Sunday, November 2, 2014

Where in the world ...

... is my blogging mojo? It seems to have vacated the scene.

Part of the reason for this is that sewing clothing is currently taking a back seat to working on my house and a million and one handwork projects (hexies and crochet) which are progressing very slowly. And my day job is really busy and writing-intensive right now - when you are spending all day every day at a computer cranking out legal opinions, sitting down to write a blog post becomes a bit less appealing. I'd rather be crocheting!

Living Room Progress


Check out our new couch! Isn't it fantastic! I am absolutely loving my new living room. And look, my mom crocheted me some pillow covers! Mom and I are having a blast talking crochet right now. She's the pro, of course - I can't believe how even and perfect her work is.

Soft Pillows


The "ripple" afghan behind Maggie was a vintage score off Etsy.

But I haven't stopped sewing altogether, and I definitely haven't stopped buying patterns (ahem). I got sucked in by the most recent Oliver + s sale and purchased both of the new patterns the other day. This got me thinking about all of the o+s patterns that I own but have never sewn (cough cough), which in turn inspired me to whip up my first Roller Skate Dress for Maggie. Maggie really likes the dress, but boy can she be uncooperative with photo shoots these days (another reason blogging has become more difficult!). So here's my review, accompanied by various awkward shots of my fabulous daughter Margaret Joy.



Roller Skate
Mom is the paparazzi.


Pattern: Oliver + s Roller Skate Dress, view B with decorative facing and no ribbon.

Roller Skate
Hand in mouth.


Fabric:  Art Gallery Dreamin' Vintage Sweet Meadow Rose quilting cotton for the main part of the dress. Maggie likes it because it is pink. I love it because it reminds me of 60s bed linens. I used a scrap of soft light blue denim for the facing, and it's lined in a super soft sheer cotton batiste.

Roller Skate
Bottle in mouth.


First Time? Yes! I am trying to sew up some of my as yet unmade Oliver + s patterns in an effort to make myself feel better about buying all of the new releases! As usual with Oliver + s, the instructions are excellent. I expected a very fast and simple dress, but it was a bit trickier (and nicer) than I initially expected. Oliver + s patterns ask you to spend a bit of extra time on details. The decorative facing, lining, and elastic casing earn this pattern its "two scissors" rating.

Roller Skate
What happened to your arm, Maggie?

Size: Size 18-24 months. It's a bit roomy on my 28 month old Maggie. Sigh. I try not to worry too much about how tiny this girl is. After all, both Steve and I were tiny for our age as children, but grew up to be quite average in stature. Anyway, it will likely still fit next summer. I just can't bear to keep sewing 12 month-sized items for Maggie! She never grows out of anything, it seems, and the home-mades are piling up!

Roller Skate
Maggie thinks that she's supposed to stick out her tongue at the camera. I think Joe taught her this.


Modifications: The only thing I did differently than the instructions was to hem the main fabric and lining as one. 

Roller Skate
I don't even know.


The Good: This pattern only has a few pieces to trace, which is awesome. In Maggie's size, it hardly takes any fabric (well under a yard for the dress), and it has no buttonholes or zipper fastenings to worry about. This would be a great pattern for a beginner sewist who is looking to learn some new skills. It would also be a great pattern for someone who loves clean insides but doesn't have a serger, because the raw seams are all enclosed in the lining.

Roller Skate
What is that on your nose, child?


The Not So Good: I think the simplicity of this pattern is a bit deceptive. Decorative facings are hard to get right! I'm not 100% happy with this one, but it's good enough. I used a lead pencil to transfer the stitching line onto the lining fabric (that way if it doesn't wash out perfectly, no one will know), then I trimmed and notched that curve and pressed and pressed and pressed some more!

