children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

New Look 6444

Another garment that was finished (and photographed) a year ago.  Good thing I have these “archives” left to post on my blog, because my sewing output has reduced dramatically over the last year.  This is New Look 6444.

New Look 6444 in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

We bought this embroidered cotton on our first trip to Chiang Mai (you may remember the pink colourway that I used for a dress for Stella). Finding a pattern that could utilise the scalloped edge was a bit of a challenge, until we spotted New Look 6444. With this pattern we could use the edge along the shorts hem and along the edge of the ruffle.

New Look 6444

From the New Look website: Girls’ easy to sew dress and jumpsuit pattern features high low or maxi dress, and short romper or long jumpsuit with elastic at ankles. All have elastic waist with tie.

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We only had enough fabric for view B.  I used the neckline ruffle pattern piece as a guide for cutting along the scalloped selvedge.  Generally these “convertible” styles that can be worn on or off the shoulders only work well if there is plenty of elastic and gathering in the neckline (as otherwise the bodice gets distorted and there is underarm wedgie when the neckline is worn on rather than off the shoulder) – this pattern was drafted so that it can definitely be worn comfortably either way.

New Look 6444 in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

New Look weren’t kidding in their pattern description – this was easy to sew. The armscyes have bias binding as a finishing technique, and the waistline seam allowances form a casing to thread elastic through. I used both my sewing machine and overlocker for construction and edge finishing.

New Look 6444 in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

This was possibly size 12 (I’d need to locate the pattern to check). It’s a really sweet style, and I like many of the other variations in the pattern. New Look do a great job of tween/teen patterns, providing current styles with plenty of options.

New Look 6444 in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

There is every chance that this won’t fit this summer – Clare has grown a little, as teenagers will!  This pattern goes up to size 16, so it could be worth a second go – maybe in a dress version. Clare has discovered that despite the trendiness of jumpsuits/playsuits, they really aren’t always practical. Going to the toilet is just that little bit more challenging!

New Look 6444 in embroidered cotton from Chiang Mai

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 6690

Oh my goodness, there are less than ten blog posts from last year left to write.  Of course, I have a fair few from this year to catch up on, but hey…..I’m making progress!

McCalls 6690 in printed cotton size 8

This pattern – McCalls 6690 – caught my eye because it seemed very fashionable. Like something that was in the shops – and that’s important to the kids. From the pattern website: Pullover, partially lined tops and dresses have side panels (sleeveless), no side seams, side-front/side-back openings for self-belt, back button, thread loop closing and very narrow hem. Purchased bias tape finishes neckline. A: Purchased trim. B, D: Ruffles.

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m6690

We decided on view A, mainly because this style is a major fabric eater and we wanted to get it out of the fabric that was available.  As it was I used another fabric for the inside lining pieces.

McCalls 6690 in printed cotton size 8

The fabric was a printed cotton lawn, and came to me I think from Spotlight via another person’s stash (thanks Anna!). It was lovely to sew with. We eliminated the trim that the pattern suggested for this view. I cut and sewed this in size 8 after measuring the pattern pieces – clearly it has ridiculous ease; I sew a girls 12 or 14 for Clare now.

McCalls 6690 in printed cotton size 8

We didn’t need the slit with button and loop opening at the centre back – Clare can get it on and off just fine as it is. It’s an interesting pattern actually. It’s basically a tank style with princess seams in the front and back – no side seam as such – with the sleeve attaching to the front and back princess seams. The main bodice pieces are lined as well, which combines with the flappy angel sleeves to mean that you need plenty of fabric.

McCalls 6690 in printed cotton size 8

This top is a little tricky to wear with anything over it – those angel sleeves mean that you can’t fit other regular sleeves on top. This means it’s definitely something that can’t be worn trans-seasonally. As it turns out Clare hasn’t worn it much, but she’s not sure why – maybe because she was wearing other things, she suspects, rather than something being “wrong” with this. I’m not sure that it will still fit Clare this summer. There is a fair bit that needs to migrate from her wardrobe into Stella’s at the moment!

McCalls 6690 in printed cotton size 8

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Boo Designs Sleeved Skater dress

I sometimes find it a little challenging to get sizing right for my kids.  Both daughters are quite slim for their height (I was the same at their age; up until my late teens really). To get the combination of style, ease, and fit preferences right is not always easy.

Boo Designs Skater dress in cotton lycra knits from Crafty Mamas

I sewed this Boo Designs Sleeved Skater dress in a mixture of sizes to accommodate Stella’s wishes. She wanted a tight bodice with a fuller skirt. Stella chose all the pattern elements – which sleeve type, what skirt length, and which fabrics went where.

Boo Designs Skater dress in cotton lycra knits from Crafty Mamas

It’s interesting to me when I look at photos – it appears that Stella has the same issue as me of fabric pooling a bit at the back waist area while the front bodice is still quite fitted! When I look at this dress on Stella I think it looks too small. She thinks entirely differently and really likes it.

