A Little Koi

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

As soon as my kids saw these fish, they were in love! They wanted fish pants.

“Fish pants? Really?” “Yes, yes, yes!”

The print is Don’t Be Koi from the Koi collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9 Fabrics, and is my latest Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.

I wasn’t sure if I could do the whole pants purple koi (maybe a bit too rock ‘n roll), but a tuxedo stripe sounded fun.

I used the After-School Pants pattern by Oliver + S. It was a breeze to sew. I made size 6 and 7 in a medium-weight twill, with koi accents, of course. I had originally planned to use quilting cotton, but after patching yet another pair of pants, decided on something just a little tougher.

After-School Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
After-School Pants

The only changes I made to the pants were to add a bit of extra top stitching, to make them look a bit more like jeans, and to use the koi print for the side stripes, interlined with the same twill. I though quilting cotton alone might not hold its shape well enough, when combined with the twill.

After-School Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Pocket detail on the pants
After-School Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Front detail on the pants.

I originally had not planned to make anything else. Fish pants seemed pretty distinctive. But while the pants took four long stripes of fish, but there was still a little fabric left over. And of course, it’s gorgeous, so I had to do something fabulous with it. I only had one yard of the Don’t Be Koi print, but I still managed to get four garments out of it.

Roller Skate Tunic sewing pattern by Oliver + S, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Roller Skate Tunic (view C)
Prepster Pullover sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Prepster Pullover
Prepster Pullover sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Pocket detail on the shirt.
Boy's outfit, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Boy’s outfit.
Girl's outfit, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Girl’s outfit.

So I made up the Roller Skate Tunic by Oliver + S (view C), which I’ve made once before. I cannot tell you how much I love this pattern. When it first came out, I wasn’t sure I liked it, but it definitely grows on you. It is a really quick, easy sew, and there are so few seams to finish, which is always a bonus. I used some more koi, and some white shirting that has been in my stash for ages and ages. It’s actually older than my oldest daughter (so embarrassing!). The tunic is lined in soft cotton batiste. I made no modifications, beyond colour blocking the tunic.

Roller Skate Tunic sewing pattern by Oliver + S, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Love the colour!

For my son, I used the Prepster Pullover by Blank Slate Patterns. I first thought about making a button-down shirt, but my son is not a fan of those. So many buttons for little hands! This shirt is easier to get into, so he gave it the thumbs up before I got started.

Prepster Pullover sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Check out that contrast collar.
Prepster Pullover sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Checking the inside collar for extra fish.

I used contrasting fabric for the placket and collar, modified the pocket to add some extra koi, and lengthened the hem on the sleeves. I also changed the construction order. The pattern has you put in the collar at the end, after you’ve sewn in the sleeves and attached the sides, but it is much easier to do earlier on. There’s a cool article on the difference between the two construction methods here.

Prepster Pullover sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Counting fish.
Prepster Pullover sewing pattern by Blank Slate Patterns, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Check out that stripe.
Roller Skate Tunic sewing pattern by Oliver + S, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Flowers!

Unfortunately, the Koi collection is almost gone, but you could get a similar effect with the Charley Harper collection or the Beyond The Backyard collection. Anything bright, with some good contrast would work well.

Summary

Pattern Reviews:

Fabric:

Beige twill, white shirting (poplin?) from my stash, and Don’t Be Koi from the Koi collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9 Fabrics, courtesy Warp & Weft.

Sizes: 6 (pants and pullover) and 7 (pants and tunic).

Sewing Level: Pants and tunic: advanced beginner. Pullover: intermediate.

Modifications: I colour blocked the tunic. I interlined the side stripes with twill and added some top stitching to the pants. For the shirt, I used contrasting fabric for the collar and placket, changed the pocket, lengthened the sleeve hem, and changed the construction order.

Results: Excellent! I especially recommend the tunic, which I’ve made once before.

Roller Skate Tunic sewing pattern by Oliver + S, in Don't be Koi. Sewn by The finished Garment. A Warp & Weft Sewing Society project.
Yes, there is another kid photo bombing in there. And a caterpillar.

Spring Showers

Well, it’s not quite spring here, but mother nature is working on it. So this pattern came along just in time.  It’s the Spring Showers Jacket by Elegance & Elephants (yay! Canadian content!) and I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester.

