Tuesday, January 23, 2018


News of Sewing

Webster Top & Dress Sewalong Day 5: Side and Back Seams and Hem

We’re making great progress on our Webster Tops & Dresses! Today, we’ll be sewing the side and back seams and hemming the lower edge. On Friday, in our final installment, we’ll be securing the straps and facings to finish our Websters. First, let’s sew the side seams. This step is essentially the same if you’re making the top or the dress, but if you’re making the top, you won’t need to worry about lining up the hem band seams. Pin one side seam with front and back pieces right sides together, matching notches, facing seams, and hem band seams if you’re making the dress. Sew, finish the seam allowance, and press towards the back. After you finish the seam, press the facing down to the inside of the shell, wrong sides together, over a ham. Repeat this step with the other side seam and the back seam. When pinning and sewing the back seam, make sure to pivot at the facing seam allowance in order to get a sharp V at the center back. Press the seam allowance to once side and give the whole shell a good press. We’re going to go slightly out of order now and hem our Websters so we can just do a few finishing touches next time. If you are using silk or another slippery fabric, the easiest first step is to sew a line of stitching 1/4″ from the bottom edge. This will serve as a guide when folding and pressing and also creates a line of punctures that can help the fabric fold cleanly. Press the whole bottom edge up by 1/4″. Then press the bottom edge up by another 1/2″ and secure using pins or Wonder Tape, which would be our recommendation. Topstitch the hem from the right side at a scant 1/2″, making sure to catch all of the layers underneath. Give the hem a good final press and make sure you maintained the curve. That’s it for today! Next time, we’ll finish our Websters! Make sure to share your makes with us using #WebsterTop or #WebsterDress! The post Webster Top & Dress Sewalong Day 5: Side and Back Seams and Hem appeared first on Cashmerette.

Idea for a programme entitled ‘Yachting Mishaps’. Some funny, some tragic.

Hello hello! What's happening, folks? I'm grand - I'm honestly trying to blog more and stay in touch, especially as I have a backlog of lovely dresses to show you, but the part of my personality that is totally lame has been pushing itself to the forefront, making it hard to sit down to blog. I've spoken about it a fair bit but it's true to say that my mental health has been suffering recently. A friend said recently that Brexit has made him so angry in so many different ways that he has to work hard to preserve his mental health, and this really rang true for me. For me it's not just Brexit, of course - it's the absolute state of the situation at home in Northern Ireland, everything that has happened here in England in the last few months (including the way in which English people are interacting with Northern Irish politics) and...well, as I've said a few times, just the general state of the world. I have a very lovely life and, thanks to thera..
News of Sewing

Webster Top & Dress Sewalong Day 4: All-in-one Facing

Today we’ll be tackling the Webster Top & Dress’s all-in-one facing; which can be a bit fiddly but leaves us with a beautifully clean finish! Make sure you’ve sewn the shoulder seams of the outer shell and the facing, but not the side or center back seams. Lay the shell out with the right side up just as you did when basting on the back straps. Place the facing on top, lining up the neckline with right sides together. Pin around the neckline, leaving a gap where indicated on the pattern. (This is where we’ll attach the other end of the back straps later. Sew around the whole neckline, stopping and restarting at the two gaps. When you get to the point of the V in the front, leave the needle down and pivot the fabric to get a nice sharp point. Snip into the seam allowance at the point of the V, right up to but not through the stitching line, to allow the facing to lie flay when finished. Flip the facing out so both the right side of the dress and facing are visible. Press the seam allowance towards the facing and understitch the facing to the seam allowance 1/8″ from the seam you just created to help prevent the facing from rolling out. Make sure to leave the gaps you created in the last step unsewn!! Now for the bit that makes this an all-in-one facing. Flip the facing back on top of the shell, right sides together, and align the armscyes. Pin and sew carefully around both armscyes, making sure the back straps are out of the way and not getting caught in the seam. Next, we’re going to turn this right side out, which is a little tricky with an all-in-one facing. Starting from the front of the facing, reach in between the shell and the facing through the opening at the shoulder and pull the back through the opening until it’s all the way through. Repeat with the second side. Press the facing flat, rolling it slightly in at the edges to prevent it peeking out, and congratulations! You’ve successfully sewn an all-in-one facing; your neckline and armholes are all finished! That’s it for today! Next time, we’ll sew our side seams and center back seams and hem our dresses and tops. The post Webster Top & Dress Sewalong Day 4: All-in-one Facing appeared first on Cashmerette.

