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.

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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!

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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

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Book week 2016

It was book week a couple of months ago (yes, I am very behind with blogging so everything that appears here was sewn months ago now).  Stella decided that she wanted to go as Billie B Brown.

Book Week costume 2016

The school was focusing on Australian authors, and as it happens Sally Rippin is not only Australian, but local to us! I liked that element of Stella’s choice. Most of the “costume” was easily found in her wardrobe, but Stella really wanted a pinafore like the one on the book cover. Enter Lekala 7198.

Book Week costume 2016

This is a pattern designed for wovens, and I was using a knit from stash, so I eliminated the side zipper. I also left out the back belt and the front pockets. The pattern was folded down at the strap level to create a straight edge, and I traced off a facing to match. The straps were made from wide bias binding and were inserted between the dress and facing.

Book Week costume 2016

Buttons were added at the centre front for decoration. Stella enjoyed having input to every element of the design process, referring back to the book cover as we went along.

Book Week costume 2016

Of course, this was all done the night before it was needed. Some things never change. And the finished costume?

Book Week Costume 2016

Yes, she was pleased!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Groove dress – as dress!

It amuses me that I sewed this pattern as a top twice before I got around to sewing it as an actual dress.

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

This is the Madeit Patterns Groove dress for teens, sewn in the teen size Small. We chose to sew the long sleeved version with the scoop neck. However, Clare finds the scoop neck is actually a bit wider than she would prefer. She doesn’t like necklines high at the front, so she is happy with the depth, but because she has narrow shoulders the neckline is wider than she’s prefer.

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

The fabric is a printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics (Brunswick store). I used soft double knit from stash to bind the neckline. As you can imagine, this was a super fast garment to construct. The overlocker was used for most of it, with hems secured with a twin needle on the machine.

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

This style does have marvellous swish. The high-low hemline is rather pronounced, so you do need to consider what the reverse side of your fabric looks like if you are sewing that version. You also need to keep your hems nice and neat, because they will be visible.

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

This pattern comes free with either the Women’s or the Child’s size. I bought the Women’s, so there will be one of these ahead for me as well. The pattern has a number of neckline, sleeve length and hemline options, and hopefully it will be a workhorse pattern for me as well as for the girls.

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

Worn with her Lily Knit blazer and Shredded Scarf.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Nantucket One-Piece swimsuit

One pair of bathers apparently wasn’t enough for our FNQ holiday – Clare needed a one-piece as well!

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

Okay, I have a confession – Clare wasn’t the one pushing the “I need more bathers” barrow – it was me wanting to sew more of the lovely swimwear fabric that was in my stash! This fabric came from Rathdowne Fabrics. Those butterflies and flowers are so pretty! This was such a pretty fabric that it called for a fairly simple pattern. And I found the Peekaboo Patterns Nantucket One-Piece swimsuit pattern in my stash. I think I’d originally bought it as part of a pattern bundle.

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

Of course, the back is the highlight of these bathers. Such a lovely low scoop, highlighted with cross-over straps. The description from the website is as follows:  Get ready for a trip to the seashore with the Nantucket One-Piece Swimsuit! The Nantucket features a gathered front neckline and cross-back straps finished in a darling bow. With excellent bum coverage your little one will be comfortable playing all day long in a suit that’s sure to please. Check the Ultimate Swimsuit Fabric Shopping Guide for help finding the perfect fabric for your project 🙂 Tutorial includes tips for sewing on swimsuit fabric and achieving a professional finish. No serger required. Includes instructions for an optional lining.  Pattern comes with a full tutorial and color photos in an easy to print PDF. Pattern pieces are computer generated and color coded for easy cutting. 

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

This pattern ranges in size from 3 months to size 12.  I used a combination of sizes 10 and 12 for Clare, grading up to the 12 for her hips.  I fully lined the bathers, then zig-zagged the edges together and treating them as one.  The edging was all done with fold-over elastic, so I had to depart from the instructions a little bit there. These were faster to sew than I had anticipated, and once again all the sewing was done on the sewing machine. That zig-zag stitch really earned its place!

Nantucket Swimsuit by Peekaboo Patterns in Rathdowne Fabrics print

If anything, the upper chest is a little wide and bags a fraction. The pattern has a casing here, with the ties threaded through it, which would gather it in a little. I could have probably pulled the elastic tighter when applying it to the upper front, which would have had the same effect. However, we’re both happy with these bathers overall.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Mountain Ash Designs two-piece

Before we went to Cairns Clare decided that she needed new bathers.  She wanted a two-piece, but one that would be practical.  We searched the stash, then searched online.  We found the Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates #1 pattern.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

The pattern description from the website is as follows: Make your own tankinis and bikinis using this pdf sewing pattern with options for a crop top or singlet top and briefs for swimming. Garments are designed to be made from stretch fabric and can be sewn using an overlocker/ serger or a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. Pattern will fit girls in sizes 2-14 years.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

I have already forgotten what sizes we sewed for Clare, but we pretty much looked at the sizing chart and went by that. It was possibly a 12 for the pants and a 10 for the crop top. The fabric is a swimwear nylon/lycra remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics, and the lining probably came from there as well. I fully lined both the bottoms and the top by cutting the pattern pieces from the lining as well then laying the two together after sewing side seams. Edges were finished with neon orange fold over elastic that was in my stash.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

The straps were criss-crossed at the back, tried on and pinned in place before sewing to ensure that they were the right length. As I had just enough leftover fabric, I also made another wrap bikini top to coordinate.  Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of that one yet! It’s based on the Madalynne Sierra bra, modified to work in swimwear lycra.

Mountain Ash Designs Swimwear Separates in nylon/lycra from Rathdowne Fabrics

Bathers are surprisingly satisfying to sew.  I think that these were done entirely on the sewing machine, with a straight stitch to join the side seams and a zig-zag stitch to attach the fold over elastic.  You get better at how much tension to put on the elastic the more that you do it.  You can’t see it clearly in the photos, but this fun fabric has a glittery overprint.  There are terrific bathers fabrics around, especially at shops like Rathdowne Fabrics.  I find that no matter what I do, bathers really only last a year, so I’m glad that I enjoy sewing them!  I’m amassing a rather nice stash of women’s bathers patterns to sew as Clare and Stella get older.