The pattern is very easy to follow. The only changes I made were to switch an elastic waistband for the drawstring waist in the pattern, and turn the pants into shorts. These fit a little large, but by the time it’s really summer, they should be just right.
I love those whales! Check out those matched up pockets and that top stitching.
All the fabric was from my stash. The whale print is left over from my whale quilt. I’ve already used the pattern a few times. Even the elastic came from my stash. That brings the cost of these shorts to $0! Not bad.
For my older girls I had made spring dresses a while ago. But since I hadn’t blogged about them, I thought I would do that now. These are both the Ice Cream Dress by Oliver + S.
This pattern is really a dream to sew. There are almost no seams to finish, it’s very quick to sew, and there is a lot of room for creativity in fabric choices. My kids love these dresses!
The fabrics are Red Ladybugs and Liquorice cats by Ann Kelle.
Three spring outfits ready for the snow to melt. THis post is linked up with Make It, Wear It.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The fabrics are all by Ann Kelle from her Urban Zoologie collection, and they match the lunch money cuffs I posted yesterday.
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.
Bright Whales by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
Kona Corn Yellow
Red Ladybugs by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
Liquorice Cats by Ann Kelle from Urban Zoologie (Robert Kaufman).
Free Spirit Designer Solid in Pink
Sewing Level: Beginner.
Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and plan to make more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Kelly skirt is a softly pleated, button-up skirt. It’s quite flattering on a variety of figures and according to the pattern designer, “created with the beginner sewer in mind”.
I’ve seen several cute versions online, but my favourites are by Adrienne at Stitching on the Edge, and Andrea at four square walls. Both used piping and linen, and I thought I would do the same.
My fabric is Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn-dyed cotton-linen blend in black. I’m a huge fan of linen, and this fabric is amazing. It’s a bit heavier than your standard linen and has a really great, slightly nubby texture. I’m already dreaming up new clothing I can make with it.
I used store-bought black piping from one of the local fabric stores. I really like this look, but when I was trying the skirt on, I found that in real-life wearing of this skirt, I would probably go with a longer top, which necessarily covers the piping detail. Oh well. I know it’s there.
I fully lined the skirt (I’m not sure what the lining fabric is), mostly so I could wear it in the winter with tights. It makes for a warmer skirt, with smoother lines and fewer wrinkles in the fabric. The pattern does not come with instructions for the lining.
The pattern and instructions are great. It’s an easy pattern (only 5 pattern pieces) which really is great for beginners. I’m not a beginner, so the whole project went quite quickly. I especially like having the instructions in a booklet. The pattern is printed on thick paper, so you need to trace the pattern onto tracing paper. Both the booklet and pattern are quite durable, which is always nice with a pattern you intend to use multiple times, which I do.
I only have two complaints. The first is really very minor, nit picky even, but when constructing the skirt, it’s a good idea to baste the pockets to the side seams before joining the front and the back. It keeps the pocket from rippling. It’s a very small detail, but one that would probably help beginners.
I recently had my fourth baby, and although I would normally be a size large in the Megan Nielsen size range, my waist is (temporarily I hope!) larger than the largest size included in the pattern. I graded the pattern up a size, which was quite easy, but not something that every beginner will be able to do.
Despite my small complaints, I thought that overall this was a very good pattern and it makes a very wearable, flattering skirt.
Just before I made this skirt I got a belated birthday present in the mail. Can you identify these presser feet?
One is an invisible zipper foot, the other is a sew-on button foot. I was so excited when I opened these up. I know, I’m such a sewing geek.
I’ve been sewing for years, but on a very basic machine. It was one of the first purchases I made when I moved out on my own. It’s a basic Singer, with no special presser feet. Having this machine has meant that all the finishing details of my clothes were done by hand. I had never sewn on a button by machine. I had also never made a blind hem, any way except by hand. I once made a formal gown for my sister. It had a floor length, full circle skirt in satin, with layers of tulle underneath. I hand-stitched the entire blind hem. It took ages.
