sewing · tween

Butterick 4757 copyright 1990s

Every now and then you just need to try sewing something fun! This is a 1990s pattern from a Butterick line called Busybodies.

Hammer Time!  1990s pattern in knit from Clear It and soft denim

Fortunately Clare was happy for me to give this a try. I figured we may as well go the full works – pants and top!

Hammer Time!  1990s pattern in knit from Clear It and soft denim

The fabric is a printed knit from Clear It. There is only one pattern piece for the pants – the front and back are the same. With all those gathers and that majorly dropped crotch, it works fine that way!

Hammer Time!  1990s pattern in knit from Clear It and soft denim

As it turns out – perhaps unsurprisingly – Clare has deemed these pants a little too “intense” and hasn’t actually worn them. Bummer! I reckon they would be super comfortable. The top however has entered fairly regular wardrobe rotation.

1990s Butterick pattern in knit from Clear It

The wide cropped style is actually rather current and works really well with high-waisted bottoms.  These photos were taken last summer, and it is likely that the crop could be a little shorter than Clare’s prefers by the time this summer rolls around again.

1990s Butterick pattern in knit from Clear It

The back is meant to close with two buttons and button holes, but in this knit they weren’t needed. I’m not really a bit fan of buttons on the back of garments, tops in particular – they can be awkward to fasten and often stick into you when you lean back on a chair.  The facings were secured with twin needle stitching that also provided a nice detail.

Hammer Time!  1990s pattern in knit from Clear It and soft denim

I also tried the top in a woven (as per the pattern). I used chambray from stash, placing the sleeve edges on the frayed selvedge, and used pink cotton from stash for the facings. It still went over Clare’s head without fastenings, so I added a pink button as a detail as well as using a triple stitch to secure the facings.

Hammer Time!  1990s pattern in knit from Clear It and soft denim

Interestingly, I haven’t really seen her wear this top much. She says it’s because most of her bottoms are denim, and she doesn’t want to do double denim.  It does work really well with the hammer pants though! Maybe the younger child will be happy to wear these once they are passed down – or maybe not. Either way, it was a fun exploration of an old pattern.

1990s Butterick pattern in knit from Clear It

sewing · tween

Style Arc Cold Shoulder knit top

This review is very late coming – I sewed (and photographed) this some time around August 2016.  Looks like Style Arc were very on trend with this pattern – because patterns like this are everywhere now, a year later!

Style Arc Cold Shoulder top in cotton lycra from Crafty Mamas

Style Arc describe the Cold Shoulder knit top as follows:  Embrace the trend this season and wear the fashionable “Cold Shoulder Top” with its cut out shoulders this top is designed to hug the body and looks great with your jeans. Make it with a long or short sleeve. FABRIC SUGGESTION Jersey, Knit, Merino knit, Light Ponte or any fabric with stretch.

cold-shoulder-top

I sewed size 4 for Clare, but straightened out the waist shaping through the body.  I used narrow (6mm? 1cm? Can’t remember which) Vliesofix tape to secure the armhole openings and the neckline in place before stitching them down.  It was a simple fold once to the inside, and the neckline curve was just right for this finishing treatment to sit nicely.

Style Arc Cold Shoulder top in cotton lycra from Crafty Mamas

Clare could probably have done with a sway back alteration, but I’m a bit wary to alter patterns too much at the moment because she is still growing and her proportions keep shifting. She’s worn this top quite a lot this winter actually and those folds at the back have reduced substantially.

Style Arc Cold Shoulder top in cotton lycra from Crafty Mamas

I used the overlocker for construction but the twin needle to secure all the edges. The fabric is a beautiful quality cotton/lycra knit from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. I know that I’m repeating myself, but her fabrics are such lovely quality. They are expensive, let’s not pretend otherwise, but they are extremely good value as they sew and wear beautifully. Definitely worth the price.

Style Arc Cold Shoulder top in cotton lycra from Crafty Mamas

I’m adding a couple more photos to show off the vest that I crocheted myself a few years ago but has now taken firm residence in Clare’s wardrobe. It looks great with this top! It’s blogged here.