Sewing the elastic casing is a bit tricky as well. It's simple, but it's definitely not brainless. Of course, that's also a good thing. But consider yourself warned! I would probably suggest that a rank beginner try it without the contrasting facing first. Instead of marking the lines for the casing, I carefully pressed the dress along those lines with hot steam and sewed along the crease. I know I'm not the only person who hates transferring marking lines (I transfer the minimum of markings onto my fabric and rely on snips, pins, or lead pencil dots whenever possible rather than actually transfer lines). Rolling/folding the skirt and lining up carefully to get them out of the way while I was sewing the casing helped keep things from shifting around too much as well.

These aren't really complaints, of course. I like that even with such a simple shape, Oliver + s manages to provide enough interesting details to keep even an advanced sewist interested.

Roller Skate
Looking away, hand about to go back in the mouth.


Make Again? Absolutely! This is a great dress. Maggie took to it immediately. This dress is perfect for everyday wearing - not too fussy or fancy, but pretty and graceful nonetheless. And I think it actually looks best of all on older girls, so I expect I'll be making plenty more.

Roller Skate
She loses interest. I give up.


Another excellent Oliver + s pattern! Fabric-stash-busting and pattern-stash-busting! Yay me!

Okay, hopefully I'll be back in this space before another few weeks goes by! What are you sewing these days? Did anyone else splurge on the new Oliver + s patterns?

9 comments:

  1. My younger son is impossible to photograph lately. He wants to grab the camera and put his fingers all over the lens. I think you got some very cute shots of Maggie! I love the dress-- I always have Oliver + S girl pattern envy. The fabric is so cute and I think the contrast facing looks great!

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    1. Thanks Teri! Yeah, Maggie will either be RIDICULOUSLY photogenic, or totally not into it. And you never know! And it can change in a second! Ha.

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  2. Your living room looks fantastic. I love your couch and the accessories. The rollerskate dress looks wonderful and your little one is too cute. I have made one but I did the one fabric (which was really busy) and that was a lot easier. I just made the bedtime pjs and kept thinking how fun it was to sew something simple that didn't require me to use my seam ripper often.

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  3. Hey Inder! Well you not only inspired us, but we actually followed through on it. We painted our tiny half bath a color called "Window Pane" which was a shade lighter than Sea Salt (I believe) and our living room "Paper White" - a banjamin moore color - grayish white. It looks so great and is such a nice change! Thank you!

    This dress on Maggie is adorable. About it being roomy - there is something a little off about that pattern sizing, I think. I wonder if something went slightly awry in grading that pattern or something. I can sew Oliver + S patterns usually one size down for my girls (one size up in length for Ind) and they are perfect. This bodice was so roomy. The size 3 is still a bit roomy on 5 year old Tia! You can see how it looked on 4 year old Tia here - http://www.stitched-together.com/2013/03/oliver-s-roller-skate-dress-in-voile.html
    And this one on Indigo was way too big too! It fits her now - as a tunic! http://www.stitched-together.com/2013/03/oliver-s-roller-skate-dress-in-voile.html
    So it's not just M being tiny on that one! :)

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  4. Your couch and living room are fantastic! Wow! And I love those pillows- especially the ripples. Come spring I should pull out the roller skate pattern for another try. Super cute on Maggie!

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  5. OK, so could you please ask your mom what pattern she used to make the ripple pillow that Maggie is leaning up against? I need new pillows on my couch! I'm currently crocheting a potholder after learning that potholders do catch fire on gas burners (and me with the fire thing - ugh)... It's going to be pretty but toddlers are not very helpful in yarn adventures.

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    1. Hi Genie!! I special ordered it, and referred my mom to this tutorial/pattern. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/47850814765809547/ I knew it was beyond my current abilities. I *think* my mom said the pattern was UK style, so watch out for that. I LOVE my cushion!! It's fabulous!

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  6. The living room looks fabulous! I love your new couch.:)

    The roller skate dress is so sweet on Maggie!

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  7. Living room=perfection. And I think the good thing about Maggie being smaller is that you don't have to buy yards of fabric when a small amounts works. So that means you can buy even more!

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