Thursday, 19 March 2015

Oliver + S Lullaby Layette set | Baby shower gift

I spent last Saturday afternoon at my first ever baby shower, for a lovely friend of mine. I am now at that age where my friends are either starting to have babies or certainly thinking about it! Although we were instructed not to bring presents I couldn't resist making something. This is the first time i've looked at what patterns Indie Sewing companies have available for children - for a comprehensive list have a look at 'So, Zo ...' Zoe's two recent posts (part 1 and part 2). I opted to make the Oliver + S Lullaby Layette bodysuit after it was suggested to me by a couple of sewing friends. 

Here are the details:

Name | Lullaby Layette Set
Pattern Company | Oliver + S
Price | $16.95 for both PDF and paper versions (approx. £11.37)
Suggested Fabrics | Light to medium-weight woven fabrics like quilting cotton, poplin, lawn etc.
Sizes | 0 -3 M, 3 - 6 M, 6 - 12 M, 12 - 18 M and 18 - 24 M
Format | Paper and PDF (email with link for immediate download)

| What I liked about this pattern |

The pattern has several variations so plenty of options: bodysuit with short or long sleeves and top or jacket variations with trousers. I also liked the idea that you can keep using the pattern to make different options from new born to 24 months. It also works well if you don't know whether you are making for a boy or girl, as all the patterns are gender neutral. 

I like the attention to detail with the pattern and although I have no experience myself, it very much comes across as a pattern that was designed by someone who knows what works well for baby clothes. The pleats at the front and back provide plenty of room and with snap fastenings at the front and lower body, it will be very easy to take on and off. Plus, short and long sleeve options make it suitable for different seasons. 

The pattern also comes with templates for where to place the snap fasteners, definitely my favourite bit of construction, these really do give it the professional finish and you can have plenty of fun hammering them on!

| The materials I chose and how much fabric I used |

I chose to make the bodysuit with long sleeves (as the baby i'm making it for is due next month, so it will still be chilly weather!) from a small patterned cotton poplin. The sky blue bias tape for the neckline came from my stash. I also used white elastic, lightweight fusible interfacing and hollow metal snap fastenings, coated in white. I got all these supplies from the Sewing and Craft Supertore in London. The pattern recommends for the bodysuit that you need 3/4 yard (approx. 68 cm) for the main fabric and 1/2 yard (approx. 45 cm) or fat quarter for the placket and bias tape (size 0 - 3 M). I used just 40cm for the main fabric (115cm wide, including matching for the placket) and a short strip from my stash for the bias tape.

| Was the pattern user friendly? |

Yes, I downloaded the PDF pattern, which was 47 pages in total  - 17 pages of instructions, 30 pages of pattern. They were easy to stick together and matched up well. The pattern pieces are all labelled clearly too for the different options.

| Were the instructions user friendly? |

Yes, the instructions are comprehensive detailing cutting layouts, glossary and construction. There are drawings at each stage to illustrate the text, which were really helpful and the different garment options have their own subheadings so you can easily navigate to the item you want to make. 

| The difficult bits |

By far the most difficult bit was sewing the front placket but the instructions do help a lot with this, although it took me a little while before I felt sure I was doing it right! As the bodysuit is so small, you need to take a bit more care sewing the hem of the sleeves but there is a really useful tip about sewing with the bodysuit right sides out from the inside of the sleeve. The only other bit that took a bit of time was getting the elastic right around the leg openings. The casing for the elastic was narrow and I spent quite a while trying to persuade it to pull through but the finish is worth it as it looks neat. There is also another handy tip about concealing the elastic ends inside the casing/lower snap placket opening for a professional finish.

| What I would do differently next time | 

The only thing I would do differently next time is to take more time over the front placket, as the finish on the inside was not quite what I would have wanted. The fold of the fabric at the base of the inside of the placket, once sewed in place, left a smaller corner of raw fabric edge visible.

| Time taken to make it |

I spent an evening making this, so I would estimate about 5 hours.

| Overall impression |

I was impressed by this pattern, both with the finished bodysuit and the attention to detail that has gone into the design and the instructions. I would definitely recommend it. 


  1. This is totally adorable. I love your fabric - and it's perfect for this outfit.

    1. Thanks : ) I've got a metre left of the fabric so will definitely be making another one!

  2. his is the first time i've looked at what patterns Indie Sewing companies have available for children - for a comprehensive list have Lullaby Babies