You Should Be Dancing

My husband saw this shirt and told my son that he should be at the disco. So true! I don’t think he even knows what disco is, but Kid No 2 definitely looks like he has some dance moves in this shirt.

The Charlie shirt sewing pattern by Zonen 09, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The Charlie shirt in retro stretch velvet (which is impossible to photograph).

This is the Charlie shirt, a 1970s-inspired knit shirt with lapel collar with short or long sleeves. The pattern is by Zonen 09, an independent Belgian pattern company that specializes in patterns for boys, with a retro feel. The patterns are available in Dutch, English and French, though not all patterns are available in all languages.

I made this in the same super-stretchy stretch velvet that I used to make dresses for my daughters. It’s perfect for this retro shirt, and super soft and cozy. I had nothing to coordinate with this fabric, so for the lining and collar I up-cycled a t-shirt that my husband had from a conference.  The velvet was leftover from a costume and the jersey was up cycled, which means that this stash-busting project was (almost) free.

The Charlie shirt sewing pattern by Zonen 09, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
My son loves that there are no buttons.

I did have to buy the pattern (of course!). The instructions are good. Unfortunately, I did have a couple of minor complaints though. First, the pattern is made to be printed on A4 paper, the standard in Europe, but it was really difficult to print this on 8.5″ x 11″ paper here in North America. Also, there are no grid lines on the printed pattern, only marks on the edges of the sheets, which means that it is hard to match up the pages when the edges were cut off by my printer. The pattern does come with one of those big, print-at-the printer versions though, so I might try that next time. But I was in a bit of a time crunch this time around. Maybe I’ll just buy some A4 paper…

Second, you don’t get the fabric requirements until you buy the pattern. Lots of smaller indie patterns do this, but, uggg, it’s so annoying. I needed a pattern that would work with this piece of fabric, so I had to take my chances. Luckily it worked out. Yay!

I wasn’t sure which size to make, so I went up one size. I’m really glad I did. The shirt fits quite narrow, even on my son who is a bit tall and lanky for his age. This was especially true of the waistband. If you sew this up, depending on the stretchiness of your fabric, and the size of the belly it goes around, you might want to test the waistband before attaching it.

In case you are curious, the shirt is lined in the bodice, both front and back, but not the sleeves.

The Charlie shirt sewing pattern by Zonen 09, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The shirt is super soft and cozy.

My son loves the shirt and wore it the first chance he got. I like a collared shirt, and my son hates buttons, so this was a huge hit. It’s always nice to have something that looks a bit dressy, but feels super comfy.

So overall, a nice cute pattern, that has my son dancing like it’s 1976, or thereabouts. (And yes, that’s the year You Should be Dancing by the Bee Gees was released.)

This shirt is part of the Kids Clothes Week  Winter Challenge (a little late),  and the Stashbusting Sew-Along (The Love Challenge), and the Sewcialists’ Blue February Sew-Along.

Summary

Pattern Review: Charlie shirt by Zonen 09.

Fabric: Deep blue stretch velvet, and grey jersey.

Cost: €7.50 (about 11$ CDN).

Size: 122 (which is close to size 7).

Sewing Level: Average.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. The shirt is quite narrow, so I’m glad I went up a size. I hope to make this again.

Indigo Linen Jump Rope Dress Redux

Does this dress look familiar? If you read my blog, it might.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
Another jump rope dress, this time for Kid No 1.

This is the Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S. The shirtwaist dress features cuffed sleeves, gathered patch pockets, collar and front placket. I made view B which has long sleeves and an a-line shape. I made the size 7.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
I used contrasting fabric for the placket and pocket trim.

This is the second time I’ve made this dress, and this version is almost the same as the last one, but larger and with different contrasting fabric. The main fabric is a cotton linen chambray. I really like that the pattern and fabric work well both for summer and winter.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
Love the pocket style.

I only made two changes. The dress was very long, so I turned up about two inches and made a wide hem that I can lengthen later. I also finished the cuffs so that they are wide and can be turned up with a nice seam finish.

The Oliver + S jump rope dress sewing pattern, made by The Finished Garment
I made wide cuffs that can be turned up until she grows.

This dress is part of the Kids Clothes Week  Winter Challenge,  and the Stashbusting Sew-Along (The Love Challenge), and the Sewcialists’ Blue February Sew-Along.

Summary

Pattern Review: Jump Rope Dress (view B) by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Cotton linen chambray in Indigo Washed by Robert Kaufman. The contrasting fabric is  FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Size: 7.

Sewing Level: Intermediate to advanced.

Modifications: I made a wider hem and cuff and used contrasting fabric for the pocket binding and inside front placket.

Results: Great. This is the second time I’ve made this pattern and I will definitely make it again.

