children’s clothing

Vintage Style 2302 revisited

Clare put this dress on for church a couple of hot Sundays ago.  It has been languishing in her wardrobe since I made it for her birthday way back in 2012.  For some reason the photos that I used in the original blog post about the dress have vanished from Flickr, and are no longer anywhere to be found!  So here is the reprise.

Vintage Style 2302 in vintage floral fabric

When I made this it was way too big and dragged on the ground. That part was my error – I forgot to shorten the main part of the skirt before adding the ruffle. But now it’s a great cool longer dress! I’m going to steal other details from my previous blog post.  The pattern is vintage – Style 2302.  Looks like a 70s pattern to me.

Vintage Style 2302 in vintage floral fabric

The fabric is also vintage – from June’s stash. I suspect that it could be organza – it is very sheer and has a fairly open weave yet a relatively soft but crisp hand. If you can enlighten me further it would be welcome! It is quite narrow, around 90cm wide. I vaguely remember that width fabric from my childhood, so figure that this fabric is from the seventies or earlier. The bodice is self-lined, and I used some soft voile to make an underskirt. I really like the underbust gathers combined with a four-gore skirt, and the little frills along the edges of the shoulder straps.

Vintage Style 2302 in vintage floral fabric

I am so glad that it still fits her. It’s vintage size 8, but I’ve shortened the shoulder straps a little. The fabric is so pretty, and the style is really very classic.

Vintage Style 2302 in vintage floral fabric

I have managed to squeeze in a little sewing over the past week. Fingers crossed that I find time to take/crop/upload photos and get to blog posts on them soon.

Vintage Style 2302 in vintage floral fabric

Hide and Seek

Let’s turn back the clocks to 2014 again, as this dress was made when I went to Sewjourn last November.  Sometimes it takes a while to get photos!

Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress

This is the Oliver + S Hide and Seek Dress. I’ll have to pull out the pattern to check what size I made, but I’m guessing it was size 10. As is always the case with Oliver + S patterns there are many lovely features in this dress, but as far as I am concerned the main feature of this version is the fabric used for the yokes and pocket welts.

Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress

Do you remember this? It’s fabric we had printed by Spoonflower from one of Clare’s drawings. Her own fabric design, now part her own dress!

Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress

We used up pretty much every bit of the fat quarter we’d ordered. There was just enough for both the front and back yokes as well as the pocket welts.

Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress

The pattern description from the website is as follows: This relaxed-fit dress and tunic pattern features a front and back yoke, V-notch neckline, and back button closure. The dress has easy-to-sew welt pockets and cuffed, three-quarter-length sleeves, while the tunic has hemmed short sleeves. The yoke on this pattern can highlight a favorite print or fabric, and the number of included sleeve styles and hem lengths offer a variety of design options.

Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress

The fabric is the same one I used in my Tessuti Sophie dress, a silk/cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics. The ric rac was in stash, and adds another little detail to the bottom of the front and back yoke. The buttons used on the back are vintage, also from stash. They’re not as good a match to the fabric as I’d like, but not glaringly out of place either. I have seen some delightful versions of this dress on the internet; it can be made in so many pretty ways and really does give the opportunity for creative fabric placement. Worth googling!

Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress

As is always the case with Oliver + S patterns, the drafting is impeccable. The sleeve eases perfectly into the armscye, and all the seams line up and join to one another to give beautiful fit. This is a roomy style, especially on Clare, and will fit for some time. It’s also cool and comfortable in this fabric, but in a winter weight it would layer well over a long sleeved tee and tights. I think I’m an Oliver + S fangirl.

Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress

McCalls 6501

Ah, the making of this dress was a tale of woe.  It’s a good thing that the end product was so pleasing!  The pattern is McCalls 6501.

McCalls 6501 in silver foil spot printed cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So, where to start? Maybe with the line drawing and pattern description.

GIRLS’/GIRLS’ PLUS TOP, ROMPERS, DRESSES AND LEGGINGS: Pullover top, rompers and dresses have back button neckband and narrow hem. B,C: elasticized upper back and blouson, dropped waist. C,D: button trim. A, B and E: gathered, single layer flounce (wrong side shows) with tab. A, D and E: back neck slit. Leggings have elastic waist and no side seams.
Designed for light to medium weight woven fabrics. F: Medium weight moderate stretch knits.
SUGGESTED FABRICS: A,B,C,D,E: Cotton, Cotton Blends, Challis. F: Cotton Knits, Jersey.

