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A picture of my little matryoshka, who’s almost 8 months old, wearing a matryoshka print, holding a matryoshka!

Patterns: Oliver + S roller skate tunic and seahorse bloomers, both in the 6-12 month size.

Fabric: both the matryoshka fabric and the lining/accent fabric (white with blue dots) are from my local Joann’s, but neither seems to be on their website.

Here Sonya helpfully demonstrates the lining fabric:

The whole outfit came together very quickly: two weekends, plus a little sewing time during the weekdays in-between. The Oliver + S patterns are wonderful and deserve their popularity; they are easy to purchase, print, and follow, and are very thorough. The fabric is perhaps not the very best match for them because it’s a fairly large print, and the bloomers have a seam down the front, the tunic is gathered at the empire waist. But there are no set-in sleeves, no buttonholes, and no seams on the front of the tunic, all of which made the project manageable for me.

After sewing these, I have 3 specific comments/questions for my readers:

  1. The pattern instructs to finish raw edges after the seams are sewn and pressed open. I was previously taught to finish any edges needing finishing before assembling the garment. Once I realized that Oliver + S makes this particular choice, I started reading ahead for edge-finishing instructions, and finished the particular edges before assembly.
  2. Washable fabric markers. I’ve never had any luck with them, in particular getting them to wash out completely. So any time I see instructions to mark the right side of anything with a “washable” fabric marker, I ignore and transfer the marking in some other way (a stitch, a pin, a chalk line, a basting line… anything other than marker). In this pattern, though, this bit me in the ass and I had to redo a few seams because my marks were not as precise as a marker would have made. What do you do?
  3. I once learned a way to sew a narrow hem, which I substituted here instead of the instructions in the tunic pattern. I don’t know what it’s called (I thought it was called a “rolled” hem, but Google thinks that’s something else entirely). You basically sew a straight line parallel to the fabric’s edge, presser-foot-width from the edge. Then you fold along the stitching line, and then fold again the same width. Pin in place. Edgestitch. Anyone else know or use this method? What is it called?

That’s all I have to say! These are simple, lovely little patterns, and I can’t wait for Sonya to wear her outfit this summer!


Baked oatmeal with bananas and blueberries

I’ve never shared a recipe on this blog, but I’ve been eating baked oatmeal every morning for months now, and continue to truly enjoy it, so I thought I’d tell you about it. I make an 8×8″ pan during the weekend, and it lasts the whole week for me. Every serving is chock-full of oats, nuts, and fruit, which is great for heart health and nursing moms. This oatmeal is also gluten free (just make sure the oats you buy are gluten free), dairy free, and soy free, so it’s great for people staying away from those allergens.

Modified from Baked Oatmeal on epicurious

Yield: Serves 6 generously


  • 2 cups/7 oz/200 g rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup/2 oz/60 g walnut pieces, shelled or chopped
  • 1/3 cup/2 oz/60 g maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 cups/475 ml “original” almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large (or 3 small) ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch/1 cm pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups/6.5 oz/185 g fresh or frozen blueberries


Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, the almond milk, egg, and the vanilla.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of an 8×8″ baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple thwacks on the countertop to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and remaining walnuts across the top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before eating. Can be refrigerated and portions reheated in the microwave.

A Purl Bee bonnet for Sonya, and one for a friend

Although Sonya has a whole collection of bonnets and sunhats, when some friends made Baby Sunbonnets from the Purl Bee, I couldn’t resist making one for Sonya, too!

PatternBaby Sunbonnet from the Purl Bee, 6-12 months.

Fabric: The outer fabric is from the Backyard Garden collection by Cloud9 Fabrics. I really liked working with this fabric, it’s nice quality. The lining is just a quilting fat quarter I picked up at my local Joann’s that matched really well.

The tucks make the bonnet nice and snug.

After finishing Sonya’s bonnet, I also made one for a little friend! For this one, I sewed the 3-6 months size.

Fabric: both the outer (Multi Petals) and the lining fabrics are just bolts of “house” fabric at Joann’s. The outer was a little flimsy for my taste, although it’s a fantastic print. I fussy-cut all the pattern pieces to center the various color bursts. The inner is striped – I really liked the idea of seeing stripes peeking out around the baby’s face. Unfortunately, Sonya is too big to model this bonnet, otherwise I could show you the effect.

Look at my big girl in her bonnet!