Style Arc Cold Shoulder top in cotton lycra from Crafty Mamas

If you’re looking for a cold shoulder top there are patterns for them everywhere, but as usual Style Arc have done a terrific job with their drafting. This was fast to sew and definitely fits into current trends without being too out there.

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 7079 – the winter version

I first sewed McCalls 7079 for Clare in January 2016, so a year and a half ago.  She’s worn it quite a lot, and requested something similar for winter.  So I pulled out the same pattern and went for it!

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

The pattern is a soft printed ponte/double knit from Super Cheap Fabrics. They had it in a couple of colourways (and still do, according to their website). It’s a perfect weight for a winter dress.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

I based the sizing from the summer dress. It still fitted Clare fine in width, but needed the bodice and the skirt lengthened. That was easy enough to do, so this is basically size 10 in width with a couple of inches added to the bodice length. The skirt is at the pattern length, rather than being shortened as we did last time.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

I cut the back on the fold without any cutouts – after all, this is a winter dress! The short sleeves of the pattern were used in combination with long sleeves from another pattern (I think a Hey June tee shirt pattern) to get the width and length correct.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

It’s got the right amount of swishiness with the right amount of sassiness, I think. It’s already been worn quite a bit, and pairs beautifully with her pleather RTW jacket and embroidered Django & Juliette boots.

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

From the McCalls website: Pullover dresses have back bodice and skirt variations, and raised waist. A, B, C:Sleeveless. A, B, E: Flared skirt with narrow hem. B, D: Back bands. C, D, F: Gathered skirt and stitched hems. C, E: Back cutouts. D, E, F: Short sleeves. For moderate stretch knits only.

m7079_aI suspect that this pattern is likely to get a few more outings, especially since it goes up to girls size 14 (I should probably pick up another copy on sale, as I’m not a pattern tracer).

McCalls 7079 in printed ponte from Super Cheap Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Another Mini Ogden and a patternless skirt

A few months ago I sewed Clare a True Bias Mini Ogden cami and a patternless skirt.  So here they are!

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

The cami was sewn from gold foiled linen and that stuff creases like all hell and shows every single fold line. This had been ironed, but then folded and put away in her drawer – and check those fold marks! Not a practical fabric. As a general thing I am an ironer – I think that most clothes look better ironed – but honestly, the requirements of that linen are ridiculous.

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

I’ve reviewed this pattern before  and still like it.  In my opinion it would be better with a full front lining instead of the partial one included in the pattern – I’ll remember to do that the next time I sew it.

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

I attached the straps where Clare found them the most comfortable, but think that they look a bit close to the centre in this photo. This is a garment that looks better in real life than it does in the photos – and I think it also looks better untucked. But if it was untucked you wouldn’t be able to see the waistband and pleats of the skirt!

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

The skirt is scuba, and sewn without a pattern. I cut a waistband the length of Clare’s waist measurement, double the finished width plus seam allowances, and encased elastic the same waist measurement inside. The skirt is the full width of the fabric cut to the length that Clare specified. It was sewed into a tube and quarter marked. I quarter marked the waistband as well, pinned it to the skirt, then played around with pleats until everything was pleated together and looked okay. It’s a little fiddly but appears to turn out okay. Because it’s a stretch fabric it’s easy for her to get on and off, and it sits very comfortably around her waist. Because it is scuba there is plenty of volume. And no hem required.

pattern free skirt in scuba and True Bias Mini Ogden Cami in foiled linen

Pretty easy really!

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

McCalls 7151 – the jumpsuit version

You might remember that I sewed McCalls 7151 in the dress version for Clare and it was an absolute fail.  However, not all was lost, because from that fail I worked out what adjustments the pattern needed to become a success.  Once I’d adjusted the front pattern pieces to raise the neckline, I sewed the jumpsuit version.  So much better!

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

This was still size 10. The raised front neckline worked a treat, and fitting was made that little bit easier because the front straps button on. You always need a way to get into and out of a jumpsuit!

