well you guys, the end has come.  these are my final two projects for kcw spring 2013!



both are oliver + s patterns; a swingset tunic for bean, and some sailboat pants for reese.  let’s start with the tunic, shall we?  it actually has a bit of a backstory.  first of all, i love it.  LOVE IT.  i want one for myself so, so badly.  i know the colors don’t scream summer, but the body is a loosely woven brown linen, the bodice is cotton (mustard, of course), and the whole thing is light and airy and lovely.  both fabrics are from our recent joanns shopping spree, and i probably would have never spotted the print if i hadn’t seen it on a geranium dress my friend alyssa made her daughter.  and, did i mention it’s mustard?  love.  it’s lined in some muslin with more fabric covered buttons in the back.  that little button press might be my favorite thing that happened this week!


anyhow, it’s time for me to come totally clean.  the picnic shorts were technically not my first o+s pattern.  they were my first *completed* pattern.  but, that pattern came in the mail as a hard copy.  when i purchased all the patterns, a few of them came digitally, and after buying all that fabric, i just HAD to start cutting.  my brain was overflowing with ways to combine all the fabrics and i couldn’t wait.  notably, every pattern i’ve used until the picnic shorts were digital, so i’ve got a bit of experience printing them out and piecing them together.  i’ll admit that when i did so with the swingset tunic, it looked pretty petite on paper, and cutting it out, and sewing it together.  but what do i know?!  i didn’t go to the fashion institute of technology (though now i’d really like to…)!  really, liesl’s reputation precedes her, so i wasn’t going to object to her master plan.


so i cut not one, but FOUR swingset tunics (not yet appreciating the amount of energy involved in merely prepping these patterns), carefully, painstakingly notching, marking, pinning, dotting, trimming and pressing every little piece.  four times.  i was so tired of it at the end, i had to just SEW something already.  so i made this.



there were red flags here and there, things not matching up quite right, but again, i blamed myself over the pattern.  90% of the way through, it was at a place where i finally could try it on bean.  she whimpered as i wrangled it over her head and it practically cut off circulation to her arms.  something was obviously not right.  of course, i was mortified because i had just bought four of these patterns (and they ain’t cheap!), hearing over and over they’re quite roomy for their size.  i had made the tunic in a 3T without measuring my 50th percentile almost 3 year old, but when i measured her, it should have fit no problem.  then i was even more horrified, because it seemed most likely that these patterns just wouldn’t fit her well, just like certain brands don’t fit well.  you can’t return a digital pattern!  nooooooo!


anyhow, after a morning’s worth of pondering, it finally dawned on me that for the first time, the digital pattern had printed at an inappropriate scale.  while overall this was a happy discovery, it also meant that quite a bit of fabric and several hours of cutting had been wasted (but out of spite, you can be sure i recut all four of them in the right size!).  and then there’s the actual garment.  what might i do with this?  i imagine it might fit a 1.5-2 year old quite well…does anyone have one of those in need of a new shirt?  if so, let me know…we can make this my first giveaway :)  if not, i’m sure it will nicely suit my niece rosa in two years.


so, not liesl’s fault, but you can see why i went into the picnic shorts with a low tolerance for high maintenance.  this is also why i saved o+s for the end of the week…i knew i’d have less energy, but i was so irritated by the whole experience, i needed a little break.  and, so worth it! because everything since has been turning out quite well, and quite roomy (which is good, since this will probably still fit her in the fall when the colors are more seasonally appropriate). i think i’m still expecting a bit much from these patterns, e.g. every seam will be perfectly finished which does not always happen, and they’re so beautiful i do find myself expending extra energy on them, like blind hemming the entire bodice because i couldn’t bear to just zig zag a raw edge per the instructions.  however, for the remaining three i have cut, i may take that recommended route to save time.  anyway, bean likes the shirt, and seriously–any pattern recommendations so i can make one in my size??


as for the sailor pants, this is quite a straight forward pattern, made with fabric reese picked off the shelf himself.  i saw these pants floating around the blogosphere last fall and bought piping at that time, knowing these pants just couldn’t be made without it.  it took me six months to actually get the pattern and make the pants, but i was ready with piping in hand!  of course, i’m not very skilled at applying piping, and because of my categorical objection to reading a pattern fully before beginning it, i created extra work and bulk piping in places that would be hidden anyway.  and attempting to match the prints at the seams never remotely crossed my mind.  between the piping and this being my final kcw project, matching the print would be asking too much of me!  but, overall, cute little pants that fit well.



(got some pics of the finishing this time!)DSC05531

well, i have had a total blast this week, our family survived, and wardrobes have grown.  as this post has already become quite lengthy, i will take a day or so to attempt reversing the entropy that has taken over my craft room, and will be back soon to write a recap blog of the week.  thank you so much for your support and lovely comments–i have loved reading each and every one of them.  it means more to me than you know to feel such a sense of community in this little space.  happy sewing!  and, don’t forget to claim the tunic if you want it!


12 Comments on kcw projects seven and eight: more oliver + s!

  1. This is maximum cuteness! When I saw the first two photos I thought that both pieces were for Eliana. Obviously, Reese looks very cute in his new pants! Don’t you think it would be fun to wear the top and bottom together? Zahra and I have been experimenting and combining patterns when we are putting together our outfits. Zahra loves to mix polka dots and stripes. I try to keep everything in the same color family. We can’t wait to have a play date with Eliana and Reese! Hugs.

    • polka dots + stripes is so fun. there’s an awesome jersey fabric at joann’s right now, it comes in bright blue and bright red, one side is white polka dots, the other white stripes. you should get some! we are looking forward to seeing you guys!

  2. Omg, how much can I relate to sewing disasters like putting a bunch of work into something and then realizing it’s gone horribly wrong. I’m glad you got it all figured out in the end! Both things came out really cute, and I can’t believe you found that fabric at Joann’s!
    I have terrible luck finding much there that appeals to me. But mustard is one of my favorite colors. I bet my two year old could fit into that tunic. Lol. She’s pretty tiny and I usually find her measurements correlating with 12m sizes. That’s what irks me about wanting to buy this pattern. I’ve got a 2 and 4 year old, but the 2 year old is so puny that she will probably disappear in a 2t.

    • i have a major attitude problem about joann’s, but the last time we were there, i was seriously shocked at how much i found that i liked. i had to cut myself off, actually…i think i could have found more if i kept hunting. i think this comes from years of bargain shopping–i have some sonar for finding diamonds in the ruff! hm…puny two year old? i think we might have a “giveaway” winner…let me know if you want my botched one (made with love, hand sewn blind hem!).

  3. I had to smile when I saw this blog after searching the web for a tutorial that might show me where to put the strip of interfacing on the swingset tunic (I’m guessing the placket)?

    Anyway, we had one term of Music Together class with you and your adorable kids. I’m Willow’s mom…it was so long ago you may not remember (though you might since she is such a tour de force)! Who knew the ‘for children’ sewing community was so small! Cheers, I love your blog.

    • oh my gosh, TERI! of course i remember you (and obviously, i could hardly forget willow :)). i am so happy you found me! how is it possible we never discussed sewing in class?! i am always complaining that nobody in davis sews. this is WONDERFUL news. now we can have sewing parties! not kidding. yes, the interfacing goes on the placket, which comes together like magical origami but is a bit confusing (like all oliver + s). i have a few more of these cut that i totally forgot about until now, so i’d be happy to take some photos (or even show you in person, yay!) when i finally come to them (have a few projects in the queue right now). when are we having a crafting party?!

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