This is continuing the theme of t-shirts that are long enough to cover my daughter’s upper body. Given that it has been 90 degrees for the last few days, these were made last fall when it was still cold. If she needed short sleeve shirts for summer, I would make this pattern again. The School bus t-shirt is a simple pattern that will be in use for a long time.
Pattern: School Bus T-Shirt from Oliver and S
Pattern Description (from designer): This basic kid’s T-shirt sewing pattern can be made several different ways. With a long-sleeve and two short-sleeve options, you’ll get endless use from this easy and quick-to-sew style.
Pattern Retail Price: $8.95
Fabric Required: 3/4 yard for up to size 8
Amount of fabric used: I got away with about 1/2 yard, would be less for short sleeves.
Sizing: Comes in 6 month to 4 years, then the next size range is 5 years to 12 years. I made a 2T based on chest measurements with 4T length.
Alterations: I added another inch to the second one because the length on the first one was perfect for now.
Instructions: This is a simple shirt, but the instructions are detailed and have enough information for someone who has never made a t-shirt before.
Pattern Issues: None. I had to add a lot of length, but I have to do that to all patterns and store bought shirts are too short.
Fabric Choice: I used pink thermal and deer thermal that I bought from Nature’s Fabric last year. I had a yard of each, and made a long sleeve shirt last winter and this winter from them. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have enough useable scraps to keep using these fabrics. I should buy more of the deer while it’s in stock, because she loved it.
Finished Product: The school bus t-shirt is a cute, simple tee that is long enough to wear in public (because I can make it longer!).
Notes for future makes: Add more length – 4T + 1″
Final Thoughts: I’m happy to have a simple t-shirt pattern to use until she hits size 12.
My daughter thinks that dinosaurs are awesome, and loves purple. Luckily, Lizzy House made this amazing purple dinosaur fabric while she is in this phase!
Pattern: Oliver & S 2+2 Blouse
Pattern Description (from designer): Here comes the school bus! Girl’s tunic-length, A-line blouse features neckband ties, gathered front with applied patch, and button back, options for long and short sleeves.
Pattern Retail Price: $13.95
Fabric Required: 1 yard for 2T, view A
Amount of fabric used: I was happy I had the full yard because I wanted to make sure the dinosaurs lined up.
Sizing: 6 months – 8 years
Alterations: I added extra length so she can wear it longer.
Instructions: Mostly easy to follow. The gathering in the front was a little confusing the first time I did it because I was having trouble picturing what fabric was ending up covered versus needing to be finished. It’s not quite as neat as I would like, but next time I make this I’ll be fine.
Pattern Issues: None
Fabric Choice: This is a quilting cotton, which works well for this pattern. Does it get better than purple dinosaurs? Not for my purple-loving, dinosaur obsessed daughter!
Finished Product: This shirt is adorable. My daughter is not quite sure what she should do with the ties though. Sometimes she ignores them, some days she pulls on them continuously.
Notes for future makes: Add more length. I think I made it 2T with 4T length, and I wish I had added a little more length so she can wear it longer.
Final Thoughts: I wasn’t sure how my daughter was going to feel about the buttons all the way down the back, but she doesn’t seem to even notice them. This is a cute shirt, and even though it’s a bit of work, it’s adorable and I want to make it again.
This winter I was really tired of buying shirts for my daughter that were too short, so I made several shirts and dresses for her that are long enough for her to not immediately grow out of. I had made a previous version of the Eleanor Dress pattern as a shirt, but can’t find a picture of it – despite the fact that she wore it all last winter! I really like the dress version of this pattern.
Pattern: Eleanor Dress from Shwin Designs
Pattern Description (from designer): Everyone loves a knit dress, comfy and easy to wear. The pattern also has the option for a top. This knit dress pattern comes with many options to create simple by stylish knit dresses. From an oversized collar to ribbing at the neck, long or short sleeves and every combination of them all. This one pattern will take you through many seasons and with the sizes 12m-8years included it will take you through many years of wear.
