This is the first of three posts that I'll publish over the next few weeks that feature awesome printed knit fabric from myfabrics.co.uk. The site is the UK and Ireland's wing of the wider chain of 12 European online fabric shops. I first had the opportunity to sew with their fabric after an IRL-friend of mine bought a load from their site with the intention of making stuff for her baby daughter, but never getting round to it and donating it all to me! I made her daughter some leggings and bibs to say thanks, and happily enjoyed the rest for myself.
Earlier this year myfabrics.co.uk got in touch to offer me some fabric to blog about, plus a discount code for my readers. I spent a ridiculously long time trying to choose, but with the help from Dolores I eventually picked three lengths of printed knit that I've been having fun turning into wearable and comfortable garments for her. Here's the first...
Knit trousers make so much sense for toddler-wear. I hate the idea of kids' play being restricted in any way by the clothing their parents provide them. But making basic leggings (of which I feel I've made about 300 pairs now) gets a bit boring so I was looking for an interesting variation on the leggings theme that would still provide a good canvas for this fun lightning flash printed jersey. With this self-set brief, I hunted through my stash of Ottobre Design magazines.
The Spring 1/2013 issue previously seemed a bit of a dud to me: there was nothing in there that appealed at first glance, and since I got a year's subscription in 2013 I haven't used any of the patterns in this one.
Somehow, I must have been overlooking the Chillax unisex jersey pants pattern, which seem to fit the bill pretty damn well. The pattern look super comfy to me, with a slightly baggier, lower crotch style than regular leggings. A fairly simple pocket detail which requires only one extra pattern piece also elevates this pattern from basic leggings without too much extra faff. I used the size 92 width and size 98 length to get the maximum possible wear from them, and cut the waist elastic a centimetre or two looser than Dolores's current waist measurement would indicate for the same reason.
All three knit fabrics I chose were printed single jersey which are comprised 95% cotton and 5% elastane. They are a medium weight which feels to me to be pretty perfect for leggings, knit dresses, T-shirts or undies. I pre-washed them all and I was relieved to discover that none had faded. I don't know if all myfabrics.co.uk knits are from the same source, but I found that the other knits I got from my friend laundered well and stood up admirably to the abuse and frequent laundering that baby and toddler wear is prone to.
So whilst I was trying to make the selection, I was really drawn to this lightning flash print. The other two I chose are very busy prints, so I liked the relative simplicity of this design as a contrast. I gave Dolores the choice of colour way and amazingly (and thankfully), she chose the purple over the pink option! I also love the teal colour way.
It feels quite stable and was lovely to sew with. I used my overlocker for the seams and my regular sewing machine for the pocket binding, stitching the elastic into the waistband and for hemming. I also found a fancy stitch on my regular sewing machine that vaguely replicates the look of a coverstitch machine for topstitching the pocket piece down (see below).
The fabric did seem like it would be liable to roll a lot if cut into thin strips, plus I thought a contrast binding at the pocket mouth would look better anyway so I went hunting through my stash for something suitable. In the end, I sacrificed a ratty old sleeping vest that was made of ribbed knit and I think it looks pretty awesome.
Thoughts and discount code:
Ah I love these leggings! However, due to her current obsession with wearing dresses, they might end up as pyjama bottoms. But they'll be the nicest pyjama bottoms in town! I still have a sizeable piece of the original 80cm that I started with, so if they do end up as night wear, I reckon I can scrape a matching sleeping t-shirt out of the remainder. If she does adopt them as day wear, then the leftovers will become a pair of baby trousers for her little brother. I'm also hoping that one day he'll be able to wear these too, as I think the style and colours are definitely gender neutral.
On to the important bit: something for you!
Use the following code: SoZo16 to receive £10 off your myfabrics.co.uk order (minimum order £60). The fine print is that the code can only be once per order, and once per customer, and not in combination with other vouchers. It is valid until 30/09/2016, but I'll be reminding you of this voucher code twice again before the end date (unless this baby decides to come out earlier than expected).