Red Squirrel Dress (Simplicity 2063)

I made the same dress, Simplicity 2063 from the Little Lisette collection by Liesl Gibson, twice over the holidays.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
This dress is finished with bias tape at the arms.

This time I made the size 5, but otherwise, it’s pretty much the same dress as I made previously. Same super soft corduroy, same colourful piping, this time in red and grey.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
I really like the red piping.

It’s a nice simple pattern that makes a really cute dress. This one was so popular that no one would sit still for a photo shoot.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
These buttons were in a mystery button jar.

Summary

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2063 from the Little Lisette collection by Liesl Gibson, available in sizes 3-8, and now out of print.
Fabric: 

  • Corduroy, in Grey Squirrel by Stenzo.
  • Kona solid for the flat piping.

Size: 5.
Cost: Pattern: $0 (used once already). Fabric: About $18.
Sewing Level: Adventurous beginner.
Modifications: None.
Results: Really cute and very soft.

A Blue Gnome Dress (Simplicity 2063)

I think I’ve had this pattern (Simplicity 2063 from the Little Lisette collection by Liesl Gibson) in my stash for ages, but I was looking for just the right fabric.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
The fabric is amazing. It’s corduroy, but it’s very soft, almost like velour.

Then I found this cute corduroy online. It’s super soft. The fabric is light-weight but it feels almost like velour. Perfect for little ones.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
Lately I’ve been making a lot of lined dresses, but this is finished with piping and bias tape.

The pattern is quite simple. It’s an a-line, panel dress with flat piping to set off the panels. It wasn’t difficult. The instructions were good. The bodice is finished with bias tape at the arms, but I think I might prefer a lined bodice next time.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
The a-line shape is really flattering.

I didn’t make any changes to the pattern. I just followed the pattern instructions.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
I made the size 3, which should be a little big, but the fit on the dress is just right.

My youngest is growing so fast that it’s hard to keep up. I made the smallest size, size 3, and hoped it wouldn’t be too big, but it seems just right. Good thing I didn’t try to grade it down a size.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
I really like the flat piping on this dress.

There always seem to be so many events to attend over the holidays, so a new dress is always handy for the kids, especially when it is as cute and comfortable as this one.

Summary

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2063 from the Little Lisette collection by Liesl Gibson, available in sizes 3-8, and now out of print.
Fabric: 

  • Corduroy, in blue.
  • Kona solid for the flat piping.

Size: 3.
Cost: Pattern: $1. Fabric: About $18.
Sewing Level: Adventurous beginner.
Modifications: None.
Results: Really cute and very soft.

Simplicity 2063 Little Lisette Dress as sewn by The Finished Garment
Kid No 4 loves the dress.

Stashbusting for Kids

Gastroenteritis folks. It’s done two rounds at our house. The laundry has been Sisyphean. The sewing, minimal. The sleep? Well, let’s not even mention the lack of sleep.

I have managed to eek out a super quick project though.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment

Ages ago I bought a few yards of chocolate brown baby cord. After four pair of kid-sized pants and  my Ginger skirt, I was left with just under a yard. Cue kid No 1 complaining about having no winter skirts “at all”. Hmmm, possibly a slight exaggeration. But in any case, we couldn’t have that, so I whipped up this skirt the same evening.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
Back of the Sunday brunch skirt.

This is the Oliver + S  Sunday Brunch Skirt. It’s a simple, straight skirt (though the pattern is described as a-line), with elastic waistband, pockets and a black kick pleat. I made this in a size 6 and it fits just right.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
The skirt has a cute kick pleat.

As always with  Oliver + S patterns, this was a dream to sew. The instructions were so very clear, and I finished the whole thing in under 3 hours. That includes tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric. If I hadn’t added piping, it would have been even faster.

The only changes I made were to add an inch to the length and add flat piping in a pretty lavender print. The skirt definitely needed that extra inch. And the piping will match a top that’s in the works.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
I added flat piping.

