The green library dress I made for E last wear has been worn and loved so much. It was made by modifying the Oliver+S library dress for knit fabrics, following this tutorial from Melissa at Meow Made. She’s been after me to make another library dress for months and I finally got it made.
Her previous dress (using size 3 pattern as a base) is snug so I used the size 4 pieces this time. I also added some length. The main fabric is City Weekend, Liesl Gibson’s fabric released in 2010. I found some stashed away in a fabric shop a couple years ago and have been saving it for something special ever since. The gray contrast is Kaufman laguna jersey. My pattern pieces didn’t quite line up in the front so I gathered the skirt piece a bit. If I make another one I might run the band piece around the entire dress and maybe make the entire skirt a bit gathered, front and back.
I sewed each seam with my machine first and finished the edges with a serger. I’m still working on my hemming skills, however. Right now I’m using the double needle (with polyester thread) and wooly nylon in the bobbin. I think the tension is still a bit off, pulling the stitches a bit more than necessary. I’ve also been hand-winding the wooly nylon thread onto the bobbin after reading that tip somewhere, but I’m not sure if that’s making things better or worse. I haven’t investigated using my walking foot or stretch thread yet, so those are other options to consider. I was so close to buying a cover stitch machine but just couldn’t decide which one to get and whether it would be worth storing and bringing out another machine to the kitchen table when I sewed.
Anyway, even with less than perfect hems this is such a wearable dress and I love the colors. If I had more time I’d be tempted to make her an entire wardrobe of these. E would probably approve. She grabbed this dress out of the clean clothes pile and insisted on wearing it today. We got a few pictures before heading off to school.
Of course, O wanted in on the fun. These two crack me up every day.
O needs some new pants, so I’m trying out some of my pants patterns to figure out what fits him best. First up, Oliver+S sandbox pants in Kaufman corduroy with navy knit for front pocket trim and waistband. I actually made a pair of these in a smaller size a year ago and they were a complete disaster, not even remotely fitting over O’s diaper. This pair was more successful, but not without some frustrations.
I made a couple modifications to the 2T pattern:
- Skipped the button on the back pockets
- Used the mini hudson pockets as a guide to replace the patch pockets
- Used the mini hudson pattern to make a knit waistband (using 1 inch elastic and no drawstring)
- Serged and sewed down all seam allowances like Rae describes here. This is the best way I’ve found to get sturdy seams and I like the extra stitching lines it creates on something casual
I like the knit waistband on these and I think they’re more comfortable and easier for him to pull up and down (we’re in the middle of potty training) than a drawstring. I love the little back pockets, but overall the fit on these feels a little funky. The rise on the back seems too high and the pockets too low. I think 2T Oliver+S are designed to fit over diapers, and O is wearing a disposable in these pictures.
O is tall for his age so I should have added length as they are just barely long enough. The pant legs are also fairly wide, which is tricky with boot season coming.
I contemplated trying the pattern again with a longer/thinner fit and shorter rise/higher pockets. But with many other pants patterns to try, I think I’ll just move on. So, more boy pants, Halloween costumes, and KCW prep up next.
I’ve had my eye on the Oliver+S swingset skirt for so many years. But E had other skirts that she wasn’t outgrowing (skirts have a ridiculously long life compared to other articles of clothing, I’ve found) and so I just never got around to buying the pattern until now. My pattern only goes up to size 5 so I knew I needed to get moving. But I was happy to see that the pattern was rereleased yesterday (going up to size 14), so there can be more swingset skirts in our future.
Both skirts are a size 5 with one inch of added length. E prefers to wear her skirts low on her waist so the extra length was probably not necessary but should extend the wear. The first one I made is purple corduroy with a lightweight white cotton for the lining.
This is a simple pattern and my only problem was getting the elastic evenly distributed around the skirt. It tended to bunch up on whatever side I’d inserted the elastic through but I’m hoping the ribbon covers up some of the bunching. I think the ribbon is a cute feature but they are constantly coming undone. I may need to just tack a little bow or ribbon in place because E is always fiddling with them. Any hints on elastic or ribbon would be welcome.
The other skirt is a Robert Kaufman shirting (same as the nightgown I made here). I used the same fabric for the lining pieces because it’s what I had on hand and I’m really trying to get my fabric stash down to a couple bins.
In other news, this gal is finally a kindergartener. Schools were delayed with a strike, pushing our already late start date even later. E is exhausted but happy. We miss having her around but we are settling into our new routine. And I’m also looking forward to having a bit more sewing time after a busy summer.
This is my third summer making Oliver+S bucket hats. This year I made size large for both kids as they outgrew the size mediums from previous years. O’s head is large for his age, but this pattern also seems to consistently run small. I made the hats identical (andover chambray on one side, white with black dots on the other) as O loves hats but would always prefer to take E’s hat off her head. I’m hoping that matching hats might make sharing easier.
I added one inch to both brims to get a bit more sun protection. I didn’t have any sew-in interfacing so I used fusible fleece for the brim and also used some lightweight interfacing on the crown. These hats are so big, I felt they needed a bit of extra structure.
I used the no-handstitch method from A Little Gray and it worked like a charm. Normally I’m a big fan of hand stitching but loved the machine finish here.
The kids will probably reach for other, store-bought hats most of the summer. These tend to fly off in the wind or with much movement and they’re fairly heavy and hot compared with the nice fast-drying and lightweight fabrics from our REI hats. But for now, matching hats are pretty fun.
One last Kid’s Clothes Week project to share.
I bought the Oliver+S badminton skort/top/dress pattern for the skort. The top/dress wasn’t quite my style so I had no plans to make it. But somehow knowing that E was about to outgrow the pattern, I felt this urge to sew up all the options. I figured that a simplified version of the dress would work well as a summer nightgown.
This is a size 4 with added width and length, no hem facing/scallops, and no bow detail across the bodice. I really love the little shoulder ruffles. The fabric is Botanica from Felicity Miller. The colors and print are lovely but I miss the lightweight drape of the Heather Ross fabrics I’ve been working with lately.
Even with the added length this dress is on the short side, although just fine for a summer nightgown. I can definitely move into the size 5 Oliver+S patterns now. I’ve been saving up a few patterns in the larger size range and it will be fun to pull them out come fall.
I think that’s all for Kid’s Clothes Week, although we do have a sudden need for some new summer hats. And I’m trying another sewing project for myself, after seeing all the fantastic Me Made May creations last month. We shall see!