We chose to make view E, which is the view that is photographed on the pattern cover.  I had become a little wary about the sizing of girls’ patterns from the mainstream pattern companies, so after checking Clare’s measurements against those on the pattern envelope we decided to make size 8.  Now, I made a number of errors and had to make a number of changes when sewing this.  Error number one: the ruffle.

McCalls 6501 in silver foil spot printed cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is one of those situations where I should have read the instructions. You cut two of the ruffle. I assumed that I would then sew those right sides together and turn them inside out and then insert into the off centre front seam. Um, no. I was supposed to narrow hem each of the two ruffles, as they open out at the top and there is actually one sewn to each of the front pieces. Out came the unpicker, I undid all the ruffle stitching, went to the overlocker did a nice rolled hem on the edges, and I followed the instructions to attach the ruffles to the front pieces. I sewed the back pieces together at centre back, leaving an opening a per the instructions, sewed the front and back side seams….then realised that my fabric was incredibly see through. Time to cut out lining pieces.

McCalls 6501 in silver foil spot printed cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I had plenty of cream silk/cotton in stash to use for lining, so used the front pattern pieces overlaid as one to cut one front lining piece, and cut two back lining pieces. The front and back lining pieces were then sewn together, and the centre back lining seam up to the opening. After unpicking the back dress finishing, I sewed the back lining to the back dress with right sides together, thereby clean finishing the centre back opening. I also sewed the lining and outer together around the armholes, clean finishing them as well. The original instructions had you turn and topstitch a narrow hem around the armholes.

McCalls 6501 in silver foil spot printed cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

By then I was on a roll – I sewed the dress to the neckband, and tried it on Clare. And it didn’t fit. The armholes were WAY too low, the neckband was too large, and the whole dress really didn’t work. I tried pinning out the excess a few different ways, and eventually decided that I needed to sleep on it. I did remember to take this in progress photo to show just how much fabric needed to be pinned out.

McCalls 6501 in need of lots of alteration

I think I spent most of the next day trying to figure out the best fix. In the end I cut off the neckband, rather than unpicking it, which instantly brought the armholes up about half an inch. I recut the neckband from my fabric scraps, and used a better quality interfacing on it. I shortened the neckband completely by taking one and a quarter inch seams at the shoulder seams (and trimming appropriately) rather than five-eighths of an inch, and trimmed the seam allowance where I was going to join the neckband to the dress back to about a quarter of an inch. I then joined the dress to the neckband, this time only using a quarter inch seam allowance. It worked beautifully with a much nicer neckband than the first one.

McCalls 6501 in silver foil spot printed cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Of course, the saga wasn’t finished. I had taken the dress in quite a bit at the side seams up to the armhole. This time when she tried it on the armholes were a bit too tight and binding at the front. I was able to turn the dress inside out and scoop the armholes out further at the front, because of course when I’d taken it in I lost some of that armhole curve. Wish I’d thought that part through earlier. So another try on later, a quick press, and a narrow hem on both the outer fabric and the lining, it was done!

McCalls 6501 in silver foil spot printed cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Thank goodness she likes it so much is all that I can say. The fabric came from Darn Cheap Fabrics by the way – it’s a cotton with silver metallic spots (that stick to the iron terribly if you are not careful) and it’s almost impossible to get all the wrinkles out. I made a top with the same fabric here. So, will this pattern get another outing? She has expressed interest in the halter neck romper version, but I am certainly in no hurry to make it at the moment.

McCalls 6501 in silver foil spot printed cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Another Big Joey

I do have an awful lot of patterns, but there are also an awful lot of patterns that are used more than once.  This is my second go at making the Make It Perfect Big Joey dress for Clare.

Make It Perfect Big Joey dress

I’ve reviewed this pattern before and all the details are here. The only thing that changed this time around was that I went up a size and sewed the 10. It’s a better fit, and she’ll get more wear out of it.  The armholes could still be a little deeper, but they’re not a problem as they are.

Make It Perfect Big Joey dress

The fun thing this time was playing around with the directions of the stripes. Yes, I did have to match them along the side seams, but otherwise the changes in direction made cutting and sewing much less time consuming than it could have been. The fabric came from Anna’s stash and was lovely to work with. It clearly contained lycra, which meant that there was plenty of stretch in it to allow for cutting the neckband on the cross grain. I did the same with the sleeve bands.