Kid No 1 was in the skirt the next morning and out the door to school, so I would have to say that this was a highly successful project. Unfortunately, that left very little time for photos, and it was dark and dreary so these are not my best. Another skirt for Kid No 3 is on the way, if only I can get the laundry done.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
The skirt is a big hit. Yay!
The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
Side view of the Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S,

This project is part of the Stashbusting Sewalong.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sunday Brunch Skirt by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Baby cord. I used quilting cotton for the flat piping. The print is  FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Size: 6.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Added an inch to the length and used flat piping for trim.

Results: Great and fast. I would recommend this pattern and plan to make it again. In fact, I’ve already cut out the fabric!

Ginger for Fall

I have been slowly rebuilding my wardrobe with some basic everyday clothing. After four pregnancies, all pretty close together, my wardrobe is in rough shape. I’ve also changed shape, and so my old clothes just don’t fit right. Rather than battle the clothes racks with four kids in tow, I’ve decided to make what I can.

This is my latest project, the Ginger skirt by Colette.  It’s a simple, high-waisted a-line shirt, fitted  in the hips with an invisible zipper.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
Me in my Ginger skirt.

I used a super soft baby cord, which is the same fabric I used to make pants for my kids. They think this is hilarious. Ha! Just wait till high school, kids.

I cut the size 18, based on my waist measurements, but I ended up taking in two inches, and I could have taken it a bit more in the hips. Next time, I’ll cut a 14, graded out to a 16 waist.

At first I thought the 18 looked ok. But it wasn’t lying smooth over the front of my hips. So I scoured the internet looking for similar body shapes, in the same skirt, and with the same problem, and they all had their skirts quite low on the waist. So I raised the waist and took in the sides and the skirt fit so much better. It was a whole new garment. I’m honestly not used to such a high-waisted skirt. Most ready-to-wear a-line skirts are designed to sit lower, but I do like the look. Next time, I’ll also take the skirt in a little more in the hips.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
I took this photo before I raised the waist and took in the waistband. You can see how it’s not smooth in the front.
Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
This photo was taken afterwards, and it fits so much better.

Adjusting the fit was quite easy. So if you are a bit larger than the largest size (or smallest than the smallest size), you shouldn’t have too much trouble grading up (or down) a size or two and still getting good results.

Ginger A-line Skirt Pattern by Collette Patterns
Ginger A-line Skirt Pattern by Colette Patterns.

I made version 3, which has a straight waistband , and is cut on the bias. With baby cord, the results are not quite as dramatic as the chevron stripe pattern shown on the pattern packaging, but it does make for a really nice hanging skirt. Even my husband mentioned that it hung really nicely, and with no prompting (!!!). Using baby cord also means you don’t need to worry about matching the stripes.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
You can just see how the bias cut skirt makes a chevron pattern, but it’s very subtle in baby cord.

The skirt has an invisible zipper, which went in really easily.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
What do you think? Is that zipper invisible enough for you?

I added some very thin tricot interfacing to the skirt before adding the zipper, to stabilize it.   But because the skirt was cut on the bias, it was still a little stretchy, so  I also used bias tape on the seam edges, a suggestion from a couture sewing book, and this worked very well.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
Here you can see the inside of the invisible zipper where I’ve used bias table to help stabilize.

Hemming was a bit of an adventure. I let the skirt hang for a few days before I started. I had read how Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch has Mr Stitch help her with her hemming. So I gave it a shot. I can now confirm, that while Mr Garment has many superpowers, garment hemming is not one of them. He’s pretty good with compliments though (see above). Needless to say, I had to re-hem. Luckily, my hems usually fall pretty straight, so I guess I’ll just continue t0 hem on my own. I think next time, I’ll go a couple inches shorter as well. What do you think?

I didn’t line the skirt and simply zigzagged the seams. It’s a corduroy skirt, after all.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
I used quilting cotton to line the waistband, since it’s pretty and more comfortable and cuts down bulk.