A couple of years ago my husband bought me a much better machine. One of the most eye-opening things for me is trying out all the special presser feet. It has made sewing much easier and much more precise, though I still like the look of hand-finished details.
This is the first time I’ve machine sewn buttons to a garment. I like it a lot, especially for casual clothes. With a coat, I would still sew on the buttons by hand. I’ve been looking at Colette Pattern’s Beignet skirt for a while now, but the number of buttons was so discouraging. I think I see a Beignet skirt in my future now.
This is also the first time I’ve made a blind-hem by machine. I’m not sure if I’m a fan. From the outside it looks perfect, of course. Though I’m not used to seeing all the stitches on the inside. When you hand-stitch a blind hem, it is invisible on the inside as well. On the other hand, the lining covers the hem, so I’ll never really see it.
When I saw these beautiful hats by Jo at Bubala I just loved them. So so so cute!
So I made my own. I made four and I let the kids choose what was on them.
Two kids just have buttons on theirs shaped like books and flowers, and two have embroidered bugs.
I liked the ribbon idea on the Bubula blog, so they all have a snippet of ribbon as well. The kids also chose their own ribbon.
I used a charcoal grey wool coating for the hats (the same fabric I used for my Menswear Bunnies) and some polyester-cotton lining. I think next time I would use flannel though, to keep them a bit softer and warmer. These were nice and colourful though.
The pattern is the Little Cap by Leila & Ben, a Canadian independent pattern designer. The company sells adorable sewing and crochet patterns for kids’ clothing.
The pattern comes in two sizes, 12m-2T and 3T-5T. I found the sizing to be quite small. The 12m-2T fit my three-month-old. The 3T-5T fit my two-year-old. I enlarged the pattern to 105% as Jo at Bubala recommended, and that fit my four-year-old and six-year-old. Luckily I had quite a few to make, in all the sizes, so no fabric was wasted.
I found the pattern to be very good. There are only two pattern pieces. The pattern was extremely easy to follow and I was able to make all four hats in an evening.
Although I made these for both girls and boys, they are perfect for Celebrate the Boy, an online initiative to share cool sewing projects for little boys, which is taking place this week and next.
The kids really love them. They just cover their ears in cold weather. And I get a ton of compliments. People stop us in the street to find out where we “bought” them. I think I’ll probably make another set for summer in cotton or linen.
These photos weren’t taken today, because this is what it looked like outside yesterday. Definitely too cold for fall hats.
Valentine’s day pyjamas! They were supposed to be Christmas pyjamas, but life intervened. Oh well. It’s probably better this way, since the pyjamas aren’t competing for attention with Christmas gifts.
These are the Oliver + S Bedtime Story Pajamas. I made them four times, once for each kid, hence the delay. I used a digital pattern (a PDF download) and it worked quite well. The pattern itself is great. The only thing that is unusual is that each pattern piece is separately taped together, instead of having them all in a giant sheet. I copied each pattern piece onto tracing paper, so I had quite a few pieces of paper to keep track of. On the other hand, it means you can print out just the pieces you want, which is handy if you just want pyjama pants. I’m not sure which way is better. As always with Oliver + S patterns, the directions are excellent. I don’t have a single complaint.
I sewed a different type of ribbon into the neck and pants of each pair so that the kids can tell them apart.
This is the second time I’ve made the pants, but the first time I’ve made the jackets. I made sizes 18 months, 3, 4 and 5. I made the larger sizes with ties, but put in snaps for the baby sized once – otherwise, kid No 4 will just chew the ties.
I also started with snaps for the older kids. I wanted them to be able to dress themselves. But small snaps are a bit of a small target, even for little hands. I tried larger coat snaps, but then the kids couldn’t get out of them at all because it took too much strength to open the snaps. In the end I took out the snaps and put in the ties. Everyone seems to like this better.
The first time I made this pattern, I made just the pants in sizes 12 months, 2, 4, and 5, also in flannel, in a monster print. I think I’ve tried most of the sizes now. The only one I had a problem with was the 12 month size (not shown), which fit a bit tight in the waist and hips.
