Oliver + S Spring Pattern Preview: Roller Skate Dress

*UPDATE – The Roller Skate Dress + Tunic pattern is now available on the Oliver + S site!  It is available as a paper pattern or PDF pattern.  Head over there to get your copy!*

So I haven’t been blogging much recently, but I’ve been busy with some really exciting projects that I’ll be announcing within the next few weeks (including my first blog series)!

The first of those projects was the opportunity to share with you a new Oliver + S spring pattern that has yet to be released!  If you sew kid’s clothes, you’ve surely heard of Oliver + S patterns.  And if you’ve heard of them, I’m sure you’re a big fan AND know that they are releasing two new patterns within the next week!  So when Liesl (the creative mastermind behind Oliver + S) asked Kristin to sew up the new patterns to share with readers and customers and Kristin asked me and Jessica if WE wanted to sew them with her – I’m pretty sure I shrieked.  You would too, wouldn’t you??

roller skate dress + tunic rolling tourAnd so I present to you, the last stop on the Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress + Tunic Rolling Tour!  The Roller Skate Dress + Tunic is one of 2 new patterns being released for the spring line.  It is a simple and adorable addition to any spring wardrobe and is a pattern I can imagine sewing up over and over again in different variations.  The pattern comes with 4 views or styles.  View A is a dress and you can see Kristin’s sweet floral version here.  View B is a dress with a visible yoke and I think this version that Liesl made is particularly cute.  Jessica made a reversible version of View C, which is a tunic (totally loving the gorgeous tribal print she used).

And I made View D, a tunic with the visible yoke in contrasting fabric!

RollerSkate2

This pattern is really a simple and fast sew, but produces a stylish and professional looking top or dress, which is my favorite kind of pattern!  It’s fully lined, has faux cap sleeves and an elastic waistband for shape and comfort.

RollerSkate4It closes in the back with a simple button and button loop (no zippers or button holes!), so that makes this pattern appropriate for beginners.

I love the optional visible yoke – it adds a nice finishing touch.  My V notch on the neckline got a little deep because the first time I sewed it, it was crooked, so I had to make it bigger to even it out.  My advice if you do the notched neckline is to really take your time with it.  If it’s off even by a little, it’ll be very noticeable!

RollerSkate1I made it in 2T and it fits my daughter perfectly.  I was a little confused by the chest measurement listed for the finished garment because it seemed way too big, but I realized that that’s the measurement before you add the elastic.  So just go with the body measurements table (or whatever size you normally sew with O+S patterns) and you’ll be good!  This style is very forgiving in fit.

This pattern delivers all the wonderful things you’ve come to expect from an Oliver + S pattern.  It’s professional and beautiful, with great diagrams and directions.  There is so much useful sewing information in each pattern that you always come away feeling like you’ve taken a class or learned at least one new sewing technique.

RollerSkate3I used this really cool fabric by Tula Pink called Sea Stripes from the Sea Water line.  I picked it up from one of my favorite Bay Area fabric stores, Stonemountain and Daughter.  I was drawn to the creative print and bought a bunch, not knowing what I was going to do with it.  I really love it with this simple pattern though!

And seriously, this pattern has so many possibilities.  When trying to decide what fabric to use, I picked out a huge stack from my own stash that I thought would look great as a Roller Skate tunic.  The hard part was choosing which one to go with.  But the good news is you really will sew this pattern over and over again – it’s just a great staple to have in your collection.

In other news, Yuki has started to explore new modeling poses.  In this one, I’m pretty sure she’s channeling Em’s dancing spirit.

RollerSkate5(I did not prompt her to do this – she just started doing it on her own!)

And I don’t even know what this pose is about, but hey – I’ll take it!

RollerSkate6So there it is, the Roller Skate Tunic (View D).  The pattern will be available through the Oliver + S website starting tomorrow.  I bet you already have something perfect for this little dress or top already in your stash, so you’ll be able to get started right away!

If you haven’t already, stop by skirt as top and a little gray to see their awesome versions of this pattern!

Thank you, Liesl and Kristin, for letting me sew this incredible new pattern to share with everyone!

Next up, is the Pinwheel Tunic + Slip Dress!

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Tutorial: Reversible Circle Skirt

Since I’m busy with a bunch of different projects this week, I thought I’d repost a tutorial I did for Amy‘s Spring Fling series last month.  Most of you have probably seen this, in case you haven’t, it’s a super easy and versatile skirt that I’m sure you and your little one will love!  Hope you are all having a good start to your week!

