Shorts on the Line – The Scooter Edition

My kids always seem to grow like beanstalks over the summer. Inevitably, they grow out of their hot weather clothes sometime around July.

This year, the Shorts on the Line sew along arrived at just the right time to make something for the now much taller, Kid No 2.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
I really love this print. So bright and fun!

For these shorts I used the Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S. It’s a really great pattern, that I’ve used a few times before.

Oliver and S Sandbox Pants
Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern.

I didn’t make many modifications. I shortened the pants to shorts. I also left off the drawstring waist and used a simple elastic waist. I left off the buttons on the pockets as well. Kid No 2 is not a fan of either. Drawstrings and buttons are his kryptonite. They also take longer, so I’m not complaining!

The pattern calls for 1 3/4 yards for the pants, but I got these shorts out of 1 yard of fabric.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
A nice basic short.

The print is Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna. It’s a really nice, smooth organic cotton. I love the print, but unfortunately it was printed slightly off grain, which made cutting and pattern matching a bit of a pain. I’ve used other prints from the collection, without any problem, so I guess I was just unlucky this time.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
Check out the pattern matching with those pockets.

Kid No. 2 loves bright colours and fun, but age-appropriate prints. Unfortunately, most of the clothes in the stores for boys his age are in darker, and/or more serious colours – lots of  navy, grey and beige (yawn). One of the great things about sewing my kids’ clothes is being able to make them the things they really like.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
The pants were a big hit.

This is also a stash-busting project for the Stashbusting Sewalong. I bought this fabric maybe a year ago, so I’m really happy to get it into regular rotation.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
I got these out of 1 yard of fabric.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sandbox Pants as shorts by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).

Size: 6.

Cost:
Fabric: about $16. Pattern: $0, since I’d used it before.

Sewing Level: Advanced beginner.

Modifications: I shortened the pants to shorts, changed the waist from a drawstring to an elastic waist, and left off the buttons on the back pockets.

Results: Great. I’ve used this pattern a few times before and will definitely use it again.

The Oliver + S Sandbox Pants sewing pattern, as sewn by The Finished Garment. Fabric: Scoot Scoot in Blue from the Havana collection by Monaluna (organic).
This is a size 6, and is a bit big, but they’ll be worn again next summer.

Summer PJs

Last week was Kids Clothing Week (KWC), and what did I get done? Not much. I did plan a lot of projects though, so that counts right?

The one thing I did finish, was four sets of pyjamas. The spring PJs were a big hit with the kids, and they needed more so I just did the same thing again.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
All the sizes!

The kids chose the fabrics – all Angry Birds prints. I used the Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, for the bottoms, and appliquéd an angry bird from each print onto store-bought t-shirts for the tops.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Of all the prints my kids chose, this one is my favourite.

I’ve made these pyjama pants eleven (!) times before. Yikes, that is a big number. But they are definitely my go-to pyjama pattern for kids. Quick, easy and great results every time.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Ack! They are always cutest in the smallest size.

Summary

Pattern Review: Bedtime Story Pajamas by Oliver + S.

Fabric:

Fence in White, Stars in Blue, Rainbow in Pink and Rainbow in Purple, all from the Angry Birds collection and all licensed to David Textiles by Rovio Entertainment, LTD. I bought this at the local chain shop.
Sketch in Grey by Timeless Treasures for the waistbands and leg bindings.

Sizes: 18-24m, 4, 6.

Sewing Level: beginner, intermediate if not just the pants.

Modifications: None.

Results: Excellent! I’ve made these 11 times before. I would highly recommend this pattern.

Bedtime Story Pajamas sewing pattern by Oliver + S, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Taking photos of tired kids at bedtime is sooooo difficult!

Just to be clear: The Angry Birds name is trademarked by Rovio Entertainment, LTD and used by the fabric manufacturer under licence. The pjs shown here are not official licensed products and are not available for sale. But you can always buy some fabric and make your own!

Girls in White Dresses Part II

A little while ago I showed you a white dress I made for Kid No 2. But of course Kids 1 and 3 also needed new dresses for summer.

Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
A perfect dress for summer.

In total I made three Geranium Dresses. I made them all assembly-line-style, so they are all the same, except for the fabric choices. It’s just so much faster that way!

Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I made the size 2. I was worried it would be too large, but it was just right.
Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I love this fabric. Such a pretty colour.
Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I made the size 7, and it’s a little large, but hopefully that just means it will last longer. And yes, that’s Nemo photobombing.

