a dress, some leggings, and a giveaway.


it’s been a fun week in sewing blog-land, hasn’t it? all of those giveaways over at sew mama sew… and i’ve got another one for you!

but first… some pictures of the latest corduroy creations.





(my child is stepping on my handdyed handknit cashmere wrist-warmers. oy.)


you guessed it, this is the (awesome) oliver + s family reunion dress. i love the cut of this dress, and have some ideas on modifications to change it up a bit. the neckline is a bit wide on my skinny mini… she is a wee bit over the chest measurements on the 3t and that’s the size i made her (with a 4t hem). i may take the neck down to the size 2t next time. otherwise? love it.


(somebody else loves it, too.)

ok, so let’s chat leggings, shall we?


every time i sew leggings, i use the same pattern by johnny mango seed. i happened upon this pattern at our local knit fabric haven, rct fabrics, and about two years ago and have been using this pattern for leggings ever since.


the fit is spot-on, and this pattern is wonderfully simple. the pattern calls for cotton (or wool)-lycra blend fabric with four-way stretch, and i get the best results when i stick to that fabric. lycra gives the leggings “memory” and help avoid saggy knees.

(have you noticed that lots of store brands sell leggings in 100% cotton? that’s one of the reasons i started to make my own. they often just end up looking kind of dumpy. i can make these much more like tights, but avoid the hassle of tights on a 5-year old (saggy crotch)).

there’s only one pattern piece to trace and cut- so no outside hems to sew. start-to-finish in 45 minutes. and i a slow sewist.

i love that all the sizes are marked clearly in a different color, too, with the size measurements right there in the middle of the pattern sheet.


the instructions are great, and provide quite a bit of detail if you need it but are written in such a way to make them easy to skim through if you pretty much know what you’re doing but wouldn’t mind a few reminders to avoid mistakes, with large heading instructions and clear pictures for each step. there is also info provided on how to make the leggings capris, scrunched (my favorite), pieced, trimmed, and how to modify the pattern into narrow leg pj pants as well as wider leg leisure pants.

i just sew these with my regular machine and a walking foot using a short zig-zag stitch that is as wide as it is long. i also turn my presser foot pressure all the way down (which is a great feature on a machine if you’re lucky enough to have it). so no serger required.


(soft. the fabric is awesome and from our local mill-end fabric store.)

the pattern is available here for $7.95 and ships for free (yay!)… so if you’re new to sewing or if you need a great leggings pattern, i encourage you to check this one out. pamela also sells a few other patterns, and i hope to try a few in the near future (day and night pants, here i come).

pamela, the local mama behind johnny mango seed, has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of the leggings pattern! to enter, please enter a leggings-specific comment below… why do you love them? (for me? they’re a great substitute for tights. my littles can’t handle getting tights pulled up very well and i feel a lot better knowing she has pants on under those dresses instead of just tights.)

comments will remain open through tuesday december 11, and a winner will be selected at random. (open internationally)



until next time!


disclaimer: pamela, the owner of johnny mango seed, noticed how much i use her leggings pattern and asked if i would review it. the pattern was already my own and all opinions are my own.

31 thoughts on “a dress, some leggings, and a giveaway.

  1. I love tights because my girls can still wear their skirts in the winter and their legs will be warm. I also don’t have to listen to the “too itchy” complaint.

  2. Leggings are so cute under dressed and I find that I like the material of leggings better than itchy tights. I would love to win this pattern bc I keep eyeballing my own pattern and it isn’t quite right — could use some instruction! :)

  3. Would love to try these out, and can’t wait to purchase the new patterns that are mentioned on the website. Nice work, great simple workhorse designs.

  4. i’m in canada, so i won’t enter your giveaway, but i had to comment on this adorable outfit! the dress is perfect in pink, and looks just lovely with the white leggings. it’s beautiful, and your daughter wears it so well!

    • oh, yay! in that case, please do enter me. i’m having my first baby in may, so i’ll finally have my own sprog to sew for, and, if it’s a girl, practical leggings and dresses will be go-to choices :)

  5. I would love to try this pattern for my little granddaughter who always wants to be outside playing at the park, etc., so leggings are mandatory. Now, if you could only convince your Mill Ends store to sell online!

