my favorite oliver + s pattern: school days jacket

May 18, 2017   /   byRachel Le Grand  / Categories :  Feeds

Here is the next installment of the “My Favorite Oliver + S Pattern” series. Today we have Lynn who is stopping by to share a bit about her favorite Oliver + S pattern. Here she is.

Oliver + S School Days Jacket

Hi, I’m Lynn Cosgrove and I’m really pleased to be here to share with you my favourite Oliver + S patterns.

I came across Oliver + S patterns once our beautiful granddaughter, Addison was born 3 ½ years ago. Whilst we were waiting her arrival I was busy making quilts, bunting, nursery tidies, alphabet and number blocks–in fact anything I could make got made for the nursery and that trend continued too when Arthur was born 2 years ago.

I made Addison’s first dress when she was about 12 weeks old. I saw the Oliver + S patterns but considered them expensive so I purchased another brand instead. The dress turned out well despite it being fiddly because Addison was so tiny but the dress just didn’t have that oomph – you know that “something special” feeling. So the next time I was in the fabric store I took a look at the Oliver + S patterns and purchased the Family Reunion pattern. I’ve not looked back since and now have nine in my collection.

From the first pattern sewn, I have been hooked and none have disappointed. The Family Reunion dress was followed by the Hide-and-Seek Dress and the Roller Skate Dress. I made the Art Museum Vest which was made in Liberty Tana Lawn (my favorite fabric) for Arthur to wear to a wedding last year. The Lunch Box Culottes have been made a few times but one pair have to be worn back to front as I embroidered a clown on the front but Addison insists should be at the back!

Oliver + S patterns are amazing – printed on super quality paper, clear instructions with some brilliant techniques that just add to the quality of the overall finish of the garment. At first I’d say to myself “You want me to do what?” but I went with the flow and have learned so much, all down to Liesl and her fabulous work. How much time I’ve saved myself by putting in a basting line ½” from an edge as a guide I’ll never know but I use this all the time now and it’s so much more accurate than measuring manually and a lot less fiddly.

Oliver + S patterns are now the only patterns I consider buying when making garments for the grandchildren, although I can now draft my own patterns thanks to Liesl’s fabulous Building Block Dress Book which I purchased as soon as it was released. But more on that later.

I love all the patterns I own for different reasons but my overall favorite just has to be the School Days Coat. It is the only pattern that I purchased as a digital download and I wasn’t sure how that would work out. Despite having pages and pages of pattern pieces to join together, it went together easier than imagined albeit it a little time consuming. Well it is if you’re anything like me and just want to get the fabric cut and sew, sew, sew!

The first coat made was for Arthur when he was 18 months old. I made it in size 2 so it has some growing room. It was made in a dark navy pure wool coating fabric with a paisley jacquard lining in blue and gold. Working with pure wool can be daunting because it’s quite thick but it went together perfectly and Liesl does include some guidelines for working with such fabrics, which are useful reminders even if you already know how to work with different fabrics. The beauty is that the fabric does not fray and is easily manipulated.

Fabrics for Oliver + S School Days Jacket

I couldn’t find the right color and quality cord to make the toggles so I opted for some Prym Toggle Fastenings although I couldn’t use the placement guides on the pattern for these so it took time to make sure they were positioned correctly and would close once the coat was finished.

Arthur is known as “Arthur Bear” so the coat was finished off with some personalized labels. The end result was a stunning, classic duffle coat that made Arthur look a right “Bobby Dazzler.”

Oliver + S School Days Jacket

I was so thrilled with Arthur’s coat that I decided to make another one for Addison. I made it in a fuchsia Boiled Wool and lined it with an acetate lining. I had to print a different size pattern but again had no issues with fitting the pieces together or with the finished size. The fabric was a little more challenging as it was fairly thick. I again substituted the toggles because I couldn’t find a great match in cord so opted for some felt duffle fasteners with a wooden toggle.

Oliver + S School Days Jacket

Both coats have been widely admired with requests received for coats to be made for their friends, but this is one coat that is being made only for family.

Oliver + S School Days Jacket

While I learned to sew while at school I only returned to sewing garments in the last three years after our grandchildren were born. My love of making garments for our gorgeous grandchildren has now led me to launch my own business which is something that I couldn’t have even contemplated doing without Liesl. At the time I was considering launching my business, “Little Scallywags”, I was researching courses on pattern drafting as this was a skill that I would need to take my business forward. I saw a few courses but didn’t enroll in any as they didn’t quite give me what I was looking for. I then learned that Liesl was launching the Building Block Dress book and luckily for me my mother treated me to one of the very first copies. The book is amazing and my copy is well worn. While my business is in very early set up stages and at present I am trialing different dress styles for Addison to enable me to create my own unique patterns for my business I could not have done this with such ease without Liesl.

Liesl, thank you for your vision and creativity; for sharing your skill and knowledge; and for empowering all us sewers to take our skills to the next level.

This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Oliver + S

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Hot Patterns DISASTER – Weekender Cargo Pants

I don’t enjoy writing bad reviews. In fact, I would much rather just pretend nothing happened and never write about this. But then, I would feel bad about other people buying this pattern. I had such high hopes. I love the casual styling, I love the topstitching, the pockets are fun, I love the pockets that form the belt casing. It could have been a great pattern. I would have enjoyed the topstitching and the pockets. Alas, it was not meant to be.



First, the crotch height is um, high. Like, the highest draft I’ve ever seen. This almost reached to the bottom of my bra. I don’t understand it. At all. How can the draft be this high? Can you see the faint white chalk marks where the rear pockets go? The pocket flap would start on my back!!
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Look, you can actually see the bottom of my black and white sports bra. The top of the pants go way above my ribs. And the seam allowances are 3/8” on this pattern. Even if you took that into account, the height on these is crazy.
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So then I had an ah-ha moment. Maybe it’s NOT the pattern. Maybe I need to make a larger size? And pull them down more?? Maybe my hips are not letting the fabric settle down where it should be? So I loosened the pins holding the CF together and ended up with the weirdest low, pointy crotch ever. No, it’s not me. It’s definitely the pattern. When it is pulled up to rib-ville, the crotch curve actually fits okay. At least, it really felt like that is where it is supposed to be.
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On the plus side, I used crappy muslin fabric and didn’t spend too much time on this.
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Anyone want to buy a pattern? I won’t be using it. I bought it because I love my Jalie Vanessa pants (which I’m wearing right now) and thought these might be similar. Hahahhahahahahhaa. Maybe, instead, I will add the details I like (the pieced and topstitched legs and the large pockets) to my Jalie pants instead. They never let me down. The Hot Patterns tally is 1 for 2 now. I have one more pattern to try out. Oh, and I did email Hot Patterns last week about the missing pattern piece on my HP t-shirt. No response. It’s been a week.

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