children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 7151 – the jumpsuit version

You might remember that I sewed McCalls 7151 in the dress version for Clare and it was an absolute fail.  However, not all was lost, because from that fail I worked out what adjustments the pattern needed to become a success.  Once I’d adjusted the front pattern pieces to raise the neckline, I sewed the jumpsuit version.  So much better!

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

This was still size 10. The raised front neckline worked a treat, and fitting was made that little bit easier because the front straps button on. You always need a way to get into and out of a jumpsuit!

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

I adore those buttons – I am pretty sure they came from Notionally Better in Thailand! The fabric is printed woven viscose from Spotlight a couple of years ago. This range was a lovely weight – everything I’ve sewn from it has worked out beautifully.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

I think that the back is the nicest part. I really like the way that the straps join at the centre back. There is a bit of faffing around to get everything lined up and finished nicely, so you do need to take your time a bit in that area. Otherwise, it was easy to sew.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

And the racer back crop top sits nicely underneath! As it turns out, even though Clare likes her jumpsuit, she hasn’t worn it much at all. She says that when it’s hot enough for sleeveless tops, she doesn’t want long pants. And you know what? I sort of understand that.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

For me, when it’s hot enough for sleeveless tops, I only want to wear dresses! Nothing with a waistband. So I’m pruning back the number of sleeveless or tank style tops in my wardrobe, as I’ve discovered they get very little wear. We all reach for different things depending on the weather and on what we feel most comfortable in for that weather.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

I do have a couple of patterns for more wintery jumpsuits in the stash for me – I wonder if I should give one of them a try? And as for this jumpsuit – I reckon that Clare will have grown out of it by the time that summer rolls back around again. It will transition to Stella’s (vast) wardrobe and we’ll see what happens there!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Simplicity 1435

I keep on trying to figure out how best to keep up with blogging.  I really WANT to post everything I make here on the blog.  Not only is it a good reference for me, but I feel as though I am contributing to the general sewing community.  But I am SO behind!  I might try alternating between one of last year’s unblogged garments with one of this year’s.  I am fortunate to be going to Sewjourn not once but twice in the next month (hip hip hooray) so really do need to catch up!  I do post things on Instagram as soon as they’re made, but those are usually quick snaps in whatever light or location is available – so they are often on Ada (my dress form).  Anyway, enough navel gazing.

Simplicity 1435 in knit jacquard from Rathdowne Fabrics

This dress was sewn for Stella when I was at Sewjourn in November. The pattern is Simplicity 1435. Where WAS that fabric from? Wracking my brain….ah yes, it was a remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics.

simplicity-girls-pattern-1435-front-back-view

Simplicity 1435 in knit jacquard from Rathdowne Fabrics

Stella really liked this dress when she first tried it on, but I have to admit that I haven’t seen it worn a great deal over summer! I sewed a mixture of sizes. This one was a 7 for body width, 7 for armhole depth and and shoulder width and 9 for lengths. Phew!  Size 9 doesn’t actually exist in this pattern – it goes up to size 8 – I just cut it longer.

Simplicity 1435 in knit jacquard from Rathdowne Fabrics

Really, this sort of dress is SO easy to sew. There are some gathers at the sleeve cap, but the skirts are circular so there isn’t even much faffing around with the sewing machine to run gathering stitches. It was pretty much constructed on the overlocker, and I only needed the machine for those aforementioned sleeve cap gathers and to twin needle the hems.

Simplicity 1435 in knit jacquard from Rathdowne Fabrics

I always like a jacquard knit, although sometimes they can stray into the territory of looking “old-fashioned”, depending on the colour ways and patterns that have been knitted into them. I wasn’t certain about this one at first, but Stella really liked it and purple is always a lovely colour on her.

Simplicity 1435 in knit jacquard from Rathdowne Fabrics

I went through my knit fabrics yesterday (and weeded out the odd woven that had snuck in with them) and sorted and organised them better on my shelves and in tubs. I have some really lovely pieces – including some knit jacquards. So much I want to sew! My biggest issue is what to do with the “scraps”. I don’t mean little pieces of the size that quilters would keep – those go straight into the bin. I mean pieces that are large enough for a pattern piece or two or another small garment. At the moment I have TUBS full of these. Sometimes I use them, but clearly I often don’t, and they are taking up a LOT of space. What do you do with yours? Should I just turf everything that isn’t large enough for a complete garment? What to do!

