children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Woodstock tee

I’m a bit of a sucker for a novelty fabric, especially when it’s on sale.  I like the idea of fabrics and clothes being fun!  So when this fluoro stretch lace was on the $2 table at Darn Cheap Fabrics I picked up a couple of metres.  I bought a couple of metres of the yellow/green colourway as well, but that it still in stash.  The pink however has been transformed into tees – one for Stella and one for Clare!

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, this is Stella’s tee. It is lace, so it does need something underneath it. Stella has chosen to wear a bright orange and pink crop top under her tee – the colours go exceptionally well! The pattern is the Hey June Patterns Woodstock Swing tee, which is a free pattern I have blogged about before. Once again this is size 12.

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Because I was dealing with lace I needed to think carefully about the finishes I would use and how I would construct the tee. I was able to buy matching fluoro thread from Rathdowne Fabrics, and ended up constructing the tee on the overlocker. I used the overlocker to do a rolled hem on the bottom of the tee, and I added strips of the fancy shaped lace edging onto the sleeve edges to act as a hem. I used matching elastic to bind the neckline, in the same way you would use fold over elastic. It wasn’t actually fold over elastic, but was wide enough to achieve a similar result with a bit of persuasion. It would have looked better if I’d pulled it a little tighter during application – but I didn’t, and re-doing it wasn’t really an option.

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Garments like this are fun to make. It’s far from perfect, but Stella has worn this one a few times already, so it’s clearly a welcomed addition to her wardrobe. Nothing like a bit of colour!

Hey June Patterns Woodstock tee in fluoro stretch lace from Darn Cheap Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Woodstock swing tee

As regular readers of my blog know, I’ve had a lot of success with Hey June patterns for tees for the girls.  When the free Woodstock swing tee pattern because available I thought that I’d give it a go as well!  I printed out the pattern, taped it together, then quickly cut out and sewed up a tee for Clare in size 12, the size I’ve used for her in the past.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Um, no! She could get it on, but it was very fitted through the chest and shoulders and the armpits were uncomfortably high. Fortunately, we have a smaller model available.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Now, that’s better! Stella was the very happy recipient of this tee. The fabric is cotton/spandex, soft and stretchy, originally from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It was left over from a previous project – my husband has a tee in the same fabric.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This tee has a lovely shape, with gentle swing through the body and a high-low hem with what I consider to be just the right amount of curve. There are a minimal number of pattern pieces – front, back, cap sleeve, neckband. And it’s all sewn on the overlocker. Hems were topstitched on the sewing machine.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

By this stage I was really wondering what was going on with sizing. I printed off another copy of the pattern and this time I cut out a size 16.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 16 in cotton knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So much better! This time the fabric is a cotton jersey (no spandex/lycra in this one), also from Darn Cheap Fabrics. It’s the leftovers from one of my tee shirts!

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 16 in cotton knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So by now I was in a huge quandary about what had happened with the sizing. It’s a pattern range I’ve used before and found to be consistent. I checked that the pattern had printed at the right size by measuring the one inch printed square, and it had. And then I emailed the designer! She was lovely and responded quickly – she hadn’t found the sizing to be inconsistent at all in the tees that she had sewn for her kids. Now, remember that this IS a free pattern, and it’s well drafted, and all the pattern pieces fit together nicely. I am putting it down to fabric choice. Let’s go back and read the pattern description.

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See that bit where it says “at least 30% stretch”?  I don’t think that my fabric choices met that requirement.  The cotton spandex black and white eyes print has a nice amount of stretch, but not the amount that a rayon spandex for example would have.  And the cotton jersey pineapple print has relatively minimal stretch.  This pattern is designed to be quite fitted around the shoulders and chest.  There probably just wasn’t enough stretch in the size 12 for Clare! The pineapples definitely needed the size 16.

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 16 in cotton knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s always fascinating to see the ways that fabric/fibre choice affect the size and drape of finished garments (and I’ve actually got another example of that coming up soon with another couple of summer tees for Clare). I’ve been sewing for years and years and I’m still learning!

Hey June Woodstock swing tee size 12 in cotton spandex from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I really need to get a photo with father/younger daughter and mother/older daughter matching tee-shirts. Isn’t it our job to embarrass our kids?

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Camp pants

This blog post is really mostly for my records, because it’s not terribly exciting for the rest of you!  As you know, both my girls are involved in Girl Guides.  Clare is a Ranger Guide, and has the opportunity to attend plenty of camps.  Apparently a must-have item of clothing for camp is a pair of camp pants – essentially a pair of pants that are as bright and patterned as possible.

Clare's camp pants - Simplicity 1043 girls size 14

Clare sewed this pair herself from Simplicity 1043, a kids pyjama pattern. She sewed size 14. It’s a super easy pattern – there’s just one pattern piece, so no outside leg seam. Elastic and a drawstring in the waist, and Clare decided to put elastic in the leg hems as well. The fabric is a brightly patterned rayon woven from Super Cheap Fabrics.

