Grow Fonder

I really love pattern testing for companies where I already know and love their products. You already know that you are likely to love the end result. This time I was testing an update to an already established pattern, the Grow Fonder cowl by Appletree Sewing.

I had already been stashing away fabric for a capsule for Lottie and I’ve suddenly realised that if some of the key pieces are grow with me then I get to enjoy it for so much longer. This mustard zebra and grey stripe are key parts of my plan. I just love how the stripe mirrors the stripes of the zebra.

The cowl is perfectly proportioned. I think I like the idea of cowl jumpers on kids. They never seem to keep hoods on, and the cowl is less bulky under a coat too. This is the 3-12 month size on Lottie at almost 8 months and she definitely has some spare room in the length and the sleeves but it doesn’t look to oversized.

I did find the tabs at the end of the drawstrings pretty fiddly and bulky, but that may have been my own fault for wanting to match the colour perfectly and using a bulky knit fabric instead of the recommended woven. I’m pretty sure I would do it neater next time though and I’m not so worried about how these ones turned out to feel the need to do it again.

I fancied making a bit of an outfit to kick-start her capsule so I made a simple pair of leggings to coordinate. These are the free lightning leggings from Made By Jacks Mum, but in the spirit of getting them to last as long as possible I gave them double height ankle cuffs too which can be unrolled as she grows. The pattern has several fit options so these are the looser relaxed fit with space for a cloth nappy. They are surprisingly not actually too big for her given that they are the 6-12 month size. I think if I make more I might need to increase the rise height a bit to give a bit more room for her bum!

I’ve always been a bit scared of pairing different prints together because I don’t think I’m very good at getting the balance of colours and scales right. This outfit however has turned out even better than I expected.

I feel like I’m fan-girling a bit but I really do love the revamped Grow Fonder pattern and already I have plans for two more in the next 12 months to 3 year size! I believe it is being released imminently so it is definitely one that I would wholeheartedly recommend.


Spontaneous Speedy Shorts

Does anyone else feel a bit caught out by all the lovely weather we have had recently? I realised almost right away that Toby has just two pairs of shorts that fit and even they are on the small side so we needed a couple more pairs pretty urgently!

When I made his harem trousers I realised how much I like them on him so thought they would be a good base for some quick shorts. I could have made them even quicker by omitting the pockets, but I liked the idea of a flash of colour, and I’m hoping these will fit quite a while. Who knows how essential pockets might be by the time he grows out of them!

I used a new reel of multicoloured thread to topstitch the pockets, but unfortunately the colour changes are a bit too spaced out so it didn’t work all that well. Next time I will go back to using my multicoloured overlocker cones instead.

For these I literally guessed a length, cutting them about 3 inches below the crotch. I decided to hem them, rather than add a cuff, so I needed a bit of length to turn up into the hem.

I really like long shorts on little children. A bit less skin to worry about slathering in suncream! These have ended up a little below knee length so he has plenty of growing room. If they start getting too short I can always add a cuff later on.

The green fabric is a little heavier weight than the blue, and possibly a better weight for shorts. Both are cotton lycra so they are light and comfy. I kind of fancy some knit shorts myself!

There’s not really much more to add on these shorts. For a spontaneous sew I think they have turned out really well and Toby will get lots of use from them, possibly even into next summer depending on how much he grows.