children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Seussical costume

The local high school recently put on a production of Seussical the Musical, and invited a couple of local primary schools to be involved as citizens of Whoville.  Stella is a keen performer, who takes dance and voice lessons outside of school, and she was thrilled to take part in Seussical.  My involvement was in making a costume.

Seussical outfit

The brief was strong primary colours. Stella wanted a skirt and leggings, and there was the perfect skirt fabric in stash. I easily turned the knit-printed scuba into a circle skirt on an elastic waistband after referring to one of the myriad of circle skirt tutorials that are available online. The leggings are the Go To Patterns leggings pattern, sewn in size 12. And originally I also sewed a long-sleeved tee from the Hey June City Park tee pattern, also in size 12.

Seussical outfit

In the end the kids were all provided with tee-shirts with pom poms attached, so she didn’t need the purple tee that I’d sewn. The kids all had a marvellous time performing, and of course I think that Stella was outstanding! It’s a really fun production and I’m really pleased that the primary school kids had the opportunity to be part of it. Stella was also thrilled that we let her temporarily dye her hair red for the occasion.

Seussical outfit

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Ottobre dress for Stella

I’ve probably said before that Stella can be quite fussy about what she wears.  Sometimes I’ll sew her something in accordance with her direction, and she’ll say that she likes it, then she never wears it.  She’s recently been wearing this dress that I sewed over a year ago.  She’s had a growth spurt, and this dress is really not a dress any more – it’s a tunic.

dress from Ottobre 4 2016 in plush backed knit from Spotlight with rib trim

The pattern is from Ottobre 4 2016. I really don’t use Ottobre patterns as often as I should. I know that it’s tracing them from the pattern sheets that puts me off, but I also know that it really doesn’t take all that long to do it. Definitely no longer than taping together a pdf pattern!

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The curved raglan shoulder seams appealed to me.  I had some pink rib trim in stash that contrasted nicely with the plush backed knit from Spotlight, so decided to use that for the neckband, cuffs, and as faux piping to highlight the raglan seam shaping.

dress from Ottobre 4 2016 in plush backed knit from Spotlight with rib trim

Now I have to say that the Spotlight plush backed knit was HORRENDOUS to sew. I will never ever sew with that fabric again, and am glad that it was a remnant that I picked up cheaply. The print is sweet, and the reverse side incredibly soft, but it stretched out of shape whenever I tried to topstitch it and it was bulky along seams. The overlocker dealt with the seam bulk very nicely, but there was no way that I could neatly topstitch the bands or the faux piping so that they would lay flatter.

dress from Ottobre 4 2016 in plush backed knit from Spotlight with rib trim

Anyway, the dress has now been worn as a tunic quite a few times, so my effort in sewing it wasn’t wasted. It’s soft against the skin, which is what Stella likes, and is easy to move in. I’d call this garment a semi-success. I won’t be sad to see it leave her wardrobe in next season’s cull.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June City Park tee

Clare came to me with a dress that no longer fitted, in that it was way too short.  This was a ponte Groove dress that I’d sewed a couple of years prior.  See, my kids do actually grow and get taller!  The before photo from 2016:

Groove dress in ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

It was pretty straightforward for me to grab a copy of the Hey June Patterns City Park tee and use it as a guide to straighten out the side seams and curve the bottom hem.  Hey presto, too short flared dress becomes a fitted tee!

Hey June patterns City Park tee

The neckline was a bit too open and scooped when I first sewed this – but now it’s perfect! While the pattern was out I also sewed up a long-sleeved tee in white stretch panne velvet from stash for Clare to wear to a fairy themed party. I know, she’s a teenager, it’s a fairy party, some things you never grow out of!

Hey June patterns City Park tee

Just a quick snap to show you the fit. This is a nice basic fitted tee with set in sleeves. I think that I sewed the girls size 14. The panne velvet was appalling stuff to sew. My overlocker handled it okay but it left terrible little pieces of sparkly plasticky fluff absolutely everywhere. Ugh. I’m avoiding that fabric in the future. It did however fit the bill nicely and Clare looked lovely (and warm) when she headed off to the party – with the addition of wings and a wand, of course!