When I made just the pants, instead of binding the hem, I just lengthened the pant legs and folded them over twice to hem. Then I appliquéd a big monster onto store-bought t-shirts. These were also a big hit with the kids.
I’d seen the dress and tunic on so many blogs, always with great results. Now I noticed that many of the Washi’s I saw were being worn by people who were taller and less curvy than me. Then a couple of photos showed up in the flickr pool that looked a little more like me, so I had hope! Maybe I too could wear the fabled Washi. I bought the pattern.
The printed pattern is great. I love that the pattern sizes are each printed in a separate colour. Genius! Why doesn’t everyone do that? I love that each piece of paper is printed with a grid overlay along the sides of the paper. So easy to assemble! I liked the instructions, especially the part on making a muslin.
So I dutifully got out some (hideously ugly) fabric from my stash, and made a muslin. And then I did a full bust adjustment (FBA) which I had figured I would have to do. I used the instructions for a FBA on Megan Nielsen’s website, which Made by Rae lists on their site and which are very clear. It still wasn’t working. I went down a size, redid my FBA and lowered the darts. And anyway…. five muslins later I had something I thought looked fairly decent, so I cut my fabric.
There is only one thing in the printed pattern I would change: the way the bust darts are cut out before assembly. After just one muslin, it was clear that by basting and pressing the dart to start, you can get a much better fit, because you can adjust that seam. But if the fabric is already cut, and you need to fine-tune the dart, there’s nothing you can do. You are stuck with the dart placement, as is. The curvier you are, the more this matters.
Assembling the tunic was a breeze. The instructions are great. The smocking with elastic thread was so easy! Everything came together so quickly.
It just didn’t fit, at least not as well as I’d like. Boo!
I’m pretty sure it has more to do with my shape, than the pattern itself, since so many people have had such great luck with this pattern. I am extra curvy (and a breastfeeding mama as well) and I just had a baby six months ago. Can we say problem areas? I figured the pattern would be good for midsection coverage. However, this pattern, like any empire waist look, requires an excellent fit in the bodice. I needed to do the FBA, make sure the darts were in the right place, and make sure that the seamline where the bodice joins the skirt fell at the very thinnest part of my ribcage. This last point is important for avoiding the pregnant look. My muslin did not include the skirt portion of the tunic, only the bodice. It was all a bit frustrating.
In the end I had to take the tunic apart, and shorten the bodice a bit to get the skirt falling at the right place. It’s wearable, but could be better. The front view is good. The side view is only so-so. There is a bit of gaping at the neck. I think this tutorial on avoiding neck gape with a FBA from the Naked Seamstress would help. I would also add a couple tiny under bust darts, as suggested by the Queen of the Flies in her review of the Washi Dress. And there is still some pulling at the shoulders. Maybe I should go down a size? Hmmmm. Suggestions welcome.
Oh, and as a side note… if you disassemble your washi and abandon it in frustration for a couple of weeks (ahem), you may find that the elastic thread has worked its way out, so that you have to resew it. Entirely my fault of course.
I also made a poor choice of fabric. I used quilting cotton. It’s a bit, um, crunchy? Something with a lot more drape would have been a much better choice, especially with sleeves. The pattern recommends “Light to medium weight cottons or cotton blends (e.g. shirting, voile, double gauze, quilting cotton, poplin, or cotton/linen blends)”. Voile, lawn or batiste would have been better choices, at least for my figure. I also would probably have been better off with the dress, instead of the tunic. I suspect the weight of the extra fabric would make for a more flattering line. The garment would hang a bit more straight.
Would I make it again? Yes. The hard part is over. Now that I know how to get a good fit, and what fabric to use, I’d like to try this again. I would also prefer to line the bodice and there are instructions for lining a Washi bodice on the Made by Rae website. (Even though I attached the facing at the side seams, I find the facing pops out sometimes, which is annoying.) It’s such a cute pattern. Let’s call this a wearable muslin and move forward.