Oliver+S Lunch Box tee & Ottobre pants
This girl scorns a dress. And sneers at skirts. Quietly her attitude makes me smile – she’s right you can’t cartwheel or scramble around with something flapping around your knees. So I consider it my sewing brief: my smallest client wants practical and she’ll wear just about anything that has a cute woodland creature on it (errrr – except a dress).
So when she begged for more bunny fabric (this time in a traditional Japanese indigo cotton), I decided on pants – and dug out the Ottobre Spring 1/2010 ’Nonparelli’ pattern. I wasn’t sure if these pants would be way too much? Sooooo many bunnies jumping all over that fabric. Soooo much pattern detailing on one small pair of pants. Let me count the tricks: front inverted pleat pockets, bound and pleated back pockets, gathered cropped cuffs, back yoke, flat front waistband with elastic case back… I carried on regardless.
In the end I rather like the gathered cuff, pant volume and the sweet round pockets – I’m a nerd for pocket making so this pattern was very enticing. I know I wasted my time sewing a zipper and button closure as these pants will never be unzipped and always dragged on and off with an impatient yank. But I figure it’s all sewing practice. I made my own pants recently and realised my zipper work on kids’ clothes translated nicely to my lady pants. I’m not sure why this surprised me?
The top was an afterthought. The pattern is the Oliver+S Lunch Box Tee, which Kate bought last week after our recent sewing-for-tweens dilemma (so excited to discover Oliver+S patterns go up to a size 12!). I’d recently bought the fabric from The Fabric Store and planned to make myself a simple tee. It’s a double knit with a matte musk outer and lovely, sheeny, deep oxblood on the inside. I made the mistake of carelessly tossing my new purchase on my sewing table next to those half-finished bunny pants – and was so pleased with the colour combination I had to give it up. ALRIGHT my top would become her top (and I have to say the thicker structure of this double knit works really well on this pattern).
She LOVES this top – I’m not entirely sure why? Maybe it’s the loose, boxy shape, the soft, silky inner or the slight warrior-girl sleeve? Who will ever know. But even though it’s arctic outside she wants to wear it daily, and talks about it often. Oh yep – clothing is an ongoing discussion. Warmth, itchiness, colour and stretchiness all have to be negotiated. I want her to be warm and she wants to be unencumbered. (And please don’t mention the colour because this girl doesn’t do anything near pink!)
So it wasn’t what I predicted: the complicated, detailed-driven pants are popular, but the simple t-shirt is the true hero of this outfit. And not just with its owner. Now my tween is begging for her own Lunch Box Tee – it’s clearly going to need tracing in multiple sizes. But I guess mass producing this t-shirt is much easier than repeating those pants, so I’ll count my blessings (and hide my favourite knit fabrics from now on!)