pattern review {O + S badminton shirt}

Oliver and s badminton shirt

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any amount of time you will know that I’m a huge fan of Oliver + S patterns. I truly give these patterns all the credit for teaching me so much about sewing and pattern construction. I’ve sewn quite a few independent and boutique patterns over the years and I always come back to O+S because it’s almost always a no fail pattern.

I’ve made the coordinating badminton skort a few times and love how easily it comes together. It lends itself to so many easy adaptations and alterations, but I hadn’t had a chance to put the  shirt together until this summer.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The bird fabric is an organic by Birch and the grey trim fabric is from the Ed Emberly collection. Both were lovely to work with and I love how they came together.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The little tie on the front was actually some trim I ordered years ago from the Netherlands and never used it for what I had originally intended. I think it was honestly the perfect way to top off this little shirt!

This is a great pattern and pretty easy to put together. It came together in an afternoon and the hardest part were the “sleeves”. The original pattern has a ruffle on the shoulders and my chick is very anti-ruffle so we opted to leave that part off. While it did save a step, had I realized we weren’t going to add the ruffle I would have probably altered how I constructed that shoulder seam a little better. I also added some length to the bottom of the shirt.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The thing I love about Oliver + S is that no matter what you sew, you end up with a garment that 1. doesn’t necessarily look like your mom made it (you know what I mean) and 2. you have a garment that looks so complicated to construct, but yet it really isn’t.

I would say this is a great pattern for an advanced beginner.

throwback thursday {my favorite ever}

On Thursdays, I take a look back in my archives. After blogging for almost 8 years I find it’s refreshing to take a look back.

If there is one outfit that is top of my favorites that I’ve ever sewn for my daughter it is this one. I remember the day I bought this orange Japanese fabric (at my first ever visit to Textile Fabrics in Nashville) and this was also one of the first times I had sewn from Oliver + S (which I count as the one pattern company that has truly grown and stretched my sewing skills). It is the one outfit that I will never get rid of an she didn’t wear nearly enough. I love it from all the tiny frustrations and errors to the sweet little covered buttons on the back. Enjoy this post back from 2009.


O+S Outfit

This outfit has caused me to bang my head on the wall more than once…but now that it is complete I totally love it!

O+S shirt back

I showed off the shirt a few days ago, so here is the completed back.

O+S button

I’m in love with the buttons. This is why I just loved this fabric, those little frogs peeking out!

O+S Skirt

Here is the skirt. The placket part is a bit messed up (not sure what happened there) but other than that it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

Don’t you know what this little chick is wearing to church on Sunday!

Oh, the important stuff…the fabric is a Japanese print and the green is just something I splurged on at the local quilt shop. The pattern is Oliver + S: 2+2 Blouse and Skirt

And the quilt…next on the agenda now that I’ve whittled down my sewing pile (only to have it fill back up again after my girl’s weekend, but that’s another story!)

an ice cream shirt

One of my favorite patterns to sew is the Ice Cream Dress by Oliver + S. Primarily because it is such an easy pattern to put together. I recently got my hands on a yard of Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander fabric and the chick and I decided a shirt was in order. I searched for a few patterns to purchase and then remembered that I could do a shirt out of the Ice Cream dress pattern. Win-win for me. Super easy to put together and I already had the pattern!

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

I ended up not having enough of my Sarah Jane to do the yoke for the top so I grabbed some fabric on a Hobby Lobby run and hoped it would work. It’s not a perfect color match, but I think it works just fine.

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

I decided to try this shirt without the little “V” in the front and I left off the fabric button loop mainly because I couldn’t find that piece of my pattern and didn’t want to mess with how long to cut it etc. I opted for a thin piece of elastic. I added some piping I had in the stash and I really LOVE how that turned out!

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

The only hiccup I continue to have with this pattern is how to do the seam on the back with the button part of the yoke. I always end up having to cut the fabric and I know I’m doing something wrong and I’m sure it’s an obvious mistake but I can’t seem to figure it out.

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

I let my chickadee search through the vintage button stash to find just the right button for the back… and she even sewed it on herself!

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

Here’s hoping a little ownership will encourage her to actual wear the shirt!

new skorts

New skorts

I got myself a new serger this weekend (a basic Juki, but man oh man it’s awesome) so I was finally able to start digging into my box of projects. The chicka needed a few new skirts for the spring/summer and I let her pick out some fabric in the hopes that she might actually wear them!