The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The jacket is a big hit and fits well with room for layers underneath. And yes, this is what April looks like in Montreal.

It’s a lined, zip-front, hooded jacket. You can make a version with a cinched waist, but I like this version better.

The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I’m pretty happy with the results.
The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I used bright turquoise quilting cotton for the lining.
The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Requisite action shot.

I was going to make a waterproof/water-resistant version, but the one day I could get to the fabric store…. snow storm! So I shopped my stash instead. I used a (hard to photograph) navy, 100 per cent cotton twill for the outer fabric and quilting cotton for the inner fabric. I thought about using lining fabric on the sleeves, to make them easier to slide on and off. Montreal may be Hoth in the winter, but it’s Tatooine in the summer. Cotton breathes better, so this will be a better summer jacket this way.

The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
I did all the top stitching in turquoise to make it a bit more fun. And I used the biggest zipper I could find – easier for little hands.
The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
The sleeves ended up a bit long, but I kind of like the folded over look.
The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
A better look at the cuff.

I made the size 4/5 for Kid No 2. Usually he wears a size 5, and the fit of the jacket was just right. Room to move and grow and layer over whatever he’s wearing.

The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
And photo session over!

The pattern is really cute and practical, and I’ve already had a couple requests for more from Kid No 1 and Kid No 3.

The Spring Showers Jacket sewing pattern by Elegance & Elephants, as sewn by The Finished Garment.
Little sister decided to try on the jacket when no one was looking.

Summary

Pattern Review: Spring Showers Jacket by Elegance & Elephants.

Fabric: Navy twill (100% cotton) for the outer fabric and Ziggy in Aqua from Timeless Treasures for the lining.

Size: 4/5.

Sewing Level: Average.

Modifications: None.

Results: Great. I hope to make this again. Next time I’d like to add snaps to the pockets and a zipper flap to the outside.

Disclaimer: The pattern was generously provided by Elegance & Elephants, in return for testing the pattern. As always, my opinions are my own.

Star Pants

This past week Kid No 4 came down with the chicken pox, so sewing time and blogging time were extra limited. Babies with chicken pox are 100 per cent grumpy 100 per cent of the time.

The worst part is that there is a vaccine for chicken pox, a vaccine that all my other kids got at 12 months, but which is now given at 18 months. It’s like a guaranteed recipe for 12-18 month-olds with chicken pox.

Anyway, since I had only intermittent sewing time, I decided to tackle some unfinished objects (UFOs).

Sandbox Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S as sewn by The Finished Garment
Sandbox Pants

This is the first one – my very first pair of Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S. I made them in a size 6, and they were just too big. So I put them aside, waiting  for Kid No 2 to grow and started on some cords using the same pattern, but in the right size.

I made this first pair in a heavy twill with quilting cotton for the waistband and pocket lining. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the twill is really beige denim.

Sandbox Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S as sewn by The Finished Garment
I used the star print (chosen by Kid No 2) to line the pockets.

I underestimated the weight of the twill and I think the waistband will be too flimsy. When I made my second pair out of corduroy I used corduroy for the waistband as well, and made a flat front pant. They are much more sturdy.

Sandbox Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S as sewn by The Finished Garment
Back pockets

If the pants were in a lighter material, the drawstring waistband would be great. It’s not the pattern, just my poor pairing of fabric. So to compensate somewhat, I added a second row of elastic to the waistband, but without a drawstring, just to be on the safe side.

Sandbox Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S as sewn by The Finished Garment
I added a second row of elastic to the waistband.

I also added a second row of topstitching to the pockets, since the pants seemed so much like jeans.

Sandbox Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S as sewn by The Finished Garment
I added a second row of top stitching.

And of course the grumpiness was catching so the now taller Kid No 2 tried them on, declared them “wonderful”, then took them off and refused to pose for photos. Oh well. Some days are like that.

Sandbox Pants sewing pattern by Oliver + S as sewn by The Finished Garment
Yes, there’s another UFO in the works. Guess what it is?

Summary

Pattern Review: Sandbox Pants by Oliver + S.

Fabric:Heavy twill, with quilting cotton (mystery print) for the waistband and pocket lining. Not a great pairing.

Sizes: 6.

Sewing Level: Intermediate.

Modifications: I added an extra length of elastic to the waistband, and a second row of topstitching.

Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and I have already made them four more times.

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