feature friday: book report dress

It’s always exciting to see what others come up with when sewing Oliver + S patterns. Jen of J Wo sews created this solid colored Book Report Dress with a couple of clever modifications. She installed invisible zippers in place of the button loop closures at the shoulders. It’s so inspiring, it makes me want to try it and other types of zippers, too. Don’t you think exposed zippers would be a fun idea for a tween look?


Oliver + S Book Report Dress with invisible zippers


She also quilted the back yoke. These details make for a really unique dress.


Oliver + S Book Report Dress with quilted back yoke


To learn more about this dress and see more photos, check out Jen’s blog post.

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announcing the girl friday/lunch box culottes sew-along

If you haven’t had a chance yet to sew a pair of Girl Friday or Lunch Box Culottes that you’ve always wanted to, here is your opportunity to get some done! We’re hosting a Girl Friday/Lunch Box Culottes Sew-Along next month.


Liesl + Co Girl Friday and Oliver + S Lunch Box Culottes Sew-alon
Today we’re introducing the sew-along. We’ll cover the fabric and supplies you’ll need to make your culottes. After that, you’ll have some time to buy your pattern and all of the supplies you might need before we kick off the project.

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adding sparkle to the holiday season

This is the perfect season to wear sequins because this is the time to shine! They add light to our dark winter days. There have been a lot of sequins recently not only in women’s fashion, but in girl’s fashion as well. I’ve gathered up some inspirational images to show you just how easy it can be to add a little sparkle to some Oliver + S patterns.

First of all, let’s talk about working with sequin fabric. Teeny tiny flat sequins, often called micro disc sequins, are easier to work with than larger or non-flat sequins. For larger, non-flat, or denser fish-scale type sequins, it is advised to cut away the sequins that lie in the seam allowances for easier sewing and to avoid breaking a needle. The larger and denser the sequins, the more challenging and time consuming they’ll be to work with. Most sequin fabrics are stretchy; therefore, you’ll want to use a ballpoint needle, polyester thread, and a knit stitch on your machine. Sew very slowly and finger press the seams open. Keep it as simple as possible, so when picking a sewing pattern, think “the fewer seams the better.” Do not cut the fabric folded, cut the pattern out on the wrong side of the sequin fabric, and use an old rotary cutter and scissors that you don’t care if they get dulled. If the back of the sequin fabric would touch skin, add lining (if the pattern doesn’t already call for it).

It is advised when sewing with sequin fabric to avoid:

  • Darts
  • Gathers (instead use pleats)
  • Welt pockets (maybe avoid pockets all together or instead do in-seam pockets or do sequin patch pockets on top of non-sequin fabric)
  • Buttonholes
  • Invisible zippers (instead use regular zippers or choose sewing patterns that have a closure with a button loop)

Have some fun adding sparkle to the holiday season with sequins. Keep in mind, too, that similar looks could be achieved with sparkly type fabrics, so try those as well. That business out of the way, let’s move on to the inspiration!

1) Field Trip Raglan T-shirt with a sequin fabric front. Complete the ensemble with an Onstage Tutu Skirt and a pair of Playtime Leggings.


Use the Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-shirt, Onstage Tutu Skirt, and Playtime Leggings to recreate the inspirational image

inspirational image source


2) Bubble Dress where only the bodice uses sequin fabric. Instead of buttonholes in the back, insert a regular zipper.


Use the Oliver + S Bubble Dress to recreate a similar look to the inspirational image

inspirational image source

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last chance to have your thoughts heard

Well, it’s not really because we’re always interested in hearing what you have to say. But today is the last day that our end-of-year customer survey is open for responses.

Thanks to those of you who have already completed it. And for everyone else, we would greatly appreciate getting your feedback too.




The survey is quick and easy to complete, and we are raffling off two $100 Oliver + S gift certificates as a thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. To enter the drawing, complete the survey and provide your name and email address on the last page.

The survey closes at midnight EST tonight. We’ll pick our winners at random tomorrow and will notify them by email. You can click here to get started. And thank you.

customizing the lunch box tee: adding a pocket toy

We are happy to welcome Johanna to the blog today. She has a very clever project to share with us involving sewing a little toy into the pocket of the Lunch Box Tee. This idea is not limited to only this pocket. Just think of all the other Oliver + S pockets where toys could be added; like the Hopscotch Skirt, the Puppet Show Shorts, the Music Class Skirt, the Ice Cream Dress, the Jump Rope Dress, the Book Report Dress, and the Carousel Dress. Thanks so much for showing us this cute idea Johanna!

A while back, I was a tester for the Lunchbox Tee + Culottes. I loved the little hidden pockets on the front of the tee, and my daughter loved to dig her hands deep into them, and then give a little jump for joy. It reminded me of some overalls my oldest daughter had around the same age that had a small stuffed animal attached on a string, sewed into the pocket. My oldest daughter would spend her day stuffing the toy in and out of the pocket, and giving that same little jump for joy. So, I decided that my next shirt would have a little animal in the pocket, and I set about making it work.


Adding a pocket toy to the Oliver + S Lunch Box Tee


The first step was to find a pattern that was free, and was pocket sized.

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ask me: how to buy a sewing machine

It’s been a long time since our last Ask Me feature. But with the holidays just around the corner, this question seemed especially timely.


Ask Me


I’m thinking about buying a new sewing machine, do you have any advice to share?

Yes! I have one big piece of advice and then a bunch of smaller bits to add to it.




The big piece of advice is to not go to your local big-box discount store and buy whatever machine (usually Singer or Brother) they have on the shelves. Those machines are not a good deal, and you will be much better off going to a specialty shop that sells sewing machines. The people at your local shop will really know machines and will be able to help you find the best machine for your needs. They can also service the machine if and when it needs servicing. And you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot more than you would have on that discounted machine at the Target/Costco/Walmart/etc., but you’ll get a much better machine for the money you spend.

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