adult's clothing · Lekala · sewing · tween

Tangled

This is a way overdue post – I sewed this dress/costume for Clare some months ago, for a Girl Guides event.  The theme was Disney; Clare wanted to go as Rapunzel – specifically, the “version” from Tangled. For reference:

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sewing costumes. They are often a great deal of work, and often a fair bit of expense in fabric cost. But once the girls are all dressed up in their costumes and grinning from ear to ear, it is SO satisfying! The costumes I’ve made in the past have all been worn until they’ve no longer fitted (and any that I make for Clare are then worn by Stella) so when I weigh it up they are actually a worthwhile garment to make. There may be some Cosplay sewing in my future, I suspect.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume McCalls 6420

So, on to costume details. We figured out the key elements of the costume, and looked for a pattern that contained most of them. McCalls 6420 included patterns for both Women and Girls, but nothing for tween/teen sizes. However, it did provided us with a basis to adapt.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume McCalls 6420

I took a look at the smallest Women’s pattern pieces, and knew that there was absolutely no way that the bodice was going to work on Clare. I could adapt the sleeve and skirt patterns without much hassle, but not that bodice. Over to Lekala I went! Rapunzel/Tangled costume Lekala 5017

Lekala 5017 provided the basis for the dress bodice and vest. We’d decided to sew the dress all in one with the skirt and sleeves attached to it, then the corset-style vest over it. I figured that I could use the same pattern pieces for both. I altered the neckline of the Lekala pattern pieces and redrew the hemline into a point to match the illustrations and the skirt piece on the pattern pieces, then cut into some quilting cotton to sew the vest.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Lekala is really wonderful for the non-standard shape. I could tell straight away that this was going to work without too much drama and alteration.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The front of the vest is quilting cotton, and the back is cotton drill. The vest is fully lined – I used the same quilting cotton as the central skirt panel. This costume was constructed in bits and pieces over a couple of weeks. The sleeves were fun to make. I used the McCalls pattern pieces as a base.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The purple stripes on the upper puffed sleeve are strips of ribbon sewn to the base fabric. The lower sleeve is pale pink stretch mesh. You can see how much I had to pin out of it to make it fitted to Clare’s arm.  I completed both sleeves, ready to be attached to the bodice, then laid them aside and moved on to the skirt.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

I used poly satin from Spotlight for the skirt. There is a hell of a lot of fabric in that skirt, and consequently a hell of a lot of gathering! The centre front skirt panel is quilting cotton. The stretch lace trim used throughout came from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The bodice fabric was also a poly satin from Spotlight, but was definitely much nicer quality (and was also more expensive) than the fabric used for the skirt. I used the same pattern pieces for the bodice as for the vest, except I placed the centre front line on the fold. It is self-lined, with a zip down the back. I have to say that sewing the zip into place in poly satin was NO fun at all. It is covered by the vest when she has the entire costume on, but I still wanted it to be fairly well inserted!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Then it was back to the vest!  Time to learn how to insert eyelets.  After a few experiments with the setting tool that came with the pack of eyelets (which involved a hammer and breadboard) I suddenly remembered that somewhere in my stash of handy sewing equipment I owned a setting tool that squeezed the parts together – it’s the one with the orange handles in the photo below.  The other very handy tool was the one that cut the holes for the eyelets – the one with the red handles.  I think that I bought it at Bunnings a while ago.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

The eyelets set in much more nicely than I’d anticipated – the practice ones on scrap fabric were definitely worthwhile.  We found some purple ribbon to lace through them, and then the costume was almost complete!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

That laces up quite nicely!  Clare had ordered cheap hair extensions from eBay, and attached them to the bottom of her plait to add extra length.  The flowers were a couple of bunches from a $2 shop that we cut up and stuck into her hair at intervals.

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

So, there you go!  I present to you all, Rapunzel!

