My first make for the summer Kid's Clothes Week challenge! I must admit that, even though the challenge officially started just yesterday (22nd June), I actually made this at the weekend. This is because I'll be working all next weekend so won't get a chance to sew at all, so I was 'making time'. Not that this was a particularly time consuming garment, it could have easily been completed in a day if there were no cheeky toddler about requiring entertaining, feeding, changing etc.
Pattern and Construction:
The names of the garment patterns in Ottobre magazine usually relates to the fabric they have used in the version photographed. I say this in the hope that it won't be odd when stating that I used the Meow Meow sweatshirt pattern for this project! The spring 1/2015 edition of Ottobre magazine (pictured above) has been well worth the tenner it cost as this is the second or third pattern I've used from it with many more that I plan to try in the future.
The Meow Meow sweatshirt is a simple batwing style comprising of just one piece for the front, one for the back and a neck band. Dolores currently fits about a Size 80, but seeing as we are coming into summer, I chose to make the Size 86 so hopefully it'll fit her during the Autumn or even next Spring. Having said that, it's come out massive, but I'm sure it'll fit at some point! I may trace out the Size 80 for this Autumn after all...
I knew that I would be making a self neck binding rather than ribbing as recommended by the pattern, so I applied the lesson I learnt from the Lightning Flash raglan sweatshirt and cut the neck binding piece 2 cm longer than the pattern piece suggests. After faffing about with the appliqué, the actual garment construction was super quick, as I'm sure you can imagine from a pattern that consists of just two pieces plus binding. I couldn't even be bothered to switch back and forth between my sewing machine and overlocker, so I stitched it all on my regular sewing machine using a narrow lightning stitch for the seams.
I hemmed the bottom and the sleeves with my newly befriended twin needle, as well as topstitching down the neck binding seam allowance. I took it slowly, particularly round the neckline, as my twin needle is realistically too fine to be forced through all those layers. We won though.
Fabric and Applique:
Instead of using sweatshirting as recommend by the pattern, I used yet more of the synthetic maroon double knit from my stash that, apparently, will never run out. I previously used it to make myself Hudson pants/jogging bottoms (which, despite all my moaning about the fit, I've worn HEAPS about the house) and countless pairs of toddler leggings. I'm not sure if this double knit is quite stretchy enough for this pattern, time will tell when Dolores is big enough to wear it, so I'm kind of treating this as an experiment and am not too emotionally attached to this garment.
Back in the day (well, about ten years ago) I used to make a lot of appliquéd bags and I've really got back into appliqué to embellish clothes for Dolores (see aforementioned Lightning flash sweatshirt and Fawn pinafore dress). Running with the KCW theme of Traveling, I took it in the direction of languages that you may encounter when traveling around the world. I used a scrap of star print denim/chambray that was recently and kindly donated to me by Gill from Vintage Rock Chick which I fused with bondaweb before cutting the letters out. I also applied some fusible interfacing on the back of the front piece covering the area that would be appliquéd. I then used a satin stitch (basically a zigzag stitch with the stitch length cranked down to 0.2) and a fancy appliqué machine foot (blog post coming soon...) to stitch round the edges of each letter.
The ideas for this top, or at least something similar, had been floating round my brain for a while. I'm glad that this top now exists so that bit of brain-space can now be filled with new project ideas. However, I'm not sure if the reality has been as successful as I pictured it to be. I can't decide if it's a poor fabric choice for this type of garment, a poor fabric choice in general, a poor colour combination, a poor choice of appliqué thread colour, or what.
As I say, I wasn't overly attached to this project and am ok with winning some and losing others. I'll put it away now and pull it back out when Dolores is big enough to wear it. Hopefully then I will gain some insight about what is wrong with it, or if in fact it isn't that bad after all. As Marilla Walker wisely commented on a previous blog post of mine, 'Time is an excellent healer, especially when everything else is in the wash!!!'. Amen to that.