Boo Designs Skater dress in cotton lycra knits from Crafty Mamas

Now I am trying to cast my memory to last year (that’s when I sewed it) but I think that I sewed the width quite a bit smaller than the length for this dress. I kept the armhole depth and bodice length appropriate for Stella’s height, but the body width was a few sizes smaller in accordance with her measurements. The shoulder width was something in between.

Boo Designs Skater dress in cotton lycra knits from Crafty Mamas

The fabrics are superb European quality cotton/spandex knits from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. I finished the sleeve edges with a very narrow zig-zagged hem, and did the same with the skirt. Construction was primarily on the overlocker. The neckline is bound with the printed knit.

Boo Designs Skater dress in cotton lycra knits from Crafty Mamas

From the pattern website:

  • 2 lengths: Regular (above knee) or maxi (slightly above ankle)
  • Also interchangeable with skirts from (sleeveless) Spandex Skater Dress
  • 2 hem styles: even or hi-low
  • 4 sleeve styles: long, short, mini or flutter

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We’ll see how much wear this dress gets when the weather warms up again – and if it in fact still fits her! Stella looked over my shoulder while I was typing up this blog post and did say “oh, I do like that dress” so maybe it will be a winner after all.

Boo Designs Skater dress in cotton lycra knits from Crafty Mamas

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · Uncategorized

summer pyjamas for Clare

It is SO cold today!  Winter is well and truly chilly this year (by Melbourne standards).  We are all wearing our cosiest winter pyjamas and dressing gowns and slippers and there are flannelette sheets on the beds.  But these are the pyjamas that I sewed for Clare last summer.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

I used two Oliver + S patterns to sew this set. The shorts is the free Sunny Day shorts pattern. The top is the Lunch Box Tee.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

Both pieces were sewn in knits; the shorts in a cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics, and I found the printed cotton jersey in given-to-me stash – maybe it used to belong to Rachel? I sewed the shorts in size 12, the largest size.  Clare has decided that they’re most comfortable on her with the legs rolled up a little.

From the Sunny Day Shorts pattern page: Every kid needs a good pair of shorts to wear outside on a sunny day, and this free sewing pattern will help you make just that pair. These quick and easy-to-sew shorts are sure to become a staple in any summer wardrobe. Suitable for both boys and girls, this pattern can be made from a variety of light- to medium-weight woven fabrics like quilting cotton, denim, canvas, chambray, and linen. The Sunny Day Shorts free sewing pattern is also perfect for customizing. Try adding pockets, applique, ribbon, embroidery, or color-blocking. Make these shorts as unique as the kid who will wear them!

This is a nicely drafted kids shorts pattern, and there is also a photo tutorial on the Oliver + S blog.  I highly recommend it if you’re learning to sew and want a simple pattern to use, as it’s so well drafted.  Simple patterns need to be shaped properly!  You’ll get a good result with this one.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

The Lunch Box Tee is another terrific pattern.  It can be worn with the sleeves folded up or left down – these are genuine freshly out of bed photos and it looks like we have one of each in the photo above!  I used the same cotton/lycra for the neckband as for the shorts, which had the right amount of recovery to get a flat neckband.  The print for the top is a bit off grain (possibly from Spotlight originally?) and although it’s a lovely cool summer fabric to wear, it doesn’t have all that much stretch.  Most construction was on the overlocker, with twin needling in a contrasting thread colour to secure the neckband and the bottom hem.  I probably sewed size 12 for Clare.

From the Lunch Box Tee pattern page: Girl’s split skirt and knit top pattern. This pattern features wide, pleated culottes that look like a full skirt but are more versatile. They can be worn for a wide range of activities from biking to turning flips on the monkey bars. Pull-on styling includes front and back inverted box pleats, back elastic, and hidden side pockets. The boxy knit top can be made up as a sweatshirt with pockets that are perfect for storing all kinds of tiny treasures, or it can be sewn up as a T-shirt with cute cuffed sleeves.

pyjamas - Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts and Lunch Box Tee in cotton lycra knits

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 7428

McCalls 7428 includes patterns for a girls’ top, dress, tunic, skirt and leggings.  I have to admit, that is the FABULOUS thing about non-indie patterns – you get so much bang for your buck, especially when patterns are on sale.

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7428line

Pullover tops and dress have neckband. A: Contrast back yoke. B: High-low hem, wrong side of fabric will show. C: Cold shoulder detail, purchased rhinestones, pearls and beads. Skirt and leggings have elasticized waist. Moderate stretch gauge needed.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

We chose to sew view A, the top with back interest. The fabrics are a spotted crinkled knit that was a gift from a generous friend, combined with the leftovers of a quality Crafty Mamas cotton/spandex knit I’d used for another top. The shade of blue matched perfectly!

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

This pattern appealed both for the back yoke and the split shaped hemline at centre back. It wasn’t difficult to sew. I used the sewing machine for all elements of the back, as then I could pivot the needle to turn direction at the points easily, but other construction of the top was on the overlocker.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

Size wise, I probably sewed a 12 (this was months ago, and I’d need to pull out the pattern to check) with size 14 sleeve and body length. It fits nicely.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

I also pulled out the pattern to sew the pants/leggings from some bengaline remnants.

