Back to School: Hooked on Oliver & S Part II

Did I say I was obsessed with Oliver & S?  How many posts am I going to do on this?  Anyways, the first top today is another Ice Cream top in a size 7.  The fabric is a Robert  Kaufman light chambray on top, with Windham Fabrics Storybook Classics in Red Bubblegum Flower.  I love, love, love the storybook classics line, the sweetest cheerful vintage feedsack patterns.  The Kaufman chambrays are so nice to work with, and I bought up a decent amount- you’ll be seeing more of it for sure.  It is probably a good thing that I can’t buy any of this fabric locally- I would be in trouble!  These were purchased on my recent trip to NYC (Purl Soho!)


Of course I had to make one for Eleanor too!  Hers is a size 5 with the Kaufman chambray on the bottom, and a pretty pink/green tree print fabric I picked up at Joanns years ago.  I can’t wait to send her off to school in this, it looks so adorable.  So strange to sew back to school clothes for Eleanor…I am really having a hard time with this one.  Although I think I will welcome some free time (for the first time in over 6 years- I will be home alone  for hours at a time!) it will be the end of an era, I have so identified myself as a stay at home Mom.  This is strange, considering I have worked the entire time, albeit part-time.  Now with both girl headed to school, my identity will certainly shift, as will hers.  Lots of changes coming up for sure!


I have to stop myself soon, or their entire closet will be packed with these tops.  Well, maybe I’ll stop after I make a dress version for Isabel (or two). 




Back to School Sewing: Hooked on Oliver & S

I’ll admit it.  I am now an addict.  Addicted to Oliver & S patterns.  After stalking them online and drooling over projects on blogs like Probably Actually, Craftiness is not optional and From an Igloo, I finally broke down and bought a few patterns.  My first attempt was blogged here.  I was immediately a convert!  These adorable patterns paired with my recent fabric purchases from Purl Soho (couldn’t go to NYC and not stop in at Purl!) are making some ridiculously sweet new clothes for my girls as they get ready to head back to school.  I whipped up a few new tops for Isabel and am planning out a bunch for Eleanor as well…if I can wrap my brain around the fact that she is going to school as well.  My baby!!

The first top is a Class Picnic Blouse, for Isabel in a size 7.  I had to pick up some of Heather Ross’s Briar Rose.  I have been seeing it allover the blogosphere these days, particularly the strawberry print.  I went a different route and chose a print I had never seen before but fell in love instantly- Nanny Bee in Coral.  Knitting bees- come on.  How could I resist?  So sweet.  I am hoping the deep coral/orange fabric will help carry this into fall, and the longer sleeves will help keep her warmer as well.  Nothing worse than sewing something up and having the weather turn…which it does pretty quickly around here.  It always seems to go from 80 degrees to frost before you know it!  I love this take on the classic peasant blouse, I have made more than my fair share of peasant blouses, but this is much more professional and clean with only elastic at the shoulders.  I love how it looks, and it is so easy to take on and off for her as well.  I think next time I will add some ric rac or piping to the seam at the yoke, and make it in a solid color for a good go with anything top.




For Eleanor I made her an Ice cream dress!  I have been wanting to make this dress for years, so sad I didnt’ purchase the pattern until now.  Who can resist a little hedgehog?  Especially a hedgehog wearing a scarf?  I used a dark chambray from Robert Kaufman (also from Purl) and Michael Miller’s Hedgehog fabric, which can still be purchased here.  I opted to leave off the v in the neckline and the pockets, I prefer it without and it is easier!  Eleanor loves this dress, and it is going to be hard to make her wait until school to wear it!  It will look so sweet with tights and a little sweater when the temps drop as well.





I can’t say enough good things about these patterns, and have been sewing up a storm with them. As you can tell from my pictures it is getting harder and harder to get pics of these kids…they certainly don’t want to stand still and are sick of modeling for me- it is hard to take a good picture when you are hula hooping or on a see saw!  Can’t blame them though!  Part II of this post is coming soon with more, but maybe I will switch to using my dress form as a “model”!


Almost back to school time (and my first Oliver & S) !

