Thursday, December 1, 2011

little comfort clothes

There was so much sewing in the late summer and early fall that I actually forgot to buy her a winter wardrobe. When we started to feel a chill in the air, I realized I had little to nothing in the way of warm play clothes. Kids’ clothes always seem to sell out by early fall, so I had no choice but to sew some. I’ve had the Class Picnic pattern since it was released, but I was already starting on summer things by the time it arrived and never got to it. I looked at it again and thought of some flannels in my stash from last year.

This may be my favorite Oliver + S pattern yet. It is simple, yet elegant. It has subtle well-designed details and I think it would look lovely made up in nearly any fabric. I love how the elastic casings at the shoulders not only make this top easy to wear, but creates a look similar to a puffed sleeve. That slight puffiness looks positively darling on a little shoulder, but isn’t fussy at all. It’s a thoroughly modern design, but rooted in a traditional look.

The Picnic Blouse is only slightly more complicated to construct as the Ice Cream dress and so could easily be made over and over. There is so much room to add you own touch to this design. It could be lengthened into a dress; the sleeves could be lengthened or shortened. I’m already picturing this in white linen for the summer with tiny details out of some Liberty scraps.

You can see it’s perfect for playtime. It’s loose and easy to move in. We like the Picnic Blouses paired with skinny jeans or Ponte leggings. The three quarter sleeves are great for babies. Long sleeves tend to get wet or dirty. I hemmed them with large stitches so I could let them out if need be. This flannel is just some cheap stuff I bought on sale at Joann last year. For the 18month size, I used a mere 25” of fabric so this top cost probably less than $4.00.

The only reason I hesitate to call it my #1 fav, is that finishing is not as easy as for the Ice Cream dress. These were quick easy playclothes, so for once I simply pinked the seams. After all, flannel doesn’t ravel much. Normally I’m absolutely nutty about seam finishes. My French seam favorites might still work here in a very lightweight fabric, but the yoke facing creates an extra layer in the seam which might make them a little bulky. I think for a fine finish on a slightly heavier fabric – wouldn’t this be so cute and cozy in corduroy? – a very lightweight seam binding might be in order. I will work on finishes when I sew this for spring - and I will be sewing it for the spring!

This is a tough time of year to snap photos. The sunlight hours are so short and so many days are gray. If we have just one thing to do in the morning hours, I’ve lost the whole day as far as photos are concerned. There are only three quiet mornings when boys are at school, so this is the best I could do this week. I made two of these, so there will be more next week. Don’t you love the bottom lip?


  1. I love to read about the things you make for your daughter. But I can't see the pictures!

  2. Thanks for letting me know. I'm having some computer issues and will sort this out asap.