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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 9.49.34 am

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.

olv-os055gg2_prod_full

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 9.09.19 am

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

sewing · tween

Windcheater for the teen

Thanks so much to all those who left comments on yesterday’s post.  I suspect that those of us who sew for ourselves are generally interested in exploring style.  It’s also interesting to me to watch my daughters exploring their own style.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

Clare attends an all-girls school. Although they wear uniform to school, I always like seeing what they wear on their rare out-of-uniform days, or what they wear when they get together on the weekends. Clare’s group of friends seem to have some variety in their clothing style. Other groups seem to be dressed pretty much identically, with maybe some variation in the colour of their tops. Fifteen is an interesting age. Wanting to fit in, wanting to be yourself, figuring out who you are!

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

It seems that hoodies are always in fashion. The pattern that I used for this one is from the 80s, I suspect, found at an op shop. I sewed the kids size 14 I think, the largest size in the pattern. It’s very roomy, as expected from that time period.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

Clare has input into the clothes that I sew for her (as does Stella). Nothing more frustrating that putting time into sewing something for someone to have them never wear it! She really liked this printed french terry from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. We decided to pair it with a solid yoke to break it up a little. The solid (also french terry) was a remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics I think (could have been from GJs). I used it for the yoke, lined the hood with it, and used it for the bands.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

We decided not to include the drawstring in the hood – as Clare said, it’s never used and just gets in the way! I topstitched the yoke and the hood seam allowance for stability. Otherwise most of the construction was on the overlocker.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

So this hoodie fits in to current casual fashions, but the print definitely keeps it individual! Clare isn’t particularly interested in ‘branded’ clothing. Most of her friends know that I sew for her, and it seems to be a point of interest in the group. I’m really glad that Clare has found her tribe.

Windcheater in Crafty Mamas printed french terry 1980s pattern

adult's clothing · sewing · tween

Another Style Arc Lacey

The Style Arc designers are clever women.  The Lacey dress is great for me – and it’s great for my teenage daughter!

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

I sewed Clare a Lacey dress on the same weekend I sewed mine, and I have to say that I absolutely love it! Clare’s is sewn in a Girl Charlee knit that came to me via Restash. I had to tetris the pieces extra hard to get this dress out of the fabric that I had available, and as a result a couple of them are cut slightly off grain. Fortunately it doesn’t appear to have affected the fit or the hang of the finished dress.

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

Clare’s dress is size 4 (mine is size 12). I didn’t make any alterations, and think that it fits her beautifully. I included the side seam pockets in her version – all the better for a teen to keep her mobile phone in.

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

Did you notice the necklace Clare is wearing? She made it herself, and it coordinates perfectly with this print!

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

This dress has lovely wide facings around the neckline. I used a cream woven rather than the same fabric for a couple of reasons – firstly, there absolutely wasn’t enough of the print for the facings, and secondly I wanted to use something that wouldn’t show through. This dress has positive ease, as you can tell, and it’s designed to be sewn in a woven or stable knit. The woven facing allowed for very neat topstitching, which is mirrored by the topstitched wide sleeve hems and skirt hem.  I also topstitched the vertical bodice seams.  Most construction was done on the overlocker.

Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

From the Style Arc website: Slip into the fabulous Lacey Knit Dress. It’s easy to make and easy to wear. Lacey will work with either knit or woven fabrics. Sitting on the waist, Lacey has a slightly gathered skirt with side pockets. The interesting bodice has an extended shoulder line that creates a short sleeve that can be worn straight or rolled. The bodice has clever design lines that allow directional stripes or mixed textures. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Knit, jersey, rayon or silk.

lacey-dress-product

I think this could be a strong contender for perfect hot summer dress pattern!  Clare wore this on a 41 degree day and it was cool and comfortable.  And, according to many, this dress looks ‘very Gorman‘.  It’s a winner.

 Style Arc Lacey dress in Girl Charlee knit

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.19.36 pm

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?

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