Shorts on the Line

The first day of summer! And so I decided to sew up something fun.

Here is the before shot. As part of my collaboration with Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles I received this beautiful fabric. It’s Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics. I can’t tell you how long I have coveted this fabric!

Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics
I have long coveted this fabric. It’s so pretty! Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.

And since the shorts on the line sew along is taking place right now, and I’ve been eyeing the new Parsley Pants pattern from Made by Rae, I figured the stars were aligned for a pair of Parsley shorts.

These are the Parsley Pants (as shorts) from Made by Rae.
These are the Parsley Pants (as shorts) from Made by Rae, and the fabric is Bella Flower in Blue. I made the pattern as shorts, added pintucks, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband.

I am really happy with these. They aren’t your boring, everyday shorts. The pattern has a number of variations included, and there are additional tutorials for this pattern on the Made by Rae blog. I opted for added pintucks on the front and back, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband.

I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps.
I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps. You can see the pintucks here as well. I also used flat felled seams inside (sorry, no photos).

I also followed Made by Rae’s instructions for how to make shorts from a pants pattern, and partially followed the tutorial for how to make super seams where the Parsley shorts are used as an example. I used flat felled seams for the inseam on my shorts.

Parsley shorts by The Finished Garment.
I was going for a surfer girl look, and I really like how these turned out.

Here are the shorts are on my 6-year-old. I was going for a surfer girl look, and I think this is a success largely because of the fabric. It’s fun and not too precious for my big girl. I made the shorts in a size seven, though according to the pattern sizing my daughter should be in a six. But seven fits perfectly and should last the summer. I’m so glad I opted to go bigger.

Parsley shorts by The Finished Garment.
Just the right length!

I used a 2.5 inch inseam when making the shorts. They end up being long enough that the box pleat pockets have enough room, but still look girly.

I love this pattern! And kid #2 has already requested his own pair of shorts, so the kids like it too.

There was quite a bit of extra fabric, so I decided to make a headband to match. I used this German pattern from Erbsenprinzessin. But things went badly awry. The headband turned out to be way too small. We don’t have a shortage of small heads here, so I was hoping it would fit my two-year-old, but no!

Baby headband sewn for The Finished Garment.
The first headband was so small that only my smallest could wear it. And she has no hair!

The only head that would fit is my 11-month old, and she has no hair! I’m not usually one for headbands on babies (I think she looks a bit like a ninja), but since I had already sewn it up, I figured it should be worn at least once.

Kids' headband in Bella Flower (Blue).
I also made a matching headband.

So back to the drawing board! I made the whole thing again much larger and it seems to be a big hit.

Kids' headband in Bella Flower (Blue).
The headband is in two pieces with elastic in the back only.

Now that I have the sizing right, I’ll probably make this pattern again.

Summary 1

Pattern Review: Parsley Pants (as shorts) from Made by Rae.

Fabric: Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Size: 7.

Sewing Level: Intermediate (with the modifications below), or beginner.

Modifications: I followed the included instructions for added pintucks on the front and back, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband. I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps. I also used flat felled seams in the inseam.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and will definitely make it again.

Summary 2

Pattern Review: Haarband für Kinder  by from Erbsenprinzessin (in German)

Fabric: Bella Flower in Blue by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.

Size: one size (but I enlarged it by almost 1/2 inch in all directions).

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: I enlarged the pattern.

Results: Great, when resized. I would recommend this pattern with modifications and will probably make it again.

Parsley Shorts by The Finished Garment. Headband and shorts in action!
Headband and shorts in action!

This project is part of the shorts on the line sew along and a project for the Warp & Weft Sewing Society.

Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles
Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles
shorts on the line - a summer sew along
shorts on the line – a summer sew along

Spring Hats

Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children
Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children

Spring sure feels a long way off. But in (hopeful? desperate?) preparation I’ve made up a bunch of the Oliver + S bucket hats.

The pattern is from the book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew, but you can also find the pattern online for free.