Pattern Retail Price: $9 for PDF
Fabric Required: 3/4 yard for 2T
Amount of fabric used: I was using leftover fabric from another project so I don’t know exactly what I had, but the amount seems accurate.
Sizing: Includes 12 months to 8 years. My daughter’s chest was in the 2T range, and that’s what I made and I am pleased with the fit. Due to the stretch of the fabric, she is still wearing this dress even though she is now wearing 3T and slim-fit 4Ts in RTW.
Alterations: I made this exactly as designed.
Instructions: They are step by step instructions with a photo for each step. The samples are in a solid color so it is easy to see what is happening, and I like that the short sleeve and long sleeve samples were in different colors so I skip the instructions that didn’t apply to the version I was making.
Pattern Issues: None.
Fabric Choice: I used an athletic fabric that I bought from Fabric Mart last year on a super sale. I think it’s meant for leggings, but it makes a really cozy shirt/dress.
Finished Product: This dress is cute. My daughter loves the pockets.
Notes for future makes: Baste the pleats down prior to sewing the skirt to the bodice.
Final Thoughts: I will probably make the short sleeved version again as it warms up. It’s a cute dress that my daughter didn’t want to take off after trying it on to make sure it fit. Now that she is getting into the “dresses are the best” phase, she likes it even more! I like it because it is a dress that she can still run around with her friends in.
I was going back through the draft section in my blog and discovered some old posts that never got published. This is one of them, originally from fall 2014, but the information is still valid although old.
Pattern: Oliver and S Class Picnic Blouse
Pattern Description (from designer): The raglan-sleeve pull-on blouse includes gathers at the yokes, elastic at the shoulders, three-quarter-length sleeves, and wide hems.
Fabric Required: For the 12-18 month size, 1 yard.
Amount of fabric used: I am not 100% sure because my mom cut these out for me. I think you could probably do it with 3/4 yards for the smallest sizes.
Sizing: My daughter’s chest is the 12-18 month width, and 2T in height, and it fits well.
Alterations: None, other than to add the extra length to the shirt
Instructions: Through my own fault, I did not realize there was elastic at the shoulders to make the neck line. This part of the pattern therefore confused me very much because it seemed like such a crazy way to make the sleeve and collar. Once I figured out the reason there was a casing, it made much more sense. Liesl never makes her patterns crazy, so I don’t know why I thought this one was. When I make more of these shirts next fall, it will be much easier.
- Tip: In the instructions, it recommends pulling on the elastic when cutting it to get the cut as close to the fabric as possible. When I did this, I had the elastic actually pull out of the seam twice. I found it was better to have a little over 1/8″ of the elastic sticking out and live with it not being perfect that to have the frustration of the elastic pulling out of the seam.
Pattern Issues: No issues with the pattern that weren’t a result of me not reading through them completely before starting the project.
Fabric Choice: The green one is a 100% cotton shirting, and it was a dream to sew up. The orange plaid one is a very loosely woven double gauze that was a nightmare to cut and sew, but the end result is so cute, it almost makes the hassle worth it. The orange one is also semi-sheer so it probably should have been lined, or I should have used a double layer for the bodice portion.
Finished Product: These shirts were the perfect shirts for a fall day. They are comfortable for my daughter, easy to wear and play in, not fussy at all, and look great.
Husband’s opinion: Also a fan, wants me to make more of them.
Notes for future makes: No notes, great as is.
Final Thoughts: I am definitely making more of these.
I managed to make a 2nd item for Kids Clothes Week! This was just a quick rectangle skirt made from 1/2 yard of fabric with a gathered waist and a deep hem, but it was the perfect spirit item to wear to my husband’s picnic for his department at NC State.
This fabric was printed ridiculously off grain, so I cut based on the print rather than the grain, and then ironed it into submission.