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

She was VERY pleased with her finished costume, and I think she makes a highly convincing Rapunzel!  It looks as though this costume is going to get another outing again at Guides soon in a Halloween-related activity.  Stella’s pretty pleased with it in anticipation as well.  I’m now starting to wonder what might be a fun costume to sew next…

Rapunzel/Tangled costume

 

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

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Handmade City Park Tee

You’ve seen a few of the Hey June Handmade juniors patterns on my blog before.  Here’s another one!  This time the City Park Tee.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

These were sewn back in March when the weather turned cool. They’re both size 12, and Clare has been wearing them all winter. They should definitely see her through to summer! The pattern description and line drawing from the website are as follows:  The City Park Tee is a casual tee for juniors in sizes 6 – 16.  It comes with the option for a v-neck or scoop neck, shirt length or tunic length, and has four sleeve lengths included – short, elbow, 3/4, and long. The City Park Tee is incredibly versatile depending on what options you choose, your fabric, and any embellishments you choose to add.  Embroider, applique, screen print, stencil, dye, sequin – this tee is a perfect blank slate for anything you can dream up. This pattern works nicely with jerseys, both cotton and cotton blends, but you can also use rib knit, interlock, waffle knit, lycra spandex, or even stretch lace!  Anything with a stretch of at least 30% will work, but 50 – 100% stretch is best.  Just remember – the smaller the stretch percentage, the more fitted the shirt will be.

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As you can see, we chose to sew the scoop neck, long sleeve, tunic length version of the tee.  The striped fabric is a cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics.  The other tee was sewn from a combination of viscose/lycra for the body (so super soft and drapey) but printed cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas Fabrics for the sleeves and neckband.  I was trying to use up more of my quality knit leftovers!

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Both tees were sewn on the overlocker, with the twin needle on the sewing machine used to secure the hems and neckband. I chose the neckband length according to this tutorial, as usual. I also altered the width of the neckband for the purple and white striped tee to take advantage of the purple stripes.

Hey June City Park tee in cotton lycra stripe from Crafty Mamas

Hey June City Park Tee in viscose knit body and cotton lycra sleeves and neckband

Over the course of the school holidays (now sadly almost at an end) I went through the girls’ wardrobes and removed everything that was too small. Now I’m on to sewing Clare a pile of short sleeved tees for summer!

sewing · tween

Style Arc Bobbi bomber

It’s rather handy that Clare now fits into some Style Arc size 4 patterns.  She wanted a bomber jacket – and a pdf download quickly provided one!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I say quickly, but that was just getting the pattern. This jacket actually took quite a bit of time for me to sew up. It’s the Style Arc Bobbi bomber. From their website: The Bomber Jacket is the ultimate addition to your weekend wardrobe; this trend right style has become a popular alternative to the Moto Jacket. Its exposed front zip along with the stitched zip guard and rib trim makes our bomber jacket the real thing. Wear it confidently with anything. FABRIC SUGGESTION Drill, Wool, Velvet, or any suitable woven fabric. Contrast rib bands and lining.

bobbi-bomber

Clare chose floral printed sweatshirt knit (a remnant from Spotlight) for her jacket.  It’s brushed on the inside, so cosy.  This is a lined jacket, and I used a purple cotton/spandex knit from stash for the lining,  The plush ribbed trim is a velvety rib knit from Lincraft.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The first step in sewing this jacket is constructing the welt pockets. I had to take this really slowly, and refer to other references in addition to the instructions that came with the pattern. I could have done with a tutorial on the Style Arc website that was specifically for these single welt pockets, where the pocket bags from different fabrics and attached after the welts have been attached. In the end patience and common sense produced a fairly satisfactory result. It’s important to refer to the markings on the pattern pieces for this one!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The shoulder panels are a lovely feature of this raglan sleeved bomber jacket. You could definitely go to town with contrasting fabrics here. We elected to keep things simple and just use the same fabric. I did add some topstitching alongside the panel seams to highlight them a little bit.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

The front zipper was another stage I needed to take slowly – mostly in order to select a zipper of the right length. I have a number of zips in stash, including a whole lot of chunky zips, so this green one was selected because the length was just right and the colour coordinated fairly well. Style Arc have you make zipper guards – I think they look great and really improve the overall finish of this jacket.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

Each side of zipper tape is covered in the fashion fabric, and the guard underneath is made from the fashion fabric as well. I was very pleased at how this part came together, and the collar edges all lined up perfectly too. The rib fabric used for the collar was super soft and stretchy, which was an excellent choice for this jacket.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I got Clare to try on the jacket before I added the sleeve cuffs, and we chopped about one and a quarter inches from the sleeve length as a result. Once the cuffs were on the sleeves were the perfect length for her.

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

I mostly bagged the lining, but decided to hand stitch any tricky corner bits from the right side so that I knew they would be as perfect as I could get them. That was a good decision, especially at the front collar/zip intersections and the bottom band intersections. Clare has worn this jacket a LOT since I sewed it. Because it was all constructed in stable knits it is comfortable, and she likes the colour and pattern. It’s a definite win. I’d like to try this pattern again for her next year in a woven. This is when I’m glad that I bought the pdf version of this pattern – because I also have the next couple of sizes up!