Make It Perfect Big Joey dress

Clare’s favourite part of this dress is the front kangaroo pocket. The last thing I want is a massive pocket right on my stomach, but when you are twelve it’s a wonderful thing!

Make It Perfect Big Joey dress

I cut the skirt pieces with a gentle curve up to the side seams, so that the skirt would be the same length the whole way round. This is the same alteration I made last time. Construction was primarily on the overlocker, with the machine used for gathering and top-stitching. Very straightforward.

Make It Perfect Big Joey dress

 This pattern will probably get another outing in winter, in the long sleeved, cowl neck version.

The ones that never made it to the blog….

Yes, there were items that had a quick and often blurry photo taken, but were never photographed properly and consequently were never blogged.  I am going to include them all in this post, blurry/awkward photos and all, just in order to have a record of them.  But there won’t be many details, I’m afraid!

IMG_1791

First up, the Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit. This was completed just before we went to Thailand, and it did get a bit of wear when we were there. The fabric is from Rathdowne Fabrics. I think that I made a size 14, but straightened it out to remove the waist shaping. Oh, it was so long ago, I really am having trouble remembering! I do remember that this pattern uses a lot of fabric, with lining underneath and the ruched overlays. It was also quite a slow sew. When it got wet it felt like there was a LOT of web fabric on me. I like the bottom coverage, but actually think that I sewed it one size too large. Mind you by the end of the holiday and the associated food/cocktail consumption, the size was probably fine.

IMG_1790

I’d quite like to give the other version in the pattern a try, or else try this one without the ruching. But it’s not as though I don’t have plenty of bathers now – and I don’t really swim all that often. No need for more (for me) until the next overseas holiday…ah well, a girl can dream.

Katniss cross-body cowl

I crocheted the Katniss Cross-Body Cowl, in Patons Inca yarn. I gave this one to my cousin, who lives on the edge of Melbourne where it is that bit colder than it is here. I reckon that this garment was a fail for me and for her (not the fault of the pattern). You’d really have to know what outfit it goes with – probably something similar to that worn by its namesake in the movies.

Katniss cross-body cowl

However, it was fun to crochet, and the texture is rather wonderful. Chalk that one down more to the process than the product.

Nessie Top for Clare

A Nessie top for Clare, in fabric left over from her Perri Pullover. She wears the Perri top a lot, and this one never. Hmmm.

Nessie Top for Clare

This pattern has been used for a top and a dress for Stella and both of those get wear, so it might move into Stella’s wardrobe sooner rather than later. The deer printed fabric is from Spotlight, and it’s a sweatshirt type of fabric that is brushed on the inside and smooth on the outside, so it’s quite thick. Probably a little too thick for this more fitted style.  The contrasting yoke fabric was in stash, and was used out of fabric restriction necessity.

Nessie Top for Clare

I added the strip of navy piping both to be a feature and to distract from the slight mis-match of cream between the yoke and the print.

McCalls 6841 in stripe knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Here we have McCalls 6841. I’ve sewn this pattern twice before, and making it in the stripes was a bit of an experiment. The fabric was from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table, and was a poly/lycra knit but one with a very soft, smooth and cool hand, along with excellent drape.

McCalls 6841 in stripe knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

There is actually quite a lot to like about this pattern. The neckline and shoulder gathers are terrific, and would you believe there are only two main pattern pieces? It’s actually rather straightforward to make, but looks quite complicated. But I never wore it. It went in the Christmas free-for-all – my not-yet-30 niece has claimed it.

teacher gifts - Thai cotton double gauze scarf

And last but definitely not least we have the double cotton gauze scarves that I made as teacher gifts this year. A long length of fabric with the ends sewn together into a circle and the edges hemmed. Done.

teacher gifts - Thai cotton double gauze scarf

A huge shout out to Gaye of Notionally Better who I bought the fabric from – it is the loveliest Thai cotton double faced gauze, different on each side, and incredibly soft. You can get some from her Etsy shop here. I have more that will become garments.

Thai cotton double gauze for scarves

Phew, what a long blog post! But guess what – that’s not quite everything from 2014. But I’m nearly there, so surely I’ll be closer to caught up by the end of January!