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Spring is something that I am very excited about.  I live in San Francisco, so I’m pretty spoiled by mild weather, but the gray and the rain get me down just as much as anyone else.  I’m ready for some warm sunny days spent playing outside and going on picnics!  So that is what has inspired the project I’m sharing with you today.

I call this The April Showers Skirt (because, you know, April showers bring May flowers!) and it is a reversible circle skirt.  Of course, you can use whatever material you want for yours, but I chose to make one side gray and cloudy and used a bright floral print for the other to represent the changing of the seasons and the sometimes erratic weather patterns of spring.  The best thing about this project is, not only is it SUPER simple but, you get 2 skirts in one!

So let’s begin!  Here’s what you’ll need:
About 3/4-1 yard of lightweight cotton fabric in 2 coordinating fabrics
Elastic
Bias tape
Safety pin
Sewing essentials

For optional applique:
Scrap(s) of fabric
Fusible web

A couple of notes about choosing fabric:
1. Since you are layering two pieces of fabric and adding bias tape for the hem, you want to keep the fabrics lightweight so you don’t weigh it down and it’ll still have that bouncy, twirly effect that circle skirts are famous for.

2. Also, you’ll want a print that looks good from all angles since that’s how the fabric is going to lay.  If you pick something that has a clear up and down, your print will appear upside down on one side of the skirt (and sideways in other parts of the skirt).

3. Lastly, when choosing fabrics, hold them up against each other to see if one will show through.  Since I picked a light gray and a bold print, you can see a little bit of the print from the gray side, but I was ok with it.

To begin, you’re going to need to know how to make a circle skirt.  I used this awesome circle skirt tutorial from made to help me figure out how to make my circle skirt pattern.  You’re going to need the waist measurement and the desired length of skirt and a little bit of math to make this pattern, but Dana did a fabulous job of breaking it down, so go over there and make your pattern and then come back here!

(Note: In Dana’s tutorial she attaches the elastic to the outside of the fabric and leaves extra fabric in the length for hemming.  Here, we’re not going to hem the bottom, but we’re going to make an elastic casing from the material, so I figured it kind of balances out.  I cut my fabric exactly the way Dana described, and it worked fine.  If you plan on using a wide elastic or just want to be cautious, add an extra inch to the skirt length and you can always trim it at the end.)

Ok, so now that you have your custom circle skirt pattern, fold both of your fabrics into fourths and cut out your circle.

This is what it should look like when they are still folded.  If you unfold them, they should look like donuts.

If you’re going to add applique, which is optional, now is the time to do it.  Cut your scrap of fabric to the approximate size you’ll need and then cut your fusible web slightly smaller than that.  Follow the directions that are specific to the fusible web you have.

The one I use most often is Pellon Wonder Under and I love it.  It has a rough side and a paper backed side.  Place the rough side down on the wrong side of the fabric and iron it on.

Now draw your design on the paper side and remember to flip your image since you are drawing on the wrong side of your fabric.

Cut it out, place it on the skirt where you want it to go (at this point, there is no front or back to the circle skirt, so you can put it wherever you want).  Cover it with a damp cloth and iron it on.

It should be nice and adhered, but I always zig zag stitch around my entire applique to make sure it stays put!

Repeat with any other appliques you want to add to either side of the skirt (I decided to add the second cloud later, but I should have done it all at once).

Now to sew the two sides together, place them on top of each other right sides together.  Pin the inner circle together and sew all the way around.

Take one layer of the skirt and push it through the center of the circle turning it right side out.  Press.

Now we’re going to make the elastic casing by top stitching another circle around the waist leaving an opening to insert the elastic through.  Make sure your casing is slightly larger than the width of the elastic you’ll be using.

To insert the elastic, separate the two layers and find the opening that you left.  Attach a safety pin to one end of your elastic, and push it all the way around the circle back to the opening.  Sorry, I didn’t photograph this part, but take both ends of the elastic and sew them together, trim the extra off and sew the opening shut.  We’re almost done!

(At this point, you can measure the length and trim off extra fabric if necessary).  Pin your bias tape around the outside of the circle.

