puppet show: our first digital pattern

We’ve heard your cries for help! Many of you have been searching for the long out-of-print Puppet Show Tunic, Dress + Shorts, and we’ve decided to use this as an opportunity to produce our first PDF pattern.

The Puppet Show is a sweet pattern that can be made as a dress or as a tunic, with little bloomer-style shorts to go with it. It’s got great details: a Peter Pan collar, curved yoke seam, little darts that add fullness to the skirt, and sweet button cuffs at the sleeves. It also includes our signature hem facing so you can add a bit of contrast for a beautiful dressmaking detail, and it buttons up the back.

The shorts are a very simple pull-on style with an elasticized waistband, fun gathered-detail pockets, and a little bit of gathering at the bias-bound hem for the bloomer effect. No side seam on this style, which makes it quick to assemble and comfortable to wear. And just plain fun, I think.

I wrote a blog post shortly after we released this pattern that highlights some of these details. You can see photos of them in that post. And I have to remind you of the wonderful Puppet Show tunic featured in part two of our profile of Marie-Michelle Melotte from last year.

Here are a couple photos from Janice and Jan who were two of the four people who so generously offered to help us test the digital version of the pattern last week.

Puppet Show Top


Puppet Show Pattern

Based on the feedback many of you provided in the discussion forums, we wanted to create a PDF pattern that was easy to use and that didn’t require tiling together a massive number of pages. I think we’ve done something a bit innovative with this pattern.

The PDF file comes with the pattern pieces presented in two ways so you can choose how you want to print it: as a 36″ x 48″ traditional pattern sheet that you can have printed at a Kinkos, Staples, or another service bureau that can print large sheets and as 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets that you can print on a standard home printer.

The interesting thing about the print-at-home option is that there is minimal tiling involved. We didn’t just recreate the original pattern sheet as smaller pages that you need to match up and tile together to create your own large pattern sheet. Instead, we provide you with all the individual pattern  pieces in a home-printer-friendly format. Where pieces are  small enough to fit on a standard size page, we’ve given them to you that way. (No tiling involved; just cut out the piece!) Where pieces are too large to fit on a standard page, we’ve given you simple instructions for how to cut out and tile the pattern pieces themselves, instead of the whole giant sheet. Here’s an example of how the pieces are presented. That’s a non-tiled piece on the left and a tiled piece on the right.

Puppet Show Sample Pieces

The pattern comes in two size ranges, 0-24M and 2T-5, and it is available now on our website. When you purchase the pattern, you will receive your copy via email within 24 hours.

We hope you’ll enjoy the pattern in this format. We’re glad you asked for it!




  1. autumn

    this is exciting! i’ll go check now, but is the PDF available on your site???

  2. autumn

    just kidding! missed the very last paragraph or two!

  3. G

    I’m all for PDF patterns! I wonder if you will make the patterns that are now OOP available as PDF?

  4. robin

    yay!!! THANK YOU! these shorts are the best ever.

  5. Robin

    Love it! I will be sewing this as soon as it hits my inbox!

  6. Hooray! I know a bunch of people will be very happy.

  7. Wow! This is great. PLEASE PLEASE make more of you OOP patterns available as PDFs. Like the Sunday Brunch in size 4-8!! Pretty pleaseeeeee!!!!!

  8. This is fantastic. I do love a pattern in print but having them in digital form just makes it so easy! THanks for all the hard work put into getting this together. And super smart pattern printing!

  9. Emily

    I bought it – can’t wait to make those shorts!

  10. Brilliant! It’s a really great way to go for kid’s patterns (less so adult ones because of the size of the pieces!). Looking forward to more in the 5+ sizes 🙂

  11. Ah! I’m so happy! I have been wanting and wanting this pattern! I can’t wait to try it.

  12. Ah! Wonderful! I have been wanting and wanting this pattern. I’m also hoping you add more of your out of print patterns!