Style Arc Bobbi Bomber size 4 in Spotlight windcheater knit

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Camden Raglan

Back in March (thanks Instagram for providing a date check) the weather turned cold and Clare discovered that she didn’t have any long-sleeved tees that still fitted.  So I jumped online, found the Hey June Camden Raglan, got printing, got taping, got cutting, and got sewing!

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

These are great examples of how fabric affects fit. But firstly, to the pattern itself. From the Hey June 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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I possibly sewed size 12 for Clare.  The Hey June Juniors range is a great range of basic patterns for tweens and teens.  So often girls patterns stop at around size 8 or so.  It’s great to find some options that keep a more typical girls shape but go up to a 16.  Great for tall kids too.  I started off with the striped top, in cotton/lycra from Crafty Mamas.  As always with Crafty Mamas Fabrics, it is a beautiful quality knit.  Substantial, with plenty of stretch and recovery.  Clare has worn this top rather a lot this winter, and it’s still looking good.

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

These tops are FAST to sew – especially when you choose the most basic view. Front, back, raglan sleeves. Neckband (length chosen according to this tutorial, as always).

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

This fits Clare very nicely across the shoulders and I like the curve of the hemline a great deal. As always, she could do with a sway back alteration if we wanted to avoid that bit of pooling at the centre back waistline, but to be honest, I don’t really care about it in this type of garment – especially in a growing person who will eventually pass it down to her younger sister.

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

The pink jacquard knit came from Super Cheap Fabrics. I sewed it in exactly the same size as the stripe. It’s a very comfortable fabric to wear. We chose to use the reverse side for the neckband.

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Construction was all on the overlocker. I used the sewing machine to secure the neckband and hems, all with a zig-zag stitch. For the striped top I used the twin needle for the hems, with contrasting thread.

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

The jumper version was a little different to the previous two. The fabric is a wool blend fleece remnant I found at Rathdowne Fabrics. I cut it out larger than the previous versions so that it could be layered over other tops. We decided to use bands to finish the sleeves and the bottom, and to add the front kangaroo pocket. Construction was all on the overlocker, with a zig-zag stitch used to stabilise some of the seams and the neckband in particular.

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

This was very stretchy fabric to work with. It really didn’t play nice. The neckline in particular stretched way out and required plenty of steam then the zig-zag stitching to bring it back to a better approximation of where it needed to be. I wasn’t rapt with the finished product. It’s acceptable, and she’s worn it (it’s very warm) but it’s not brilliant. Fabric type – and knowing how to handle it – makes such a difference!

Hey June Camden Raglan in jacquard knit from Super Cheap Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in wool fleece from Rathdowne Fabrics

Hey June Camden Raglan in cotton lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics

If you have a tween/teen, this pattern is definitely worth adding to your stash. (And thanks go to mum for the lovely knitted slouch hat).

adult's clothing · sewing · tween

Style Arc Josie hoodie

Every time I see Clare wearing this I say “nice hoodie”.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in quilted knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is one of those times where I got the fabric and pattern combination exactly right! The quilted knit was from Darn Cheap Fabrics, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve spotted it at other fabric shops around Melbourne too. It was bought with a garment for me in mind, but Clare snaffled it instead. That is beginning to happen more and more often…

Style Arc Josie hoodie in quilted knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I lined the hood with a striped pique knit remnant that I’d picked up somewhere around the traps (maybe from the Sewjourn exchange bin?) which was both the perfect weight and colourway to coordinate with the quilted knit. I used the same striped knit for the hemline facing.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in quilted knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Style Arc Josie hoodie in quilted knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Style Arc describe the Josie hoodie as follows:  This designer raglan sleeve hoody with its shaped corded hemline, along with the beautifulfunnel neck hood, is a perfect trans seasonal top. FABRIC SUGGESTION Baby Wool, Sweater Knit, Fleecy.

josie-hoody

I sewed size 4 for Clare.  I was concerned that the arms would be a bit too long as drafted, and we did shorten them after trying it on.  The shoulder darts give a really nice fit across the shoulders.  Raglan sleeves really do benefit from that dart!

Style Arc Josie hoodie in quilted knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Clare didn’t want the cord in the hemline, which made sewing this hoodie that little bit faster. I’d say that this has been one of Clare’s most regularly worn winter garments.

Style Arc Josie hoodie in quilted knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

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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newlook-girls-pattern-6444-front-back-view

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