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

There were sewn in size 12 with size 14 length. I pieced the back leg pieces to get the maximum amount of fabric from my scraps. Let’s call it a design feature!

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

Because they’re bengaline they’re more pants than leggings, and they’re very comfy and easy to wear. There is an elastic waist, overlocked to the inside then turned again to the inside and secured in place.

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

The pants were really an experimental project in scraps/remnants, to test out how well the pattern fitted. She’s worn them, so it must be okay!

McCalls 7428 pants in bengaline remnants

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this pattern. I rather like the dress version too.

McCalls 7428 in knit from Darn Cheap Fabric and Crafty Mamas Fabric

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 7427 for Clare

McCalls describe pattern 7427 as follows: Loose-fitting cardigans and vest have shaped hems. A, B: Front self-facing. B:Purchased lace. C, D, E: Wrong side of fabric will show. D: Hood and contrast back. E:Bands and peplum with handkerchief hem.

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Clare chose view F, the cardigan with a drapey front collar.  It’s basically the same view view D, the cover photo, but without the hood.

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

As you can see, the reverse side of the fabric shows at the front collar. The collar can be worn two ways; fairly spread out and flat, or in more of a folded waterfall.

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

The fabric came from Rathdowne Fabrics, and is a loopy maroon knit on one side but smooth black knit (with flecks of white) on the other. It is quite stretchy and substantial, definitely cardigan weight. And you know that I’m about to say that it was very easy and fast to sew.

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

Sewed the shoulder seams, set in the sleeves, sewed the side seams.  That was all on the overlocker.  Then turned a narrow hem and zig-zagged around the entire hemline, making sure to catch the very edge of the seam allowance so that when you could see the wrong side around the collar, the hem still looked flat and smooth.

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My guess is that I sewed size 12 for Clare (although it could have been size 14).  I’d rather like to sew her view E at some stage – I think that the peplum shaping would be rather nice on her.  This is a great easy to wear kids pattern.  Nice work McCalls!

McCalls 7427 cari/jacket in something jumper weight boucle type knit from Rathdowne

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Morrison tees

When the weather changed from warm to cold a few months ago Clare complained that she no longer had long-sleeved tees that fit.  Kids – they keep on growing!  So I dived into the pattern stash, and over the course of a weekend she had around seven new long-sleeved tops to get her through the colder months.  These are two of them!

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Once again, this is a pattern I’ve used before, except last time it was a short-sleeved tee for Stella. It is the Hey June Morrison tee. It is one of a pattern line designed especially for Juniors – that tween and early teen age that can be challenging to fit in styles they like.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

From the website:  The Morrison Tee is a casual boxy fit dolman tee for juniors.  Options include banded sleeves, cap sleeves, or long sleeves.  Choose a hi-low hem, a straight hem, or either version with a front tie hem.  The Morrison is perfect for 4 season wear and can be made dressier or more casual.  Make a slubby gray front-tie tee for lazy Saturdays or use a pretty floral for a cap sleeve top to pair with a pretty skirt and sandals for fancier occasions.  Personalize your Morrison Tee with cute iron-on decals, fabric paint, tie dye, or applique.  This versatile top will be a wardrobe staple for your tween or teen!

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I started with a long-sleeved version of the top with a straight hem.  The design was mainly dictated by fabric restrictions – there was just enough of the Crafty Mamas printed french terry to get the body of a top, and I added sleeves from black viscose/cotton/spandex that was elsewhere in stash.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This was such a simple top to make! Front, back, sleeves attached to a dolman dropped shoulder so easy to attach in the flat, and a neckband. It was all assembled on the overlocker. I decided to use contrasting thread in the twin needle to topstitch down the neckband and hems, with pink in one needle and red in the other.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

I sewed this in size 12, knowing that the style was designed to be slouchy and oversized. However, the sleeves did end up a little on the short side, and the body slightly more cropped than we hoped (that was unavoidable – we couldn’t add length to the body anyway with the amount of fabric that we had.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

So when I cut out the next version, I added length to the sleeves – maybe an inch or two. By the way, Hey June has the sleeve pattern piece cut on the fold. This always drives me NUTS for sleeves that need two cut anyway, so I got out some tracing paper and turned the pattern piece into a full sized pattern. Much easier.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

This fabric is a knit jacquard from Super Cheap Fabrics. I love this shade of green on Clare! We chose the version with the curved back hemline and knotted front this time.  Body length was pretty much perfect in this style.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

The knot section of the hemline is faced, and the rest turned and stitched. I finished the rest of the hemline and sleeve hems and neckline with a zig-zag on the sewing machine.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

These were both fast and easy to whip up, and have entered regular wardrobe rotation.

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Hey June Patterns Morrison tee in print from Crafty Mamas Fabrics