customizing with oliver + s: plaid flannel class picnic tunic

I had a little non-work-related time to sew over the holidays, which is something that hasn’t happened in a while. So I took advantage of that time to make this tartan flannel Class Picnic Blouse for S.

I customized the basic pattern just a little bit, mostly adding a few inches to the hem to lengthen the top into a tunic, and then I added a ruffle to the sleeves (and shortened the sleeves a bit so the ruffle would start just below the elbow).




The ruffle started out quite wide (probably a 2-to-1 ratio to the width of the sleeve itself), but wide ruffles and full-length sleeves don’t perform very well because they end up getting dragged into everything at the dinner table, at school, and everywhere else.  So I quickly narrowed the ruffle rectangle to be just a few inches wider than the sleeve width itself. You still get the ruffle effect, but not the disastrous side effects.

By the way, this hairstyle was our first, rushed attempt at Princess Leia/Heidi hair, just before we discovered that this hairstyle does not work with bike helmets. You’ll see more of this look with the upcoming spring patterns. S loves it, even though I’m not a very good hair stylist. (You’d really think I’d be better at this, given all those years of taking ballet and putting my own hair in buns!) I think it’s funny that she can’t decide whether she’s Heidi or Princess Leia.




S is wearing this tunic mostly with leggings and skinny jeans, but it looks cute tucked into her navy wool 2+2 pleated skirt for school, too. The fabric is so soft and cozy that I wouldn’t mind one of these for myself today in this cold snap we’re experiencing!


  1. January 28, 2013 at 9:57 am Link
    Katja Magus

    She is looking more and more like her beautiful mommy!

  2. January 27, 2013 at 10:45 am Link

    Perfect top for the picky 9 year old!

  3. January 25, 2013 at 7:03 am Link

    This pattern is cute lengthened into a dress, too, with a patch pocket added. Did you see the example made by the Frances and Suzanne? I am thinking about making this with long sleeves out of a Kaufman print corduroy. I love the tunic length in plaid flannel with the ruffle sleeves, too. It is so cold; my daughter can’t wear quilting weight cotton.

  4. January 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm Link

    So cute Liesl.. And love the hair. We wear that hairstyle here at least once a week!

  5. January 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm Link

    Princess Leia/ Heidi hair! I was little older than S when I was wearing my hair like that! Love the top it looks so comfortable and the ruffle just gives it that different sort of edge! Can’t wait to make this for my daughter.

  6. January 24, 2013 at 2:34 am Link

    Sweet as can be.

  7. January 24, 2013 at 12:02 am Link

    Aw so cute! Love that S, such a little lady. Can’t wait to see the spring photos!!

  8. January 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm Link
    with love Heidi

    This looks lovely, I’m imagining this on an older girl as well.

  9. January 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm Link

    She is looking so grown up! Love the mods, *almost* wishing for the weather to stay cold long enough to justify making one like this… almost…

  10. January 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm Link

    Oh! I love it, Liesl :-)
    I did a very similar version for my little girl in late-Nov (it was getting a bit cold and flannel is so cozy).
    Of course, I love your sleeves better (so true about the side effects of the ruffle sleeve. I needed to reduce mine as well).
    xx, Ana Sofia

  11. January 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm Link

    Looks great! I like how the Class Picnic top as a tunic.:)

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