Wednesday Wrap Up: Little Things to Sew

If you are consistent follower of my blog, then you have surely seen me make mention of Leisl Gibson’s book, Little Things to Sew. After having her daughter, Leisl found she was very displeased with the pattern selections available, and having worked as a designer for top international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, she certainly came into the world of fabric and pattern design with loads of experience when she founded her company, Oliver + S.

Leisl makes a large range of patterns for little girls and boys ranging in sizes from six months all the way up to size 12. She also designs fabric for Moda; her lines include City Weekend, Modern Workshop, and her latest, Cape Ann.

Her book, Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children, is filled with exciting and unique projects to suit your children whether they be young or old. I have made two projects from this book thus far. My first project was the penguin backpack, and the next a drawstring bag.

I have heard over and over how easy Oliver + S patterns are to understand and follow. It is so true! I can’t tell you how easily this sweet backpack came together! This particular project did involve alot of pattern pieces (16), some curve sewing, and zipper installation, but the pieces were notched perfectly and with some great step by step advice, the penguin backpack was assembled in no time.

I did complain about the number of pattern pieces in an earlier post. I did think it was excessive at the time that I was wrangling the big pattern paper under a home copier. That really was quite a job, but once I did have all the pattern pieces cut out and taped together, I was actually glad to have each piece and not have to worry about having to come up with my own pattern pieces. Liesl really went above and beyond and included a cutting layout in the back of the book, so that you can make the most of your fabric and reduce waste. That was really wonderful.

With all of my pieces cut out, I got to work and it only took me a few hours to complete the bag, even with the handsewing. The only thing I changed about this pattern was that I embroidered the eyes rather than using buttons. This was just a personal preference on my part because I know my two year old, and I’m pretty sure she would eventually yank or bite off the buttons just because she could. Therefore, the embroidery was a better option for me. 

I’m so thrilled with this backpack. Layla asked me for a backpack for her birthday, and I think she is going to love that it looks like a penguin. I used quality supplies to make this, and the pattern was just fantastic. I know I’ll be making more backpacks like this!

I used Timeless Treasure Crosshatch Sketch in Black and White for the body of the penguin and Crosshatch Sketch in Sun for the beak and feet. The front pocket and lining is Diamond Mine in Sky from Anna Maria’s buttery soft Little Folks line. All of the fabric is from Hawthorne Threads. The fantastic heavy duty long pull zipper is from ZipIt, and the strap adjusters are from Sewing Supplies on Etsy. All of the beautiful pictures of the backpack are by Emilee.

I also made this drawstring bag from Little Things to Sew. This bag was actually part of a pattern that included juggling balls, but since Layla is only turning 2 and juggling is not currently one of her talents, I opted to use this very functional pouch for her Memory game. You can find out more about the drawstring bag and Memory game in this post.  

Little Things to Sew is packed with unique projects for children. Whether its mittens and a scarf, or even a puppet show, this book really does cover it all. Even if you do not have children in your life, having this book in your creative library is a wonderful thing for when you need a gift for a niece or nephew, or a friend’s child- you will certainly be giving the coolest gift! If you are interested in purchasing Little Things to Sew, you can find it on my Amazon widget to the right. They have the best price on the web!

Do you own Little Things to Sew? What projects have you made?


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Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way. 

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