Sunday, July 27, 2014

KCW Day 7: Self Drafted Girl's Maxi Sundress

Squeaking in just under the Kid's Clothes Week wire a self drafted maxi sun dress. I actually sewed this on Friday, then I stuffed it in the call with my essential worldly possessions and headed for the country, thus the photos on the wide open prairie (or something like that). 
I have a (probably unnecessary) aversion to elastic thread. For some (probably unfounded) reason it seem like a cheap trick, or cheating, to me. I have the (probably unjustified) feeling that it wont hold up. As if my 4 year old who has grown 2 inches since February is going to fit in something I sew for longer than the elastic thread will hold up?! Just the same, I prefer some old school elastic in a casing.


There are many, many cute sundresses out there in the vein of what I wanted for this fabric, but most of them use the (probably harmless) objectionable elastic thread. So I made up my mind to draft my own pattern. Its such a simple dress, I can draft it in a giffy, I wont make a muslin, Ill just cut into it. Then I saw Tashas Hummingbird (of Glitter & Wit) and my conviction wavered a little. Its more or less what I wanted, and used elastic in a casing, and hers is so seriously adorable (I want that fabric Tasha!). I could drop a mere 7 bucks on a pattern and get this thing finished before lunch, or I could draft my own and be up all night sewing in the semi darkness of the kids room adjacent sewing room hoping the whole time that what Im sewing will actually fit. Hmmm, yeah. Ill take the latter. Its KCW after all and I want to stretch my skills just a little bit.

PATTERN: Self drafted based on a dress I saw at Target. It was like $14 and totally worth the time it would have saved, but again, its not about saving time now, is it? The actual bodice is based on the hi/lo dress I made L for Easter. This is a basic sundress an elastic back, gathered skirt, and dust ruffle (do you only call it that on a bed, it sure looks like this ruffle would kick up some dust) at the bottom.  I added hidden loops just inside the back so the straps can be tied behind the neck, or strung through the loops and crossed. I went with a maxi length because I like the drama. I imagine it will prove to be woefully impractical. Hows a girl supposed to climb, run, and roll in the dirt, with all that fabric billowing around her legs. Her current favorite skirt is a floor length, harvest themed, way too big, hand me down, peasant skirt, and she does just fine in it. Post KCW hemming isn't out of the question.

FABRIC: I got this light weight cotton voile from IndianBeautiful Art, and have already made a Tiny Pocket Tank with it. Why shouldnt mama and preschooler match every once in a while. Thats not weirdit's weird isn't it?

FIT: I made this to Ls measurements plus a little for growth. It is already the end of July after all, and it would be awesome if she could still wear it next summer, maybe as a midi length.
I wanted this dress to be an effortless summer staple. Something easy to wear. It is, but it turned out to be a bit less childlike than I intended. I think raising the hem 2 inches, so little toes are actually peeking out, will take care of that. I'm hoping to revisit this pattern before our family beach week with another version and a few tweaks. If I get to it, you'll be the first to know. She can run like the wind in this floor length gown, so its not all bad.

linking to KCW here.

linking to KCCO here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KCW Day 4 : Zonen 09 Theo Button Down


How is it Day 4 of Kid's Clothes Week already? Today's offering took a little more than 1 hour a day to sew, but the late night was totally worth it. I have had my eye on the Zonen 09 Theo button down for a while. Somehow Sharon at Zonen 09 has made the short sleeved woven shirt everybody's dad used to wear in the 70s look fresh and modern. Little boys in muted floral prints, the exaggerated collar, and those fetching little triangle pieces, somehow make a trite throwback look positively edgy. Call it aspirational sewing, but I wanted a piece of that action. 

Let's be clear, the Zonen 09 Theo Pattern in only available in Dutch, and I don't speak dutch. I could have bought a pattern in english and just modified it to suit, but I'm sewing the Theo, just to see if I can.

PATTERN: The Zonen 09 Theo is a basic button down shirt with options for long sleeves, short sleeves, an uber 70's collar, and a standard collar. It also comes in a slim and standard fit. It has instructions for clipped corners scattered through out the shirt, or piping across the back. You also have the choice of 3 pocket details, and welt or sewn buttonholes. I bought this pattern because of the corner details (keep reading) and the beautifully slim fit. It's completely different than the I've-eatten-too-much-micky-D's fit you see in department stores. 

