my favorite oliver + s pattern: shelley from lightning mcstitch

Today we’re happy to welcome back Shelley (a.k.a Lightning McStitch), who has been running the Little Things to Sew: Cover to Cover Challenge over on her blog. Shelley dropped by to tell us about her favorite Oliver + S pattern, the Nature Walk Pullover and Knit Pants. Thanks so much, Shelley!

I’ve loved reading the “my favorite Oliver + S pattern” blog posts but I always wondered: How could they choose just one? If I was to be asked, which pattern would I choose? Surely that’s like being asked to choose between your children.

Well I wasn’t asked really, but here I am offering up my opinion on which of Liesl’s babies is my favorite. I thought about it just like the picking a favorite kid conundrum. What is it about kids that I like best?…

At the end of a long day I have to say I like them to be easy and uncomplicated. And that’s just how I like the Nature Walk Pants (which is also available as an Oliver + S Singles pattern for download). They’re so simple and quick to sew.

Need some shorts for back-to-childcare tomorrow? No problem:



Maybe something for the new baby in your life?




Or a big kid?




And honestly, wouldn’t we all love a pair of pants that looked this good from behind!




Yet if children were always easygoing and simple they’d get a bit boring wouldn’t they? I like them to be clever and show a bit of intelligence too. Let’s have a bit of brains to make this child rearing more enjoyable and challenging.

And so to the Nature Walk Pullover. It has panels which allow color blocking or patterned fabrics, that ingenious kangaroo pocket and the lovely collar and placket. Plenty there to keep any sewer interested and keen on the task at hand.

You could keep it simple in plain fleece:




Here’s a classic gorgeous boys pullover:




Equally pretty on the girls:




And if you can get away with it, you might be able to borrow your kid’s Pullover for yourself!




Thus far we’ve got a smart, interesting, easygoing and compliant kid pattern. See, what’s not to love?

If we throw in some creativity, we can turn this pattern into something a bit unexpected.

Here’s a tween version with hood:




And I played around with adding a hood and some pocket ruffles to this one:




Now here’s where it gets really fun. Don’t you love it when kids do something so creative, so clever and so funny you find yourself laughing ‘til your coffee comes out your nose?

For me, the Nature Walk pattern has given me many such moments, in my own sewing, and as I’ve browsed the Oliver + S Flickr pool. From octonauts to robots, the Nature Walk pattern has been the basis of some truly awesome costumes:


CostumeMosaic_NatureWalkMosaic picture credits: L to R , Top to Bottom
1. Bender by emilysteed
2: Captain Barnacles by suzy at floating world
3: Davy Crockett by round-the-world-girl
4: Mermaid by with love, Heidi
5: Evel Knievel by lightningmcstitch1
6: Peacock and Native American by poppyandrew
7: Ninja by Reeni Espino
8: Hogwart’s School Robes by with love, Heidi
9: Beat It jacket by Julie Bossert


So there it is. I like pretty dresses as much as the rest of you. But don’t you love a pattern that is useful for every day, that you will enjoy sewing and learn from, and that may just make you laugh til your sides hurt?

Or you could just download the Nature Walk Singles PDF pattern and knock out some quick Yoga Pants for the kids’ dance class tomorrow. But if you make something hilarious be sure to share it with me. This one feels like my baby now!




  1. Great Post Shelly. It certainly is a versatile pattern.

  2. Brenda

    I was never very drawn to this pattern, but I bought it a couple weeks ago. Now that I see how versatile it is I am eager to use it, thanks to you!

    That is a gorgeous pic of Nicole!

  3. I have often wondered about this pattern–whether to get it or not? I think your post has me converted to the “getting” side. Thank you for such a lovely post and such versatile photos.

  4. I am planning a lot of the fleece pullover type tops for school next year. My 7 year old wants to live in them. He will need at least three as he has not learned that his clothing should not be used for a napkin. Yes, I am planning way ahead. The new school year would totally sneak up on me if I didn’t. Thank you for showing us how this pattern can be adapted to create different looks.

  5. Nice post McStitch. And now I’ve got another thing to put on my ‘to do’ list!

  6. Awww Brenda, aren’t you a sweetheart?

  7. So hard to pick a favorite. I haven’t tried this one, but looks perfect for summer play clothes.

  8. What a fun post! I’ve never given this pattern much notice but this post is making me think twice!

  9. I do own this pattern, but never managed to try it 🙁
    Somehow I lean towards more formal outfits, but I’m pretty sure my kids would appreciate a bit more casual pieces in their wardrobes, lol
    I will definitely give it a try soon enough!

  10. Hey, thanks for the shout-out! But the link on my photo is broken, so it doesn’t go back to Flickr or my blog! 🙁 Here’s my post on Baby Maggie’s Nature Walk Pants –

    1. Oops. Sorry about that. It’s fixed now.

  11. Thanks so much for fixing it, and so quickly! 🙂

  12. Oh yay! I will have to show the boy this soonest. They really are so comfy, he wears them to bed.

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