It was a little long – like Little House on the Prairie long, so I hemmed it up 3 inches, and it’s still slightly long.
It was a quick and easy skirt – or would have been if I didn’t have the owner of said skirt on my lap “helping” unthread the serger and sewing machine. She loved the attention she got wearing the skirt, and many of the students loved her support of their school. Plus, it’s long enough that it will still fit if my husband goes back to NC State to get his PhD someday 😉
I originally had not planned to participate in Kid’s Clothes Week this week because I have quite a few other obligations that need to be finished. Then, I was working on a particularly frustrating quilt top, so I needed to just take a break from quilting/piecing for a morning. I decided that following an easy pattern was just what I needed before tackling that other project. Therefore, I present to you the Little Zippy Top.
Pattern: Little Zippy Top from See Kate Sew
Pattern Description (from designer): This top is a versatile woven top with an exposed zipper on the back! Make it with all your favorite fabrics! This top is perfect for beginners and quick and fun to sew! Requires very little fabric and a little zipper!
Pattern Price: $9 full price, but watch for sales.
Fabric Required: 1/2 yard for size 4T and smaller
Amount of fabric used: 1/2 yard!
Sizing: Comes in size 18M to 10.
Alterations: This shirt is a little short, in my opinion. I used the 4T length hoping to get a little more wear out of the shirt, and it needed that length just to be wearable now on my daughter.
Instructions: Some of the steps were in a little bit of a weird order. For example, you don’t stay stitch the neckline until step 6 by which point you’ve already handled it quite a bit so if it was going to stretch out, I think it would have by then. I also prefer to do prep-type work at the beginning, but that’s my personal preference versus a pattern issue. For example, step 7 is to fuse the interfacing to the facing pieces. That’s something I prefer to do first before I get into sewing the piece of clothing.
Pattern Issues: Instructions are adequate, but not my preferred style of construction. For example, you don’t under stitch the facing to the seam allowance. Instead, you just topstitch the whole neckline. Which is fine, but that step has you also topstitch around the zipper opening prior to the zipper being installed, which leads you to have to install the zipper while insanely carefully trying to topstitch over the line of stitching already there. I probably made more work for myself by under stitching the neckline, then installing the zipper and just continuing on to topstitch around the neckline in one go.
Fabric Choice: Cute cupcake fabric that was on sale from Fort Worth Fabric Studio. The actual name of the fabric is Love At First Bite by Color Bakery for Windham Fabrics. Quilting cotton works fine for the shirt.
Finished Product: It’s a cute shirt. I wish the neck was a little bit higher in front. Sometimes the shirt has a tendency to sit forward a little more than it should, so that may be why the neckline looks lower than it should.
Husband’s opinion: I like the exposed zipper, and the fabric.
Notes for future makes: I think I will go up a size in width, and at least one more size in length (to 5T for a little girl that wears 2T in ready to wear). My daughter is pretty skinny, but likes to “help” put her clothes on by sticking her arms out straight in whatever direction that makes it impossible to get a woven shirt on, so I’m hoping a little extra width will help make dressing her a little bit easier.
Final Thoughts: I had high hopes for this shirt being one that I go to again and again, but I’m not sure that I will. It’s like when someone tells you a restaurant has the best hamburger they’ve ever had in their entire life… your hopes get high and no hamburger is going to live up to what you have built up in your head. I had higher hopes for this pattern, so I think that’s why I’m a little disappointed.
I didn’t keep track of time, but it wasn’t quite as fast of a make as I was hoping. Then again, if I made multiples, it would go faster. Making sure the zipper is evenly installed takes longer than buttonholes and sleeves do for me. I also don’t really like how the zipper is installed. The zipper seemed to be annoying my daughter last night when we were sitting on the couch together. I still like how little fabric it uses, so I may try it again just for that reason.
I guess for now, I’ll see how often I dress her in it before deciding if it’s a total win or bust.