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review: oliver + s little things to sew
Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children, which is written by Liesl Gibson, evolved in a very natural way. The author had previously worked as a designer for Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. When taking leave after having a daughter she was unable to find suitable patterns for making children’s clothes. So she created her own patterns(!) for girls and boys up to age 12.
Twenty projects are accompanied by clear instructions, their level of difficulty, and beautiful pictures and full size patterns are tucked into the front and back of the book’s hard cover. An excellent glossary explains basic sewing techniques in detail, for ease in learning new skills. One element of Oliver + S that I really appreciated is how it states which skills are required for each project, e.g., topstitching, gathering, buttonhole, etc. That immediately helped me to understand what would be required to accomplish it.
All of the creations are darling, and would be appreciated by any child for their imaginative qualities. And choosing their favorite fabrics gives children the chance to make the result uniquely their own. The child-size messenger bag, penguin backpack or bento box carrier (that opens into a placemat!) are excellent ideas for school age children. Soft blocks are transformed into a magical play town, which doubles as a charming decoration for a child’s room. A simple bag filled with bright, colorful juggling balls would make a delightful handmade gift. And the doll or stuffed animal carrier, which is based on a real baby carrier, is not only adorable, but will help to keep beloved toys from being left behind while going out.
Looking at all the projects made me think of how cute it would be to make a mini version for a child’s favorite toy or doll so they can match, like the no-tie scarf, the multi-colored tutu or the red riding hood cape! The set of paper dolls, printed on cardstock in the back of the book, are ready to be cut out and dressed with the clothes and little extras from the removable dust jacket, are an added bonus! All of the projects in Oliver + S Little Things to Sew have a timeless style, making it a keepsake for many years (and even generations) to come.