Simplicity 1435 in knit jacquard from Rathdowne Fabrics

And for those of you who might have been wondering how my new job was going – I feel as though I’ve finally turned the three month corner. It’s still all incredibly new, and it will be a year before I feel competent, but I’m not quite as exhausted by it all and my brain is no longer exploding quite as much. I’ve probably been lucky to start at the time of year where there are a few public holidays so I’ve had some rest days! Adjusting to working a permanent three days a week has had some challenges too in terms of how I organise my unpaid work life (you know – home, kids, family organisation – let along sewing). It’s all good, but like any change, it’s has come with a few stresses. Thank goodness I’ve got sewing as therapy!

Simplicity 1435 in knit jacquard from Rathdowne Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Mini Ogden Cami – as dress

There are plenty of “pattern hacks” out there involving the Ogden and Mini Ogden Cami patterns.  I was not immune to the appeal – it is a nice basic that lends itself to transformations and alterations.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

For this dress I chopped the cami pattern off at belly button level, then added a gathered skirt. I retained the subtle shaping at the bottom of the cami front and back pattern pieces to reflect the original hemline curve, and used the same shortened front pattern piece to cut a full lining for the front from a toning cotton.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

The fabric is a beautiful embroidered cotton that I bought in Chiang Mai on our first trip there back in 2014. It took me a while to use it! I really wanted to show off the beautifully shaped and scalloped border, so cut a length of the fabric, sewed one seam up the centre back, gathered the straight edge and then, ta-da!

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

It’s very fast to sew a dress when there is no hemming required! Actually, this was fast to sew overall. Do make sure that you check finished pattern measurements before deciding on what size to sew – I had to take this in quite a bit to fit Stella because I chose size based on her height rather than chest measurement of the finished garment.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

I’ve seen variations on this cami done by just extending it to dress length, by adding a skirt to make a dress with a dropped waist, by cutting it off higher then adding a skirt to make an empire line dress, by putting the lining on the outside to make an overlay, and the list goes on! It’s a great basic for tweaking – and of course is lovely sewn exactly as per the pattern.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami as dress in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

I really dislike the term “pattern hack”. To me, hacking something means cutting into it in a random and careless way. And that’s definitely not what I’m seeing most of the time when people talk about “pattern hacks”! They are talking about taking a pattern and changing or tweaking it, generally in ways that do require skill, thought and care. Then again, I don’t like the term “sewist” either….maybe I’m just a bit grumpy and perimenopausal! And don’t get me started on what I think about the use of the word “flattering” nowadays….surely it isn’t just me!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Morrison Tee and McCalls 7150 shorts

So, back to normal programming!  Don’t think that I have suddenly started sewing in a frenzy since returning from holiday.  I have managed to sew one garment during the past fortnight but I think that there are over 30 items from last year that are still unblogged.  So I’ll gradually get them all up here.  The problem with not blogging soon after making is that I do forget some of the details.  Lesson learned – this year I will blog new makes soon after making!

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

This is the Morrison Tee from Hey June Handmade.  It is part of a line of Junior’s Patterns in sizes 6 to 16.  This is a great idea – the tween market is an underserved market in sewing patterns, in my view.  There is such variation in height, weight and shape among tweens that it can be very difficult to find things that are suitable.  Many children’s patterns stop at around size 10 or 12.  Although adult patterns kick in then from a height perspective, plenty of tweens/teens aren’t shaped like adults!  I often reflect on this as I look at my daughters’ friends (Clare’s in particular).  Many of these tweens and teens are shaped like adult women, but plenty aren’t.  There are super tall ones still to develop boobs and hips; there are short ones still to develop as well.  There are short ones who are already developing but don’t have the shoulder width of adult patterns.  I suppose that the lucky ones are the taller, developed ones – they can simply fit into women’s clothing (and sewing patterns).  Then “age appropriateness” becomes an issue.  It can be complicated!  These Hey June patterns go to girls size 16 with a height of 162cm – which is taller than me.  I have noticed that Simplicity and New Look in particular have a great range of fashionable girls patterns that also go to girls size 16, and Ottobre magazines have a terrific range too.   Options are there, you just have to look for them a bit harder!