Feeling Blue

Yay! My first quilt of 2014! Of course this was supposed to be my last quilt of 2013, but (sigh), life.

Anyway, this is a cross quilt, made using fabric that has been sitting in my stash for way too long. Maybe two years? I am really happy that it has finally been transformed into a quilt.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The fabrics are Kona solids in greys and blues.

The fabrics are Kona solids. I bought them as a bundle, and I had to write to Mad About Patchwork, where I bought it, to find out what was in it, because this particular bundle isn’t even available anymore (though there is one that is very similar).

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The backing is quite bright.

It seems that the colours are some of, but not all of: Snow, Ash, Medium Grey, Coal, Charcoal, Black, Indigo, Navy, Nightfall, Marine, Deep Blue, Ocean, Windsor and Delft. There might also be Slate and Pepper. That’s actually more than the number of pieces of fabric in the bundle I have, so hmmm, I am not especially helpful. But definitely some of those. Clearly I need better record keeping, and maybe a colour card.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The back is Crosshatch Sketch in Royal, and yes, it really is that blue.

This quilt is also a gift for a family member, so yes, there was another quilt dance party. Fun! Hope you don’t mind, mystery family member! The angle of the photo below makes the quilt look small, but it is actually 60″ by 67″ – a nice size lap quilt, perfect for snuggling on the sofa.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Dance party!

I used Crosshatch Sketch, which is the same print I used in my last quilt, but in Royal, for the backing. It is a very bright blue. I had planned to use the same print in the Denim colourway, but couldn’t find enough online. But, in retrospect, this blue is the perfect blue for the person who will be getting it. It really is their blue.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
I used some of the leftover squares for the backing.

For the binding, I used three different colours.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
I used three colours for the binding: a bright blue, a navy and grey.

For the quilting, I just did some simple straight line quilting. Nothing fancy. But I think this works really well with the piecing.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
The colours were very hard to photograph because there was so much contrast.

Of course the kids always check my quilts for quality, warmth and general coziness.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Quality assurance testing.

And since this was for a family member there was extra-thorough quality assurance testing.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
More quality testing.

I didn’t really use a pattern, but if you are looking for a tutorial, you can find a good one online here, by Jeni Baker of In Color Order.

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Outdoor shot.

Hope the quilt is a hit. I’ll find out soon.

Feeling Blue Quilt

Quilt block: cross, or modern plus.

Size: 60 by 67 inches.

Fabrics:

Kona solids. I’m not sure of all the colours, but I think these are Snow, Ash, Medium Grey, Coal, Charcoal, Black, Indigo, Navy, Nightfall, Marine, Deep Blue, Ocean, Windsor and Delft. There may also be Slate and Pepper.

Binding: Three of the above.

Backing: Crosshatch Sketch in Royal by Timeless Treasures

Bue Cross Quilt by Shannon of The Finished Garment
Hopefully the quilt will be a hit!

Stashbusting for Kids

Gastroenteritis folks. It’s done two rounds at our house. The laundry has been Sisyphean. The sewing, minimal. The sleep? Well, let’s not even mention the lack of sleep.

I have managed to eek out a super quick project though.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment

Ages ago I bought a few yards of chocolate brown baby cord. After four pair of kid-sized pants and  my Ginger skirt, I was left with just under a yard. Cue kid No 1 complaining about having no winter skirts “at all”. Hmmm, possibly a slight exaggeration. But in any case, we couldn’t have that, so I whipped up this skirt the same evening.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
Back of the Sunday brunch skirt.

This is the Oliver + S  Sunday Brunch Skirt. It’s a simple, straight skirt (though the pattern is described as a-line), with elastic waistband, pockets and a black kick pleat. I made this in a size 6 and it fits just right.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
The skirt has a cute kick pleat.

As always with  Oliver + S patterns, this was a dream to sew. The instructions were so very clear, and I finished the whole thing in under 3 hours. That includes tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric. If I hadn’t added piping, it would have been even faster.

The only changes I made were to add an inch to the length and add flat piping in a pretty lavender print. The skirt definitely needed that extra inch. And the piping will match a top that’s in the works.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
I added flat piping.

Kid No 1 was in the skirt the next morning and out the door to school, so I would have to say that this was a highly successful project. Unfortunately, that left very little time for photos, and it was dark and dreary so these are not my best. Another skirt for Kid No 3 is on the way, if only I can get the laundry done.

The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
The skirt is a big hit. Yay!
The Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S, sewn by The Finished Garment
Side view of the Sunday brunch skirt by Oliver + S,

This project is part of the Stashbusting Sewalong.

Summary

Pattern Review: Sunday Brunch Skirt by Oliver + S.