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

I adore those buttons – I am pretty sure they came from Notionally Better in Thailand! The fabric is printed woven viscose from Spotlight a couple of years ago. This range was a lovely weight – everything I’ve sewn from it has worked out beautifully.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

I think that the back is the nicest part. I really like the way that the straps join at the centre back. There is a bit of faffing around to get everything lined up and finished nicely, so you do need to take your time a bit in that area. Otherwise, it was easy to sew.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

And the racer back crop top sits nicely underneath! As it turns out, even though Clare likes her jumpsuit, she hasn’t worn it much at all. She says that when it’s hot enough for sleeveless tops, she doesn’t want long pants. And you know what? I sort of understand that.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

For me, when it’s hot enough for sleeveless tops, I only want to wear dresses! Nothing with a waistband. So I’m pruning back the number of sleeveless or tank style tops in my wardrobe, as I’ve discovered they get very little wear. We all reach for different things depending on the weather and on what we feel most comfortable in for that weather.

McCalls 7151 in Spotlight rayon

I do have a couple of patterns for more wintery jumpsuits in the stash for me – I wonder if I should give one of them a try? And as for this jumpsuit – I reckon that Clare will have grown out of it by the time that summer rolls back around again. It will transition to Stella’s (vast) wardrobe and we’ll see what happens there!

adult's clothing · sewing · tween

Style Arc Ellie-Mae

I’m still blogging last year’s garments!  I have been doing a little bit of sewing since we got back from holidays, but at a much slower rate than usual.  I’m still adjusting to working in a new job, three days per week instead of two, and have been having lots of very early nights!

Style Arc Ellie-Mae tunic dress in cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Apparently this year’s fashions are all about the sleeve and the shoulder.  This dress managed to incorporate both trends!  It is the Ellie-Mae tunic top from Style Arc.  From their website: ELLIE-MAE: This on-trend top/tunic dress is a gorgeous look with its flattering, elastic off the shoulder neckline. The raglan sleeve allows this style to flow beautifully. Soft ruffles fall from the hemline and the sleeves. Design your own look, why not use a wide lace for the ruffles? We made the top with a hem ruffle and the tunic dress without a ruffle. The choice is yours. The elastic neckline allows you to wear it off the shoulder or alternatively up on the shoulder for a more stayed look.  Wear the top with jeans or use the longer length as a tunic over your favourite pants, or as a dress.  FABRIC SUGGESTION: Silk, Crepe, Cotton, Broderie Anglaise.

ellie-mae

I sewed the dress version in size 4 for Clare.  It was very straightforward to make, being a basic raglan construction.   It was mostly sewn on the overlocker, with the machine used for gathering and securing hems and the neckline.  I used wide elastic in the neckline, and it has gathered it beautifully.

Style Arc Ellie-Mae tunic dress in cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The fabric is a beautiful printed voile, originally from Darn Cheap Fabrics (but it came to me via Anna’s stash – thanks Anna!) and it was perfect for Clare. Very easy to work with and just the right weight and hand for the elastic gathering. It ironed well, and the sleeve frills were easy to gather too.

Style Arc Ellie-Mae tunic dress in cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

It’s really important to get that elastic in the neckline the correct length, and there is no way to do that effectively without trying it on. It has to be just right – not too loose, so that it stays up, and not too tight, so that it tries to move upwards or feels uncomfortable.

Style Arc Ellie-Mae tunic dress in cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Clare has worn this a couple of times now. She does find that when she lifts her arms the whole dress moves up a bit and she gets what she describes as “an underarm wedgie”. But overall, this is a great success.

Style Arc Ellie-Mae tunic dress in cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I had enough of the fabric left over to whip up an Aeolian dress/tunic for my cousin for Christmas. No modelled photos of that one however, just these on Ada.

Pattern Fantastique Aeolian dress in woven fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This was also a simple sew, especially considering that I’ve sewn this pattern many times. Raglan sleeves, constructed on the overlocker, sewing machine with contrasting thread used to topstitch beside the shoulder seams, secure hems and to secure the self-made bias binding that was used to finish the neckline.