I made one dress in size 2, and the other in size 7, and both were made with fabric from my stash.

Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Yup, this one passes the twirl test.
Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
This one passes the jumping test.

The butterfly fabric was left over from some tops I made last summer. And the lilac has been in my stash for an embarrassing long time. So it’s great to get them turned into something wearable.

Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I used white piping with this dress.

Since I’ve already sewn this pattern twice before, there’s not much to add. But it’s a great pattern, and I’m very happy with the finished dresses.

The fabric is Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler for Robert Kaufman.
The fabric is Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler for Robert Kaufman.
Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
This time, I used turquoise piping at the waist.
Geranium Dress sewing pattern from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I really like this pattern, and I’m so glad it comes in larger sizes now.

Summary

Pattern Review: Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler for Robert Kaufman. FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics. The lining is white cotton batiste. The piping is made with Kona solids.

Sizes: 2 and 7. (Comes in sizes 0-5 or 6-12.)

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: I added piping.

Results: Great. This is the third and fourth time I’ve used this pattern and I would definitely recommend it.

Looking at bugs
Looking at bugs.

Does that pattern come in my size?

For those of you here for the sewing, I ‘ll have some dresses up soon. But first I wanted to look at something that I discussed in my last post on why it makes economic sense for indie pattern makers to extend their size ranges.

In my last post I showed a couple of distribution curves that illustrate what percentage of the population could use a pattern with a given size range. But I thought it would be interesting to see what range of sizes existing indie companies are actually offering.

I figured I would just choose the top pattern makers, but how to choose? The ones on someone’s list? The most blogged? The ones I like the best? The hippest style, nicest drafting or most clever instructions? So I hopped over to pattern review.com, and looked at some of the patterns that have made their top ten patterns of the year, over the past few years. You may or may not agree that these are the top patterns, but they’ve been sewn by a large number of people, and have obtained many good reviews.

A reminder: In the following charts, I’ve shown size range in the general population, across a normal distribution. Then I’ve charted the sizes offered for specific sewing patterns as the area under the curve (the green area) to calculate what percentage of the population could use the pattern. See my previous article for a more detailed description of these concepts.

Indie pattern range
A common indie pattern range.

First shown is a range of pattern sizes (6-18) used by some indie pattern makers. About 43% of the population can use these patterns.

This is the distribution curve for the Burda Magazine 04-2009-101 "Skirt with Front Pockets". Only 31% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers offered 5 sizes to cover that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Burda Magazine 04-2009-101 “Skirt with Front Pockets”. Only 31% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers offered 5 sizes to cover that range.

Next is a pattern from BurdaStyle magazine: 04-2009-101 “Skirt with Front Pockets”. Only 31% of the population can use this pattern. Considering this is a simple straight skirt, that would look good on a wide range of figures, it’s surprising that the pattern is offered in so few sizes.

This is the distribution curve for the Cambie dress from Sewaholic Patterns. About 49% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers used 9 sizes to get that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Cambie dress from Sewaholic Patterns. About 49% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers used 9 sizes to get that range.

The Cambie dress is similar to the curve used by indie pattern makers, shown above, with a couple extra sizes near the middle. However, since Sewaholic patterns are drafted for pear-shaped figures and I’m comparing pattern sizes based largely on bust measurements, in reality this curve is probably shifted a little to the right and probably covers a slightly larger percentage of the population.

This is the distribution curve for the Archer shirt from Grainline Studio. About 53% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern maker used 10 sizes to get that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Archer shirt from Grainline Studio. About 53% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern maker used 10 sizes to get that range.

The Archer shirt uses a curve similar to the Big4 pattern companies.

This is the distribution curve for the Anna dress from By Hand London. About 61% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers used 8 sizes to get that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Anna dress from By Hand London. About 61% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers used 8 sizes to get that range.

This is the Anna dress from By Hand London. Although their sizing system is slightly different, this dress goes up to the equivalent of a size 24. It’s a curve similar to that of used by the Big 4 pattern companies, but shifted up slightly.

This is the distribution curve for the Peony dress by Colette Patterns. About 61% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern maker used 10 sizes to get that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Peony dress by Colette Patterns. About 61% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern maker used 10 sizes to get that range.

Here we see the distribution for Colette’s Peony dress. It covers 61% of the population, just like the Anna dress above, but the pattern maker offers 10 sizes to cover the range, instead of 8.

