Oliver + S Art Museum Vest

Hey!  I’m still here!  No baby yet, so I’m keeping busy by checking things off my “stuff I gotta do before the baby comes” list.  One of those things was obviously sewing up another new Oliver + S pattern :P

Haha, ok, so maybe I should be spending my time doing other things, but seriously, who could resist the Art Museum Vest + Trousers pattern?  This is part of the recent Oliver + S fall pattern release and I was so excited to have the opportunity to get my hands on this pattern early.  I love a good unisex/boy pattern and this look is so darn snappy looking!  The pattern is available in both PDF and paper form and in sizes 6M-4 and 5-12.

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Though the trousers look totally awesome, I opted to just sew the vest this time around because Yuki will not wear any pants that aren’t knit.  And I love this vest!  I was going to pair it with jeggings and a white t-shirt for more of a gender neutral look, but love that it can be taken in so many directions – dressed up, or down, totally feminine, boyish or gender neutral!

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My favorite thing about sewing with Oliver + S patterns is how professional looking your garments come out because of their precise patterns, reliable sewing techniques and awesome instructions.

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I made my vest in two linens, both from Joann’s.  The main fabric is soft, striped and, though it’s hard to tell, a subtle purple.  I actually bought it to make something for myself, but thought it’d look pretty awesome as a vest too.  I used a basic off-white linen for the rest.

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Check out my tiny welt pockets!  This is the most difficult/time consuming part of the pattern.  If you’ve never sewn welt pockets before, they can be a little intimidating, but the pattern does a good job of walking you through the steps and before you know it, you’ll have some sweet looking pockets.  Even with the great directions, there was one part I got a little hung up on, but reading carefully, taking it slow and asking friends for help got me through it :)

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Once you get through the welt pockets, the rest of the vest comes together super quickly!

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ArtMuseumVest4Yuki is wearing the vest with her Sweetheart Bubble Dress.  It’s surprisingly become one of her favorites!  Which makes me happy because a lot of the stuff I make for her barely gets worn!  She actually got mad at me just for touching “her favorite dress!”  This girl is starting to get an attitude . . .

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So I can only speak for the vest part of this pattern, but I highly recommend it!  If you want to check out the trousers, be sure to head over to skirt as top to see Kristin’s dapper vest and trouser set and probably actually for Gail’s adorable baby trousers.  The pants pattern looks super professional and again, I can imagine them being made for everything from special occasion to everyday school wear.  If you’re interested, you can buy your pattern from the Oliver + S shop here!

And if you haven’t seen it yet, go check out Gail and Kristin‘s versions of the new Library Dress also!

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Now go off and enjoy your weekend!  Happy sewing!

*The Art Museum Vest + Trousers pattern was generously given to me for this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.*

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KCWC Day One – Crossed Shoulder Vest

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!  And Day 1 of KCWC Fall 2012!  What a fun day it has been!  Did you get to sew?

For this KCWC, I thought for a long time about what I wanted to make.  While you can spend the time making whatever you want or need, I decided to make it a little extra fun for myself and try to pick a theme or tie all the pieces into a collection (I think I’ve been watching too much Project Runway).  I started thinking about what kind of clothing Yuki might need and I remembered her preschool mentioning that as she’s potty training, she’ll need to wear elastic waistband pants that are easy to pull off and on.  And in general, she needs some simple clothes for school that is comfortable and practical, but with some style (of course ;)).

So I developed this idea into a list of fall separates that Yuki can mix and match with each other and other things in her wardrobe.  And they will all be KNIT.  Though it’s been almost a year since my first successful knit project and I’ve definitely tried using it here and there since then, I am still pretty intimidated by it and it is certainly not my first choice in fabrics.  But it seems so practical for children’s clothing that I figured I should just tackle it head on.  Plus it’s the perfect opportunity to force myself to learn how to use the lovely serger that has been sitting around oh so long without being touched because I was too scared!

So to describe my KCWC Fall collection (which only exists in my mind at this point), I’d say – fall separates, knit, unisex, simple/classic, bold colors, solids and stripes.  I’m not going to be making anything breathtaking here, just a couple of pants and tops.  Though hopefully cute ones :)

Here’s the pile of fabrics I was considering before I started cutting yesterday.

Today I was able to get TWO pieces done!  I’m feeling super pumped.  I only photographed one though, so the other I’ll show you tomorrow.