  6. Oooh, I would love to try that legging pattern. Leggings are obviously a must when you live in the Pacific Northwest and it’s warm enough for bare legs only about 2 months out of the year!!

  7. Leggings are easy! That’s why I love them.
    When you have a pattern with multiple size.Do you trace the size you want with tracing paper then transfer it to a more sturdy paper?

  8. Cute cute cute! Robin, I think you and I might be on the exact same wavelength – I was just thinking of sewing something pink with white and grey, and when you posted the teal dress/gorgeous coat combo, I actually had teal-colored linen beside me! Love the dress and leggings!

  9. gosh, i am LOVing that dress! she is adorable… as for leggings, i would really love to sew some for my 4 year old- she only wears skirts and dresses, but absolutely HATES tights!! so, we meet in the middle and she wears basic solid colored leggings underneath. every day. I would be so happy to make some up in a cool print or upcycle some of my own leggings into some for her.

  10. Such an adorable dress and cute leggings too! So funny, I just saw some Johnny Mango Seed patterns at Josephine’s yesterday but I don’t think I’d ever seen them before that – great timing on this post! Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I love the dress + leggings combo: Gravity alone is no match for my spinning, somersaulting four-year-old. I like that her little knees get some protection, some cozy, and she doesn’t need any help. Tights are so, tight.

  12. Leggings just seem so much thicker than tights, so a little more appropriate when my girls decide they are still fitting into that teeny tiny dress that is actually a tunic! And I love that dress! so adorable.

  13. Thank you for the review: I am delighted to discover that some of my purposeful choices [and changes from typical patterns] are your reasons for preferring the Johnny Mango Seed leggings pattern! It also is fun to read through the reasons people make their own leggings. In thinking about fun, print leggings, I recall a pair I made for my daughter that looked like a narrow Zebra print but in brown. They looked so 60’s and were so much fun, paired with a scoop-neck, 3/4-sleeve white tee.

    The dress is adorable! It reminds me of one I made for my daughter when she was young. I like pintucks.

    I hadn’t ever heard of wrist warmers–what a great idea! Did you knit them yourself? Someday I’d like to learn a portable craft like that.

    Thanks again.

  14. I like leggings because they are easy. More than once I have neglected doing laundry and then whipped up a pair of leggings at the last minute :) I actually like tights too because then you don’t need to hunt down matching socks but tights can’t go in the dryer (well, they could but then they shirink too short for my long-legged dd) so leggings are worn pretty much daily.

  15. My daughters LOVE to wear dresses and skirts. I have pretty much stopped buying pants for them two years ago because they don’t get any use in our house. So the only way to keep their legs warm during the colder months is by putting leggings on them, under their skirts and dresses. Would love to win the leggings pattern so I can sew my own. By the way, I love the O+S Family Reunion Dress too. Have never done it in corduroy, though. Gotta try that next!

  16. Robin, that dress is beautiful! I have had the pattern for awhile, but keep changing my mind about what fabric to use. I love the look of the baby cord – and I bet it’s super soft!
    Both my girls prefer leggings FAR more than tights b/c of the saggy crotch thing. Because tights have feet in them, they tend to fall down during the day, whereas leggings have no such issues. Here is Michigan, however, we also pair the leggings with a pair of warm socks:) This looks like a great pattern!

  17. I just wanted to say that I loooooooove this dress! It’s adorable! I saw Jessica (a little gray)’s version of it recently and before that I’d never really noticed it before – but I am loving both of your versions! I guess I’m gonna have to go out and get it now. The leggings are adorable too. Who doesn’t love leggings? They are so versatile.

  18. Beautiful dress! And the leggings pattern looks fantastic! I love leggings for my girls because then they can still wear their dresses in the winter and be warm! I also just love the look of them!

  19. Such a great pattern. I love leggings for my little one for the winter to keep her warm. They help with modesty too…then she can really play.

  20. so fun to see this dress finished – it came out so great! i love the solid color and the cord. super classy!! bummed i missed this giveaway, that’s what happens when you have 229 unread blog posts in your google reader :)

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