Thursday, 16 January 2014

Toddler Leggings Vs Napping


No, this project not going to set the sewing world alight with it's complexity, but the fact that I have managed to make something, let alone something that is actually wearable, means that I win. My baby girl blessed me with a succession of tiny windows of opportunity (opportunities that perhaps I should have spent napping or trying to excavate the lounge under all the nappy sacks) to make her cousin Anya (18 months old) a couple of pairs of leggings for Christmas. 


Pattern:

'And then came Ottobre magazine, and lo, it was good...' My mum bought me a subscription of the children's version of Ottobre for my birthday last year and I flip out with excitement each time one appears on my door step. Well technically it's not my door step, we share it with another flat and the pub below (yes I live above a pub). I digress...

This pattern is a super simple toddler leggings pattern that consists of two pieces, a front and a back. I omitted the knee patch piece, but I have some ace ideas for making knee patched versions in the future. To be honest I haven't really got my head round baby and toddler sizing yet. These magazines use height guides rather than age suggestions, plus I haven't figured out if Ottobre patterns generally come up big/small etc. They then confuse things further by telling you age and heights of the models wearing the style. It nearly melted my sleep-deprived mind. But after some texting with my sister-in-law and further deliberation, I chose to make the smallest size (92cms) but add about 4cms to the leg length just in case. In the end they did come out a bit long, but they looked pretty cool with turn ups and it means that they should have a longer lifespan. 


The pattern is a great basic, but I feel that the illustrations are a little misleading. Even taking into account the extra 4cms I added to the leg length, I think the final garments (as seen at pictured at the top of this post) came out quite different in proportion to the stubby, baby wear-esque illustration in the magazine (pictured above). 

Fabric:

Anya is quite a girly girl so I chose some fabric from my stash that reflected that. The fabric on the left is some Liberty jersey that I've had knocking about for about as long as Anya is old. The fabric on the right I've had for longer, I acquired it at a sewing meet up/swap in Brighton a couple of years back, I think it used to belong to Tilly. Both are very sturdy jerseys with a good recovery, just what you need for a toddler, I'd imagine.


Details:

These garments are obviously pretty plain and functional items, so I added these little labels (also acquired from a sewing meet up/swap) to make them a little more special. I also think it's handy to clearly indicate in some way which is the front and back on an ambiguous garment style like this, particularly as getting babies and children dressed can be like trying to wrestle an octopus!  


Conclusion:

I think these came out really well and I was pleased to see got quite a few wearings by Anya whilst we were in town visit Pat's family. I'll definitely be making a whole stack of them for Dolores when she is big enough in a variety of solids and prints. I'll probably be doing that instead of napping. 

If you sew for babies/toddlers/children, do you have a favourite 'workhorse' pattern that you come back to again and again?

19 comments:

Kathryn said...

These look great! I haven't heard of that magazine before. I swear I'm fed up of being told 'nap when they nap' - it's not always that easy, or desirable! I'm snatching odd moments here & there to sew but if ten find myself just staring at my wee one while he naps! Have you seen Struggle Sews a Straight Seam's posts on free sewing patterns for wee ones? She gives some really cool patterns!

gingermakes said...

These are so cute! But, oh, I'm dying-- the little hipster on the cover of Ottobre is so cute! I'm certain I would squee myself to death if I subscribed!

Suzy said...

Those leggings are lovely, the fabric makes them very special. And well done on getting some sewing done, some days it feels like you deserve a gold medal for just getting everyone dressed and buying groceries with a little baby, so finished cute garments are definitely a cause for celebration.
Ottobre is brilliant, what a great birthday present.

badmomgoodmom said...

I'm a big fan of the Kwik Sew Sewing for Babies/Toddlers/Children series. They contain basic patterns that I used over and over.

I also posted some sizing tips when sewing for children.
http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2013/12/sewing-for-children-sizing-tips.html

Madalynne said...

So adorable! What a selfish seamstress you weren't this holiday!

Xenia Kathryn said...

