Last week I put my Spring/preggers sewing plans on hold to participate in the latest instalment of the Kid's Clothes Week sewalong. To play along, all you have to do is sew for at least an hour a day for a week. I definitely managed over seven hours of sewing time over the week, although those hours were distributed slightly differently due to being at work on a couple of those days. Each KCW challenge has a theme, which you are free to adopt or ignore as you wish. My interpretation of the theme was to make clothing for my future-son that is currently dwelling in my belly. Check out the image above to see the results of my week of intense kiddie-sewing.
This challenge was an opportunity to get my head around sewing for a little boy, and it made me think about the types of garments that I imagine will be useful for him. Now let me tell you about what I sewed, in the order in which they were completed:
Straight Stripes joggers:
I really want most of my little dude's wardrobe to be as comfortable and unrestrictive as possible, so some joggers were top of my list to sew. I traced the 'Straight Stripes' pattern (pictured below) from Ottobre design magazine issue 4/2014. I used the size 62 width and 68 length, which is assuming he'll be fairly skinny like his sister! We can always roll up the bottoms for a while so they will get maximum use. The royal blue pair are made from some lovely soft double knit (which I think is this stuff) kindly given to me by Fabric Godmother. The grey stripy French terry was left over from my Breton sweatshirt, and was also given to me by Fabric Godmother.
The pattern is super simple: just two pattern pieces. I made them using my overlocker for the seams, and my regular sewing machine to sew a channel to thread the elastic through. I've made it easy to unpick the channel slightly and left a big overlap on the elastic so these can be made larger round the waist if needs be. After all, I have no real idea of his proportions yet!
Drop crotch joggers:
More of the same lovely double knit became a different style of joggers. For these I used the 'Streaky Legs' sweatpants pattern from Ottobre issue 1/2015. I already had the pieces traced out in a size 80 width and 86 length from when I made these awesome leopard print bottoms for Dolores. They were one of my very favourite things I've made for her, although I've probably passed them on to another child as I can't find them anywhere (sad face). I later used the next size up for these epic red/denim/rainbow joggers and pyjama bottoms. It's safe to say that I love this pattern, I'll probably trace some more size-combos to make more versions at some point so that the little guy will always have some of these in his current size.
This pattern has one whole extra pattern piece compared to the first jogger pattern! It's not the most fabric-efficient, but can be made more so by adding a centre back seam if necessary. As with the others, I used my overlocker for all the seams and my regular sewing machine for the elastic channel.
Determined was I to make the absolute most of the 1m of blue double knit! This little crew neck sweatshirt was made using this Brindille and Twig pattern that I've previously used for Dolores here. Remembering how the size I used for hers came out a bit big, I traced the size 74 (approx. 1 year) so he'll hopefully fit it during the autumn/winter/spring after next. The jazzy little geometric detailing began as a little sample of this jersey from Girl Charlee. I really liked how to colours worked with the royal blue, so I cut it in half and applied it to the front sweatshirt piece before constructing the garment on my overlocker.
Comic print shirt:
This garment was the most time consuming, but therefore probably gave me the biggest sense of accomplishment! It's hard to gauge the size of these garments without a model, but this is basically a tiny-scale dude's shirt. The pattern (Burda 9851) was kindly given to me by Catherine from Clothes and Sewing when her youngest son grew out of the largest size. She'd already traced the size 9m pieces for the short-sleeved version, so that is what I've used here, but I actually think it's turned out more like 1 year or even 18 months. Time will tell!
The teensy-ness of it all made some steps, like setting in the sleeves, pretty tricky. But I was rewarded for my troubles when it came to stitching on the buttons and I found that I'd completely accidentally got an almost-perfect pattern match at the front!
The amazing fabric is once again from Fabric Godmother, another part of the package she sent me once I announced that I was having a boy. Annoyingly I can't find it on their site, so I'm not sure if it was an end of roll piece but it would be worth dropping Josie an email if it's taken your fancy.
Comic print shorts:
To get full value from each piece I've been sent, I was able to squeeze out a size 1 year of the Made Everyday (previously Dana Made It) Kid Shorts pattern (previously used here). Truth be told, I messed things up a bit when cutting out the shirt so I had to recut the front pieces. If that hadn't happened then I'd have had enough of the comic print fabric for an entire pair of shorts, but instead I had to think on my feet and ended up combining it with some red poly cotton that was one of the squillion red table cloths that my lovely mum made for our wedding. I actually think that necessity being the mother of invention, as it has been here, has served me well and these shorts are probably way more interesting and unique because of the enforced design change. I now only have just enough of the comic print fabric for a couple of small contrast patch pockets for a future sewing project.
This has been a really productive and valuable KCW for me. Not only have I made a nice variety of cute, and hopefully useful, pieces for the mini-dude, it has also really helped me get used to the idea of having a little boy in my life. It has been an opportunity to express some of the ideas and inspiration that I was discussing in this post. I like the blend of more traditional style garments (the shirt and the shorts) with the more modern (the drop crotch joggers and the geometric sweatshirt), and as I made these items I had about a thousand new ideas for more things that I want to make him.
I love all these garments and can't wait to see them worn by my future-son in the months/years to come, but my favourite item is probably the sweatshirt. The simple application of a tiny piece of contrast fabric has really elevated what would have been a fairly dull item, and it's left me with lots of ideas along this theme.
If you participated in KCW this season, how was it for you? What did you make and what was your favourite garment? Do you find it difficult to find an hour a day to sew? Did you have to fudge the timings a bit?!