At first I was a bit shocked by the price of the pattern. I paid $18, which, for a simple a-line skirt pattern, is a lot. (You can get the PDF version for $12, which is better). But I wanted to try a Collette pattern (this is my first), and it was a gift as well (though I picked it out myself). I’ve found that the fit is really quite nice, and I will use the pattern again, so overall, still a worthwhile purchase.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
I tried to get another photo session organized, but what are those white marks on my skirt?
Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
Oh you think that’s funny? (Those white marks are tiny hand prints made of baby powder). Thanks kid!

I really like this pattern. It has a really nice fit, and is quick to sew, but also has a lot of room for creativity, if you are feeling up to a challenge. I’ll almost certainly make it again.

Summary

Pattern Review: Ginger skirt by Colette Patterns.

Fabric: Baby cord. I used quilting cotton for the waistband.

Sizes: 18, but next time I’ll cut a 14, graded out to a 16 waist.Version 3, with the straight waistband, and cut on the bias.

Sewing Level: Beginner (versions 1 & 2). Intermediate (version 3).

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and plan to make it again..

Babies in Baby Cord

I have had about 5 meters of chocolate brown baby corduroy in my fabric stash just taunting me. A quick intervention was required.

Enter 4 pairs of the Oliver + S Sandbox Pants.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Three pair of Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S, sizes 5, 3T and 18m.

I know I said there were four pairs. Kid № 1 looked, touched, and immediately put them on. She then declared them officially comfortable and wore them to school. Success! (But no photos).

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 3.
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Back pockets, without buttons, on the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Front pocket of the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.

The fabric is a dark chocolate brown, and really quite soft. I picked it up on sale at one of the local chain stores. It’s not a very spring-like fabric, but here in Montreal spring is still a long way off. The pockets are lined with Kona quilting cotton in brown. Both fabrics were on sale.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Pant hem of the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.

The Sandbox Pants, like all the Oliver + S patterns I’ve tried, are a dream to make. The instructions are great. I bought the paper version of this pattern, in both size ranges (I need all the sizes), on Etsy from Plum Project Studio. I think I bought it right after the paper version was discontinued. You can still get the digital version online and print it out at home.

Oliver and S Sandbox Pants
Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern.

I made these in sizes 18m, 3T, 5 and 6. Making that many pairs in that many sizes requires a lot of tracing paper! On the other hand, you get pretty quick at them with that much practice. It’s like an intense pattern testing setup here.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 18m.
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 3.

I made a couple of small changes to the pattern. I left off the buttons on the back pockets. I also made the waistband out of corduroy (the pattern calls for coordinating quilting cotton). I had tried this pattern once before with a super heavy twill, and the cotton was just too flimsy for the pants fabric. Even though the baby corduroy is much lighter weight that the twill, I think the pants work better with a slightly heavier fabric in the waistband. I still used quilting cotton for the pocket linings though. I also switched the drawstring waist for a flat front pant with wider elastic in the back. I think it looks a bit nicer that way with the corduroy.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Flat waistband on the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.

I plan to make this pattern again. I’ve already had a request for these as shorts in a brighter colour from Kid № 1. Again, success!

The other thing about making so many pairs of pants, is that you can really use the fabric very efficiently. I still had enough to make Colette Pattern‘s Ginger skirt. Hopefully I can get that hemmed and show you tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about it. And there’s even enough fabric left to make a skirt for one lucky kid, as soon as I get to it.

You can also find this in the Make It Wear It Thursday linkup.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S.

Fabric: baby corduroy, with Kona quilting cotton in brown for the pocket lining. Both were on sale.

Sizes: 18m, 3T, 5, and 6.

Sewing Level: Intermediate.

Modifications: I made the waistband in corduroy, not quilting cotton, changed the waist from a drawstring to a flat front, and left off the buttons on the back pockets.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and will definitely make it again.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 18m.