color palette: butterfly blues

A tropical ocean.  A cloudless sky.  A deep lake.  The color blue is pure summer to me, and the variations on azure and blue-gray in this butterfly image are complimentary to many different skin tones and eye colors. (Of course those of us with blue eyes are especially flattered by these and often seek them out to wear.)

color palette: butterfly blues  Image: Tumblr (couldn’t locate original)
Fabrics: chambray, solid, butterflies, x dots, scallopswoodgrain

Sew a pair of sailboat pants in blue chambray with contrast facings, a hide-and-seek dress in x dots, combine prints on a pair of class picnic shorts. There are so many fun ways to mix and match!

All of these and more color inspiration images and fabrics can be found on our color palettes and fabric Pinterest board.

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positive words: self talk

Hello, friends! I’ve been missing you for the past few weeks while I’ve been hard at work on the fall patterns and haven’t had time to check in as much as usual. S has been visiting grandparents all month, and it’s amazing how productive a person (or, in our case, a couple) can be when given long blocks of time in which to work. Todd and I are both missing her terribly, but we’ve also really appreciated some time to be alone together. All the same, I can’t wait to go retrieve her and see my family later this week.

In the meantime, I’m just back from a fun trip to Nashville to teach my fit workshop at Anna Maria Horner’s Craft South, and it was a very inspiring weekend. I’ve told you before how much I love to teach that class and to spend time with so many wonderful women. New friends, lots of laughs and tears over shared stories and shared meals, plenty of time to sew and to learn new techniques, and a chance to learn the many ways to adjust patterns to fit your own body. I learn something new every time I teach. And it’s humbling how far some of you are willing to travel to attend these workshops!


craft-south-workshop-Lieslphotos from Anna Maria and Craft South


Since women’s apparel and making clothes that fit have been so much on my mind lately (wait until you see what we’ve got in store for you this fall!), I thought maybe we could discuss our bodies today.

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inspiration: quick and easy patterns for kids clothes week

Yay, Kids Clothes Week starts today!  But oops, life got busy and you weren’t able to get any prep work done.  Rather than throw in the towel before the week even starts, I’m here today to give you a little boost with some patterns you can start and finish within just a couple hours!  I also love to use KCW to add basics to fill gaps in my kids’ wardrobes, so fast and simple is often the way to go for me.

For more about Kids Clothes Week, check out founder Meg Freeman’s post last week.

Oliver + S is known for our detailed and unique kids clothes designs, but we also offer great basics that have just a few pattern pieces and you can sew very quickly while still achieving a well-made garment.  That means you could theoretically buy, print, tape, cut, and sew one of these in a single naptime/nighttime sewing session!


field trip t shirt


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color palette: kid’s art

This week’s color palette was inspired by artwork created by S. Kids Clothes Week starts next week and this time around the optional theme is “Kid Art”. Maybe you would like to try this idea. Take a piece of artwork and pick several colors out of it and find fabrics to support the inspiration.


color palette kid's art

Image: Artwork created by S. Fabrics: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.


All of these and more color inspiration images and fabrics can be found on the color palettes and fabric Pinterest board.

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kids clothes week

You might already know by now that Kids Clothes Week is next week, July 21-27. We welcome Meg here today who is going to tell us all about it and share a project using this season’s optional Kid Art theme.

When most of us start out with Oliver + S, we might begin with a simpler project like the Lazy Days Skirt, for example. (I know that’s what I did.) But not Meg, no she started out with the Fairy Tale Dress, one of the most challenging and time consuming three scissor level projects. And you know what? Her Fairy Tale Dress turned out wonderful, have a look here.

It’s a crazy time for Meg with Kids Clothes Week just about to take off and we appreciate her taking the time to visit us.

Hello, everyone! I am super excited to be posting on the Oliver + S blog! On my blog elsie marley, I write about sewing, cooking, and making things with my kids. I also run a small sewing community called Kid’s Clothes Week. What is Kid’s Clothes Week? I’m so glad you asked! KCW is a sewing challenge where you commit to sewing clothes for your kids one hour a day for seven days.


Kids Clothes Week


Kid’s Clothes Week came about six years ago when I really wanted to sew clothes for my kids, but every night I ended up on the couch rather than in front of my sewing machine. Creativity takes energy, and after a day spent taking care of little kids, I had none. So I issued myself a challenge: sew for one hour every night for a week. If I got into a groove and kept working after the hour was up, great! If I had to slog through every minute, well then I would just stop after an hour. The challenge worked so well I invited my blog readers to join.


Kids Clothes Week sewing challenge
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introducing sewloft patterns

We’re happy to announce that we are now carrying the new Sewloft Patterns line of digital patterns for women in the Oliver + S shop. To launch the collection, we asked Lauren Elbert, creator and designer of the brand, to write a short guest post introducing herself and her work.

Hello there! My name is Lauren and I’ll start this off by saying how excited I am that my patterns are now available though Oliver + S. I’ve followed the blog for years, and now I am finally guest blogging here. It’s surreal!


Lauren Elbert


I started sewing when I was a figure skater in dire need of an awesome costume. If you are a skater, you know how expensive and corny some of the costumes can be (think Blades of Glory meets a fairy princess). Equipped with a new sewing machine, rhinestones, and as much spandex as I could get my hands on, I started sewing. With a lot of trial and error, I was eventually able to make all my own costumes, and soon others started asking me to make theirs as well.

Fast-forward four years when I’m a senior getting my bachelors degree in apparel design. My best classes were pattern making and grading. I always found them to be fun, and if you ask most people studying apparel design this is not the case. When I thought about what I wanted to do after I graduated, I wanted something where I could teach people what I learned and also hone into my graphic design side. Sewloft Sewing Patterns become my solution and I have been running with it ever since.


Sewloft Patterns

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