I made three, in sizes Medium and Large. They are a bit big, but in a nice way.

The pattern was very easy to follow and quick to finish.

Bucket Hats in Oliver + S Little Things to Sew
Bucket Hats in Oliver + S Little Things to Sew

The only thing I changed was to use iron-in interfacing, instead of sew-in. I used Pellon 950F Shir-Tailor, and I really like the results: crisp, but not too crunchy.

Three bucket hats
Three bucket hats

I chose fabrics with a lot of contrast, and if you to do the same, choose your top stitching thread early. I did all the top stitching. The instructions say it’s optional but I think you need it to give the hat structure.

Bucket hat
Check out that top stitching!

If I were to make it again, the only thing I might change is the top stitching on the hat brim. It says to stitch concentric circles at 1/4″ intervals, but I think it might look nicer to sew in a continuous spiral.

A pile of bucket hats.
A pile of bucket hats.

The fabrics are all by Ann Kelle from her Urban Zoologie collection, and they match the lunch money cuffs I posted yesterday.

Three bucket hats
Three bucket hats

This was a great stash busting project. The yellow and whales were leftover from my Sunshine Bug Quilt and Whale Quilt. With this project and the Lunch Money Cuffs I posted yesterday, I was able to use up all my red and yellow solids, and almost all of the cute animal prints.  There might be enough fabric left for a small zip bag for each kid. We’ll see. Me and Anne Kelle might need to take a little break now.

No one felt like cooperating for a photo session today, so you only get photos of hats. Maybe next time.

A stack of bucket hats.
A stack of bucket hats.

Summary

Pattern Review: Bucket Hats from the book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew.

Fabric:

Bright Whales by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
Kona Corn Yellow
Red Ladybugs by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
Kona Red
Liquorice Cats by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
Free Spirit Designer Solid in Pink

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and plan to make more.

Ladybug bucket hat
Ladybug bucket hat

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Lunch Money Cuffs

Kid No 1 needed to bring money to school for a bake sale fundraiser. But she’s a bit young for a wallet or purse, and doesn’t always have pockets for change. What to do? This is the latest project I made for the kids.

Three cuffs ready for wrists.
Three cuffs ready for wrists.

These are the Lunch Money Cuff, which I made following Christie’s tutorial over on a Lemon Squeezy Home. It’s a nice easy tutorial and I whipped up three cuffs in an evening.

All three cuffs.
All three cuffs.

I’d love to call this stash busting, but it’s more like scrap busting. Each cuff only takes four 8.5” x 3” pieces of fabric. It’s a miracle I had even that much.

This is the Anne Kelle ladybug fabric.
This is the Anne Kelle ladybug fabric. Sorry for the bad photo.

The fabrics are all by Anne Kelle and were leftovers from some other projects. The whales were from my Whale quilt. The yellow was from my Sunshine Bug quilt. The ladybugs and cats were from a couple of Oliver + S Ice Cream Dresses I made a while ago. The velcro is the heavy-duty variety and left over from Halloween costumes. All I had to buy were the zippers.

Two cuffs in whales and ladybugs.
Two cuffs in whales and ladybugs.

With this project and another that I have cut, but not assembled, I managed to use up all of my Kona Red and Corn Yellow, and most of the two red prints. I thought I had used up all the whales as well, but then I organized my quilting fabric and found a bit more. Oops!

I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern. The tutorial says the cuffs are the right size for kids aged five and seven. It’s a bit loose on my two-year-old, but then she also won’t have any money in hers. Still it’s fun to have the same thing the bigger kids have.

Mini cuff. This one probably won't get any money in it for a couple of years.
Mini cuff. This one probably won’t get any money in it for a couple of years.

Summary

Tutorial Review: Lunch Money Cuff by A Lemon Squeezy Home.

Fabric:

  • Bright Whales by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
  • Kona Corn Yellow
  • Red Ladybugs by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
  • Kona Red
  • Liquorice Cats by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. I would recommend this tutorial.

