Musings on remakes

I wonder at which point it becomes a bit pointless to blog repeat makes? I quite like seeing when someone has made things multiple times because I know it must be a pattern that works for them, and you can find out what it looks like in different fabrics and with any tweaks they have made. It also feels like forever since I posted something made for me so I’m diving back in with this, my third Seamwork Oslo cardigan. I’ve actually been wearing it for a while and had failed to get any pictures, but it is constructed in the same way as my previous and much worn grey version.

This fabric is a bit special feeling. It is a really soft sweatshirting from Girl Charlee and the colour is a bit of a style departure for me. I’ve always admired mustard as a colour option but this is the first time I have owned anything. I’m hoping that it will work well with all the navy clothing in my wardrobe and brighten up some outfits! What other colours would you coordinate mustard with?

As I said before, this is another Olso cardigan. When I made my first Oslo I thought the sleeves were a bit wide, and the cardigan was overall a bit loose fitting. Now these are two of the properties I like best about the pattern because it is so easy to throw on over whatever I’m wearing. I can even throw it on over the sling when I’m wearing Lottie.

Like in my grey version I have halved the height of the cuffs which makes it easier to just pull on and wear. My version with the longer cuffs I am always needing to adjust and fold back the cuffs so that they don’t get in the way. I also like that the cuffs push up to my elbows and stay there if required.

I went for a triple zigzag stitch for hemming. I think it looks pretty smart.

This slouchy style is just so comfortable and perfect for stay home days. I haven’t even added a closure at the moment, though perhaps I will once the weather cools down.

I think this probably concludes my requirement for cardigans for now, though I am tempted to make another and add patch pockets to the front panel like in this Kinder Cardigan. I like the idea of making one using some of the lovely cable knit fabrics that I have seen around, or another super soft French Terry!


Grow with me two

I’ve been making a couple more grow with me rompers– one for Lottie, and another as a gift for a friend who has recently had a little boy. When you have a baby you seem to end up with so many clothes for the first few months so it’s always nice to have clothes which will last a little longer.

I put a little handmade label in the gifted romper, and included a little card showing how the romper adjusts to different sizes. I hope they enjoy it!

This time I used a bit of a hack that is talked about in the Appletree sewing patterns Facebook group to simplify and speed up the sewing of the side seams and the drawstring channel. I extended that part of the pattern by about 1cm to give it a seam allowance and sewed the channel down before the side seam so that it could all be done in one pass without needing to switch machines part way down.

On the left- drawstring channel sewn as in the pattern instructions.
On the right- hacked to overlock the seam in one go.

I think it is quicker to sew and looks fairly neat, but it is a little bulkier than the way that the pattern is drafted. If you were sewing lots, then it might be a good time saver, but I think I might go back to the original method in future.

I also made a couple more pick n’mix bodysuits, one for Lottie, and one to gift. It was great to use some of the offcuts as fox appliqués on the bodysuits.

The bodysuits each match the lining of the romper. Lottie’s fits her proportions so well at the moment. She is fairly slim, but with a big cloth nappy so it’s quite impressive to find a pattern that works so well straight off. I’m happier with the binding on these than the banana one too, and I think it might be even better next time if I use my walking foot.

I went with lovely bright snaps on the crotch, though I did have a few issues with them falling apart to begin with. I think it might be that these smaller snaps don’t have a long enough shank for the four layers of fabric at the binding.

I can see Lottie wearing this new romper loads now that the weather is warming up. It’s great to be able to just lenghen the legs a little when we are going out on our daily walk to keep her out of the sun.

Baby mini capsule Part 3- all the legs

This is the final part of my mini series on Lottie’s capsule wardrobe. Find her t-shirts and bodysuits in the previous posts. This time I have tried out two new trouser patterns to finish of the capsule.

First up is the free Petite Pegs by Patterns for Pirates. This is a pretty simple legging pattern with a yoga waistband so it came together so easily! If you want a quick win this is definitely it because there are only two pattern pieces.

Like on the kimono bodysuit, I chose yellow thread to hem to tie in with all the other yellow. It’s a lovely subtle detail though, and Lottie wears these with lots of other colours too.

The second pair of trousers are a bit brighter! These are the High Kick Harems from Made By Jacks Mum, which I bought a while ago as a bundle with the Double Trouble Joggers. I actually made the joggers first, and will share them soon, but I totally love these harems over Lottie’s cloth nappies!

Like the petite pegs, there are only a couple of pattern pieces, and I think these might be even quicker to put together with an overlocker because there are cuffs instead of hems. I will definitely be making more of these both for Lottie and Toby. They just fit that baby nappy proportion so well!

I’m really pleased with how this mini capsule turned out. Perhaps the yellow isn’t the best for coordinating with other things in her wardrobe, but it is so bright and sunny! It’s inspired me to come up with a more detailed capsule wardrobe for Toby next year or so which is already well underway and I’m really looking forward to sharing the planning and the execution. It’s probably the biggest sewing project that I have ever embarked on, though it does get broken down into lots of little parts.

