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

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