid’s Clothes Week! Five items completed and a handful more cut out and ready to sew.