Leave a few inches of bias tape at the beginning unsewn, then top stitch all the way around.  When you get back to the beginning, you should be able to measure out where the bias tape needs to be sewn together.  Sew the two ends of the bias tape with the right sides together.  Press open and then finish top stitching the bias tape on.

And you’re done!!

Now your little one has two skirts to skip around in during the upcoming spring months!

I love both sides, but I think it’s extra fun to catch a peek of the colorful flowers on the underside of the gray.  So fun!

I feel like the possibilities are endless with this reversible skirt.  I might just have to make one for every season! :)

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Oh and don’t forget, if you make a skirt using this tutorial (or any tutorial or project on this site), I’d love to see it!  Just add it to the you & mie flickr pool!!

Signature Look for PR&P

It’s done!  Finally!  I finished my outfit for the Project Run & Play Sew Along.  The theme was Signature Look.  Like every other week, I thought and brainstormed and mulled for a loooong time and then finally made a decision and ended up cramming in late night sewing sessions just to BARELY get it done in time.  I’m a procrastinator, through and through.  I think THAT’S my signature style!

But really, I think this outfit captures a lot of my signature styles.  Most of my children’s clothes is inspired by adult clothing.  I tend to like clothes that doesn’t look like it’s for kids, but is still totally wearable and appropriate for little tykes.  I like to make clothes for Yuki that I would wear myself.  I think my style leans towards classic, simple, and modern, but can also be soft and feminine.

I decided on three pieces: pants, a top and a light pullover.  Although it’s still on the chilly side here in San Francisco, in my head, I’m in spring mode.  I’m ready for warm weather and wanted to make something for a day at the beach.

We totally lucked out with AMAZING weather today for our photo shoot.  It was perfect for a day at the beach and I had so much fun taking a ton of pictures.  Get ready for a photo overload!!

I’ll start with the top.  Besides some issues with the fit, I really like how it came out.  I was inspired by the fabric.  I had this GORGEOUS double gauze fabric by Nani Iro that I bought awhile back and when I noticed it in my stash I thought it’d be perfect for a spring/summer top.  Double gauze is amazing fabric.  It’s super soft and light and breathable.  It’s meant to help you keep cool in hot weather.  If you ever see some at the store, please buy it and make something beautiful with it.  It’s pricey, but so worth it!!  I can’t find a link to any of this particular fabric online, but just do a search for “double gauze nani iro” and you’ll see some of the stuff I’m talking about.

Anyways, back to the top . . . I just threw in some fun elements like the pintucks and the keyhole in the back to add a little interest to an otherwise simple piece.  I wanted it to look soft and clean so I made sure to have no visible stitches.  It was a fun challenge and I like the finished look.

The second piece is the pullover.  I actually LOVE the way this came out.  I don’t think I’d change anything about it.  I used a cotton/linen blend and wanted to make something to wear in the spring/summer as a cover up when it gets chilly or to put on over a bathing suit.

I decided to line the hood with linen stamped with stars.  Yuki is OBSESSED with stars right now, it’s her favorite word and every time she sees the shape or anything that vaguely resembles it she says, “staaa!  STAA!”  I think it’s awesome because I LOVE stars and had a slight obsession with them myself when I was in high school/college.

So I carved up 2 star stamps and mixed some fabric paint to match the pants fabric and stamped it randomly on some white linen.  I cut out one of the extra stars and appliqued it to the pocket.

I don’t really know what to say about the rest.  I like the loose fit and the star and stitching details.  I can imagine Yuki wearing this a lot.

As for the pants, they came out ok and I love the color, but the fit is not perfect.  They are a little too skinny and might be better in a knit fabric so they don’t feel so tight or restrict movement.  I did have a lot of fun with the details on these though, like the pocket stitching and the faux fly.

Super HIGH rise for that diaper booty :)

High rise pants provide full diaper coverage!

And that’s it!  The three pieces that make up my “signature look.”  I’ve had a ton of fun sewing along with Project Run & Play for the last 7 weeks and will probably talk more about that later, but it feels good to be done with my final outfit.  I hope you like it!

Here are my bloopers from today’s shoot.

Ewwww!

And I can’t even tell you what’s going on in this photo sequence, but this is her new favorite move.

Our little yogi/dancer :)

I just have to say a huge THANK YOU to Hideko and Yuki for being such big helpers and super troopers through, not only this photo shoot, but the whole Project Run and Play season.

And thanks to you for stopping by and checking out my sewn creations week after week!