Charley Harper Playtime Tunic

Pattern: Oliver & S Playtime Dress, Tunic, and Leggings

Materials: Jumbrella Charley Harper for Birch Fabrics organic knit cotton

Spring always makes me want to sew for my girl Elsie. Now that she's almost 4, she is becoming much more picky about her wardrobe, but we both agreed she needed a comfy dress made from this adorable Charley Harper elephant print. 

I've made many of the Oliver & S patterns for my kids, and I'm sure I'll make many more. They are the most consistently wonderful children's patterns out there, and I'm never disappointed in the end result. I've even made this particular pattern for Elsie twice before, but never in a knit. 

I love how easy and casual the knit feels- truly suited for a fashionable "playtime." And the stretchy fabric allowed me to take a few shortcuts with the pattern. Normally, it has a three button closure on the back bodice, and the neckline is finished with facings. But I left the buttons off and added a thin, knit neckband so it would pop-over Elsie's head like a t-shirt. Adjusting the pattern pieces for this was really simple- I just cut the back bodice to be one piece identical to the front, but left the back neckline a bit higher than the front.  After sewing the shoulder seams together, I cut a neckband from a scrap of Anna Maria Knits to be 1.5" wide by 2" less than the length of the neck opening. If you've never done this kind of thing, here is a great tutorial.  

I imagine many more versions of this Playtime pattern. This one is a size 4 tunic length, but could be made into the longer dress length or cropped even shorter for wearing over shorts. It would be really cute with shorter sleeves too... or no sleeves at all!  Such an easy Spring staple!

Happy sewing! -Jessica