Summer is sizzling here at the moment and we’re not that prepared. We haven’t experienced a really warm summer for such a long time it seems. We’re all short of summer clothes. I have bought some board shorts for the kids so we can go to the beach without fetching pockets full of sand home and I’ve made Maddy a pair of shorts with matching vest. The main fabric is left over linen from some trousers that I made for my nephew, and the jersey was bought to go with it. I’m hoping to make her a casual dress with this jersey too, as it will be so comfortable.
It was a squeeze to get the shorts out of the remnant linen; there was very little left when the pieces were cut out. Maddy prefers shorts to be longer and I didn’t have enough to do a hem so I trimmed the bottom with ribbon and pulled some threads to give a frayed edge.
Maddy’s inspiration came whilst we were shopping for thread, she spotted a frog that she had to have. It was supposed to iron on but it didn’t feel very secure so I went round it with some green thread. The end result was really good and very well recieved. The shorts are going to have to be smuggled out of the bedroom and into the wash basket but the top has already been removed. It didn’t last an hour before juice was spilled down the front, not bad enough that she had to take it off so she was able to wear it when we went for a walk along the seafront. It was so hot yesterday it was the perfect outfit.
The shorts are cut-off trousers from Burda – 142 05/2011 again! The t-shirt is Riviera from Sewing Clothes Kids Love. I am going to make another t-shirt for Maddy to wear with these shorts and then maybe go back to the blue shorts. I do, however, have a commitment to Dom to make some jeans. He has been badgering me for a while so the blue shorts thankfully will be pushed down the queue.
As this year’s challenge was to work my way through my fabric stash, obviously I went out and bought more. To be fair, I went to buy a zip to turn the left over linen from Dom’s trousers into shorts for Maddy and this fabric looked so summery that she needed it. I’d made some leggings, (Riviera from Sewing Clothes Kids Love) with leftover navy jersey from Dom’s t-shirt, which I thought would go well with the dress until it got warmer (fingers crossed we get a summer this year). I am trying to use all the recenty bought fabric up so it doesn’t disappear in the chest with the stash. The dress I had in mind was 142 from Burda magazine 04/2011 and it was relatively easy to put together.
The first challenge was the pleats in the front of the dress, the instructions didn’t appear to make any sense until I actually had a go and realised that the second fold overlapped the first; I should have just gone ahead earlier rather than looking at it frowning! The second challenge was the invisible zip, but again that wasn’t difficult, just the idea of it was a bit daunting. The final challenge was the hem – how could I remember how to set a sleeve but stumble on a hem? When I added a seam allowance I continued along the line of the pattern, which obviously made that circumference larger than the inside of the dress to which it was to be sewn. I frowned a bit more, and contemplated, and decided to add a ribbon to the edge and then sew that to the inside – that did the trick! Next time I will taper the seem allowance in, or I may just add ribbon again as it is quite cute.
The dress is lovely and I have met the challenges. However, I think next time I will make the smaller size and lengthen the pattern, as I did with her trousers, because it is a bit too big on her. For the trousers I made an age 6 and added an inch to the top and a couple to the bottom. I assumed for a dress the size wouldn’t be such a problem as it wasn’t fitted around her waist. I made the age 7, because that is closer to her height than the age 8, but I’m not sure whether it’s because of all of the fabric in the pleats or whether the dress is too big but it’s super spacious. I think it might benefit from a reduction in length so I may remove about 3 inches but then it might not be suitable without leggings. It’s probably not much of problem as there are very few occasions that we can persuade her into a dress!
I finally finished Maddy’s trousers. It took me a while to get round to putting the ankle cuffs on because I was a little apprehensive about her wearing them. They are the same as Dom’s blue linen’s, Burda 142 (5/2011) but in a really bold print cord. Both fabrics and the t-shirt jersey are from myfabrics, a risk because I didn’t get to touch it before buying, but a gamble which paid off as it was all lovely. It took her about a week to put them on but then I had to steal them from her bedroom to wash whilst she was sleeping. This is the finished article:
They are no less vivid in the flesh! She tried them with a white t-shirt/blouse but that was too light and stuck to the cord. Then we tried a white and turquoise striped t-shirt – that looked ok. She is wearing the same t-shirt on the next picture but in navy/white. I may have to make a pale orange or turquoise t-shirt to bring the volume down a bit but her fave is a definite no-no with these.
searching for crabs
There was a fault with the cord which I hadn’t noticed prior to making them but the customer services at myfabrics is excellent, they have sent replacement fabric of my choice as this was no longer available. Hopefully she will have outgrown these before a hole appears where the fault is. The replacement is going to be pedal pushers, but I am currently working on a dress to go with the leggings made from leftover blue jersey.