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.
I’m continuing my Kid’s Clothes Week theme of fall useful clothing with my Roller Skate Tunic Pattern Review.
Pattern: Oliver and S Roller Skate Tunic and Dress (digital version) This is a great pattern for the digital side, because there is not that much to print. It was a nice change from some of the huge patterns I have printed off lately.
Pattern Description (from designer): This cute and easy dress can also be made as a tunic, with two different styles for each length. All views include built-in cap sleeves, Empire-waist elastic casing, and keyhole-with-button opening at back.
Fabric Required: For 12-18 month size, 3/4 yard of both the lining and outer fabric. One button for the back closing… a lion button makes any kid’s shirt better!
Amount of fabric used: I’m pretty sure I could have cut it out of a half yard cut of fabric.
Sizing: My daughter’s chest size matched the 12-18 month size exactly, so I made the 12-18 width with 2T length.
Alterations: The only change I made was to add some length.
Instructions: This is a pretty simple shirt to construct, and the instructions are good (as always from Oliver and S). The marking of the line where the elastic casing goes was a bit tedious, but there are better tools that make it easier (I just don’t own them). The method to use carbon paper and a tracing wheel would be infinitely faster, easier, and more accurate.
Pattern Issues: I measured the elastic to be the exact width of her chest (plus the seam allowance) as directed, but I think it’s a little tight. Not uncomfortable tight, but when she lifts her arms, the shirt rides up and stays up. In my next version I will make the elastic a little bit looser so it hopefully won’t have that issue. You can see what I mean in the picture below…
Fabric Choice: I used quilting cotton for the outside and voile as the lining. The weight works well together.
Finished Product: Overall, I think it’s a cute shirt. I already have another one cut out, it just needs to be sewn up. I think with the cutout, the neckline is a little low on my daughter. Maybe for her size, it gets low proportion wise? I’ve seen a lot of other versions of this dress and never had thought before, but sometimes there is a little more food stuck in the top after a meal than is ideal. Until she gets into larger sizes I don’t plan on using the cutout again.
Husband’s opinion: He doesn’t like how it rides up, but hopefully loosening the elastic will take care of that.
Notes for future makes: As stated above, I will make the elastic a little bit looser in my next version and probably not use the cut out option until she is a little bit older.
Final Thoughts: The Roller skate tunic is a well designed pattern that creates a good looking dress. I like how it is lined, and think it is a very flattering and cute silhouette for a little girl.
Also, the pants are the Oliver and S Sandbox Pants that I made for the Winter 2014 KCW (last January).
Here in North Carolina, fall sewing looks a lot like summer sewing for a good reason. Last week, I think we had about 80 good reasons to wear short sleeves and still sew short sleeves this far into fall. Therefore, my latest project and review is the free Izzy Top from Climbing the Willow.
This is also the unofficial start of Kid’s Clothes Week for me! We have some family stuff next weekend, so in my personal version, KCW runs from 18-24 October instead of 20-26 October.
Pattern: Izzy Top from Climbing the Willow. Available for free in sizes 18 months – 12 years.
Pattern Description (from designer): The Izzy Top is a sweet, feminine curved yoke top pattern that closes with a button (or snap) tab in the back. It is a very simple pattern to make and only requires basic sewing skills.
Fabric Required: 1/2 yard of main print, 1/4 yard lining for 18 months and 2 years.
Amount of fabric used: every last bit of 1/2 yard of the main fabric. I had to actually reduce the width of the flared portion to fit in a half yard.
Sizing: The 18 month size is recommended for a 19.5 inch chest. The designer also mentions that she designed it to fit true ready to wear sizes. I think that is pretty accurate. My daughter’s chest is 18.75 inches right now, and I’m glad I have the little bit of ease because it makes it easier to get on and off. Also, my daughter has a huge head and needed every bit of the neckline to get it on and off.
Alterations: I added 1.5 inches to the length because my daughter is about a 2T in height. I used a snap for the back enclosure because I didn’t feel like doing button holes.
Instructions: The instructions were good. There are pictures for every step. The only change I made was to baste the bodice to the skirt portion prior to serging them together. I basted one one top, and did not on the other and the one I basted first turned out nicer. Most shirts/dresses I have made in this style have the seam mid-chest enclosed, and at first I was annoyed that it was not, but the seam doesn’t seem to bother my daughter and it was faster a little bit easier to serge the seam. If you don’t have a serger, you would probably want to lengthen the lining piece about half an inch to be able to enclose the seam. Or you could do a french seam, or a flat felled seam there as well without issue.
Pattern Issues: None. This is a free tutorial, and I think for it being free, she did a great job! The pattern fit as advertised, there are photos for every step, and it is a cute shirt.
Fabric Choice: One shirt was a Lisette voile from a year or two ago. The other shirt I made from chambray dots. I purchased it in person at Mulberry Silks in Carborro, NC, but I’m pretty sure this burgundy chambray dot is the same one. It’s a heavier weight than the voile, but still works well for this shirt.
Finished Product: This is an adorable shirt for a toddler. The shirt is a little wide for my taste. I prefer the blue one that I didn’t have enough fabric to make the full width, so I will probably reduce the width again when I make this in the future.
Husband’s opinion: Likes it, but agrees that the full width is a little too full.
Final Thoughts: This is a well put together tutorial in a wide range of sizes that I will most likely make again as she grows out of the current versions. I even like it as it gets colder because I can either layer it over a long sleeve shirt, or put a cardigan over it. I think in the spring I would like to try it with a knit for the bottom portion.
Notes for future makes: Reduce the width of the bottom portion. I think in the spring I would like to try it with a knit for the bottom portion.
For this spring version of Kid’s Clothes week, I made the Apple Loungewear Leggings. It was 80 this weekend in my part of North Carolina, and Monday it was rainy and 45 degrees. Then again today, was mid-60’s so the weather is just crazy. Either way, summer is not yet 100% here, so the little girl needs leggings.
Size: 12-18 months
Sizing: The sizing was chart was pretty good. Technically, she would have been in the 6-9 month waist size, but I’m glad I sized up to her RTW size. These fit more comfortably, and will be worn longer. My daughter is a tall, thin 14 month old and these leggings fit her incredibly well. The length is good. Most purchased pants are too short on here, and they would not have needed the extra length I added.
The leggings even work well under a dress, especially for a new walker that still trips occasionally.
Fabric: Purple floral purchased from Girl Charlee forever ago, so it looks like they no longer have it. It’s a fairly substantial knit, I didn’t write it down but I’m guessing it is at least 8 oz, maybe 9 oz knit. It is a great weight for leggings.Instructions: These leggings have three pieces, and are incredibly easy to construct. They are a super fast sew.
Overall Impression: I like these leggings, and plan to make more pairs. I wasn’t sure about the fold over waistband at first, but it fits right under her toddler tummy and helps keep the pants up without requiring elastic in the waist. This pattern is a winner!
Linking up to Anything Goes Monday.