bibliocraft: library-inspired projects

Fun fact: my father is a soil scientist. Which means that I grew up around rocks and dirt. In addition to spending family vacations hiking and camping, a great deal of my childhood involved accompanying my dad (and often his graduate students) on field trips to dig soil pits in order to study the various soil layers. Also included in my childhood were field trips to Christmas tree farms, T-shirts with silly songs about soil on the back (and yes, you can purchase your own T-shirt right here if you’d like to show your support for Wisconsin’s state soil, the Antigo silt loam), greeting my dad at the airport after his annual six-week trips to Antarctica (he brought back the best souvenirs: brilliant opals from Antarctica, penguin and koala toys, exotic storybooks from his layovers in Christ Church, New Zealand, stories about camping out in the field for weeks on end), and visiting my dad’s lab where we would admire the rock samples and count the age of trees from slices of their trunks. When I was in middle school I knew how to measure the height of a tree, how to take a core sample from trees and the soil, and how to dig a latrine in the forest.

So when my friend Jessica Pigza, a rare books librarian at the New York Public Library, asked me to contribute to her fabulous Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guilde to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects my very first thoughts jumped to soil profile maps and geological maps. I find the whole national park aesthetic weirdly inspiring. Maybe it’s a little Wes Anderson influence, I don’t know. But I knew I wanted to do something along those lines, so I asked Jessica to pull some materials in that vein.






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customizing the layette: sleeveless bodysuit tutorial

Today we welcome Cherie with a tutorial on how to change the Lullaby Layette bodysuit (or any bodice pattern) into a sleeveless version using bias tape.  Great to have you here, Cherie!

Hi! I’m Cherie from you & mie and I’m so excited to be here today! I’m a big fan of Oliver + S patterns and I blog about them all the time, but this is my first time here on the Oliver + S blog! I’m going to show you how to modify a sleeved pattern to a sleeveless version and finish the armholes with bias tape. I am using the Lullaby Layette Shirt pattern (View B) in this example, but you can do this with pretty much any pattern!


sleeveless lullaby layette bodysuit tutorial


sleeveless lullaby layette bodysuit tutorial


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help wanted: graphics guru

We need some part-time help around the studio, and we thought this might be a good place to find it.

We’re looking for someone who knows how to sew and is also a graphic arts wiz. If you’re that person read on.

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14 things to do with our basic t-shirt patterns

T-shirts are so quick and easy to make. Once you understand the basics, some of which I covered in this tutorial but which are covered in much greater detail in our T-shirt pattern instructions, you’ll be off and running! After you’ve made a few of them you might start to think about interesting ways you can switch them up a bit and customize them.

Here are a few ideas for you to use on the School Bus and Men’s and Women’s Metro T-Shirt patterns.

1. Use our color blocking tutorial to add a second fabric. I love the idea of combining a floral printed knit with a solid, like this:


2. Color block to add a faux raglan sleeve. I love using several tonal colors in one shirt.


3. Add a simple shoulder detail with applique or just top-stitch the raw edges of another knit fabric at the shoulders.

t-shirt-shoulder-detail Continue reading →

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sign up now for our first in-studio weekend workshop!

Update: This workshop has already filled up, and we’ve created a waiting list. Thanks so much for your interest, everyone. I would imagine we’ll hold more workshops in the future, so stay tuned.

I’ve always said I wouldn’t do this, but after many, many requests I’ve finally been persuaded to try it: the first ever weekend workshop at our studio in Brooklyn NY, May 31-June 1, 2014 !

This will be a very intimate affair, which is how I prefer to do things. We’ll be opening enrollment to just six people. And what a weekend it will be! We’ll spend Saturday and Sunday, May 31-June 1, learning to make a muslin and to fit patterns and anything else we feel like doing. (With just six people we’ll have the flexibility to do pretty much whatever we want, right?) The small size of the group will give us a chance to really get to know each other and spend time together, and you’ll have lots of time to work on developing a muslin that works well for you while learning lots of tips and techniques in the process.




Here are the details: Bring a pattern you’ve been wanting to sew for yourself and I’ll help you with it. By the end of the weekend you’ll have a better understanding of fit and you’ll feel more confident in making clothing for yourself. We’ll practice fitting on each other so you’ll understand how to make changes, and you’ll see those alterations in action. I’ve found that this method really helps everyone to learn more and to return home at the end of the weekend with many new skills.

You’ll be responsible for your own lodging and most meals, but I can direct you toward a few great hotels that are convenient to the studio. On Saturday evening we’ll adjourn to my apartment for drinks, and then anyone who is interested can continue on to have dinner together at a favorite neighborhood restaurant.

The fee includes the workshop as well as patternmaking supplies, pattern paper, muslin, and lunch for two days. A non-refundable deposit is required at sign-up. Enrollment is first come, first served. Update: the class has been filled.

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introducing t-shirt patterns for the whole family

A few months ago I mentioned that we were working on a basic T-shirt pattern, since we’ve never done one and so many of you have asked for it. When the spring patterns came out last month, quite a few of you wondered where it was. Well, as we were working on the kids’ T-shirt we started thinking that it might be nice to have a women’s T-shirt as well. Which made us think that a men’s T-shirt might also be a good idea. And before we knew it we had a whole family of T-shirt patterns: women, men, big kids, and small kids.




So here they are: four new digital T-Shirt patterns. We named the kids’ patterns the School Bus T-Shirt, and since grown ups don’t usually ride the school bus we chose another method of mass transportation and called theirs the Men’s Metro T-Shirt and the Women’s Metro T-Shirt.




These are the basic T-shirts you reach for, day in and day out. The women’s T-shirt has a slim, flattering fit with a neckline that’s not too high and not too low. The men’s T-shirt isn’t too loose or too tight. And the men’s and women’s patterns include both short and long sleeve options.




The kids get even more options for their T-shirt pattern. In addition to classic unisex short and long sleeves, we’ve also added a more feminine short capped sleeve version that has a narrower neckband for the girls. So the kids get three views, lucky them!








If you’ve never sewn with knits before, this is a great pattern to get you started. Knits are much easier to sew than you might think, and you honestly don’t need a serger to get good results. These patterns (like all our knit patterns) explain how to sew knits using both a regular sewing machine and a serger, and we give lots of tips and tricks to help you along, from the very start to the finishing details.




And if you’re wondering about where to buy knit fabrics, which are notoriously difficult to find in many fabric stores, we have lots of good resources for you! Stay tuned for all the options. We’ve got the scoop on quite a few exciting new collections and choices for you.

Since we have T-shirt patterns for everyone, we thought it might be nice to offer a family pack of patterns. Of course you can purchase each of the T-shirt individually, but we’ve also put together a package that includes all four patterns for a special price that’s a significant savings over purchasing all the individual patterns. Call it the economy pack if you like.




I know you’re going to get a lot of use out of these patterns. I’ll be showing you all sorts of things you can do with them, much as we did for the Raglan T-Shirt pattern, as well as lots of ideas for styling your T-shirts for extra versatility. Because in addition to being really comfortable, we love T-shirts because they can be worn so many ways. That’s why they’re considered basics, right?

P.S. Many thanks to our models: our own S and our little friend N as well as our friends and studio neighbors, Brian and Payton of Flat Vernacular, who make some really fantastic wallpapers and home furnishings. We just used one of their fabulous prints for a wall in our apartment. I’ll show that to you soon.

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