In other news, we’ve been so appreciating our garden at the moment (and knowing how fortunate we are to have an outside space to use while we aren’t so able to get out and about).

There have been lots of changes in the garden as we spend more time in it making it more toddler friendly and tidy. Who knew that being confined to home was going to be so good for organising!

Baby mini capsule part 2- Kimono bodysuit hack

For part two of Lottie’s new wardrobe I went with the Kimono Bodysuit from Brindille and Twig. (See part 1 here.) I’ve been eying it up for ages and finally decided to just go for it! I have a few ready to wear bodysuits in this style and really like that they are super easy to put on and off.

For this one, I did make a few changes to the pattern. I wanted to keep the kimono style wrap front, but omitted the snaps to keep it closed by sewing the overlap into the side seams. This did require a few drafting changes. I needed to make sure there was a little extra at each side to take in to the seam allowance.

I also added a hem allowance to the underlayer. I went for 1cm, and used yellow thread in my twin needle to tie in with the yellow binding.

Finally, I needed to create a new binding piece for the neckline and the crotch edge. These I just approximated by measuring the length of the area to bind and sewed them on stretching slightly. I think next time I could do with stretching the binding around the neck a little more to help it lie flat.

I really like the bright yellow binding contrasting with the blue. It feels very fresh and vibrant. I also found this narrow binding much easier to sew than the wider binding on the Made By Jacks Mum Pick n’mix.

A little trick that I learned recently to help loosen up new snaps is to put a little vaseline on them before closing and opening for the first few times. It definitely seems to have worked here because they open beautifully and don’t feel like they are going to pull out of the fabric.

I really like the crossover front. It feels a bit unusual and is a nice change from all the envelope neck bodysuits. I might use the pattern to make a cardigan at some point too by sizing up, removing the bottom half and tweaking the binding again.

This does fit really nicely at the moment, but I’m not sure I would get it on over some of her bigger cloth nappies. It is definitely not going to last as long as the Pick n’mix, so if I made it again I think I would borrow the bottom half of the roomier fit on that bodysuit instead.

The final part of the capsule will be revealed next week. I think she could do with some trousers next!

Baby mini capsule Part 1- Going Bananas

I’ve had a little bit of a splurge on a few new patterns because a couple of pattern companies have had release sales lately! It means I’ve done another batch cut and sew to create another little capsule wardrobe for Lottie and matching t-shirts for Toby too.

The whole outfit was inspired by these two banana prints that I bought a while ago in a sale at Fabric Godmother. Toby loves bananas, and it’s one the words that he uses often so he was very pleased to see this print.

Toby’s t-shirts are Brindille and Twig ringer tees. I’ve made him the next size up- 18-24 months. It’s a staple that I keep going back to! The fit is quite roomy which is useful when you know that. Toby is a chunky 22 months and still has plenty of growing room.

I made Lottie ringer tees to match, but with my snap neck hack. To go with them I’ve been testing out new patterns. First up is the Made By Jacks Mum pick n’mix bodysuit.

The pick n’mix has loads of options, including a t-shirt cut line and both ‘regular’ and ‘cloth bottom’ fit bodysuits. I’ve gone for the cloth fit, and the snap neckline. There is also an envelope or crew neck option.

I’ve always liked the idea of making bodysuits to go with handmade baby outfits, but I find it hard to justify spending time making something so basic and that can be bought so cheaply. This was a slightly fiddly make. I’m not 100% happy with the binding so I am wondering about doing it as a band in future instead.

On these bodysuits the side seam is sewn after the binding, so I’ve stitched the side seam allowance down with a few little stitches. It’s quite a common feature of shop bought bodysuits too.

The little offcuts from were great for creating a couple of little appliqués. I used bondaweb to fix them in place, and a fusible wash away stabiliser to stop anything from stretching as I sewed. This has been through the wash a couple of times and the stabiliser still hasn’t washed out completely, but it did make the sewing really easy.

I’m looking forward to showing you the next parts of this mini capsule. I have 3 more new to me patterns to share, some of which are about to become firm favourites!

Growing like weeds

Why is it that babies keep growing? While I love to see Lottie getting bigger and chubbier it seems a shame when she starts growing out of her handmades. This romper is perhaps the solution… it’s intended to grow too!

This is a free sample pattern from Apple Tree Sewing and is available by signing up to their newsletter. It is a sample 3-12 month size of a pattern which can be purchased in a bigger size range.

Lottie is 3 months in these pictures, and isn’t going to fit it on the smallest settings for long, though I think she is quite a long and skinny baby! It is fitting nicely over her big cloth nappy bottom though.

I love the concept of grow with me clothing, but this is my first attempt at sewing some. The idea is that there is lots of adjustment built in in the form of long cuffs, snap settings and in this pattern a set of drawstrings to shorten the body.

I had a bit of this fabric left from the baby outfit I made a while ago. Lottie has grown out of those now so it’s fun to have this print back in her wardrobe.

I wanted to have used and washed this romper a couple of times before I wrote this post so that I could report on how easy it is to use in practice. There isn’t much spare time for constant readjusting when putting away the washing so getting the cuffs to sit right is a little bit of a faff. It will only get easier as she gets bigger though.

