Alrighty! The last garment I made for last week's Kid's Clothes Week. Taking the 'Wild Things' theme in a slightly calmer direction than the two leopard print garments, here's a little denim pinafore dress with leather fawn appliqué and galloping horses on the facings.
Remember the pile of awesome children's sewing patterns I was given last year? This pinafore pattern (Newlook 6578, pictured below) was amongst them, given to me by lovely Adey from The Sew Convert. This pattern has been playing on my mind since I received it, it looks like such a useful (as well as quick!) potential project that could work in many different fabrics.
So having actually used it, I can definitely confirm that it is both a quick and a simple make. In fact, the pattern includes some appliqué shapes and a stupid head-triangle in an attempt to make it look a bit trickier! My copy of the pattern was still factory folded when I opened it up, so all sizes were in tact. I traced the size 2. I'm sure you'll be bored of me saying this by now but I have to: this garment came out a bit big for Dolores to wear right now, but that was my aim as I want her to get full use from it. The only thing the pattern didn't call for which I probably would do next time is to stitch a row of topstitching/edge-stitching all around the top and along the straps. Not that there's anything stopping me from adding it to this version, aside from my own laziness!
I think I may have made a bit of a mistake here. I used some more of the slightly stretchy denim that I'd also made my denim sweet shorts fail from. I thought the stretch in the denim might make it more comfortable to wear, but I fear the fabric is a bit too thick. The shape sticks out a bit like a lampshade, but I'm hoping that will be less apparent when she is a bit bigger and fills it out more.
The appliqué, however, I am super pleased with. I have a small stash of leather samples that were given to me by Claire from Sew Incidentally (how generous is the sewing community?!). I believe she rescued them from a bin at work! I've had this fawn outline print out since I worked at Traid where I used to do appliquéing from time to time, but hadn't used this particular design before. I think this appliqué works perfectly for children's wear: it's a cute addition, but not too girly when cut out of leather. I used a fancy new foot on my sewing machine to make sewing leather easier, but I'll write about that in more detail when I review some sewing machine feet in a post that will publish in June.
I'm also very happy with the choice of fabric for the facings. This light-weight horse print cotton used to be part of a dress that was donated to me by my friend Umi. There was a massive rip under one arm that would have been extremely difficult to mend so it got assigned to the cutting up pile instead. Umi's dress was really tiny and the style was comprised of panels so it was tricky to harvest much fabric from it, so children's wear it was destined to be! I think these facings look great in this print.
I'm really glad to have found such a great pinafore pattern and I intend to make a stack of these over the next few years (the pattern goes up to size 4). They will be great for layering with vests, t-shirts, tights and cardigans. Plus the basic shape is a fabulous canvas for all sorts of creative use of appliqués or applied pockets, or for playing with details like a scalloped hem. Do you have any ideas how this pinafore pattern could be jazzed up?
My poor choice of fabric is a bit annoying though. It made for easy appliquéing but the sticky-outiness of the overall shape looks a bit silly. I'm still going to put her in it though, and I'm hoping that it'll soften after several wears and washes with fabric conditioner.