Floral Orla (French Navy Now Orla)

I'm going to go a little wild with the pattern hacking in the coming weeks, so to start off my month of Orla dresses, I thought I'd first make a plain version just as written, only making my personal fit modifications. Sometimes people ask what fitting I do, and I always think this is kind of a funny question. First, I'm no fit expert. I generally strive for "better than off the rack" and focus my adjustments on fitting my smaller bust and larger hips (#pearproblems) but I don't claim that my clothes fit perfectly (except when I do). Secondly, every body is different! That's why we sew right? So I can tell you in minute detail what changes I made, but that doesn't necessarily mean those are the changes you should make! Even if my bust/waist/hip numbers are exactly the same as yours, we won't have the same all-over shape: even after taking like 100 measurements for my sloper, I still made adjustments! It's not a perfect science. But, since you ask..

Concord Tee Dresses – Round Two

These next two dresses are all about florals and pattern hacks and are my latest Concord Tee Dress Hacks... The Sleeves ~ As shown below the sleeves are the difference between the two dresses. I made a slight change to each sleeve to personalize each dress. There are no other construction changes from the original Concord Tee hacks. Adding the circle/flutter to the sleeve was discussed in the original Concord Tee hack post. The split sleeve for the rose dress was detailed in this post. The Dresses ~After making two darker print Concord Tee dresses, I knew that the next ones had to be of a lighter hue. I pulled two floral print crepey knits (what Fabric Mart called them but what LAFinch Fabrics is calling Liverpool Knits) from the collection. I need to stop here and discuss the fact that I love florals. I own a lot of floral fabric. However, if you've followed along for awhile, you will notice that I didn't sew a lot of florals prior to leaving the corporate job. That&#039..

let’s give them something to talk about

Hello there! My goodness it's almost the end of June. I can't believe it's taken me so long to photograph this dress and write a blog post about it. I had been saving it to do a Mood post, but kept pushing it back because I was having trouble getting it photographed. Between battling the weather (rain, rain, and more rain) and camera batteries I thought I'd never get this thing documented! But finally I decided I was going to get a photoshoot done, no matter what the weather, and I'd just have to pretend I'm cute with my umbrella as a prop and the rain was all part of my plan from the start. Spoiler alert: I didn't need the umbrella after all and managed to sneak these photos in during a couple dry moments between passing clouds. But the insane greenery of the background is proof that, indeed, it's been a rainy June! I've shown this dress a few times on my Instagram account. I made it quite awhile ago now, while I was taking my blogging bre..

Introducing Orla Month

Recently I've started getting more questions from beginner and aspiring dressmakers, wondering how I got started and what patterns they should start with. It's still incredible to me that people regularly reach out with questions and comments and compliments, since it seems so recent that I was in their position, cold emailing the sewing bloggers that I admired, asking for help and guidance (and I still do this today!). Although I'm not an expert sewer by any means, I love providing some inspiration and encouragement for newer dressmakers, and I feel strongly that this little online community we have should be welcoming and encouraging for people of all skill sets, from "hem your own dress" to "couture gown from scratch"! The more the merrier! A few months ago, I shared 8 beginner-friendly vintage-style patterns, and today I'm kicking off a month-long event I've designed with some friends to encourage you--yes, you!--to sew a dress, even if you never have befor..

OAL2017: Invisible Zipper + Hemming

Hello, everyone! I’m back from Belize, burned butt and all (this dum-dum didn’t think about how her ass would literally be the ONLY thing sticking out of the water while snorkeling… oh well, worth it! I swam with sharks and stingrays and even waved at a manatee! He responded by showing off with an underwater somersault!). One more final OAL post, to wrap up our dresses and then get back to normal (post-vacation) (post OAL) life! This post is pretty redundant as I’ve covered invisible zippers in the past, but I’m always keen to take some ~fresh photos~. Plus, this shows you how to insert an invisible zipper with the facing already sewn in, and a French seam at the bottom! If you are sewing a lapped zipper, here is a tutorial for that! Or you can do an exposed zipper! THIS IS YOUR DRESS, U DO U. Start by measuring exactly where your zipper stop will hit (or use the pattern marking if that’s your jam) and sew up to the marking, starting from the bottom and backstitching to secure. If y..

