Book Review: Oliver and S: Little Things to Sew
Whenever I look at sewing patterns, I always go back to Oliver and S designs. They make me want to sew and, as a beginning sewist, to advance at sewing.
It's hardly surprising, then, that I would choose Oliver and S's Little Things to Sew as my first sewing book to review.
As with all Oliver and S patterns, this book's patterns are exclusively for children–although they are not intended to be made by or with children, I should note.
Unlike the Oliver and S patterns, however, Little Things focuses entirely on toys and accessories rather than outfits. After a bit of dithering around–or should I say careful consideration?–I chose to make the Red Riding Hood cape.
Prior to beginning sewing, I had to trace and cut out the pattern pieces onto parchment paper and cut out my fabric. The purple woolen fabric, which I used for the outer layer, I got on my trip to Manchester, and I ordered the mustard lining cotton from The Eternal Maker.
The pattern called for much more fabric than I ended up using, although if I had bothered trying to make my fabric pattern line up, there would've been much less left over. As it was, I felt that was beyond me at the moment, and I was pleased to have extra fabric in my stash.
This is marked as a low difficulty pattern, and I would pretty much agree with that, although it's not for a real beginner. (I would consider myself somewhere between a beginner and an improver–definitely not yet intermediate, even.) The only confusion I had was with the first step, which involved tailor's tacks, something I'd never done before.)
Luckily, I did all of my sewing during Sewing Club at 131, so there was plenty of help and tea on hand. If you're a beginner sewist doing a pattern from this book, or any other pattern, I'd definitely recommend doing the same. Reassurance on tackling new jobs is invaluable.
Once I got all of my pieces pinned, by far the most time-consuming and tedious part, the construction of the piece was pretty straightforward and the instructions were clear.
I love the way it came out. I ended up doing a magnetic snap instead of a button and loop, which makes the fabric overlap at front. It works okay, but there definitely is a little bit of pull that wasn't intended by the designer.
So do I like the book? Well–I'm already planning to make the doll carrier for my daughter's Christmas present. And the best part of the book is actually not in the book at all…
If you love the fabrics used in the book, you can find them online at Spoon Flower, unlike with most sewing books. It's pricey, but if you just have to recreate something from the book, it can be done.
Better yet, there's a very supportive forum at the Oliver and S website for the book and all O+S patterns. Members are very generous about sharing tips and helping with tricky bits–including the pattern designer, who is active on the forum.
I'd definitely recommend getting this book from the library, but you might have to wait a bit–I'll be getting it back out again soon!