Monday, March 24, 2014

Finished project: Oliver + S Playtime tunic and leggings

We think that my daughter, Eva, has recently hit a growth spurt because everything has suddenly very quickly gotten to be too short on her. Her size 18M leggings and pants are all capri length now, and some of her 18M sized t-shirts are dangerously close to showing toddler tummy when she moves around. (She turns 21 months old today.) We have a handful of 2T sized outfits for her, but with the way she goes through clothing, I felt that it was best for me to take a break from sewing for myself for a couple of weeks and beef up her 2T sized wardrobe.

I ordered the PDF download version of the Oliver + S Playtime Tunic & Leggings back when the pattern was released, but of course, didn't get around to making it up until now. Oliver + S have really nailed the PDF format for their patterns; patterns are placed so that there's a minimum of taping sheets together. If a pattern piece can fit on one piece of paper, that's how it's laid out. I think that this format lends itself really well to kids' patterns where you will probably use several different sizes over the years--you don't have to worry about preserving the original pattern tissue for tracing. When you need a new size, simply print the pattern back out again. I'm not affiliated with O+S in any way; I'm just really impressed with how they do their PDF patterns.

In any case, here's the envelope picture for the tunic and leggings:

Leggings and a tunic with pockets! What could be more of a staple outfit for a little toddler girl? There's also a faux peter pan collar option. Here's the line drawing(s):

This is one of those projects where I made a bunch of changes and more or less ignored the instructions. I opted to use a couple of cotton-lycra blend jerseys (purchased at Mill End in Portland on our Portland trip last fall) for both the tunic/dress and leggings.

Oliver + S Playtime Tunic & Leggings - front view

Oliver + S Playtime tunic & leggings - back view
Most of the pattern changes that I made revolved around my choice to make the tunic in a knit rather than a woven:
  • I eliminated the back placket and instead worked a bound keyhole opening to provide extra room for getting the dress over my daughter's head. To do this, I stitched the two back bodice pieces together so that there was a seamline at CB. I stopped stitching about 1.5" below the neckline and then bound the opening. I'm not sure if this is the "right" way to do a keyhole neckline, but it worked:
Keyhole opening adaptation
  • As you can see from my photos, I bound the neckline, since I didn't use the facings. I used the same fabric as I used in the leggings for contrast.
  • I used the peter pan collar pattern piece to applique a contrasting peter pan collar to the tunic. In the future, I think I'd alter this piece to make it a bit larger. (The pattern piece is actually a template for topstitching.)
  • I didn't bother topstitching the pockets to the tunic skirt. 
Sizing for both the tunic and leggings is similar to a 2T in RTW brands like Carter's, OshKosh, and Old Navy. Unlike some toddler patterns, the back rise on the legging pattern piece is a bit longer and nicely accommodates going over a diaper in back. (i.e. No diaper exposed plumber butt with these.)

I'll take more/better photos when I get a chance, but here's a preview of Eva wearing her new outfit. (For size reference, she's on the border of the 18-24 month & 2T height ranges on the O+S size chart, so I opted for the larger size.) Apologies for the somewhat blurry toddler-in-motion pic:

Given the hit-and-miss of kids' pattern sizing, I'd tell you that this pattern is worth the cost just for the leggings piece alone (I've already made up a 2nd pair of the leggings, which will be paired with an Ottobre top), but the leggings are now available as a standalone, "singles" pattern. The fabric chart says that the 2T takes 3/4 yard for the leggings, but mine only needed 1/2 yard, and I sewed them straight off the PDF. They also only take about a half hour to make up, so I know that the leggings pattern will be getting a ton of use from me. Note that for the top, I opted for the tunic length, and it runs a little long and nearly reaches her knees, but this isn't a big deal with kids' clothes--just something to be aware of.

Overall, I think that Oliver+S patterns are generally really cute, but sometimes they're not overly practical for a kid like mine who's always climbing on things, rolling around on the ground, etc. This pattern, however, is both very cute and very practical for an active toddler girl.


  1. How gorgeous is Eva in her new outfit. So sweet.

  2. What a cutie. I like how you bound the keyhole on the back, too.

  3. She is so cute! Does Arya get a matching bandana or doggie coat? 'Cause that would be so cute too.