introducing itch to stitch patterns by Kennis Wong

This summer we are going to be adding some exciting new brands of digital sewing patterns to the Oliver + S shop and introducing you to a number of talented independent designers and pattern makers. We kick that off today by welcoming Kennis Wong of Itch to Stitch Designs to the blog. The complete collection of Itch to Stitch styles is available now in the Oliver + S shop. After you read Kennis’s introduction, you can jump over there to see her work. Here’s Kennis. Hi! I am Kennis Wong, the owner and designer of Itch to Stitch Designs. I am so honored that my sewing patterns are now part of the lineup in the Oliver + S shop. Let me introduce myself and share with you my sewing and design journey. I learned dressmaking when I was 13 years ago at school in Hong Kong. I remember the first items I made were a pair of shorts and a baby dress. I was so proud of them. I am not sure why my school only had treadle machines, but that’s what I used to make them. (I am not that old; electric s..

Girl’s Easy-to-Sew Sundresses

School is out; Summer is here; and, the perfect thing to wear is a sundress. In particular, two Girl’s Easy-to-Sew Sundresses. I’m going to show you a few simple tricks that you can use to take a girl’s easy-to-sew sundress pattern and embellish it with my FREE appliqué templates. I’m part of a fun blog tour called Melly Sews Sundressing 2017. Every day during the month of June a new sundress idea is posted. If you love dreamy sundresses then you’ll want to click on the above link to see all the different patterns you can sew up for yourself or a little girl in your life. For my entry into Sundressing 2017, I made two sundresses for my (almost) four year old granddaughter who loves all things girly. I wanted to keep the sundresses lightweight since she is spending a lot of her summer in Central Florida. Click to read the rest...

The Charlie Caftan Pattern: Inspiration & Styling

Hello caftan lovers! I never knew there were so many of you out there, but judging by the smash success of our recent Charlie Caftan pattern, my dream of an international caftan cult is well on its way to reality. In many ways Charlie is one of our simplest patterns. For that reason, it seemed superfluous to do a sewalong – how many of you really need posts on hemming and sewing straight seams? That said, the center panel can be a bit of a challenge to sew if you’ve never inset anything with a sharp corner before. In addition to a few posts on styling, fabric choices, and pattern modifications, we have a full post planned on how to sew a perfect inset panel, with lots of tips and tricks to get great results; that post will be coming later next week. Today I want to talk about inspiration & styling! I had a pretty strong caftan Pinterest board going long before I decided to design a pattern for one. In the last few years the style has become increasingly popular, and I love how many d..

building block dresses sewn by frances suzanne

We are delighted to welcome Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne back to the blog. They have stopped by in the past to share their two favorite patterns (the Puppet Show and Music Class), to talk all about tucks, and to share their sewing for a trip to Disney. Now they have a post all about the Building Block Dresses they’ve sewn for their nieces. Here they are. Hi all! It’s good to be back sharing with the Oliver + S community today! Summer sewing for us often includes grand plans, with the potential for having more time to sew. Building Block Dresses always enter the picture when discussing what to sew next. It seems we have become quite the picky “pattern customers.” You see, we like a lot of patterns…. Yet, more often than not, we find one minor thing we would “do differently” if we were to sew the said pattern. Thankfully, Liesl’s book Building Block Dress: A Sewing Pattern Alteration Guide walks us through those visions with clarity, ease, and with a much greater pace than if ..

One more sleeve hack…

This time I decided to share the technique before the dress' reveal. Partly because it was a good sewing weekend and I didn't want to stop and take pictures and partly because my photographer wasn't around. The sleeves are what makes the difference between the last two dresses. The rose and white dress has a split sleeve with a banded tie. How that banded tie is constructed is what's featured in this post. Honestly, that tie took me three tries to get right and I almost gave up on it! I photographed all the steps so that I would have them memorialized in case I want to do this again...okay, not so sure about that last statement! Here is how I made the split sleeve with tie ~ The sleeve alterations are the easy part. Take the sleeve and fold it in half, then press it flat: Lay the pressed sleeve flat and cut the pressed edge leaving a full inch from the sleeve cap: Serge finish the edge and press back 3/8" just pass the serging: Stitch all the way around the cut ..