Not that I am in any rush for summer to end, but we have ventured into that almost fall/back to school/let’s prepare territory.  When you think about it it is really unnecessary in this day and age right?  Do we really need to stock up on all sorts of supplies, buy all new school clothes and shoes and backpacks weeks in advance of the first day of school?  It is as though stores magically disappear after Labor Day- so we must go shopping NOW!  Ha Ha.  That is what the commercials and sales ads make it seem- you must rush out and spend $$.  Truth is most of us shop for this stuff all year long, just increasing our useless material consumption even more this time of year.  My girls drawers are stuffed with clothes, yet I am still determined to buy new outfits for “school”.  I’ll blame it on tradition, and ritual.  Takes me back to when I was little, and we did buy clothes just once or twice a year…making the trip to Kmart or Hills to buy new jeans or sweaters or imitation designer sneakers.  It was exciting, waiting until that first day of school to put on the new outfits or laying them out on our beds trying to coordinate as many outfits as possible out of the handful of new pieces we purchased.  Remember coming home from school and putting on play clothes so that our school clothes didn’t get dirty- do kids even do that anymore?  Maybe it is just how I grew up, much different than my girls are now.  Anyways, there is something that still excites me about back to school shopping, a new beginning, entry into my favorite season and this year especially since both of my girls are going to be in school!  A new chapter for all of us.

DSCN4221 DSCN4222

Besides the back to school clothes shopping I am also working on some handmade clothes as well…and I am so excited to have (finally) purchased a few Oliver & S patterns.  Why did I wait so long?  I bought the Ice Cream dress/top pattern and the Class picnic top and shorts patterns.  I have been wanting to make the Ice cream dress for years, but now that both of my girls are within one patterns sizes I finally did and whipped up a top version for Isabel.



So super simple, although I confess I felt like I skipped through halfof the instructions…all of that basting I totally left out.  I love how it turned out even though I cheated!   Directions are written out very well, I can see why so many people love these patterns!  The dress is so well finished inside, with french seams and a fully lined yoke.   I plan on making a few more for each girl, as well as a few dresses from the pattern as well!  The fabric is a red linen for the yoke, and a black matryoshka doll pattern fabric (from Joann’s).  I chose one of my vintage buttons to finish off the back and the result is so sweet.


I can’t wait to go fabric shopping to pick out some other combinations…I limited myself this time to what I had in my stash.  Love it (even though the dolls are not printed evenly across the fabric…wish I had noticed that before sewing this up!)

Tired of modeling things for me, the girls decided to have some fun!Super Girls!

DSCN4227  DSCN4225

Simple Summer Sewing Series

Simple Summer Sewing Series Day 4: Reusable Snack Bags

I am totally taking the easy way out today on this post.  I meant to write up my own tutorial on this, with pictures and a beautiful pile of snack bags all set for the upcoming school year.  FAIL.  Summer weather returned  and I spent some quality time with the girls at the pool and playground instead.  And now I am sick.   How is it that every time I finally decide to cut myself some slack and slow down I get sick?  Hopefully the girls will give me a bit of a break so I can get some rest (doubtful).  No time to write up my own tutorial, so here is the tutorial I used when I first decided to whip some of these up a while back.  Why recreate the wheel right?  Check it out here. The tutorial uses ripstop nylon to line the bags.  This, from all of the research I have done is considered to be foodsafe.  I have made several bags using this tutorial and it is super quick and easy.  I decided to go a different route this time, and lined mine in cotton fabric.


I have found though that the nylon is not waterproof and does not protect the outer cotton clean from what you have stored inside.  Lesson learned after keeping a bag of cheese crackers tucked in my bag for too long- the oils from the crackers soaked through the nylon and discolored the outer fabric layer.  Plus, nylon is a bit of a nightmare to sew with.  Solution- make the bags entirely out of cotton and do more laundry!  I personally feel better about eating out of a cotton bag rather than the ripstop nylon, and they are easily tossed into the washing machine. You can see in the image above I chose to line these in a chambray fabric and I love how they turned out.  Now I certainly wouldn’t carry around a jelly sandwich in these, what we use them for- pretzels, cheese crackers, cereal  and for other dry snacks they work great.  I wish I had made these when the girls were babies, they would be perfect for cheerios and those little puff snacks they used to love to eat!  The tutorial I linked to above works either way, you can choose to use the nylon or substitute it for a cotton fabric.  Super fast and fun to make- and kids love them.  Check out the school-themed bags I made for my girls.  A special project to personalize that lined-paper fabric is coming soon.