Camp pants - Simplicity 1043

I whipped up the next pair in quilting cotton from stash. Different fabric for each leg was Clare’s request! Originally she wanted a slimmer leg, but once I sewed these up and she realised that the quilting cotton didn’t have the drape of the rayon, we decided to leave them alone.

Camp pants - Simplicity 1043

Nice wide elastic in the waistband makes them super comfy. I make sure that I put a little tag at the back to make it easier to know which is which.  We didn’t bother with a drawstring for this pair.  Apparently both pairs of camp pants were well worn on her recent school holiday guide camp.  They certainly make a group of Rangers travelling around the state quite noticeable!

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children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Lekala T4001 dress

Oh Lekala.  When it comes to fitting non-standard shapes, you really are the bomb!

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I generally consult with my daughters before I sew them something. I prefer to put my time into sewing things that will actually get worn, unsurprisingly! They usually have input into both style and fabric. I always have the final say or what I will or won’t sew though – generally if I hate it, I won’t sew it! However, this dress was mostly from me. I’d seen Lekala T4001 on their website, and thought it would be fabulous on Clare sewn in denim. So I sewed it for her, pretty much without her consent.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

The denim is a rigid dark remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics – I think that I paid $9 for it. I decided that all those lovely seamlines would benefit from being highlighted with topstitching, and chose a colour that toned beautifully with Clare’s glasses frames.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

I used regular thread to do the topstitching, but did a triple stitch. The hardest thing was finding a zip that would work! I have a fairly extensive zip stash thanks to a bulk auction buy a couple of years ago, and luckily for me there was a chunky plastic zip in there that toned quite nicely.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

The zip is actually green, not teal like the stitching, but it still seems to work. The neckline and armholes are faced, so I used a quilting cotton rather than the denim to reduce bulk. You can get a little peek of it at the armholes.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

For girls’ patterns Lekala require height, bust, waist and full hip measurements. I reckon that this has worked really nicely for Clare. The shoulders are possibly a little broad, but overall the fit is rather good.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

Lekala don’t provide descriptions of their patterns, but do provide illustrations and line drawings.

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You can tell now where the inspiration came from for Clare’s dress, can’t you!  This was an enjoyable garment to sew, and fortunately Clare seems to really like it!  It can be worn in summer or styled for winter with tights and boots (the ones she is wearing are from Django & Juliette) and a jacket. Phew.

Lekala T4001 dress in denim from Rathdowne Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Handmade City Park Tee

You’ve seen a few of the Hey June Handmade juniors patterns on my blog before.  Here’s another one!  This time the City Park Tee.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

These were sewn back in March when the weather turned cool. They’re both size 12, and Clare has been wearing them all winter. They should definitely see her through to summer! The pattern description and line drawing from the website are as follows:  The City Park Tee is a casual tee for juniors in sizes 6 – 16.  It comes with the option for a v-neck or scoop neck, shirt length or tunic length, and has four sleeve lengths included – short, elbow, 3/4, and long. The City Park Tee is incredibly versatile depending on what options you choose, your fabric, and any embellishments you choose to add.  Embroider, applique, screen print, stencil, dye, sequin – this tee is a perfect blank slate for anything you can dream up. This pattern works nicely with jerseys, both cotton and cotton blends, but you can also use rib knit, interlock, waffle knit, lycra spandex, or even stretch lace!  Anything with a stretch of at least 30% will work, but 50 – 100% stretch is best.  Just remember – the smaller the stretch percentage, the more fitted the shirt will be.

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As you can see, we chose to sew the scoop neck, long sleeve, tunic length version of the tee.  The striped fabric is a cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics.  The other tee was sewn from a combination of viscose/lycra for the body (so super soft and drapey) but printed cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics for the sleeves and neckband.  I was trying to use up more of my quality knit leftovers!

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Both tees were sewn on the overlocker, with the twin needle on the sewing machine used to secure the hems and neckband. I chose the neckband length according to this tutorial, as usual. I also altered the width of the neckband for the purple and white striped tee to take advantage of the purple stripes.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Over the course of the school holidays (now sadly almost at an end) I went through the girls’ wardrobes and removed everything that was too small. Now I’m on to sewing Clare a pile of short sleeved tees for summer!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Simplicity 8105

Simplicity and New Look produce quite a few trendy patterns for kids.  Stella and Clare both fancied Simplicity 8105 and Stella was the recipient of the first garment made from it.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

This is one of last school holidays garments, so I am really having to trawl the dim dark recesses of my memory for details! I am guessing that I sewed size 10 for Stella – despite her being very slim, she needs the body lengths of the 10, as she’s a fairly average height for her age. I also figured that this was intended to be a roomy style anyway, so as long as the shoulder width was right – along with armhole depth and sleeve length – it should be pretty right. Sizing children’s clothing is an ever moving feast.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