Seraphic Pants

Yet more sewing for Clare!  This time a pair of Figgy’s Seraphic pants – just perfect for in-between summer weather.  She wore then when she headed off on camp on Sunday afternoon.  The house always seems so quiet without her, but I’m sure that she is having an absolute ball.  And in the meantime Stella is rather enjoying having her parents (and Buzz) all to herself.

Figgys Seraphic pants in Spotlight rayon

The pattern description is as follows: Going out to dinner, playing in the fields or just lounging about the house, these are the pants to be wearing. These unisex pants are designed for cozy stretch knit for comfort but they don’t lack in style. This modern pant includes front/back topstitched seams, pockets, faux fly and waistband. A slight drop in the center seam gives the pants a touch of contemporary without dragging down the look. Pair these pants with the Celestial Pullover for the perfect Fall ensemble.
Pattern Size Range: 18mo – 8/9yr.

Figgys Seraphic pants in Spotlight rayon

Firstly, did you notice that the pattern description specifically said designed for stretch knit? Well, I used a woven rayon. I figured that since these were a baggy style that it wouldn’t matter at all. And guess what – it doesn’t! The fabric was bought at Spotlight last year, and it’s a lovely medium weight rayon. Sews up beautifully! They had a few different rayon prints at the time, and there are a few still left in my stash.

Figgys Seraphic pants in Spotlight rayon

The pocket construction was a little different to usual, with just one pattern piece per pocket, that folds in half. Everything worked very nicely. I made the pants exactly as per the instructions, fake fly opening and all. Much of the construction was on the overlocker, with topstitching and hems done on the sewing machine. Clare decided that she’d like the topstitching in pink. I cut the size 8/9, and they fit Clare perfectly.

Figgys Seraphic pants in Spotlight rayon

I reckon that I might be able to get another pair made before she grows out of this size.  I wish that the Figgy’s size range went up a little higher – maybe I’ll just have to start grading!

Desert Rose tunic

When I was at Sewjourn in December Anna made a beautiful dress for her daughter using the Caila Made Desert Rose Dress pattern.  Although the pattern appears to be designed for younger children, I thought that it would translate well to a tunic top for my tween girl.

Caila Made Designs Desert Rose Tunic

I think that I succeeded! By choosing chambray for the bodice, and making the skirt tunic length, this dress has become a lovely fitted top for Clare. The skirt and neckline ruffle are in lawn from Spotlight, I think a couple of seasons ago. Tiny trees and houses! It’s so pretty!

Caila Made Designs Desert Rose Tunic

Making this tunic wasn’t without its dramas. I decided to make size 6 but with size 8 length for Clare, as that corresponded well to her measurements. She has just turned 12, but is 5th percentile for both height and weight, so making such a small size is more appropriate in terms of fit.  What I failed to do however was to account for the armhole depth that she would need. The size 6 armholes were just too high and made wearing the top uncomfortable. If only I had asked her to try it on during the sewing process rather than after it was all finished!

Caila Made Designs Desert Rose Tunic

The bodice is fully lined, and topstitched in place.  The armholes and neckline are also topstitched.  So after unpicking all the topstitching, I was able to restitch the armholes and scoop them down lower. After that was done I remembered to get Clare to try it on before re-topstitching the bodice lining in place and re-topstitching around the armholes. It was painful to do, but I’m glad that I did it. Luckily I remembered to get Stella to try it on before I lowered the armholes, and now I know that the size 6 armholes will be good on her but with size 4 width. Always worth trying on as you go!

Caila Made Designs Desert Rose Tunic

The pattern description from the website is as follows: The Desert Rose Dress features an empire waist with a scooped neckline and button closure in the front. The full skirt includes optional in-seam pockets and hits at the knee. Full step-by-step instructions with clear photos and illustrations are included. There are some very pretty versions of this on the internet. The ruffle at the front neckline is optional.

Caila Made Designs Desert Rose Tunic

The edge of the ruffle is finished with a fine zig-zag. You could also use the rolled hem setting on your overlocker. Next time I make this I will actually cut the ruffle double on the fold, with the fold on the straight edge. Then no edge finishing will be needed and since it is cut on the bias, it should still ruffle nicely. I’m not 100% thrilled with the finish of the ruffle on this tunic.

Caila Made Designs Desert Rose Tunic

All in all, this is a very pretty top on Clare. The pattern is well written and the pieces fit together perfectly. Although it is simple in some ways, it has been drafted with just the right proportions. Stella will definitely be getting a dress version, although in a different fabric.