  13. Reader

    “[W]e provide you with all the individual pattern pieces in a home-printer-friendly format. Where pieces are small enough to fit on a standard size page, we’ve given them to you that way. (No tiling involved; just cut out the piece!) Where pieces are too large to fit on a standard page, we’ve given you simple instructions for how to cut out and tile the pattern pieces themselves, instead of the whole giant sheet.”

    Great idea. I like the Kinkos alternative too.

  14. Oh I am so thrilled that this is available again! I was so bummed that I missed it while it was in print. Hooray hurrah!

  15. Any chance it will be upsized as well to go through to size 8??!!
    Can’t hurt to ask can it!

    1. Karen, we’re not going to be changing the sizing on the pattern. It will just go up to 5.

  16. Amy

    For those of us overseas, does the 8.5″x11″ version have enough space around the prints that we can crop print to A4 without losing the pattern?

    1. It should print fine on A4 paper. Make sure you don’t tell Acrobat Reader to scale to paper size, though, when you print. That would shrink the patter pieces. Just make sure you measure the one inch test squares when you print to make sure they are the right size.

  17. I tested the 36″x48″ sheet pattern that you can have printed at a place like kinkos, and I am telling you it was easy and cheap! I like this way better than any other PDF I have every used. The cost was cheep enough that I have it printed and cut out the pattern pieces insted of tracing them out as I would with a paper pattern.

  18. Lucinda

    Fantastic idea! I, too, have been itching to try those shorts!

  19. Melanie

    As usual, your attention to details is outstanding! Thanks so much for making this available and for taking such care to produce a good product.

  20. caroline

    Will you be doing this for other patterns – maybe the Jump Rope dress? This is a great idea, especially for us Oliver + S sewers in the UK

    1. We may be. We’ll have to see how this one does first, and then we’ll make a decision about doing this for other out-of-print items.

  21. Catherine L

    I got my copy hot off the press a couple of days ago. I can’t wait to make it for my 2-year-old–have the fabrics ready to go. She has the cutest little tummy for this pattern. Toddler clothes are the best.

    My 11-year-old and I cut and taped tonight. It was so easy.

    I hope there are more pdf’s available soon. I always seem to get inspiration and motivation late at night, so the internet is my lifeline. If I could download fabrics and trims it would be perfect!

  22. Laura

    It’s great that you are doing this! I would like to see this pattern in larger sizes as my daughter has outgrown the pattern. Or I’d love to get a tutorial on how to grade patterns for larger sizes.

  23. I’ve spent almost a year tracking down the jump rope dress in the larger size for my daughter, from Australia. I appreciate it so much that you are trialing to pdf your patterns. The puppet show shorts are a big favourite at our house and I will be working on grading them up to a size 6 this year.

  24. OMG!!! I cannot believe the School Days coat is now OOP – Please add this to your PDF patterns, there is no other children’s coat/jacket pattern like it out there.

    The way you have designed and offered this PDF pattern is absolute genius – you wont go wrong added more OOP patterns this way.

  25. Sandi

    Great job on the formatting choices – just wonderful!

  26. Heather Mae

    This makes me so excited! I already own this pattern in both sizes (purchased the bigger size when I saw it was going out of print) and love it! I do hope that the PDF patterns go well because I would love to have the swingset tunic and skirt sewing pattern for next summer. Thank you for making such classic and well written patterns.

  27. Lindsey

    Yay! Thanks for offering the print shop option. I will be buying many more as they become available!

  28. Katie King

    I am completely stuck on the tunic hem. I cannot understand the instructions on how to attach the bias hem to the bottom and to the placket (which I was never very clear on the construction of). Any help would be appreciated. I’m afraid I may need pictures though, which probably means I’m out of luck. If I Can’t figure this out I’ll just hem it regular-style (the only way I know how:) LOL), but I hate to have gotten this far on a rather complicated top, only to have to cut corners now!


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