The last few months have been really productive for me, sewing-wise. I've been making time to sew almost everyday, as I've figured out that I really need to do so for the benefits on my mental health. But with all the Me-Made-May'15 documentation posts and the celebration giveaways recently, I have ended up with a bit of a backlog of projects to share with you, all along with other stuff I want to post about. So I better get on with it...
Here's a top that you would have seen briefly if you'd read my Thoughts on Organic Cotton post. It's the second garment that I squeezed out of the metre of maroon organic jersey that was sent to me by Only Organic Fabric Shop (the first being a pair of ruched leggings).
The children's wear editions of the Ottobre magazines are so awesome for knit patterns. This is the Autumn Forest jersey top pattern from the 4/2014 edition of Ottobre magazine, and although the version photographed in the magazine was made in all the one print, it is ripe for contrast details. I think this pattern could be made in so many different ways, and end up looking totally different each time, which is one of the things I look for when deciding which pattern I can be arsed to trace out. Plus, with this specific pattern you could easily shorten the sleeves or lengthen it into a dress.
The other reason why I decided to try this pattern was that the silhouette looked pretty skinny, as is Dolores. Recently I've started combining sizes on garments for her as a matter of course, using one size for the width and the next size up for the length. But I went for the straight Size 86 (the smallest for this pattern) as it already seemed to reflect her proportions. Perhaps the line drawing (pictured below) is meant to represent the larger sizes which are graded to get considerably longer but not much wider than the smallest, or perhaps the drawing is just not that accurate, as the finished garment (see the picture at the top of the post) is not as skinny as the drawing suggested it would be. I'm sure it'll fine though, it's the same proportions as most of the secondhand, shop-bought long sleeved T-shirts she already owns anyway.
I'm also a tiny bit disappointed that the gathered front section isn't as gathered as the drawing indicates it would be. I may slash and flare the pattern out for a bit more fullness for next time. Alternatively, I may concentrate the gathering into a smaller distance so it ends up a bit of a bolder feature.
This top is still too big for her really, right now she's more of a Size 80. I just wanted to try it on her and get some pictures, and I think that including some modelled photos in a blog post where possible is always more fun.
As previously mentioned, the maroon cotton jersey was given to me to review, and I did so pretty thoroughly in the ruched leggings post. I deliberately made a garment that could be worn immediately (the leggings) so I could find out quickly how this fabric copes with multiple wearings and washes, and another garment that is too big to have in the 'bank'. This cotton jersey is beautifully soft and fine, a great fabric for making children's wear from.
The contrast anchor fabric that I used for the yoke and sleeves bindings came from a vintage 70's T-shirt that was too small for me to wear as it was. If it's looking familiar to you that's because I harvested some of it a few years ago to make my Mariner T-shirt. I guess it is inevitable that children are dressed in their parents' style, until they are big enough to assert their own will on the matter! I think that, until kids do start to express an opinion about their clothing, all you can do is try to consider the personality and usual activities of the child you are sewing for, and just have fun with it. Initially, I planned on using a delicate stretch lace overlay for the yoke section of this top, then I remembered who I was sewing for and decided that would not reflect the personality of my crazy little girl!
I can definitely see myself making this pattern again, however I won't attach the neck binding as I have done here. I tried to cut corners by simply overlocking a folded strip of fabric to the neckline, as I would with a women's garment, but when the curve of the neck hole is so tight it clearly doesn't sit very well, despite pressing the hell out of it. I've learnt from that mistake and next time I will apply the neck binding over the raw edge, not just to the raw edge, as the instructions suggested in the first place!
If it bothered me a touch more, I'd unpick it and use the other method. But for a child's jersey top that is going to get trashed at some point, I think I'll just chalk it up to experience. Despite the couple of grievances I have with this pattern, as discussed above, I'll definitely have at least one more whirl at it some point. I feel it has so much potential to be a great alternative-T-shirt pattern. And as for the fabric, once again it was a joy to sew with, and hopefully will be lovely for her to wear, although I may never get a considered review from the model herself!