Fabric: Baby cord. I used quilting cotton for the flat piping. The print is  FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Size: 6.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Added an inch to the length and used flat piping for trim.

Results: Great and fast. I would recommend this pattern and plan to make it again. In fact, I’ve already cut out the fabric!

Ginger for Fall

I have been slowly rebuilding my wardrobe with some basic everyday clothing. After four pregnancies, all pretty close together, my wardrobe is in rough shape. I’ve also changed shape, and so my old clothes just don’t fit right. Rather than battle the clothes racks with four kids in tow, I’ve decided to make what I can.

This is my latest project, the Ginger skirt by Colette.  It’s a simple, high-waisted a-line shirt, fitted  in the hips with an invisible zipper.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
Me in my Ginger skirt.

I used a super soft baby cord, which is the same fabric I used to make pants for my kids. They think this is hilarious. Ha! Just wait till high school, kids.

I cut the size 18, based on my waist measurements, but I ended up taking in two inches, and I could have taken it a bit more in the hips. Next time, I’ll cut a 14, graded out to a 16 waist.

At first I thought the 18 looked ok. But it wasn’t lying smooth over the front of my hips. So I scoured the internet looking for similar body shapes, in the same skirt, and with the same problem, and they all had their skirts quite low on the waist. So I raised the waist and took in the sides and the skirt fit so much better. It was a whole new garment. I’m honestly not used to such a high-waisted skirt. Most ready-to-wear a-line skirts are designed to sit lower, but I do like the look. Next time, I’ll also take the skirt in a little more in the hips.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
I took this photo before I raised the waist and took in the waistband. You can see how it’s not smooth in the front.
Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
This photo was taken afterwards, and it fits so much better.

Adjusting the fit was quite easy. So if you are a bit larger than the largest size (or smallest than the smallest size), you shouldn’t have too much trouble grading up (or down) a size or two and still getting good results.

Ginger A-line Skirt Pattern by Collette Patterns
Ginger A-line Skirt Pattern by Colette Patterns.

I made version 3, which has a straight waistband , and is cut on the bias. With baby cord, the results are not quite as dramatic as the chevron stripe pattern shown on the pattern packaging, but it does make for a really nice hanging skirt. Even my husband mentioned that it hung really nicely, and with no prompting (!!!). Using baby cord also means you don’t need to worry about matching the stripes.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
You can just see how the bias cut skirt makes a chevron pattern, but it’s very subtle in baby cord.

The skirt has an invisible zipper, which went in really easily.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
What do you think? Is that zipper invisible enough for you?

I added some very thin tricot interfacing to the skirt before adding the zipper, to stabilize it.   But because the skirt was cut on the bias, it was still a little stretchy, so  I also used bias tape on the seam edges, a suggestion from a couture sewing book, and this worked very well.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
Here you can see the inside of the invisible zipper where I’ve used bias table to help stabilize.

Hemming was a bit of an adventure. I let the skirt hang for a few days before I started. I had read how Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch has Mr Stitch help her with her hemming. So I gave it a shot. I can now confirm, that while Mr Garment has many superpowers, garment hemming is not one of them. He’s pretty good with compliments though (see above). Needless to say, I had to re-hem. Luckily, my hems usually fall pretty straight, so I guess I’ll just continue t0 hem on my own. I think next time, I’ll go a couple inches shorter as well. What do you think?

I didn’t line the skirt and simply zigzagged the seams. It’s a corduroy skirt, after all.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
I used quilting cotton to line the waistband, since it’s pretty and more comfortable and cuts down bulk.

At first I was a bit shocked by the price of the pattern. I paid $18, which, for a simple a-line skirt pattern, is a lot. (You can get the PDF version for $12, which is better). But I wanted to try a Collette pattern (this is my first), and it was a gift as well (though I picked it out myself). I’ve found that the fit is really quite nice, and I will use the pattern again, so overall, still a worthwhile purchase.

Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
I tried to get another photo session organized, but what are those white marks on my skirt?
Ginger skirt by Colette, as sewn by The Finished Garment
Oh you think that’s funny? (Those white marks are tiny hand prints made of baby powder). Thanks kid!

I really like this pattern. It has a really nice fit, and is quick to sew, but also has a lot of room for creativity, if you are feeling up to a challenge. I’ll almost certainly make it again.

Summary

Pattern Review: Ginger skirt by Colette Patterns.

Fabric: Baby cord. I used quilting cotton for the waistband.

Sizes: 18, but next time I’ll cut a 14, graded out to a 16 waist.Version 3, with the straight waistband, and cut on the bias.

Sewing Level: Beginner (versions 1 & 2). Intermediate (version 3).

Modifications: None.

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