This is the distribution curve for the Moneta dress by Colette Patterns. About 80% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern maker used 7 sizes to get that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Moneta dress by Colette Patterns. About 80% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern maker used 7 sizes to get that range.

Colette recently extended their size range with new patterns for knits. This is the size range for the Moneta dress. It covers 80% of the population, in only 7 sizes. This isn’t one of the top patterns on pattern review.com (it’s too new to be considered), but I think it’s interesting to look at, compared to the previous size range for this company.

This is the distribution curve for the Tiramisu dress by Cake Patterns. About 85% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers used 5 sizes to get that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Tiramisu dress by Cake Patterns. About 85% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers used 5 sizes to get that range.

The Tiramisu dress is also a dress for knits. It covers a slightly larger percent of the population (85%), but this time with only five individual sizes.

This is the distribution curve for the Jalie 2919 "Pleated Cardigan and Vest". About 8% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers included 27 sizes (including children's sizes) to get that range.
This is the distribution curve for the Jalie 2919 “Pleated Cardigan and Vest”. About 8% of the population can use this pattern. The pattern makers included 27 sizes (including children’s sizes) to get that range.

Finally there is Jalie. Their large size range is part of their marketing strategy and their patterns are often drafted for both kids and adults. Jalie 2919 can be used by 88% of the population. It’s the largest percentage, and they definitely have the largest number of sizes per pattern (27!). But, compared to some of the other companies, Jalie doesn’t offer the largest sizes.

Some Caveats

These numbers are only approximations based on the model I described in my previous blog post. The same statistical caveats discussed in that article apply to these curves. Keep in mind, I’m using bust measurements, based on this chart, to do a comparison across various different companies, all of which use their own sizing systems. I used bust measurements because they are always listed, and because there is a historical precedent in vintage patterns. Using a different measure (waist, hips, etc.) would result in slightly different curves for each pattern. Overall, though, the differences between companies should be similar.

I’m choosing patterns from patternreview.com. It’s possible that there is a sampling bias. Maybe the people on that site prefer patterns of in a larger range of sizes, for example. There are probably many more patterns out there that have curves that look like the BurdaStyle skirt, than ones that look like the Jalie top.

Covering the entire ranges of sizes may not be the goal of a given pattern maker. In some cases, certain pattern companies may be marketing to specific niche markets, and so they may not intend to cover the largest range possible. In other cases, resources are limited. Nevertheless, I think it’s interesting to look at examples of what specific, successful pattern companies are doing.

Comments are always welcome! And I promise the next blog post will include actual sewing 😉

Girls in White Dresses

Warp & Weft Sewing Society
A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project

Nothing says summer like girls in white dresses.

So for the last day of school, and beginning of summer, everyone got a new white dress. Well, except Kid No 2, but he’s more of a summer shorts fan anyway.

This is the first of three dresses, and it’s made with the cutest print. Who doesn’t love ladybugs?

This is one of my favourite patterns – the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern, this time in size 5.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I made the faux cap sleeves from view B of the Geranium dress.

This time around, I made the dress with the view B faux cap sleeves, but with a gathered skirt. I made two changes. I added red piping at the waist, and I added in-seam pockets.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I added red piping to the waistband for a bit of colour.

This dress was made for Kid No 3, and is a huge hit. She loves ladybugs and the colour red, and recently asked me why she doesn’t have “a dress that twirls”. The pockets are hidden in the gathers of the skirt, and she loves the “secret pockets” too.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Aren’t white dresses adorable? (also a bit hard to photograph)
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Front detail of the Geranium dress.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
I used simple white buttons from my stash.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
The pockets practically disappear, but trust me, they’re there.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.

This was a lot of fun to sew. The pattern makes a really pretty dress that’s lined and nicely finished on the inside. But the sewing was quick and problem-free.

Warp & Weft Sewing Society

This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists  and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
She wore this dress for two days after I made it.

Summary

Pattern Review: Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Ladybug Dots from The Red Thread collection by Creative Thursdays for Andover Fabrics. Courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. The lining is white cotton batiste.

Size: 5. (Comes in sizes 0-5 or 6-12.)

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern and I would definitely recommend it.

The Geranium dress from Made by Rae, as sewn by The Finished Garment, A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
And yes, she got a grass stain on it the very first day she wore it. Ooops! One of the hazards of white dresses, I suppose.