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The cardi is purchased, and the patternless skirt sewn from scuba a couple of years ago.

I have found Hey June patterns to be excellent basics for my daughters.  I have three that I use regularly – the City Park tee (set in sleeves, fairly fitted), Camden Raglan (raglan sleeves, fairly fitted) and the Morrison tee (drop shoulder, loose body, fitted sleeve).  And as they grow I just reprint and cut out the size that I want.  Very worthwhile.

 

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

a second Girl on the Go dress

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

Stella really likes the Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress that I made her a few weeks ago, so I’ve sewn her another! And yes, it’s from scraps again. Woo hoo for scrap busting!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

This time the scraps are left over from a summer dress I sewed for Clare, that’s had quite a bit of wear since I first made it and is definitely due to be passed on to Stella. The fabric is a soft printed ponte from Spotlight. I faced the ties with a solid knit from stash, partly as a design choice, but mostly because I didn’t have enough of the print to face them with!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

This is a really easy pattern to sew. Construction is on the overlocker other than attaching the neckline facing, which I do on the machine. I use a twin needle in the machine to secure the neckline facing, sleeve and skirt hems.

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Once again, I sewed view A but with the sleeves from view B.  I reckon that this pattern will be sewn up as straight view A when it gets to next summer.  I bought the pdf pattern, so it will easy enough to print out a larger size if necessary.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

You can’t see it in these photos, but I actually used two different colours in the twin needle – each matching one of the blue/greens in the print. Partly as a design feature, partly because it was easier to grab two different spools of thread than to hunt down two that matched exactly or to wind some of one spool on to a bobbin.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

Stella’s dress is size 10, but the Girl on the Go pattern actually goes up to girls size 18. So if you are a slender adult, I reckon that this would fit you fine! Other option for someone wanting to make a grown-up version would be the Liesl + Co Maritime top, lengthened to a dress with ties sewn into the side seams.  It’s such a straightforward dress, but comfortable and easy to wear with a little style thrown in. And isn’t that what most of us want?

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in printed ponte from Spotlight

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Scrap busting with the Camden raglan

Raglan tops really lend themselves to colour/pattern blocking, in my opinion.  The perfect solution for what to do with those scraps that are too big to toss but are too small for an entire garment.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

I’ve sewn the Hey June Patterns Camden raglan a few times now, but all for Clare. It was time for Stella to get a look in! I used Crafty Mamas Fabrics printed french terry left over from Clare’s hoodie for the front and back, and cotton/spandex knit (probably also from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) for the sleeves and neckband.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Because I was working with scraps I wasn’t able to centre the print nicely on the back of the tee. I thought it was more important to get it centred on the front. It’s important to put thought into your cutting out whenever you can. Centring prints wherever possible, keeping the print balanced, lining up stripes. A bit of time spent pondering at the cutting table usually results in a much better finished garment. But sometimes you will be constrained by fabric quantities. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Stella’s top is a straight size 10. This is designed to be a fairly fitted tee. From the pattern 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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Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to secure the hems and neckband into place with a simple zig-zag after securing the hems with double-sided tape. Fast and satisfying – and already into wardrobe rotation.

Hey June Patterns Camden Raglan in Crafty Mamas french terry and jersey

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Girl on the Go

When Oliver + S released a tween/teen pattern I got a little excited.  My girls are almost sized out of Oliver + S patterns now.  Well, Stella would still fit into a few of them (I do have some as yet unsewn, sob) but Clare definitely not.  The other bonus of the Girl on the Go pattern is that it is for knits.  Comfort, here we come!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I bought this brushed back sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics last year. Unicorns! Pink glittery unicorns! On grey marle! How could I resist. It was just perfect for this pattern. I combined it with some toning cotton/spandex (also from Crafty Mamas Fabrics) to back the ties and for the neckline facings.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I sewed size 10 for Stella, and am pretty happy with the fit. Loose, but not too oversized. Construction was mostly on the overlocker. Hems were secured with double sided tape, then twin needled on the machine in pink thread. I also twin needled the facing down in pink thread. Love the contrast!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