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

Anyway, this is not a problem for Stella. I sewed her size 8 in this tee. It’s an oversized style, so it plenty loose through the body, but the armholes and length are well proportioned. The pattern description is as follows: The Morrison Tee is a casual boxy fit dolman tee for juniors.  Options include banded sleeves, cap sleeves, or long sleeves.  Choose a hi-low hem, a straight hem, or either version with a front tie hem.  The Morrison is perfect for 4 season wear and can be made dressier or more casual.  Make a slubby gray front-tie tee for lazy Saturdays or use a pretty floral for a cap sleeve top to pair with a pretty skirt and sandals for fancier occasions.  Personalize your Morrison Tee with cute iron-on decals, fabric paint, tie dye, or applique.  This versatile top will be a wardrobe staple for your tween or teen!

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-8-55-15-am

I chose to sew the banded sleeve with front tie and hi-low hem.  It was very straightforward to construct.  The fabric is a printed cotton/viscose (?) spandex from Clear It – it’s terrific quality.  Construction was straightforward, as you’d expect if you’ve sewn multiple t-shirts before!  I really can’t remember the instructions much.  I assume that I sewed the shoulder seams, applied the neckband, sewed side seams, attached sleeve bands, then hemmed.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

Oh, the shorts! I forgot about the shorts! They are from McCalls 7150, and are very straightforward elastic waist shorts. I sewed them in viscose/cotton chambray, and used pink thread to topstitch the hems.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

A few more words about McCalls 7150.  The pattern description is as follows: Pullover top, tunic and dress are sleeveless and have yoke back and purchased bias tape for neckline and armholes. A: Yoke front, overlapped tulip-hem back. B: Hemline ruffle, wrong side shows. C: Applied ruffles, raw edge finish on heading. B, C: Bias bow, knot. Lined shorts, and leggings: Elastic waist. D: Thread carriers and purchased ribbon. E: No side seams. A, B, C, E: Narrow hem. Headband: Elastic, bow, knot.  

m7150_a

I sewed the view A top, in the same fabric as the shorts.  It was TERRIBLE.  I used bias tape to finish the edges, as per the instructions, and the results were horrible.  Take a look at the line drawing for this pattern.

m7150

Using “purchased bias tape for neckline and armholes” absolutely does not work on armholes with such extreme curves!  It was fine around the neckline, but those armhole curves at the centre back of the armhole are quite extreme.  There were puckers galore.  It really needed to have a facing of some kind, or be sewn only in a stretch fabric.  Definitely a wadder, which was disappointing because I’d used lovely fabric and bias binding.  You win some, you lose some.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

So, back to the tee! This is a nice basic tee pattern, and one that I am sure I will come back to in the future, both for Stella and for Clare.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami

There seems to be an explosion of Ogden and Mini Ogden Camis on instagram and blogs at the moment.  The patterns have been around for a little while now; I suspect that it’s the advent of Australian summer that has made them more obvious to me.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

I am usually a bit hesitant about camisole style tops because of all that skin exposure. I have sun paranoia! Think of the sunscreen! But this was a cute style, we don’t spend masses of time in the sun anyway, and I caved into sewing it for Stella.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

Okay, it’s a bit hard to see the back when there is long hair covering it…I’ll find some better photos. Originally I also hesitated to sew this pattern because I thought that paying for such a simple pattern when I probably had very similar already in stash was silly. Well, it probably was, but after sewing it I do have new respect for this pattern. It is beautifully drafted, the instructions are very good, and it fits nicely.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

The front has a partial lining, and the gentle V neckline is beautifully shaped. The back piece is straight across and has elastic in a casing along the top.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

The pattern is described as follows on the True Bias website: The Mini Ogden Cami is a simple top that can either be worn on its own or as a layering piece. It has a soft V neck at center front and spaghetti straps over each shoulder. The front neckline and armholes are finished with a partial lining and the back is finished with an elastic casing for easy dressing. Suggested Fabrics: Light weight woven fabrics such as cotton voile, cotton lawn, lightweight linen, or double gauze.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-8-49-09-am

The fabric is buttery soft Anna Maria Horner voile, from stash.  I really wish that I had more of this fabric range.  The voiles are absolutely delicious to work with and to wear.  I sewed the camisole in size 5 for Stella, as per her chest measurement, but with the length of size 8.  This is the second time I’ve used the pattern for Stella, and I’ll fill you in on how I learned about the sizing when I write the blog post about the first time! This pattern takes very little fabric, and if you were trying to squeeze it out of scraps you could always use a contrast fabric for the front partial lining.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

This little top must be ticking all the right boxes for Stella because when she’s not wearing the Oliver + S Butterfly blouse I showed you a few blog posts back, she’s wearing this top! Once again, it pairs well with shorts.