This project is linked up at Make It, Wear It.

Babies in Baby Cord

I have had about 5 meters of chocolate brown baby corduroy in my fabric stash just taunting me. A quick intervention was required.

Enter 4 pairs of the Oliver + S Sandbox Pants.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Three pair of Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S, sizes 5, 3T and 18m.

I know I said there were four pairs. Kid № 1 looked, touched, and immediately put them on. She then declared them officially comfortable and wore them to school. Success! (But no photos).

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 3.
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Back pockets, without buttons, on the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Front pocket of the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.

The fabric is a dark chocolate brown, and really quite soft. I picked it up on sale at one of the local chain stores. It’s not a very spring-like fabric, but here in Montreal spring is still a long way off. The pockets are lined with Kona quilting cotton in brown. Both fabrics were on sale.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Pant hem of the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.

The Sandbox Pants, like all the Oliver + S patterns I’ve tried, are a dream to make. The instructions are great. I bought the paper version of this pattern, in both size ranges (I need all the sizes), on Etsy from Plum Project Studio. I think I bought it right after the paper version was discontinued. You can still get the digital version online and print it out at home.

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

I made these in sizes 18m, 3T, 5 and 6. Making that many pairs in that many sizes requires a lot of tracing paper! On the other hand, you get pretty quick at them with that much practice. It’s like an intense pattern testing setup here.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 18m.
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 3.

I made a couple of small changes to the pattern. I left off the buttons on the back pockets. I also made the waistband out of corduroy (the pattern calls for coordinating quilting cotton). I had tried this pattern once before with a super heavy twill, and the cotton was just too flimsy for the pants fabric. Even though the baby corduroy is much lighter weight that the twill, I think the pants work better with a slightly heavier fabric in the waistband. I still used quilting cotton for the pocket linings though. I also switched the drawstring waist for a flat front pant with wider elastic in the back. I think it looks a bit nicer that way with the corduroy.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Flat waistband on the Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S.

I plan to make this pattern again. I’ve already had a request for these as shorts in a brighter colour from Kid № 1. Again, success!

The other thing about making so many pairs of pants, is that you can really use the fabric very efficiently. I still had enough to make Colette Pattern‘s Ginger skirt. Hopefully I can get that hemmed and show you tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about it. And there’s even enough fabric left to make a skirt for one lucky kid, as soon as I get to it.

You can also find this in the Make It Wear It Thursday linkup.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S.

Fabric: baby corduroy, with Kona quilting cotton in brown for the pocket lining. Both were on sale.

Sizes: 18m, 3T, 5, and 6.

Sewing Level: Intermediate.

Modifications: I made the waistband in corduroy, not quilting cotton, changed the waist from a drawstring to a flat front, and left off the buttons on the back pockets.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and will definitely make it again.

Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S
Sandbox Pants by Oliver and S, size 18m.

Sewing for Kids in the 1950s

Is this not the cutest hipster utility jacket for toddlers ever? It is a rhetorical question and the answer is “yes!”.

Butterick 6176
Butterick 6176: The envelope is a little worn, but the pattern itself is in good condition.

It’s part of the stash of vintage patterns that my mother gave me when she cleaned up her sewing things. But this was not one of her patterns. There’s a bit of writing on the envelope. It says “Effie’s pattern – 1958”. I would recognize my grandmother’s handwriting anywhere. And of course it isn’t her pattern either. Effie is my great-grandmother and this is her pattern.

Butterick 6176
Butterick 6176: The back of the envelope is a bit torn.

The pattern is Butterick 6176 in size 2. From the envelope back: “Toddler’s Sunsuit or Overalls and Jacket. (A) This short button-front jacket has long, cuffed sleeves set in raglan style. Makes a suit with these side-buttoned overalls (B). (View C) Make this simple sunsuit: bib-top with button-on straps and briefest bottoms.” Indeed!

How old is this pattern?

