Announcing the school day’s jacket sew-along

Guess what? Oliver + s is hosting a school day’s jacket sew-along and yours truly will be a guest contributor! If you’ve had a hankering to sew a winter coat or a spring rain jacket please join me, Janice, Deb, and Sharon as we sew through this pattern together!


The sew-along will start Monday November 3rd so you have some time to plan and stare at fabric. Speaking of fabric, here’s some idea’s for you on fabric selection!


If it’s a winter coat you’re planning to sew you’ll probably want to get melton wool. There are a few places with a great selection such as and nyfashioncenterfabrics. I’ve bought from both places and the price cannot be beat from, however if it’s top quality wool you’re after go for nyfashioncenterfabrics. For this coat I bought my wool from nyfashioncenterfabrics.


For a rain jacket you’ll want a waterproof or laminated fabric. also had a wonderful selection of lovely laminated cotton fabrics. Another place to check is Etsy which has a huge selection of unique and cute laminates available from different sellers. This red-riding hood laminated linen I bought off of Etsy.


Both the wool coat and rain jacket version would be wonderful with a removable quilted lining for extra warmth! There’s an almost endless amount of awesome fabrics to choose from with only a few limitations; you won’t want anything with stretch, or anything too light or heavy that you’ll have problems quilting it. Quilting cottons work wonderful here, as well as flannel, chambray, and double gauze. For an eyeful of beautiful quilting cottons check out the selection at hawethornethreads!

Are you excited yet? Then grab a button and mark your calendar! We’ll see you November 3rd!


Project run & play “hand – me – down” makeover


For week two of Project run & play we were given the challenge to sew something from hand-me-downs or thrift store finds. I had decided beforehand that this week would be about the boy, so I asked my husband to weed out some things from his closet which he no longer wears and wouldn’t mind me using. He gave me four Jcrew t-shirts, an Abercrombie cable knit sweater (from high school!), and I also had a thrifted wool sweater plus some scrap leather which I forgot to include in the picture. To add to the challenge, my sewing machine was in the shop and I could only use my serger or sew by hand! Thankfully everything I wanted to sew primarily required the serger anyways.


From my husband’s Jcrew t-shirts I made a raglan color-block tee with leather patch pocket, and a pair of drop inseam sweatpants. The pattern for the raglan tee was the Field trip raglan t-shirt by Oliver + s in size 2. I sewed it using the two green and beige tees in a very cool color-blocked style of different colored sleeves. I found the look on Pinterest and just fell in love so I had to recreate it!


For the sweatpants I sewed them from the striped Jcrew t-shirt using a self drafted pattern. They have a drop inseam, cutout bum color-blocking, back patch pocket, faux drawstring, and bottom cuffs. They are ridiculously adorable on if I do say so myself and the kid has been living in them since I made them! (Edit – there is a new pattern out that is a very close to these pants called the Mini Hudson by True Bias).


Detail shot of the leather pocket. Since my sewing machine was out of commission I made sure to cut the bottom edges of the shirt and sleeves from the already hemmed edges of the tees so I didn’t have to worry about hemming them. The patch pocket I stitched on by hand and I really love the look!


Detail of the pant back pocket.


From the Abercrombie cable knit sweater I made a henley style pullover with leather buttons reclaimed from an old sweater of mine, plus leather elbow patches which I stitched on by hand. There was a fair amount of hand stitching on this sucker, but the finished look is so great! I think it may even have turned out better than if I had attempted to use the sewing machine on this thick knit. The pattern for this was self drafted with reference to the Oliver + s jumprope dress pattern for constructing the placket.


Last but not least I made a slouchy beanie from the thrifted wool sweater. This pattern was also self drafted and very simple!


And finally the completed outfit! Prepare yourself for an action shot photo bomb 🙂


Elbow patches!


I seriously love that tee! And those pants. And that beanie. And that kid 😉


Oops took my hat off! But don’t worry mom, got it back on. 😀


Heart breaker.


Week two done! If you want to see the great things sewn for this week by the competitors you can check them out here.

I can’t wait to get cracking on week three! See you then!