FABRIC: I used Liberty London Tana Lawn Betsy in light blue from Fabric.com. I bought it on sale, so naturally its out of stock now. Liberty London's reputation for sturdy softness will not let you down. I chose this particular print because of its passably masculine floral print.  I'm playing up the blues with some Robert Kaufman chambray for the lining pieces (also used here).
DETAILS: Zonen 09 is a genius with subtle, wearable details for boys. Often I think boy centric pattern designs are a bit costumey, or an awkward translation of what daddy wears. But the simple cut corner detail that is all over (or not, your choice) this button down, is just the right amount of fuss for my taste. You may not notice them the first time, but a second look adds to the depth of the design.  I used the Robert Kaufman indigo chambray for all of the corner clips except the shoulder. J has a not so secret love of pink, so I wanted to add a special little snippet of pink just for him. On the shoulder (top right) I used the hot pink linen from the Clover Capris. The red button is vintage, and a tiny bit too big for my taste, but a perfect button would have required a trip to fabric row with 2 kids in 93 degree heat, when we really just wanted to go to the pool.  I put the collar on backwards the first time. Had it completely sewn in when I realized the clipped corner was on the underside. Uffa! Such a tiny thing, but I had to fix it. It is killing me that I sewed right through the triangle at the hem (bottom left). Knucklehead! I should have sewn around it for consistency sake...must go fix.
FIT: Based solely on measurements J was a 122 Slim, which is the equivalent to a 7 slim. Spot on considering he's 7, and slim. I made a muslin for this shirt to make sure nothing was lost in translation before I cut into the sacred Liberty, and to make sure it fit. The 122S fit perfectly, but I want him to be able to wear this labor of love for a while, so I bumped up to a 128S (8 slim). I love the fit. 

ALTERATIONS: Are you kidding me? Alterations? I'm lucky I got a wearable shirt. I didn't change a thing. I've seen a few little girl dress hacks of this pattern in the Zonen 09 Flickr pool, might try that for L. 

I will definitely make this pattern again. When the KCW smoke clears, I might make another in chambray, and then I'll post my tips for the minimum you need to know to cobble this thing together if you don't speak dutch. 
J is wearing the Sunny Day Shorts from a few weeks ago, where I used the same patch pocket detail.

linking up to KCW here.

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And the winner of the Gingercake lunch bag pattern giveaway is JUDITH MARTINEZ! Congratulations Judith, watch your email for more details. Thanks to Virginia at Gingercake for sharing her pattern with us and to everyone who entered. Head on over to the Gingercake store and get your lunch bag pattern while they are on sale.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

KCW Day 2 - Clover Shorts as Capri Pants


If you're wondering what kind of knucklehead makes linen pants for a 4 year old. It's me. After I attached the waistband I turned these babies right side out and realized what I had done. Linen is for retiring southern gentlemen, not kids who play on the floor. I think these are some sweet looking pants, but they just get more wrinkled as the photos go on.
You may recognize this as a Willow & Co. Clover Shorts hack. (The Clover Shorts pattern was designed by Hayley of Welcome to the Mouse House.) Making this pattern a second time reminded me how much I like it. Those few simple details (belt loops, pleats, cuffs) add a whole lot of style, and no fuss in making. I started cutting my fabric during the BBC and was finished before Radio Times. Still in my PJs, but finished.

(The t-shirt is from a few months ago, more about it HERE.)

PATTERN: More about the Clover Shorts Pattern in my pervious post. Now on to the capri part of the equation.

ALTERATIONS: I added 10 inches to the length, and tapered the crap out of them. Tapering required a bit of finessing of the original leg opening. I started the taper on the back leg pattern piece just about where the pocket opening hits that piece. For the front, I just continued the line of the outer edge, but I did taper the inner edge just a bit. I measured the 10 from the corner where the pleat lines hit the bottom edge of the pattern piece. The cuffs are 4" deep rectangles that are the same length as the circumference of the leg opening. After the seaming and the fold, it leaves about 1" of cuff showing. 
FABRIC: I used a hot-ish pink linen from Fabric.com. The pocket linings are a scrap of quilting cotton I had left over from a long ago purchase from the Hey Day Shop. The lovely little buttons are from my vintage stash. I am pleased to say that L noticed the pocket lining immediately and was thrilled. So nice when the details are appreciated.
I'm just going to overlook the problems with linen at preschool, cause I think these pants are pretty sharp. 

Linking up with KCW here.

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The Gingercake pattern GIVEAWAY is still open. Not feeling lucky? Buy a lunch bag pattern from the Gingercake shop this week and Virginia will donate 20% to No Kid Hungry.

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