If I had been a little more skilled I would have realised that with a directional fabric I’d need to cut the ties differently. One of the ties has upside down unicorns. You may not have noticed if I hadn’t mentioned it – but hey, I’m a sewing blogger, we have a tendency toward pointing out our errors. Because they hang sideways you can’t really tell – but I know!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

From the Oliver + S website: This simple pull-on dress and top is designed for knit fabrics with a little stretch. The View A dress features a fun front tie detail and short sleeves, while View B makes a classic top with 3/4-length sleeves. Both styles include a neck facing with topstitching detail and a forward shoulder for a comfortable fit. You’ll love the look, feel, and versatility of this dress and top which make great wardrobe basics for every girl on the go. Suggested Fabrics: Suitable for knits of all sorts. Stable knits are especially good for this style. Suggested fabrics include jersey, double knit, thermal knit, interlock, sweatshirt fleece, and French terry.

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As you can see, I mixed up the pattern views to sew view A with view B sleeves.  This is a very easy dress to sew.  There is a sew-along on the Oliver + S blog, and I note that a few bloggers have used this pattern to teach their children to sew.  I did suggest to Stella that she could sew it and I could help her, but she preferred the option of me doing it and presenting her with a finished garment.  Took the easy route!

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Although I took what felt like a myriad of photos of Stella in this dress (she’s such an expressive kidlet) I don’t have any of the back! There’s not much to tell though – it’s pretty plain. The line drawing tells the story. I actually already have another one of these dresses cut out for Stella in floral ponte scraps from another project. I’m doing some scrap-busting at the moment. I have a feeling that this pattern is going to get a real workout.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This dress has already gone into high rotation – it’s great for autumn weather and she will be able to layer it nicely for winter. As with all Oliver + S patterns, the instructions are excellent and the pdf pattern is extremely well laid out. They’re the easiest patterns to assemble – not just one huge sheet divided into A4 sheets, but A4 sheets with the pattern pieces arranged so that they are able to be assembled with a minimum of paper waste and a minimum amount of space needed. I haven’t seen any other pattern companies do this even half as well, if at all. Oliver + S do also give you the option of printing one huge sheet as well – the last page of the pdf pattern file is the copy shop option, and this has always been the case with their patterns. Pdf done extremely well.

Oliver + S Girl on the Go dress in sweatshirting from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

Burda 9839

This little dress is all thanks to Restash.  That’s where I picked up Burda 9839, and the fabric!

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

This little Burda pattern appears to be out of print. It includes some singlet style tops, both regular length and cropped, and a one shouldered dress or cropped top. As is obvious, Stella chose the dress.

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

The pattern included the ruffled neckline option, which Stella was very keen on, so I scrabbled through my stash and found a soft lightweight knit in a coordinating colour. The pattern suggested organza for the ruffle, and using the knit did create some problems in supporting the neckline. Hence the addition of a shoulder strap!

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

There was no way that the dress was going to stay up comfortably without the strap. Actually, I think that even without the weight of the ruffle, a single shouldered dress is not going to sit in the right place on a pre-pubescent body. We also brought in the bodice side seams quite a bit in an attempt to improve the fit there.

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

Anyway, this dress was really made just as a bit of fun. The main fabric is fabulous – cotton/spandex knit with a cactus print! Hooray! There was just enough to sew the dress. It was very straightforward, as you’d expect from looking at it. Front and back and shoulder seam joined on overlocker, turn and stitch hems, add the ruffle. Then the additional shoulder strap. Sorted.

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra

It’s rather fun taking blog photos of Stella. She puts on all sorts of poses! Anyway, with the weather cooling down now she’s not likely to get much more wear from this dress until the end of the year. I wonder if it will still fit her!

Burda 9839 with added shoulder strap in printed cotton lycra