autumn rituals: fall patterns are here!

I was chatting with Grandma and a friend of hers the other afternoon. We were talking about sewing and children’s clothing (of course), and Grandma’s friend was reminiscing about her childhood.

Back then, every department store had a yard goods department, usually located on the top floor of the building. When I picture the yard goods area in my mind, it’s always elegantly furnished with rich wood fixtures and row upon row of luxurious bolts of fabric, with kindly but stern-looking shopkeepers to wait on you once you’ve made your selections.

Nancy (my Grandma’s friend) told me her aunt was a seamstress, so every fall they made a trip to the department store to select her fall wardrobe. Wouldn’t that be fun? Somehow it seems so refined and exciting. In my imagination, Nancy’s mother and aunt confer about their selections, debating the merits of wool tartans and long-staple cotton shirtings. And since Nancy mentioned that her aunt also sewed all her undergarments, I’m also imagining drapey batiste and French laces for lovely slips and underwear.

That late-summer ritual has been forefront in my mind the past few days because the fall Oliver + S collection has arrived in our studio. We’ll be opening the website for fall sales beginning this Thursday.

Are you dreaming about the possibilities? In addition to all the wonderful cotton prints available at your local quilt shop, what about fine-wale corduroys, lightweight wools, and striped or plaid shirtings? Fall is my favorite season; the colors can be so sophisticated, and the fabric possibilities are endless.

We can’t wait to see what you make with the patterns. We’re doing a little sample sewing ourselves, and we’ll show you our creations very soon. Start your planning!


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  1. Since we are in Australia we have been out of season, so I used your tea party dress in cord and flannel for my little girls winter wardrobe and they all turned out great. I like the look of the new stuff too.

  2. Cindy, you’re absolutely right! In fact, I mentioned that in our July newsletter, which you can read here:

    If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can join the list via our website. Thanks for your comment, and I’d love to see what you made. Perhaps you’ll post some photos to the Flickr group?

  3. Oh yes!!!!! Yes!!! They’re here and I can’t believe it!!! I am going to order tonight! I want all of them!;lol…

  4. Oh, I’m salivating! I cannot wait to get the fall patterns and whip them up with some yummy fall fabrics. My stash is full and just waiting for these little gems….

  5. I just cannot wait! I’ve been wanting to make the bubble dress in a lightweight grey wool flannel I have and line it with a cute pink quilter’s weight cotton, but can’t decide if it will be too heavy and not “bubble” properly. Any thoughts?

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone. Laura, I think the Bubble Dress would be adorable in wool, and you’ll probably be happiest with a very lightweight wool like a gabardine. I would suggest lining it with something really light like a lawn or voile, just so the lining doesn’t weigh her (or the dress) down. Or, if the recipient will be wearing tights with it, perhaps a silkier lining would work better? Then the fabric won’t get caught up on the lining. My favorite silky lining is Bemberg; it’s really luxurious and washable but also quite slippery, so be forewarned if you decide to use it. Good luck, and I’d love to see photos!

  7. Liesl,
    I love this sweet playdate dress! What is that darling cream and red fabric? I've looked high and low for it and it's becoming a bit of an obsession!

  8. Hi Erin,

    That fabric is Japanese: Yuwa Live Life. It's more than a year old now, unfortunately, so it may be difficult to find. I adored the entire collection and wish it had been more widely available (and for a longer time). Good luck!


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