She chose this mustache fabric (which I think is Michael Miller)

Mustaches skort

and this horse print (can’t remember who that is).

horses skort

The pattern is an old favorite, the badminton skort by Oliver + S. It delivers such a fancy looking skort, but it really is pretty simple to put together. It truly is a pattern you can make with a happy yard and a free afternoon. That’s my kind of pattern!

a few pattern reviews…

I went into vacation mode on etsy this past weekend which meant I went into sewing-like-mad mode this week. I had 3 days with the kids left in school to get a whole host of secret projects completed. I’m on day 3 right now and it’s looking grim that project 4 will get finished today…I digress.

Here’s a wrap up of this week’s projects so far and some pattern reviews to boot.

First up was a holiday/winter skirt for the chick. It’s the skirt part of the Gracie pattern by Portabellopixie.


The pattern I’ve had in my stash before and I’ve made this particular skirt before and a couple of the dress versions too. Overall it’s a super easy pattern to follow. The pictures and directions are well done and easy enough for a seasoned beginner.

I tried something different this go around with making the gathers. I don’t have a ruffle foot so I’m always trying these tactics I see around the web for making perfect gathers. Alas, I’m still struggling.


This time I took some cotton pearl thread that I had and sewed a zig zag stitch on top of it and pulled it to make the gathers. Actually I did prefer this method, until I put it on my serger to sew it and it all fell apart. For the second layer I attempted to do this again and instead of going straight to the serger I decided to sew a basting stitch on top of the gathers and then serge it. That helped some, but it still wasn’t perfect. For the top layer I just went back to sewing a basting stitch and pulling it. I do think for really long strips of ruffles I would totally do the string and zig zag because you don’t have to worry about your basting threads stripping out.

Here’s the finished skirt:



The next project was a kindle case for the chick’s Christmas gift. I followed this tutorial on Riley Blake’s site and it was pretty darn simple.


I used some zebra corduroy I had in my stash and some purple cotton for the inside. The button closure was from my stash of vintage buttons and it makes the whole case awesome. It did turn out just a little bit wider than I would have preferred. I would have rather had a more snug fit, but that’s something that could easily be rectified if I decided to make another case later. And honestly this is such a simple tutorial that even a young beginner could put it together with a little guidance.



Yesterday I put the pedal to the metal and finished a pair of pajamas for the chick’s birthday. Today is pajama day and I knew she would want to wear them to school if I could get them done. The pattern was Oliver and S’ Sleepover pajamas. I’ve had this one marked for a while and bought it over Thanksgiving. I love it mostly because it’s pretty versatile as far as boys v. girls etc.


The fabric is a flannel from Joanns that I bought like 6 yards of a while back. Some of it I used for the chick’s woodland party and then I knew I would do some pajamas out of it too. It’s super cute and they scored big with this print.

Oliver + S sleepover pjs

I love Oliver + S and Liesl writes what I think are truly the best patterns out there. I’ve grown as a seamstress and garment maker mostly because of how she puts a garment together. This is a very easy to read and follow pattern and honestly they go together really well. There were a few moments where I had to reread the directions and figure out how she was wanting the seams to be, but so much of that could be because I’m so rusty with garment making lately.

Oliver + S sleepover pjs

This is the first time I’ve done buttonholes on my new machine and man oh man; those buttonholes were well worth the debt I’m still paying off for it. Dang they are lovely.

My only complaint about this pattern is the sizing is way off. I did make a size up just because I would rather make them too big than too small. But I had to cut off like 5 inches on the length of the pants and they were still crazy long and my chick isn’t really that short. The same thing with the sleeves. They were crazy long. I could have totally gotten away with making a 6 instead of a 7. There was that much of a difference in sizing. But who cares…because they are totally cute and now she can wear them for longer anyhow!!

finished dress

Here are some shots of the finished Easter dress…

Easter Dress 2013

the dress pattern is Oliver + S’ ice Cream dress which I love.

Easter Dress 2013

the embroidery pattern I found via flickr which you can find here.

Easter Dress 2013

the blue daisy fabric is a Japanese fabric I bought last year and the yellow dots just came from my stash of hand me down scraps my friends pass on to me 🙂

Easter Dress 2013: back

While I love the embroidery and how it turned out, I really love the little button tab and vintage button on the back.

Easter Dress 2013: back

Happy Easter Week!