Sarah recently made the Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt and Shorts and graciously agreed to share a review of the pattern with us! And, um, how adorable is her son!!!! (By the way, in case you don’t already know, Sarah is a digital designer and has awesome digital scrapping kits! Check them out in her store! )
For this outfit I used the Sketchbook Shirt & Shorts pattern by Oliver + S. The fabrics used are Amy Schimler’s Lions by Robert Kaufman for the shirt and camel corduroy for the shorts. You may not typically think of corduroy for shorts but this a very fine wale (21-wale) and lightweight, so it’s a nice way to create extra interest in an outfit. (Plus it’s super soft and comfortable! When I tried the shorts on my son for the first time he didn’t want to take them off!)
(Look at the face Sarah got when she said it was time to take the outfit off! Ha!)
Note that I intentionally sewed a bigger than recommended size of both the shirt and shorts. There are only a couple more weeks of shorts weather around here and I wanted to make sure my little guy could get a bit more wear out of his cute outfit.
Liesl of Oliver + S has rated this pattern with 2 out of 4 scissors (advanced beginner), but says the shorts are really a 1 scissors pattern (beginner) and I agree! With such a nice finish, I was a bit concerned they would be difficult but the pattern is well illustrated and every step is clearly described, so there is no reason to be intimidated!
If you want to ease yourself into it, start with the shorts and then move on to a short sleeve shirt. The long sleeve shirt has the additional step of sleeve plackets, so if you sew the short sleeved version first you’ll already feel comfortable with the front placket, buttonholes, and collar.
I would absolutely recommend this pattern! The Oliver + S patterns give such a professional result in a surprisingly easy way. Read through the pattern before cutting and again before sewing. Some of the pattern pieces look way too big at first, but that is because they will be folded and stitched to create eliminate additional pattern pieces and hide many seam allowances inside the garment. I trace all my pattern pieces on to freezer paper and then fold those along the marks to help visualize how it will come together.
One thing to remember when you sew any Oliver + S patterns– check the Oliver + S website to see if there are any corrections/errata for the pattern. Also, if you have any difficulties you can post a question in the specific forum for each pattern and hear back from others who have sewn the pattern or Liesl herself.
I will definitely be sewing the Sketchbook Shirt & Shorts pattern again! One thing I will do differently is be a bit more careful with the placement of the front shirt panel pattern pieces on the fabric. I originally wanted one of the lions fussy-cut on the pocket, but that just didn’t look right with the print placement on the shirt front. I ended up un-sewing my original pocket and switching to a different fussy-cut pocket. Next time I make this pattern with a big print I’ll pick the design for the pocket first, then align the front panel to perfectly match up with that.
Thank you, Sarah! These are on the list for me to make for my boys! The shorts would be adorable in a plaid also. Oh! Pure collection from Sweetwater (coming this month) has an awesome argyle print. It’d be perfect for the shirt too! And the stripe from that collection would make adorable shorts as well.