The first children's pattern I ever bought was a $2.99 "Simplicity: Yes, it's Easy!" very simple A-line dress. I can't tell you how many times I've used it for my girls over the past 4 years. It's the perfect "sloper" for them :)

I also love the Quick Change Trousers from Anna Maria Horner's "Handmade Beginnings" I think I've made 10 pair.

These leggings are so cute! I'm itching to make some for my kids, I just bought the Fancy Pants Leggings patterns from Titchy Threads.

Naps are nice, but getting something accomplished is also nice :) Tough decisions all around-- welcome to motherhood! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Zoe, I am a regular Ottobre sewist ;-)
I have bought the womens edition since 2007 and as soon as I found out I was pregnant (in early 2010) I subscribed to the whole package. I generally feel that the patterns run rather big. I would recommend going with the measurements of the child - even if that means you would sew two sizes smaller than what she wears rtw. But here in Germany the sizing in rtw is also referenced in height (cm). I have noticed lately though that the patterns become slimmer than in the past. My girl is 3 now and in rtw she is wearing mostly 98 (she is 95 cm high) but with the ottobre measurments of her bust/waist/hip I could easily still sew size 86 (or smaller)- I generally tend to sew the size close to her height and always get a long time wear out of the garments (which I love). I have a tunic-style T-shirt that I sewed when she was 1,5 years that she can still wear ...
Oh, and the sewing with kid gets easier the older they get. I am now at a stage where she loves to accompany me in my sewing studio and watch me or she just finds some fun things to play with (like small scraps of fabric from the waste bin and her kids scissors) and that makes sewing while she is awake alot easier. When she was a baby I usually only sewed when she was napping - fortunately I got her into a regular two hour after lunch nap at around 4 months old...
Greets,
Susanne

Louise Perry said...

That magazine looks great. There are some awesome patterns for kids out there. I've just bought Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids but that is more for older children. (2 to 8 years). Sew when you can and enjoy these early days with your daughter

Annabellouise said...

These are so adorable. I'd love some in my size for pj bottoms. Congratulations on getting some sewing done with a baby. I never could.

Lisette said...

Very sweet! I love sewing for children even if I don't have any myself.

Catherine said...

I use Ottobre Creative workshop 301 for all my 3 boys T-shirt (by which I mean all the ones I make rather than all the ones in the drawer)... because when you have pregnancy/baby head OR manic mum head .. why make life hard for yourself testing out new patterns?? :-)

I also use Simplicity 4816 for PE short / PJ shorts etc



AND I knew those pattern numbers off by heart!!

I hardly ever napped in nap time either - it seemed like a waste though I probably should have ... so much TO DO...

Hazel_Myope said...

Sleep is important, but if you feel up to it then I don't see why you couldn't do something else.

eline said...

I love those leggings! They look super cute.
It makes me realize I haven't made anything for my little miss in a while, so I'll have to rectify that ;-)

Andrea Moran said...

Something tells me your baby girl is going to need a very large wardrobe pretty soon!

couturearts said...

Well done! That is quite an accomplishment when you have a baby to take care of.

Lovenicky said...

Love these leggings! I think this is a simple pattern that you can modify/alter as the little ones grow up. I have used the tried-and-true Toddler pants pattern from Simplicity 3765 for 2 years for my boy and now for my little girl. It`s only 1 piece (no outer side seams). I just kept adding more length and width to the pattern and I made more than 10 pairs of pants with it. It`s super quick and easy! (You can see more on my blog post: http://lovenicky-froufrou.blogspot.ca/2011/04/contractions-as-sewing-motivator.html).
p.s. Don`t forget you need your sleep too! ;-)

Stephanie @ Swoodson Says said...

I just bought my first Ottobre to try! I didn't get any sewing done until my son was at least 5 months old. Go you!

Jen said...

I love Ottobre and I have to say that I like so many of the patterns that I don't have a specific favorite, although there is a trouser pattern that I've done twice for my son. I also adore the Farbenmix patterns for my girls and the adult ones for ladies aren't bad, either.

Eddie said...

So happy to see another Ottobre magazine lover. It's really good. Did you also get the womens version in your subscription?
XX Eddie

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