Spending a lengthly spell at Christmas staying with relatives meant that I couldn't WAIT to get stuck into some sewing projects when we got back home. I finally articulated my plans earlier this week, but I'd been aware since we returned that the scraps-and-small pieces tubs needed dealing with. So I went to work...
I'm setting you the following challenge: type 'Oliver and S Sailboat' into a Google image search. If you have a small person to sew for, I dare you to try and NOT immediately buy the pattern! Unless you already own it, you may find it almost impossible.
One of the things I love about this pattern is that the garments genuinely seem to look awesome on girls as well as boys. Just as great looking sewing patterns for men are relatively thin on the ground, it seems that there are slimmer pickings for boys as well. When I looked into the independent children's sewing pattern companies last year, I did find some fantastic boys patterns, but the quantity of options was significantly less, which makes this pattern a total win, IMO.
I bought the Sailboat pattern in PDF form in the smaller size range, which runs from 6-12 months to 3T. I used the straight up size 2T for my first version (the pink one) and it although Dolores's waist is slightly smaller than the pattern sizing was designed for, it fits her perfectly right now. I made the denim version in the size 3T to keep for later this year. For that version, I lengthened it by a couple of cms and made a back waist facing piece rather than folding over the denim to encase the elastic, as I felt the denim would be too thick and potentially uncomfortable.
As with all my experiences of Oliver + S patterns, this was a total joy to sew. Their patterns are usually fairly involved (for a child's garment pattern), with well drafted details and clever constructions steps. I finished the pink skirt and almost immediately dived back into the scraps-and-small pieces tub to see what else I could find for another go-round.
Fabric and notions:
Although I'm not a fan of dressing Dolores in pink, I can't deny the fact that she is already responding to that colour more powerfully than I would like. However, this pink needle cord is a raspberry shade that I can handle better than most others. It was a small piece, no more than 40cm in length, that was left over from some sampling work I did over a year ago. It is beautifully soft and a real pleasure to sew. The buttons were from my stash, which I originally bought from Britex in San Francisco back in 2006-ish. I've seen these buttons crop up elsewhere on sewing blogs, and the reason that I hadn't used them until now is that I only bought four. Perfect for this project, and Dolores adores them.
The denim is thicker and much crisper than the cord, although it has some stretch content so hopefully it'll still be fine to wear. It was the final scrap from the piece that also became the Sweet shorts Fail and super cute fawn pinafore dress. Consider this denim busted! The front facing and back waist facing fabric was a tiny whisper of a piece that I got from the scraps bin whilst teaching a sewing class at the Village Haberdashery.
No voyage into a nautical sewing pattern would be complete without some anchors somewhere or other! These gorgeous plastic buttons were in my stash and I believe were a gift from a sewing friend. HUGE apologies but my memory is too foggy to remember from whom exactly. Please know that they are loved and I am so grateful!!!
These projects made me soooo happy, both in regards to the construction and the outcome. And as you can see from these pictures, Dolores was equally happy dancing about in her new pink skirt. Whenever we put her in a dress or skirt, she instantly and automatically starts circling the room!
Although they are more expensive than many children's sewing patterns, particularly PDF's, I feel that Oliver + S patterns are totally worth it. I intend to make both the top and trousers parts as well to justify the purchase further.
Pattern: $13.95 (approx. £9.80) available here
Buttons and notions: £0 (if they've been in the stash for longer than I can remember the original price, then that's £0 in my book)
Total: Either £9.80 or £4.90 per skirt.
Which leads me to my current conundrum that I would like your opinion on please. I'm not sure how my project total costs should work. If a pattern costs me £10 but I use it twice, does that make each garment cost £10 because that is what it would cost if I only made one? OR does each garment end up costing £5? If you think the latter, what happens if I go on to use the pattern a third and fourth time? Do those garments then cost £3.33 and £2.50 respectively? Or do all four then become £2.50 each? I'm obviously not going to go back to previous blog posts and adjust the total cost, that would be insane. I'm over thinking this aren't I? Even if I am, I still need to come up with a strategy I can stick to. Please help!