announcing the popover sundress summer sew-along

Join us this summer as we sew the Popover Sundress. We’ll be doing a photo tutorial next week right here on the blog. You can get your copy of the pattern for free from the Free Patterns section of our website. The Popover Sundress is a girl’s A-line dress with a contrast yoke and bias ties at the shoulders. It is available in sizes 2-8, plus there is a version for an 18-inch doll, as well. I love sewing up the Popover Sundress. There is no elastic, no buttons, no zipper! It can be made so that it is completely reversible (front to back) and the best thing about this pattern is that it is a free download. If you would like to sew along with Liesl step-by-step on video, you can do that with her Creativebug workshop. Look out for the step-by-step photo tutorial next week. In the meantime, how about some inspiration to get you in the mood to sew one or two Popover Sundresses? You can view all of our posts about the Popover Sundress here. Be sure to check out the Tiered Maxi Dress tutor..
News of Sewing

Webster Top & Dress Sewalong Day 1: Preparing your fabric and pattern

Hi everyone! Carrie here again to get us started on our Webster Top & Dress sewalong! The Webster is such a versatile summer sewing pattern (or layering piece for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere) and we can’t wait to see what you create! Choosing your size The first step in our sewalong is choosing your size in the Webster Top & Dress. There are two measurement charts: one is the Body Measurement chart, and the other is the Finished Garment chart. The Body Measurement chart helps you choose your size based on what numbers you get when you measure your body with a tape measure – it has numbers for your bust (around the fullest part), waist and hip. The Finished Garment chart shows you the size of the actual sewn garment – the difference between that and the Body Measurement chart is called “ease”, and it’s the amount of extra room in the garment that the designer recommends for the clothes to fit well and allow movement. Generally, you want to start by comparing your measurement with the body measurement chart. However, sometimes you might find that it looks like you’ll need to grade between sizes based on your measurements. When this is the case, taking a look at the finished garment measurement chart can help you decide when grading is actually necessary. For the Webster, the positive ease will make it so the need to grade is less likely; see below for more detail on that. As with all Cashmerette Patterns, the best bet is to start with your bust measurement – you should use your full bust measurement, which is around the fullest part of your bust. Because of the cup sizing, you may find you could fit in two different bust sizes – in which case, you want to pick the overall size that’s closest to your waist size. So for instance, if your bust is 44″, you could theoretically be a 14 G/H or a 16 C/D. Which one should you pick? Take a look at the waist measurement – if yours is closer to 34″ (size 14), then go with the 14 G/H. If yours is closer to 36″ (size 16), then go with the 16 C/D. Because the Webster Top & Dress is meant to fit more closely through the bust and then flow below that, the bust measurement is the most important here. Also think about the overall size and shape of your frame. Do you have smaller shoulders compared to a larger bust? Then maybe in the above example, even if your waist is 36″ you should try the 14 G/H. Fitting is a bit of art combined with science! Don’t fret if the cup size doesn’t match up with your bra size – there is so much variation in bra sizing that it’s not possible to perfectly line them up. Use your bust measurement and you’ll be fine. Grading Between Sizes The Webster Top & Dress has a significant amount of positive ease in the waist and hips as it is designed to be a floaty, flowy fitting garment. If you want to grade between sizes or make a more fitted garment, check out this post where Jenny details how to adjust the Webster! Preparing pattern and fabric Now that we’ve chosen our size and graded if necessary, it’s time to prepare our pattern and fabric so that we’ll be all ready to sew next time! Are you using silk or a slippery fabric and feeling a little intimidated? Check out our Tips and Tricks for Sewing with Silk! Here’s your checklist: Wash and dry your fabric, to make sure it’s pre-shrunk and you’re not going to get any nasty surprises later! Press your fabric so it’s nice and flat. Check to see if you get any iron shine when you press the right side. If so, you’ll want to use a press cloth when pressing between steps. If you’re using a printed pattern, either cut or trace off your pattern pieces – if you’re making adjustments or are going to make any dresses in other sizes in the future, I definitely recommend tracing. If you’re using a PDF pattern, you’ll need to print and assemble it. Here are some pointers to help you. Transfer all the markings to the fabric. For the notches, make a little snip into the fabric, within the seam allowance (so no more than 1/4″/6mm). Cut all pieces, following the layout diagrams in the pattern. For the next step in our Webster Top & Dress Sewalong, we’ll get started interfacing, stay stitching, and sewing our darts. Share your progress with us using #WebsterTop or #WebsterDress! The post Webster Top & Dress Sewalong Day 1: Preparing your fabric and pattern appeared first on Cashmerette.

