gift guide

’Tis the season to be sewing gifts. Looking for gift ideas for the special people in your life? Create and be prepared for the loved ones on your list with this gift guide. Here are many handmade gift ideas, some of which would make great stocking stuffers. The first ones are Straight Stitch Society sewing patterns and to get more ideas of how they look sewn up with different fabrics be sure to check out the Straight Stitch Society Flickr group.

The Have It All Wallet is a very popular pattern that makes for a quick and impressive gift. It offers two cute flap options.


Straight Stitch Society Have It All Wallet


The newly released In a Clutch Cosmetic Case can be made in three different fun styles. It makes a pretty carry-all that could also function as an evening bag.


Straight Stitch Society In a Clutch Cosmetic Case


The Forget-Me-Not Jewelry Pouch offers two different styles to hold jewelry, but it can also be used as an adorable evening bag.


Stsraight Stitch Society Forget-Me-Not Travel Jewelry Case


The Apples to Oranges Sewing Kit includes a pincushion, a zipper pouch for notions, and an optional needle pad. Make an apple or an orange, or both!


Straight Stitch Society Apples to Oranges Sewing Kit


The Feed the Animals Coin Purses make cute gifts for kids. It offers three different animals: a cat, a dog, and a monkey.


Straight Stitch Society Feed the Animals Coin Purses


To round things out, here are a few free patterns, too:


Fabric-covered headbands



Hair Bow Ties



18-inch doll Popover Sundress



18 Inch Doll Skirt Tutorial finished skirt



Play indoor tent


And for the sewing person on your list how about a paper sewing pattern? Most of the Straight Stitch Society patterns come in paper format as well as Oliver + S patterns. Or how about some sewing supplies and tools?

Happy holiday sewing!

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heirloom techniques: honeycomb smocking

There was already a smocked dress round-up not too long ago, but it seemed a bit crowded if I would have added these honeycomb smocked garments, so here they are today. I cannot wait to share them so let’s dive right in, shall we?

First up, Jane used chambray to make this Garden Party Dress. It was her first time trying honeycomb smocking.


Oliver + S Garden Party Dress with honeycomb smocking


Another Garden Party Dress, but this time by Julie who made one in white for a special occasion.


Oliver + S Garden Party Dress with honeycomb smocking

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outdoor ready: workout shirts

Ashley is back today with another edition of her Outdoor Ready series. This one focuses on workout shirts. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial Ashley!

Hello everyone! As the unmistakable end-of-fall chill descends upon most of this northern hemisphere, I’m popping in with one more project before we enter the deep freeze of winter.


Customized Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-shirts


You may remember that in my last installment, we talked about hiking pants using the Field Trip Cargo Pants pattern. I had initially planned to include the other half of the pattern, the raglan shirt, in the post as well, but it seemed a bit crowded. So, today we are going to discuss some quick modifications you can make to the Field Trip Raglan T-shirt to transform it into a great transitional wardrobe piece to wear as we move into cooler weather. The School Bus T-Shirt would make a very suitable pattern substitute if you prefer it, but please note that the measurements I’ll be referring to come from the Field Trip Raglan T-shirt pattern.


Customized Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-shirts


As usual, much of the focus of the outdoor ready series is simply fabric choice. You could easily use a technical fabric and the pattern would be good to go as is! However, I always like to add a little something extra, so I began thinking about features I like in my own workout shirts for cooler weather.

My favorite cool weather running shirt has an interesting sleeve cuff that includes both a thumb hole and a flap of fabric to fold over the hand like a mitten. After some experimentation, I designed a similar cuff that you can add to your own workout shirts for those days when chilly little fingertips could use an extra layer. Other than that, I played around a bit with pockets and hoods. We’ll talk about all of these modifications below!

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welcome to the new discussion forums

When we launched the Oliver + S discussion forums several years ago, we never thought that it would turn into what it has. We intended it to be a resource for people looking for information on sewing with our patterns. It has become that, but what’s interesting is how it’s become much more. It’s been incredibly gratifying for us to see how so many of you have connected with other Oliver + S sewists there. The forums have become the town square of a little virtual community with members spread around the globe.

Last week we released the first major upgrade to the forums in quite some time. With this project we wanted to add new features and functionality that would facilitate connections between participants and grow the sense of community that has developed there. To that end, we’ve focused on allowing users to build out profiles that represent themselves so others can get to know them, and we built more tools to increase communication between users and to push the information out to you that you want to see.

There are many new things waiting for you to discover, but here are some of the highlights:

  • You can now create a profile that describes yourself and your interests. You can provide links to your presence on other social media platforms, and you can add an avatar to identify yourself across the site. Here’s my public profile.
    Todd's Profile
  • It’s now easier for you to receive notifications when responses come in to questions you post in the forums. You can configure your profile to have the site send you email notices of various occurrences.
  • You can connect with friends via friendship requests. This provides you with a separate stream made up of just your friends’ activity–making it easier to follow what’s going on with people you care about.
  • You are able to send and receive public and private messages right on the site.
  • Forum posts now support @mentions, making it easy for you to call someone’s attention to something you have said about them. It also makes it easy for you to see where people have mentioned you.
  • You now have the ability to upload images into your forum posts.
  • Additionally, we’ve tried to make the user experience of the forums an overall better and more visual one.

As I mentioned, these are just some highlights of what’s new. And we’re not done. We have some additional behind-the-scenes enhancements and another piece of functionality that we will be rolling out in coming weeks. We think you will really like it!

All registered users keep their existing usernames and passwords to log into the new forums. Once you sign in, you will be able to start creating your profile, and your status will automatically be upgraded to Member.

We hope you’ll find these new features useful and enjoyable. We also hope that, if you haven’t already, you’ll sign up and join the community.

feature friday: tiny shirt and trousers

Happy Friday!  We hope you have a great weekend, one of the precious few left before “Holiday Season” kicks into full gear here in the US.

Our feature today is a super cute “little man” outfit by Brittney.


lullaby layette shirt and baby art museum trousers


She modified the Lullaby Layette pattern by adding a collar and extending the front placket to create an adorable plaid shirt, and sewed a tiny pair of herringbone Art Museum Trousers to pair with it.

Brit blogged about the shirt here and the trousers here.  What a dapper little guy!  Baby feet crossed at the ankles melt me every time.

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my favorite oliver + s pattern: courtney from sweeter than cupcakes

Today we are happy to welcome Courtney who blogs at Sweeter Than Cupcakes. I’m sure you’ll remember Courtney’s ‘flipped’ Croquet Dress and also her color blocked Hide-and-Seek Dress. She is stopping by today to tell us about her favorite pattern. Thanks so much for being here Courtney!

My favorite Oliver + S pattern is the Class Picnic Blouse because of its style and simplicity. The pattern has the ease of a traditional peasant blouse, but with a more stylish finish. The flat bodice with elastic at the sleeves eliminates the need for tedious closures.


Oliver + S Class Picnic Blouse


Sewing with Oliver + S patterns gives the added benefit of learning new techniques with each pattern. The Class Picnic Blouse was my first Oliver + S pattern to sew, and I learned the technique, necessity, and reason behind understitching for the first time. I have carried it through to many patterns that I sew even if the instructions do not call for it, because I like the finish it provides.

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