True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in Anna Maria Horner voile

children's clothing · sewing

Oliver + S Butterfly Blouse

I am going to be quite sad when my daughters no longer fit into Oliver + S patterns.  Clare is almost out of them now, and Stella is wearing size 8.  I have liked every single one of them I’ve sewn (although sometimes my daughters haven’t been quite as enthusiastic) and this top is no exception.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

The pattern is the Oliver + S Butterfly Blouse. I have also made a coordinating skirt from the same pattern, but Stella hasn’t chosen to wear the skirt at all yet. She is however reaching for the blouse on a regular basis to pair it with shorts.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

As with all Oliver + S patterns, the instructions are excellent. I bought the pdf version of this pattern, which is something that I often do with children’s patterns as it makes it easy to reprint when I want to remake it in a different size. I’m not a tracer of paper patterns – I just cut into them – so a pdf works quite well for potential repeats in different sizes.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

Oliver + S describe this pattern as follows: Sew this blouse with either a ruffled sleeve or a cap sleeve. The blouse features a back keyhole opening with button closure and a subtle peplum with gathers at the front. The skirt is a simple pull-on A-line skirt with front pleats and an elasticized back waist.  Stella preferred the ruffled sleeve to the cap.  I chose to make the back button loop from a matching hair elastic, and Stella chose the vintage button closure from stash.  The fabric is a Spotlight lawn that came to my stash from Anna’s.  Thanks Anna!

olv-os051bbd_detail

There is a sweet gathered detail in the centre front, while the back stays flat.  I sewed straight size 8.  Although Stella’s chest size indicated a smaller size, her height did not.  It’s a bit of a juggle choosing the most appropriate size sometimes, and how to best blend them!  I vacillate between cutting the smaller size and adding length, versus cutting the larger size but making it smaller through the circumference.  It also depends on the style ease of the pattern.  This one has worked well.

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

She wore this outfit Christmas day, and it’s been worn a bit since then. That makes it a success! Fabric choice is always key for Stella, particularly the feel of the fabric. She is quite tactile, and particularly likes soft, smooth fabrics like this one. Nothing scratchy for her!

Oliver + S Butterfly blouse in Spotlight lawn

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Style Arc Cara top – this time for the teen

When Clare saw my version of the Style Arc Cara top, she promptly declared that she wanted one too.  I pondered, because she’s not really in adult size patterns yet.  However, when I checked the Style Arc website I discovered that their patterns start at an Australian size 4.  I figured that it was worth a go.

Style Arc Cara top in navy tencel from Clear It

I managed to buy a copy of the downloadable pdf when Style Arc had a pdf sale on Etsy. I really didn’t feel like grading down my size 12 version! There aren’t many pattern pieces, so it didn’t take long to tape together the A4 pattern pieces. I don’t mind taping when there aren’t loads of pieces, and I was after immediate gratification. Downloadable pdf patterns are always great in that regard!

Style Arc Cara top in navy tencel from Clear It

I cut this as a straight size 4 without alterations. I figured that the length would be quite adequate for Clare, especially since in many ways her proportions are like mine – she has long legs for her height and a proportionately shorter torso. The fabric is navy tencel from Clear It. That reminds me – I need to sew up the pair of pants that I have cut out from the same fabric!

Style Arc Cara top in navy tencel from Clear It

I decided not to interface the front neckband, as the fabric is relatively substantial. This appeared to work out okay. I also made certain when I inserted the elastic into the back neckband piece that I could access it in case I needed to shorten it to fit Clare better. As it turned out, that was a good idea – once I was home from Sewjourn and she tried it on, I needed to shorten the back elastic by a number of inches for the top to stay up!

Style Arc Cara top in navy tencel from Clear It

This is a very straightforward garment to sew. I mostly used the overlocker for construction. Hems were finished on the overlocker, then turned to the inside in a narrow hem and stitched on the machine. Easy peasy.  Just watch out for them stretching out a little and rippling on sections that become bias (i.e. learn from my mistakes).

Style Arc Cara top in navy tencel from Clear It

This top has already had quite a bit of wear. Definitely a wardrobe hit with the teen – and it’s good to jump right onto the off the shoulder/cold shoulder/split sleeve trend before it disappears!

Style Arc Cara top in navy tencel from Clear It