The Dress Discussion – “What’s Up with Wearing A Dress Everywhere?”

Two of my favorite bloggers recently wrote about how sewing and wearing dresses are discussed in the sewing blogging community. As a sewist who loves a dress for all of these reasons ~ easy to wear, a lot of creative opportunities to make, one piece to put on ~ I'm gobsmacked when other sewists opine that dresses are fancy. Especially since to me, dresses can be dressed up or down...worn with heels, flats, sandals, boots or sneakers and worn anywear...even the grocery store! I also don't understand why dresses are confined to fancy events or church. I wear maxidresses to picnics, but fancy seems to be the word associated with dresses. So what do you think? Are you a sewist who loves sewing and wearing dresses? Or are you a sewist who wears a dress ONLY when you have to? Are dresses part of your regular life, worn everywhere? Or do you sew a mixture of garment types? Talk back to me because this is the Question of the Day! ...as always more later!

The Nore for women: also for woven fabrics!

I have great news for you. The Nore dress for teens and women has a big advantage: it's suitable for stretch AND woven fabrics. Hooray! This gives you so many opportunities when picking fabrics for your project. You can even combine both stretch and woven fabrics in one creation as I will show you in a couple of days. Today I present the most easy version of the pattern. A basic top without pockets or split panels. The neckline, armholes and hem are all finished with bias binding. (A small tip: when you use bias binding, choose one made from a soft fabric AND a narrow version. This gives a perfect result.) I bought the fabric in Haarlem as Nina and I were going to a next sew social meeting. We had a screen printing workshop planned but I forgot my fabrics and bought a super basic AND cheap fabric to do some tests. I printed this geometrical figure on thick felt too. Of course it was Barbara from Bobbinhood that showed us many tips and tricks. It was an unforgettable experience. ..
News of Sewing

Web Crochet Bandeau Straps

"Rock your backless summer dresses by adding these eye-catching straps to any simple bandeau you already own. This pattern uses Caron Simply Soft Party yarn and provides both the crochet and total assembly instructions so that you can put this project together in just a couple of hours. Easily adjustable sizing means you can customize the straps to your own perfect fit. So BYOB (bring your own bandeau) and make it your own with this easy crochet pattern."

She’ll be a summer girl. She’ll have hair. She’ll have summer friends who know...

HOWDY PARTNERS. How is everyone? Mainly a little bit like this, perhaps? I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm not really complaining about good weather. I wish that I didn't have hay fever and that humidity didn't make me swell up, but I'm happy about the warm weather, even if it makes it difficult to leave the house. There are numerous ways to cope. The last time I wrote, we were about to go on holiday to Paris. We went, and it was awesome. We had ten days and were staying in the 17th arrondissement, in a beautiful Haussmann apartment next to Parc Monceau. I did a little bit of fabric shopping and we did some cultural and touristy stuff (we went to the Pompidou Centre and to the Musee de Montmartre) but mainly we spent the time pottering around, drinking champagne and people-watching. It was bliss. Here's me with a glass of Ruinart and a Cafe Gourmand on the Ile de la Cite, living my best life. We had ten days of relaxation and beautiful weather and then we ..

A Rayon Chambray Lenox Shirtdress

Howdy, friends! I sure hope you’re keeping cool (or warm) where ever you are. It’s very hot (109 F) and humid (75%) as I write this here and I sure hope it gets better soon as it’s utterly miserable here. We can take the heat and are used to it here in the Sierra foothills, but it’s usually a dry heat which is more tolerable. As our house is cooled by a water cooler (evaporative air cooler), it doesn’t work well with the current humidity, so it just plain sucks. It’s better than being outside though! Anyway…. I’ve read that this is the summer of the shirtdress and shirtdresses are trending. Well, they’ve always been trendy with me. And at least being “trendy” might mean that there are more shirtdress patterns to choose from, eh? Source: Cashmerette Patterns *Note: Portions of this post originally appeared on the Cali Fabrics blog I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the hunt for the Holy Grail of shirtdresses for a long time! I’ve been searching for something classic, comfortab..