There are a number of nice details on this top. From the pattern website: Easy-to-Sew knit tunics and leggings sized for child and girl are must have essentials. Make tunic and leggings in a multitude of colors and prints. Mix and match for endless wardrobe options.   Hmm, that doesn’t really tell you much!  The line drawing might be more helpful.

simplicity-girls-pattern-8105-front-back-view

Stella’s tunic is view B, with the gathers at the front shoulder yokes and at the back yoke seam.  Actually, the back and shoulder yokes are integrated.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

Sewing this tunic is not terribly different to sewing a typical plain tee. The gathers add a little extra time, but otherwise it’s a quick garment to sew. I topstitched the yoke seams to add an extra details and to stabilise the gathers, and topstitched the neckband to secure it as well. Otherwise most construction was on the overlocker.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

The fabric is from Spotlight, and is a cotton knit that I think was from the Lisette range? I really do prefer sewing knits that have better recovery than these cotton jerseys – that little bit of spandex/lycra makes all the difference in ease of sewing and I think also in ease of wear.

Simplicity 8105 tunic in cotton jersey from Spotlight

This tunic is a great length to wear with leggings – because as we all know, leggings are not pants – and as it turns out it must have been a winner because Stella has actually worn it quite a bit! I can never predict which clothes she will be most drawn to. Often she’ll like a garment when it comes off the sewing machine (or out of a shop) but then I never see it on her. Other times it enters regular rotation. I love these colours on Stella, and agree with her assessment of this top as “pretty”!

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Clare has her eye on view D, with the lace inserts. Time to set her loose on my stash!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Camden Raglan

Back in March (thanks Instagram for providing a date check) the weather turned cold and Clare discovered that she didn’t have any long-sleeved tees that still fitted.  So I jumped online, found the Hey June Camden Raglan, got printing, got taping, got cutting, and got sewing!

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

These are great examples of how fabric affects fit. But firstly, to the pattern itself. From the Hey June website: The Camden Raglan is a casual fitted tee for junior girls in sizes 6 – 16.  Its versatility will make it a great wardrobe builder in your pattern stash.  Support your favorite sports team by colorblocking with the sleeve stripes, or use the front of the shirt as a blank slate for iron-on decals or stenciling.  View A features a trendy curved hem and view B has an easy-to-sew banded hem.  Both views A and B have options for sleeve stripes, a hood, 3 sleeve lengths, wristbands, and a kangaroo pocket.

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I possibly sewed size 12 for Clare.  The Hey June Juniors range is a great range of basic patterns for tweens and teens.  So often girls patterns stop at around size 8 or so.  It’s great to find some options that keep a more typical girls shape but go up to a 16.  Great for tall kids too.  I started off with the striped top, in cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas.  As always with Crafty Mamas Fabrics, it is a beautiful quality knit.  Substantial, with plenty of stretch and recovery.  Clare has worn this top rather a lot this winter, and it’s still looking good.

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

These tops are FAST to sew – especially when you choose the most basic view. Front, back, raglan sleeves. Neckband (length chosen according to this tutorial, as always).

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This fits Clare very nicely across the shoulders and I like the curve of the hemline a great deal. As always, she could do with a sway back alteration if we wanted to avoid that bit of pooling at the centre back waistline, but to be honest, I don’t really care about it in this type of garment – especially in a growing person who will eventually pass it down to her younger sister.

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

The pink jacquard knit came from Super Cheap Fabrics. I sewed it in exactly the same size as the stripe. It’s a very comfortable fabric to wear. We chose to use the reverse side for the neckband.

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Construction was all on the overlocker. I used the sewing machine to secure the neckband and hems, all with a zig-zag stitch. For the striped top I used the twin needle for the hems, with contrasting thread.

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

The jumper version was a little different to the previous two. The fabric is a wool blend fleece remnant I found at Rathdowne Fabrics. I cut it out larger than the previous versions so that it could be layered over other tops. We decided to use bands to finish the sleeves and the bottom, and to add the front kangaroo pocket. Construction was all on the overlocker, with a zig-zag stitch used to stabilise some of the seams and the neckband in particular.

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

This was very stretchy fabric to work with. It really didn’t play nice. The neckline in particular stretched way out and required plenty of steam then the zig-zag stitching to bring it back to a better approximation of where it needed to be. I wasn’t rapt with the finished product. It’s acceptable, and she’s worn it (it’s very warm) but it’s not brilliant. Fabric type – and knowing how to handle it – makes such a difference!

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

If you have a tween/teen, this pattern is definitely worth adding to your stash. (And thanks go to mum for the lovely knitted slouch hat).