Ollie’s Birthday Shirt

I had some reservations about making the Oliver+S Sketchbook shirt. I haven’t made one since Greg’s Negroni, and let’s just say he’s super polite to wear it because, y’all, it’s a mess. I don’t dare look at it now because I might forget all about the sentimentality it stands for and burn it.

I also haven’t been sewing as much as I would like, so I feel quite rusty.Β With the test garment, I decided to take my time. Well…I had no choice. I was only able to work on it here and there, in between naps and bedtime. But it’s amazing how your sewing quality shoots up a couple of notches when you don’t rush. Funny that. Note to self: TAKE YOUR TIME. I am so used to rushing through garments that most of them have cruddy innards and have fallen apart after a handful of washes. My mending pile is huge. Such a shame.

Because of baby I have toΒ slow down and really concentrate at the work at hand. Thanks baby! Oh should I saw, toddler? Whoa.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

I had a devil of a time using the one-step buttonhole attachment on my machine. The buttonholes just would not finish the process. I’m guessing the buttonhole foot just did not like the placket. Or maybe my tension was off? I didn’t try to figure the issue out. I unpicked (oh vey!!!) the bad buttonholes and you can barely see the damage they caused on the placket. With time ticking away, I grabbed my hammer. Enter pearl snaps. Months ago, when I was planning my Archer, I impulse purchased a bunch of pearl snaps. Thank goodness.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

Another useful purchase for this project was the blind hemming/edge stitching foot. So useful for topstitching the collar, cuffs, hem, and plackets. Too bad I bought it before realizing I already had one! D’oh! Silly Mela. At least it didn’t cost much.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

I love the under collar so!

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

I encountered a few hiccups while doing the sleeves. It wasn’t until I finally set them in that I realized I wanted to do a French seam. I could’ve unpicked them and start all over again but this shirt was the first one to give me grief when inserting a sleeve. When I finally got them in without puckers I felt quite a bit of relief.Β So no way was I unpicking them. I zig-zagged the edges and called it a day.

Another hiccup was putting in the snaps on the wrong side on the cuffs. The sleeve plackets should lie flat but if you look in the photo they turn up. Oh well. Not enough snaps to take them out and re-do. And I don’t think Ollie minds so much πŸ™‚

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

The intention when making this shirt was for it to be made up from the inner yoke fabric. The chambray version was just my test version. Time ran out and it became the final version πŸ™‚ But it worked out great because it goes well with any accessories. Chambray is totally a blank canvas, a gorgeous neutral to work with.

Sketchbook  Shirt by Oliver+S

Using some yummy leftover Liberty tana lawn I made Ollie a bow tie to go along with his new shirt. This fabric has been such a giver. I’ve made so much from it: bibs, burp cloths, my maternity dress, and now the bow tie. And I still have scraps of it left.


I still have to make his other shirt, the one originally set to be his birthday shirt. Now that spring has sprung I am going to skip the long sleeves and go short. That will make the process go faster. He might just get to wear it before fall!

Here’s one last shot of my boy wearing his duds.

Dapper Dude


40 thoughts on “Ollie’s Birthday Shirt

  1. This is such a cute shirt, even with your mishaps. Of course, Ollie makes everything look smashing! How did you like the pattern? I’ve thought of buying a couple of patterns from them, but I’m not so sure because I haven’t made anything from them before.


    • Duh! I’m such a spaz. Can’t believe I forgot to mention how I liked it. I liked the pattern a lot. And the instructions looked intimidating but after a good read-through they weren’t at all. All the pattern pieces matched up well. No complaints!



  2. Oh, that kid! This shirt is so adorable – that contrast at the inner yoke and undercollar is just amazing! And I agree – chambray is basically a neutral, I think, so this shirt will go with so much. I get a silly kick knowing that in the photos, it looks like a normal shirt, but if I were to see it in person, it would be tiny!

    AND: you mad burp clothes out of Liberty?!?! You must be rich, LOL!!


  3. OmG ollie just gets cuter! He’s gorgeous. Great job on the shirt. They are not easy. I scored some jasper conran fabric in a sale to make shirts for hubby and been putting it off cos I’m scared!


    • Thank you! I understand your reservations. Any fabric we hold precious is often hard to cut into. But I bet it’ll come easy with a little practice. I made a dress twice before I cut into my Liberty fabric.


  4. He is TOO cute!!! Out of control! I love this little shirt, and it looks so cute with the bow tie and vest. Really, really sweet. I’ve made a couple of little boys’ shirts, and it’s pretty satisfying to go through the steps of making a shirt, but on a much smaller scale.


  5. He’s such a little dude πŸ™‚ love the shirt. I’m still yet to stray into that territory. I so wanna make a little one for my nephew though. happy birthday to him and I love ya new do by the way xxx


  6. What a cutie – his little outfit is pretty nice, too. The snaps were an excellent solution to your buttonhole frustration, they look great on the chambray! And that print fabric is fantastic – can’t wait to see what you make out of the rest of it!


  7. So impressed with your perseverance!! I’ve shied away from sewing clothes for my nephew because it kills me to think of putting in all that time & effort & only getting a few wears out of it. I sewed him some booties when he was born & they never fit, so now I just stick to bears & other toys!
    How dapper is Ollie looking in that last photo, by the way?! So cute πŸ™‚


    • Thank you! I try and stick to making him clothes a size bigger, with the hopes it will last a season. The shirt should get some wear through the summer (sleeves folded). Luckily he seems to grow slowly so his clothes last for a while. Thank goodness.


  8. Melizza,

    I’ve been so out of the loop since starting grad school last August – I was just catching up on Flickr for the first time in months, and realized how much I missed your photos! And that I’d missed your son’s birth! BELATED CONGRATULATIONS! You are so talented. This latest creation is beautiful – and the shirt isn’t bad, either. πŸ™‚


  9. Wow Mela, what a gorgeous shirt! I just want to pick it up and run though my fingers, the quality looks so good. I read about your trials with a smile on my face because it kind of looked perfect to me. He looks so handsome in it too!!!


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