Project Run & Play – 80’s cartoon inspiration

Have you heard of Project run & play? It’s a seriously fun sewing challenge inspired by the popular show Project Runway, but it’s for moms and their kids! I’m not sure how I only just discovered them since they are in their 10th season! Oh well, better late than never 😉 The challenge has several chosen participants who battle it out over several weeks until there is only one victorious, but anyone can sew along, and that’s what I’m doing this season. I’d love to be one of the participants someday! (Edit: The Berenstain Bears is also a book! And so I’m also including it in the Sew Many Books sewing challenge)

Picadilo Collage

This week’s challenge was to sew an 80’s cartoon inspired outfit. That theme is awesome, and there’s a ton of great cartoons to choose from that seriously take me back to my childhood. I decided to settle on The Berenstain Bear’s sister bear. She has some pretty awesome elements to her outfit that I used as inspiration, namely a pink and white polka dot shirt, and pink ruffled shoulders on a pinafore. I know sister bear wears overalls but I decided to sew a pinafore instead. In hindsight I wish I done overalls but hey, you live and you learn.


For the top I sewed it from this Japanese sewing book in size 110 from the beautiful Nani Iro Pocho double gauze. The polka dots are metallic coral pink which is extremely awesome according to my daughter 😉 Also, that shirt was my first ever project from a non-translated Japanese sewing book!


The pinafore is from this Japanese sewing book which has been translated into English and is a great place to start if you want to get into Japanese kids sewing. I sewed it in size 110 from Kaufman newcastle denim, Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in color mushroom, and I added a pocket on the front from some brushed cotton Nani Iro scraps I had left over from this dress.


I seriously love the details of Japanese patterns. The peter pan collar, the shoulder ruffles, the puffed sleeves! All just perfection.


Here’s a better shot of the polka dot print. Those metallic dots are hard to capture!


For the buttons I used mother-of-pearl buttons I found on Ebay.


Size tag!


Pocket detail.


And now for a few modeling shots!



80’s cartoon inspired success! On to sewing for next week’s challenge 😉

Have you seen the great outfits sewn by the competing participants for week one? Check them out here!

Happy Homemade Sew-along


This past week I’ve been participating in this sew along hosted by Meg and Cherie of elsiemarley and you&mie. Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids is a Japanese sewing book that has recently been translated into English and was the book we used to complete our project. I’ve had another Japanese sewing book in my stash for three years that I’ve never been able to figure out well enough to actually sew anything from! So when this sew-along was announced I positively jumped at the chance. Not only would it be my first (finally!) Japanese sewing book project but I hoped it would pave the way in helping me understand my other book well enough to start sewing from it.


The pattern we sewed was the Pull-over Parka. It’s a great gender neutral piece, workable for just about any season depending on how you execute it. I decided to make one for my daughter since I had just finished a pull-over for my son.


For my daughter’s parka I sewed it in size 110 (which is like a 4/5) out of Nani Iro fuccra rakuen and Robert Kaufman chambray union cotton in color indigo, with the pocket lining and drawstring cord made from ivory linen. I’m in love with this chambray! It’s lightweight, supple, soft, and simply wonderful for summery projects.


I did make a few alterations to the pattern. First I pieced together a sweetheart seam on the front of the parka and a scoop seam on the back. I like the interest they add plus it saved me from using a ton of my precious Nani Iro ;). Next I lengthen and flared the sleeves a bit so that I could gather them at the wrists with elastic. I also added some side seam pockets since my daughter has very little appreciation for anything I make her that doesn’t have pockets. Girl needs to store her treasures somewhere!


Finally I lined (a modification Cherie showed us how to do) and then quilted the hood. I just couldn’t get the idea of quilting something out of my head, so I did a little to satisfy my perfectionist… I mean artistic.. bent.


Sweetheart seam <3. I didn’t ask her to smile. Want to know why?


This is the face I get if I ask  ;D Like an adorable little pirate, Arrrrrrrrr.


Trying out her pockets.


I love that hood. So glad I listened to the crazy and quilted it!


Out for a stroll in her new parka. I’m really thrilled with how it turned out, and that I understood what I was doing the whole time! Of course having my hand held by Meg and Cherie made it just about impossible to mess up. I can’t wait to apply my new knowledge of Japanese pattern books to the one living in my stash. Yes, I think it’s time 😉

Anyone else conquer the mysterious Japanese sewing book, or any other trial in sewing you thought you just couldn’t ever get past?