feature friday: miss frizzle jump rope dress

Have you had a chance to visit the Oliver + S Patterns Flickr group lately? This past week the Flickr group has been exploding with all of your wonderful Kids Clothes Week creations which have included some Halloween costumes like this Miss Frizzle (from the Magic School Bus) costume that Janice sewed for her daughter using the Jump Rope Dress.

Customized Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress

Janice added a circle skirt and science images to the dress. Head over to her blog post to read more about the details.

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in a clutch cosmetic case, for everyone

Do you remember last summer when we released the Straight Stitch Society In a Clutch Cosmetic Case to members of the Road Trip Pattern Club? Well, we have some good news. It’s now available to everyone!


In a Clutch Cosmetic Case


This cosmetic case can be made in three different, fun styles. It makes a great stash-buster project (each one requires only two fat quarters and a few scraps for embellishment), and we’re sure that many people on your holiday shopping list will love it. Why not make it a handmade holidays this year!


In a Clutch Cosmetic Cases


This pattern is available now in both paper and digital format.

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introducing the carousel dress pattern

When I was starting to work on the fall patterns last spring I got to thinking about the easy styling of both the Ice Cream Dress and the Hide-and-Seek Dress and how much you’ve liked those patterns. I suspect those patterns are appealing because they’re simple silhouettes that are also really versatile. They’re easy to sew, have a cute shape and style, and they offer a lot of options for creating a wide variety of looks–as can be witnessed in all the many ways you’ve been sewing them and posting them to the Flickr group.

Our new Carousel Dress pattern is similar to those styles in that it has a similar relaxed feel, and it’s a great pattern for beginners. But it’s also got lots of style and plenty of options that will keep you dreaming up new versions of the dress. This makes it especially versatile.


The dress has raglan sleeves with a simple dart at the shoulder for shaping. The neckline is finished with bias binding, and the back keyhole opening makes it easy to pull on and off without any fancy closures that might intimidate someone who’s not fond of buttonholes and zippers.


But the best feature, in my opinion, is the seam details. The pattern includes pockets that get sewn into the seams for a really clean finish, and you can do all sorts of fun things with those seams. Add contrast topstitching like we did on the chambray version for the envelope cover. Or have fun with the fancy stitches on your machine and do something like this, which has such a nice effect.




You could also take advantage of the seams to do some fun color blocking, like this.


As usual, we included two different views of the dress. View A has simple lines with a tailored feel to it. And View B is the girlier, frilly version of the pattern. I love the ruffled hem.


In terms of fabrics for this pattern, quilting cottons are obviously perfect for it. I mean, with all those colors and prints to choose from, what could be better? I think this is a great pattern to use if you want to experiment with mixing prints, too. Other fabrics that would work well would be linen and chambray. I chose Robert Kaufman’s cotton-linen denim for the cover image, and we added lots of topstitching with denim thread, which is heavier than regular thread so it will show up nicely for topstitching on jeans. You could also use fine-wale corduroy, sateen, lightweight twill, or even go fancy and try silk dupionni or shantung.


The Carousel Dress pattern is available now in both paper and digital format. I hope you’ll have lots of fun with it and that you’ll try all different ways of customizing it. I’ve added some ideas to my Customizing with Oliver + S Pinterest board to get you started. Maybe you’ll try color blocking just the center panel or just the pockets? I can’t wait to see!

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introducing the lunch box tee + culottes pattern

As I was starting to develop our women’s Girl Friday Culottes pattern last spring it occurred to me that they would also be a great option for girls. Not like that’s any sort of great revelation or anything. In fact, I think that, over the years, quite a few of you have requested culottes or a skort, haven’t you?

Culottes are sort of perfect for girls because they allow freedom of movement while still giving the look and feel of a skirt. Want to hang upside-down on the playground? No problem. Your culottes won’t flip upside-down with you! And since we like our patterns to come as outfits, how about a version of the women’s Bento Tee to go with it? I really like these two styles together, so it seemed perfect to combine them into one style for the kids. So we developed the Lunch Box Tee + Culottes.


The culottes include the same basic shape and details as our women’s culottes except that the Lunch Box Culottes are a pull-on style with elastic at the back waist instead of the fixed waistband and hidden zipper of the Girl Friday Culottes. Otherwise they’re very similar: the inverted box pleats at the front and back camouflage the culottes aspect and help them to look more like a skirt.