Pattern Fantastique Aeolian dress in woven fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics

children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing · tween

Hey June Morrison Tee and McCalls 7150 shorts

So, back to normal programming!  Don’t think that I have suddenly started sewing in a frenzy since returning from holiday.  I have managed to sew one garment during the past fortnight but I think that there are over 30 items from last year that are still unblogged.  So I’ll gradually get them all up here.  The problem with not blogging soon after making is that I do forget some of the details.  Lesson learned – this year I will blog new makes soon after making!

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

This is the Morrison Tee from Hey June Handmade.  It is part of a line of Junior’s Patterns in sizes 6 to 16.  This is a great idea – the tween market is an underserved market in sewing patterns, in my view.  There is such variation in height, weight and shape among tweens that it can be very difficult to find things that are suitable.  Many children’s patterns stop at around size 10 or 12.  Although adult patterns kick in then from a height perspective, plenty of tweens/teens aren’t shaped like adults!  I often reflect on this as I look at my daughters’ friends (Clare’s in particular).  Many of these tweens and teens are shaped like adult women, but plenty aren’t.  There are super tall ones still to develop boobs and hips; there are short ones still to develop as well.  There are short ones who are already developing but don’t have the shoulder width of adult patterns.  I suppose that the lucky ones are the taller, developed ones – they can simply fit into women’s clothing (and sewing patterns).  Then “age appropriateness” becomes an issue.  It can be complicated!  These Hey June patterns go to girls size 16 with a height of 162cm – which is taller than me.  I have noticed that Simplicity and New Look in particular have a great range of fashionable girls patterns that also go to girls size 16, and Ottobre magazines have a terrific range too.   Options are there, you just have to look for them a bit harder!

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

Anyway, this is not a problem for Stella. I sewed her size 8 in this tee. It’s an oversized style, so it plenty loose through the body, but the armholes and length are well proportioned. The pattern description is as follows: 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!

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-8-55-15-am

I chose to sew the banded sleeve with front tie and hi-low hem.  It was very straightforward to construct.  The fabric is a printed cotton/viscose (?) spandex from Clear It – it’s terrific quality.  Construction was straightforward, as you’d expect if you’ve sewn multiple t-shirts before!  I really can’t remember the instructions much.  I assume that I sewed the shoulder seams, applied the neckband, sewed side seams, attached sleeve bands, then hemmed.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

Oh, the shorts! I forgot about the shorts! They are from McCalls 7150, and are very straightforward elastic waist shorts. I sewed them in viscose/cotton chambray, and used pink thread to topstitch the hems.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

A few more words about McCalls 7150.  The pattern description is as follows: Pullover top, tunic and dress are sleeveless and have yoke back and purchased bias tape for neckline and armholes. A: Yoke front, overlapped tulip-hem back. B: Hemline ruffle, wrong side shows. C: Applied ruffles, raw edge finish on heading. B, C: Bias bow, knot. Lined shorts, and leggings: Elastic waist. D: Thread carriers and purchased ribbon. E: No side seams. A, B, C, E: Narrow hem. Headband: Elastic, bow, knot.  

m7150_a

I sewed the view A top, in the same fabric as the shorts.  It was TERRIBLE.  I used bias tape to finish the edges, as per the instructions, and the results were horrible.  Take a look at the line drawing for this pattern.

m7150

Using “purchased bias tape for neckline and armholes” absolutely does not work on armholes with such extreme curves!  It was fine around the neckline, but those armhole curves at the centre back of the armhole are quite extreme.  There were puckers galore.  It really needed to have a facing of some kind, or be sewn only in a stretch fabric.  Definitely a wadder, which was disappointing because I’d used lovely fabric and bias binding.  You win some, you lose some.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts

So, back to the tee! This is a nice basic tee pattern, and one that I am sure I will come back to in the future, both for Stella and for Clare.

Hey June Morrison tee in knit from Clear It with Simplicity shorts