This week (20th - 26th April) I'm taking part in the Kids Clothes Week sewing challenge (as I explained here). I've taken part in two KCW challenges previously, and at the end of each of those I published a summary post sharing all the things I made during those weeks. I then wrote more detailed posts for each of the garments I made afterwards. This time I'm switching things around: I'm going to write individual posts for the garments I make as I go, and then write a summary post next week. I'm doing this for pretty boring blog post scheduling reasons; I've got a lot of posts I want to share on the run up to and throughout Me-Made-May. So anyway, let's get on with why we're here: I made a frikkin' garment.
I've talked about how awesome Ottobre magazine is many times before. I have seven issues, and four of those are proving particularly useful, my most recent acquisition, the Spring 1/2015 issue (pictured below) being one of them.
I like to put Dolores in garments made from knit fabric so she can scamp around unimpeded. I've made sooo many pairs of the Playful Kitty leggings that it's ridiculous (and now getting a bit boring to make them), so I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a knit-trouser pattern variation. The streaky legs sweatpants pattern (pictured below) looked like a fun alternative to leggings: nice and roomy for playing in and certainly spacious enough to accommodate a nappy!
The pattern consists of three pieces, a whole two pieces more than the Playful Kitty leggings pattern (!), but I tried not to let that put more off! It's still a crazy simple garment project: a front cut on the fold, a back cut on the fold (although mine has a seam running down the centre back because of fabric limitation) and a pair of ankle cuffs.
If I had to find a negative about this pattern, I'd say it isn't the most efficient child's trousers pattern ever, in terms of fabric usage. I'd consider making a centre back seam in other versions in the future, like this leopard print pair has (see below), except the centre back seam was made for me in this case as it existed in the original skirt that I made these from.
Dolores is a bit of a skinny-malinx, so I combined sizes: size 80 for the width, and 86 for the length. They are currently a bit big for her, but I'm pleased with that as I want her to get maximum use from them.
I constructed them entirely in my overlocker, omitting the (IMO weird) topstitching detail that's meant to go round the crotch seam. The only bit that my regular sewing machine got involved in was stitching the casing to feed the elastic through. I recently got a new sewing machine that can do stitches I hadn't previously tried before, so I used a lightening flash stitch (which is really narrow but has more stretch-ability than a normal straight stitch) and was really pleased with the result. Normally I stitch my elastic round the waist with a three-step zigzag. That stitch has lots of stretch but because the stitch goes through the actual elastic, the waist size can't be adjusted at a later date without an epic unpicking session. I'll definitely use the lightening flash/elastic tunnel method again.
You know me, almost always stash-bustin' or refashioning where possible. And this project was no exception. I bought a large knit pencil skirt from a charity shop towards the end of last year with the intention of remaking it for myself. The original skirt was more or less a knee-length tube with an elasticated waist. I used the Colette patterns Mabel skirt pattern (see here for my conclusions on that), but I wasn't particularly happy with the outcome. Although pretty thick, the fabric was much more drapey than the striped fabric of my other Mabel version/s and the leopard Mabel came out wayyyy too big. By that point I was pretty much over the Mabel skirt pattern, so stashed the skirt away to remake into something for Dolores.
As I say, this leopard knit fabric is actually really drapey. The streaky legs sweatpants pattern calls for sweatshirt fabric, but I think this floppy leopard stuff gives the pattern quite a harem pants type look. The leopard skirt wasn't big enough to cut the front, back and cuffs from it, so the cuffs ended up being cut from a small piece of black jersey that I had left over from a big piece that became many other garments (including my black Dolores batwing tunic and 3/4 length sleeved Bronte top). I'd like to make this sweatpants/trousers pattern again in something thicker and more sturdy like sweatshirting for the winter, but I wonder if they'd be as comfy and if a thicker fabric would feel really bulky between the legs due to the dropped crotch style.
As you can see from the picture above, Dolores wasn't quite sure about them initialy! I put them on her and she kind of stared at them for a while, I guess trying to figure out what was going on down there. She seemed to get over them fairly quickly though and got on with her usual high levels of busy-ness. And me? I love them! I'm super pleased that a charity shop score that was then turned into a FAIL eventually became a fun and wearable garment. It'll take a few 'proper' wears (rather than this little test/modelling sesh) to see if this style really is functional, or if the bagginess around the crotch creates some problems, like when she's strapped into her pushchair perhaps.
Does anyone else have any experience of putting their kids in this style of trousers? Any problems caused by the dropped crotch?