If you look for this pattern on the Vintage Patterns Wiki, you’ll see it says it was a pattern from the 1950s. However, I think this pattern was probably released through the 1950s and 1960s.

It’s difficult to date vintage patterns, and I am certainly no expert. Butterick patterns, like this one, don’t always have a date printed on them. You have to make an educated guess. Sometimes you can use the pattern illustration, or certain design elements to date the pattern, but children’s patterns tend to be less fashion-forward than patterns for women’s clothing. Another way to date a pattern is by the pattern envelope style.

Butterick 6176
Butterick 6176: Toddler’s Sunsuit or Overalls and Jacket. (A) This short button-front jacket has long, cuffed sleeves set in raglan style. Makes a suit with these side-buttoned overalls (B). (View C) Make this simple sunsuit: bib-top with button-on straps and briefest bottoms.

This pattern has the classic upper-left square around the Butterick logo that is typical of patterns from the 1950s. You can see the same style logo in this pattern dated 1956. Her copy was probably published in the 1950s. There were a few other patterns with this one, with dates printed on them, that were from the 1930s and 1940s.

Butterick 6176
Butterick 6176: The instructions are in great condition.

However, even though the copy of this pattern that my grandmother had was from the 1950s, you can find this pattern with different envelope designs. This probably means that it was published over an extended period of time. It would have to be published in the late 1940s or after, since the pattern is printed and not perforated in all the versions I’ve seen. And it seems to have been published through the 1960’s judging by logo design alone. The price of the pattern varied between 35 and 48 cents, from what I can tell from a quick internet search.

How is it different from modern patterns?

The envelope from my grandmother’s pattern is barely holding together, but the pattern and instructions are in great shape. It looks like only the overalls or sunsuit were actually sewn up. The jacket was carefully cut out though. My great grandmother had eight grandchildren to sew for in the 1950s and 1960s, but I’m curious about who got the overalls.

Butterick 6176
Butterick 6176: Check out all the different layouts. There are layouts for fabric with widths of 35″, 39″ and 54″. Fabric usually now comes in widths of 45″ or 60″.

The first thing I noticed were the cutting layouts. There are layouts for fabric with widths of 35″, 39″ and 54″. Fabric usually now comes in widths of 45″ or 60″.

Butterick 6176
Butterick 6176: I like how they want me to use tailor’s tacks.

I also think it’s cute that the pattern calls for the use of tailor’s tacks or a tracing wheel, a tool “much used by Professionals”. I like the gratuitous capitalization.

Butterick 6176
Butterick 6176: The pattern shows how to make corded, blanket-stitched buttonholes. Keep in mind, this is a jacket for a two-year-old.

The pattern also tells you to make corded, blanket-stitched button holes by hand. Ooh la la! Keep in mind that this jacket is in size 2 and will last about a year before the lucky, but admittedly well-dressed recipient grows out of it. “Modern sewing is easy”, it says on the envelope. Un huh. I recently read a blog post that asked if patterns used to be more complicated. In this case, yes.

What else is different? If you look at the pattern illustration, you’ll see that this is a pattern for both boys and girls. If you look at Butterick’s current catalogue, you won’t find any patterns for boys at all, unless you count pyjamas or a layette. McCall’s has only a couple patterns for boys. And if you look at the girls’ patterns on either site, they are all super girly – ruffles, loads of pink, bows and ribbons. Ugghhh.

Jackets
McCall’s M6385, Vintage Butterick 6176, and Simplicity 2292

About the closest you would come to this pattern is McCall’s M6385 or Simplicity 2292. But look at the styling. It’s sort of like a big billboard ad “You Must Dress Your Girls in Pink.” And of course the boy outfits must be “boy-ed-up” with “boy”-themed appliqué work. Personally, I prefer the little red utility jacket.

I think it’s pretty fun to open up old patterns, but I’m geeky that way. What about you? Have you ever tried a vintage children’s sewing pattern?