Hi, it’s Kristin from skirt as top and as a contributor to this blog I’ve had a lot of fun collecting and curating other folks’ favorite Oliver + S patterns. I thought today I’d join in and talk about my favorite!
I’ve sewn quite a few Oliver + S patterns in the 4 1/2 years I’ve been sewing, but the one that brings me back every time is the Sailboat Top, Skirt + Pants. It’s an older pattern in the catalog, and gives you a lot of bang for the buck with three different patterns in one. It’s a unisex pattern, but the funny thing is I’ve only sewn it for boys!
Back in 2011, when I was starting to dabble in sewing with knits, I came across a Sailboat Top in the Oliver + S Flickr pool made out of interlock (this is a suggested material in the pattern but most of the versions I’d seen until then were woven). I took one of my husband’s old sweaters from J.Crew, a heavyweight brushed cotton knit of some type, and sewed a Sailboat Top for my son with no modifications from the pattern…
…except to add elbow patches…
…and I loved it! My son got a lot of wear out of that little top, but of course he quickly grew out of it! So I made him another, again out of a men’s french terry sweater (from the Old Navy sale rack), and this Sailboat has become the most worn item of clothing so far in his life.
I added yellow topstitching and minty buttons to add a little extra interest, and truly, this sweater goes with everything. I made it really big on him when I sewed it (back in April 2012!), and it’s just now getting too short in the arms and body. I actually refuse to accept that it’s probably too small and keep putting it on him. Heh.
I’ve also sewn a few Sailboat Pants over the years. They’re an interesting but fun version of an old timey sailor pant, made to fit at capri length, though I made them into shorts once which was pretty cute too.
I like sewing them in corduroy or twill and having fun with the facings.
Sailboat Pants even made an appearance in one of my favorite posts from our film petit series! Can you guess which one?
Alas, I’ve never made the skirt, and I’ve never even made a Sailboat Top for a girl! I’ve seen beautiful versions, but my daughter is more of a cardigan gal if you know what I mean.
Things that I love about the Sailboat pattern: it’s fun and quick to sew, the facings eliminate the “harder parts” of knit sewing like hemming and adding neckbands (though I like to use a walking foot when I sew with knits, just to be safe), it has a great shape and adds style to basic boy clothes, with lots of room to customize topstitching, buttons, and the facings to really make it your own!
I mean, who doesn’t love a secret surprise detail in kids clothes?
Now that I think about it, I should probably add a larger Sailboat Top to my list of things to sew for spring Kid’s Clothes Week. Are you planning on sewing any Oliver + S patterns for KCW? Perhaps I’ve convinced you to add this one to the mix!
Want a trip down memory lane? Here’s Liesl’s original introduction of the Sailboat Top from 2009!