Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oliver and S Class Picnic Blouse

This week, sewing along with Elizabeth (do check it out), I have ventured further into the world of Oliver and S.  And believe me, it is a world unto itself - there are huge flickr pools with over 15,000 photos, and blog sew-alongs, as well as the forums over at Oliver and S itself, with a dedicated forum for each individual pattern! Um, wow, that is way cool. So my first tip is, before you start any Oliver and S pattern google it and check out all the extra resources you can. You will find the experience of others to be plentiful and invaluable. For example, last week I made the reversible bucket hat (free pattern on their website), but since then I found a blogger who shows how to make the hat without any hand-sewing! - very clever and more speedy!

My girlfriends and I had a little sewing retreat this past Friday night. Yup, we stayed up past midnight, had plenty of salty and sweet (crackers, dip, brownies), and just sew sew sew and yak yak yak.  We started in the late afternoon with kids underfoot, then later our hubbies took over the childcare and we really got down to business! This week, I made the totally cute Class Picnic Blouse by Oliver and S.

Check it out:

Raglan sleeves, 3/4 length, elastic at the shoulder. If you sew this blouse, I highly recommend taking a look at this tutorial clearly showing how to apply the bias strips which encase the elastic.  Its not hard, but its always nice to have a visual before doing it yourself :)

Yoke with light gathering on bodice. I have seen versions on flickr with piping across this chest seam. Next time!

This is a size 6. Added 1 1/2" to bottom hem, and I could have added more! I also think this would show nice with a ruffle on the bottom edge, not too deep, like maybe an inch. Or, you can turn this into a dress by lengthening the top and adding a deep ruffle - its featured on the Oliver and S blog.

The back mirrors the front, but with a deeper yoke at the back. Next time, I'll add a little piece of ribbon inside to show Alexa which side goes in the back. Like a tag.

I added a ribbon trim around the bottom of Maria's. Maria's is a size 5, only one size down from Alexa but there is a big jump in the size! I added an extra 1 1/2" to the bottom of her hem as well.  I think this blouse in a baby size is even sweeter and would like one for Kate who is 18mo - but that means purchasing another copy of the pattern in the baby sizes. I think I might be able to guesstimate it from Maria's though.

I really enjoyed this pattern. I envision making this in fall fabric, even in a very lightweight corduroy. Goes great with shorts, goes great with leggings as well if you add length to the hem.  If deciding between a bigger or smaller size, go bigger for this pattern. It isn't THAT roomy for the size.  For example, Maria is an average 3yo, but she is wearing the size 5 and it just so fits. 

Next up for sewing - I've cut out more of the reversible bucket hat with some pattern adjustments, and I'd like to make the shorts that go with this picnic blouse. It will depend upon my mood, and the weather :)

And onto the reading!
We are still plugging away (there's no rush) at reading aloud James Steyer's Talking Back to Facebook. So so good. 

The other read this week is something I came across in my travels at the Kindle store - written by one of my heroes, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty:

At just over $1, its a treasure to add to your handy dandy kindle!!! The book is really an essay, something you can read in a short sitting, but it has so many words of wisdom and truth that it brought me to tears. Here is a little excerpt:

"... law's most noble purpose is to safeguard the "being" of life from the rawest preferences for "having" and "doing." Take, for example, the fact of the "being" of the baby in the womb. That "being," that life, trumps the values of usefulness, efficiency, convenience, privacy, or satisfaction of one's needs. A culture of life with supportive laws guarantees this."

"For many couples, babies are now postponed by chemicals and latex, until a couple might decide they'd enjoy one and then are irritated when they can't conceive, driving them to laboratories where perhaps technology can make up for what only nature does perfectly. I know that this does not apply to all infertile couples."

"Still, for many, its another example of what I want, when I want, because I want."

"Many people have babies, if at all, to satisfy their own desires, not to sacrifice for the child's; to fulfill their own needs, not because they long to spend the rest of their lives fulfilling their children's needs; to reward themselves, not because they want to shower love upon their kids.  To this culture of death, the Church boldly and joyfully promotes the culture of life."

Them's powerful words, huh?!!
My dear friend downloaded this book as well and we are planning a little book discussion! Writing and speaking crystallizes thinking :).

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thank you, thank you! This is such a helpful post. I have that pattern. I think this just became my go-to fall shirt. I've got a stack a flannel here. And the dress idea? Perfect:-)

  2. Visiting by way of Needle & ThREAD, I'm a huge fan of Oliver + S. I never thought to do an internet search of their patterns for clever tricks or inspiring alterations, what a helpful tip! And I love the fabric you chose for the Class Picnic Blouse, especially that green one.

  3. Yes, very powerful words. Your blouses are adorable! My babymoon has included some special request sewing:


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