So the first is a Crossed Shoulder Vest.  I want to make it very clear that I take no credit for this idea – I totally stole it from a Japanese pattern book called 男の子と女の子の服 (Clothes for Boys and Girls).  I actually have the book but I’m saving it for a giveaway, so instead of using the pattern, I drafted my own.  But the concept and construction were definitely taken from this book.

It was very simple to sew up and I love how it looks with different fabrics on the front and back. The only problem with the pattern that I drafted was the shoulders came out a bit too wide.  I MIGHT go back and adjust it, but that’s pretty low on my priority list – it still fits her fine.

Oooh, check out my serger work.  Actually don’t look too close cuz it’s totally wonky (I’m still getting the hang of it), but how fancy is that!?  I’m psyched.  I have a feeling I’m going to use a serger on everything I sew from now on!

Oh and you may notice no live model in these pictures.  I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this already, but the last two years of constantly putting my daughter in front of the camera has totally backfired and now she really dislikes having her picture taken.  She yells out “No pictures!” whenever we pull out even just our phones and flails her arms in front of her face and/or charges the camera.  Sooooo – to limit the torture, I’ll wait till I have a few pieces of clothing I can throw on her and photograph at the same time instead of doing one piece every day.

Woohoo – Day One went well for me.  How about you?

Guest Post for Sum Sum Summertime!

Another summery post for you, today at this heArt of mine.  Amy is hosting a fun summer series with everything from food and fashion to gift ideas and artwork.

I’m sharing a really simple and fast summery accessory.  It’s a rectangle vest with a twist!

It can be worn as a vest, a wrap, a bathing suit cover-up, etc. – it’s quite versatile!

So hop on over to this heArt of mine for the short and sweet tutorial.

(Told you we’d be doing a bit of blog hopping this month.  Hope you stick with me through all the traveling :))

Sew & Tell: Tucker’s Suit

Friends of ours are taking their 8 month old son to a couple of weddings on the East Coast in October and they wanted a baby friendly “suit” for him.  I’d never made anything like this before, but I love trying new things.  Here is the finished outfit!

I made the vest from a pattern I purchased on etsy and the pants using this tutorial from made.  The part I had the most difficulty with was finding the fabric.  I wanted something that looked suit-like, but was machine washable and dryable – incredibly important for anything coming within a couple feet of a baby!  This is a MUST for most of my projects and ruled out any wool or wool blend fabrics.  I also didn’t want it to be too thick or stiff so lil Tucker, who is starting to crawl, would be free to move.  Lastly, I didn’t want it to look too old for a youthful guy like Tuck.

What I ended up getting was a polyester fabric from Fabrix in the Inner Richmond.  This place can be great.  It’s like shopping at Ross or a thrift store.  You have to dig and dig for something amazing, but when you find exactly what you want, it’s like striking gold.  And generally it’s very very inexpensive.  Most of the time I walk out empty handed, especially when I’m looking for something very specific.  But if you are just looking for some fun and cheap fabric, I highly recommend it.  I found a bunch of great suit-like fabrics that are all polyester (machine washable) and I’ve already made a wallet for Hideko and I can’t wait to make some vests for Yuki!

The best thing about this project is that it forced me to make buttonholes.  Up until now, I’ve avoided them completely by using zippers, snaps, and button loops.  But for a vest, it was unavoidable.  I found the buttonhole foot, read the instruction manual for the sewing machine and . . . I could not figure it out.  For the life of me.  I could not get it to work.  So after trying about a hundred times, I gave up and just made the buttonholes with the zig zag stitch.  It’s essentially the same thing.  Maybe I’ll figure it out someday, but for now, this will suffice.

But wait, there’s a surprise bonus . . .

A necktie!  I haven’t talked to Tucker’s moms about this, but I couldn’t resist adding this little accessory.  I don’t even know if he’ll wear it with the suit, but that’s ok!  He can pair this tie with any outfit, even just a t-shirt and jeans, to add a little character.  I used this tutorial from Very Homemade.

Hopefully we can get a picture of Tucker looking dapper in his new outfit.  I’m afraid he’s going to steal all the attention at these weddings – he is one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen!

Well, as you can see, I’m still a beginner and I use other people’s patterns to make a lot of my stuff.  As I gain more experience, I hope to come up with my own projects and patterns to share with you guys.  Until then, I’m so grateful for the wonders of the internet and all the generous people who share their stuff with the world.  Thank you!