Since we included the hidden side pockets on the culottes and the little in-seam pockets on the tee, the Lunch Box pattern is sort of perfect for anyone who love pockets. And who doesn’t? Like the Bento Tee, the Lunch Box Tee gives the same option to choose from: the three-quarter-length sleeves or the short sleeves with cuffs, as well as the basic (un-seamed) tee without pockets or the seamed version with pockets.



The Lunch Box Tee is, of course, extremely easy and quick to sew. As are the culottes, actually. I think both of these styles are great year-round options. Sew the culottes in corduroy or flannel for winter and in sateen, poplin, or voile for summer. And of course they’re darling in all sorts of fun cotton prints! For the tee, look for knits with at least 25% stretch so the neckline can fit over the head easily. Sweatshirt fleece would be great for winter, and jersey is perfect for summer.

Both the culottes and tee styles are super comfortable and easy to wear. S loves hers and is sort of obsessed with the culottes especially.


And it’s sort of fun, every once in a while, to do a matching mother-daughter outfit. But you know me; I never like to veer too close to matchy-matchy outfits, so we restrain ourselves to using the matching sewing patterns without matching the fabrics.


This pattern is now available for purchase in both paper and digital formats. Be sure to check out my Customizing with Oliver + S Pinterest board, where I’ve added a few styling and fabric ideas to inspire you. I hope you have lots and lots of fun with this pattern! You’ll add your photos to the Oliver + S Flickr group when you’re done, right?

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introducing our new fall 2014 patterns

Over the past six months we’ve developed seven new sewing patterns. It’s been busy around here!

If you’ve been wondering where our new fall Oliver + S patterns are, they’re finally here! We pushed this season’s release back because of our Liesl + Co. pattern releases during September and because of some other exciting projects we’ve been working on, many of which you’ll be seeing in the next six to twelve months. But I hope you’ll agree that these new patterns are worth the wait!


This season we’re presenting two new styles: culottes with a boxy tee, and a sweet dress.

I’ll be back over the next couple days with full details on each of these styles. But if you can’t wait until then, you can take a peek (or even place an order) right now.

We hope you enjoy sewing with these new styles. And, as always, we hope you’ll show us what you’ve done by posting your photos to the Oliver + S Flickr group.

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my favorite oliver + s pattern: ana sofia from s is for sewing

Today we are delighted to welcome back Ana Sofia who blogs at S is for Sewing. She is a mother of three living in Portugal. On a previous visit she shared a tutorial about adding honeycomb smocking to the Ice Cream Blouse. Ana Sofia is stopping by today to tell us all about her favorite Oliver + S pattern. Here she is.

I love reading the favorite pattern series here on the blog, but when asked about my favorite Oliver + S pattern I didn’t have a prompt answer.

The reason? I’m not sure if I have “one” favorite Oliver + S pattern at all. I can easily pick a handful (or more) of favorite Oliver + S and I’m sure more will be added with the new releases (and I know, I’m not alone, right?). Fortunately for me, some patterns were already “favorited” before, so the selection was a bit narrowed down.

Nevertheless, I declared the Hopscotch Skirt my Favorite Oliver + S pattern, because it’s probably my most-sewn skirt pattern and it’s been in my girl’s closet since it was introduced (fall 2010).

Usually I don’t sew many skirts for my girl. When she was a baby, skirts and dresses were not my favorite pieces of clothing as these didn’t actually fit well with crawling or early walking attempts. But after the first year, I was happy to fill her closet with skirts and dresses. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that skirts were often backwards after a while. So, when the Hopscotch Skirt was released (my girl was 2 1/2 years by then) I immediately loved it. The main reason, besides featuring the most adorable Chinese takeout pockets, was the distinctive front button placket. That way my girl would always tell the front side from the back side. Thanks to the Hopscotch Skirt pattern, skirts were allowed back into my girl’s closet.

Over the years, there’s always been at least one Hopscotch Skirt ready to be worn, and while I failed to document all the versions I’ve made so far, I still have quite a few that I’m happy to show you. (You do need to excuse some bad pictures. Apparently my sewing skills are not the only thing that has improved over the years.)

My first versions were made of corduroy (thinking of the colder months ahead). You could see them here, paired with the coordinating Hopscotch Top (City Weekend knit) and a Liberty Music Class Blouse.


Oliver + S Hopscotch Skirts

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