It is amazing to see how much scope there is for growth as the straps are lengthened, the ruching on the sides is let out and the cuffs are rolled down. Lottie is hopefully going to fit in this for ages!

I didn’t have quite the right size range label, but this one is fairly close.

I think I may have to make another couple of these because it was such a quick and easy sew, but one which will last for ages. It seems like a good ‘value’ way to use my time and fabric. I can definitely see it as a good way to get the most use out of a special fabric.

I think I might look into a few more grow with me patterns. I like the idea of making Toby some jumpers which will do him for a couple of years. I’m also a little tempted to start sewing a few of these to sell. I’ve always wanted to see if I could begin to transition into sewing as a business and I can see that it might be easier to charge the actual value of the work and materials for an item which will last a long time. Something to look into perhaps.

Fox Coat- Getting Organised

Last year Toby’s Bunny coat was one of my favorite makes both for the process and the finished garment, so I decided it would be a shame not to make him another animal coat in the next size up. This time I’m going to make the fox coat from ‘The Fox, the Bear and the Bunny’ in the age 2-3 size.

For a more involved project like this I don’t really have the right fabric and notions at home in my stash or available locally so it takes a bit of planning and preparation. I’ve been ordering samples of corduroy and wool for the main outer body of the coat, trying to find one that has the right foxy rusty shade of orange! I’m still not sure any of these is quite the right thing. Though I like the colour for some of them, they are a bit ‘soft’ and lightweight so the search continues.

I’m going to use the same faux fur as on the bunny coat for the foxes ear and tail appliques, and probably for the front accent too. I haven’t yet decided if I will line it in the fur again, or whether I will choose a fun coordinating cotton for the lining. The bunny coat is so soft and fluffy inside that I am leaning towards using the fur. I have seen some cute fox print cotton’s though too so that is also an option, perhaps with a flannel or thinsulate underlining to help keep it cosy.

The other big task before I can commence cutting and sewing has been tracing off all the pattern pieces. I am not always a tracer- on PDF patterns for me I usually just cut them to the right size, but for children’s patterns where I’m planning to use multiple sizes and pattern books I always trace. I did find the patterns in this book a little odd the first few times I used them and I took a while to find the tiny grainline arrow, but now that I know what I’m looking for it is much simpler!

I know lots of people swear by different methods of tracing. Personally I always choose this squared dressmakers tracing paper from Amazon. I like having the squares to help me align things to grain, it is a nice weight- not to thin and flimsy, and it can arrive next day with prime if you are halfway through something and run out!

I still have a few more decisions to make and notions to order but i’m pretty exited to see this coming together.

Mustard Maple

There is a lot of mustard coming up on the blog at the moment because I cut a whole selection of things for the whole family from this fabric! Lottie gets another turn today with a Poppy and Jazz Maple cardigan, which is one of the new to me patterns on my make 9 plans.

This maple cardigan was cut and planned to coordinate with Lottie’s footed trousers and a second hand ready-to-wear vest that we were given. I’ve been enjoying looking through the things that we have been given and planning one or two extras to coordinate with some of my favourites.

It is such a simple pattern to sew. If you have made other t-shirts or jumpers the construction should be pretty familiar. The main difference is that the waistband and neckband need to open rather than being sewn into a circle so you need to align the ends with the front edge.

It’s currently a roomy fit with a quite bit of space to grow. She is on the smaller end of the size bracket still so hopefully she will get lots of wear out of it before she grows too much!

The pattern has you interface the front band where the snaps are fitted, so these feel much more secure than ones I have done in the past. I chose these aqua blue prym ones as a bit of a contrast.

Lottie seems to like it. She is getting bigger and smilier all the time! I think it will coordinate with a lot of her clothes at the moment so that is great.

Be wild baby!

This post comes a bit out of sequence because it is another collaboration blog post going live on Minerva Crafts this week. They kindly gifted me the fabric, in exchange for a blog post and photos. I was able to use this very sweet cotton spandex print to make a ‘coming home’ outfit for the new baby, and a co-ordinating t-shirt for Toby, so these were actually sewn in about May or June last year!

One of the reasons that I chose this fabric to test was because it would co-ordinate really nicely with the other pieces that I have already made and blogged in grey and green. It seems like a good idea for the baby to have a wardrobe that will mix and match as well as possible, so these are also in the newborn size.

I used the same patterns as the ‘pencils’ outfits, and this was actually finished first, inspiring a search through my stash to find some other fabric options. Toby’s t-shirt is a Brindille and Twig Ringer Tee, so also a free pattern. This time I left off my neckline hack and just made it as in the pattern. It is so quick to sew up, and I think this is the 12-18 month size.

As always, the full blog post can be found on their website here, with more details and pictures. Enjoy!

Always animals

I think I would dress Toby in animal outfits all the time if I could. His Lion dungarees had a great outing to the zoo recently, but now I’ve been adapting another pattern to create a bear sweatshirt.

This is the same free raglan hoodie that I blogged not long ago, but I was inspired by this post on Tilly and the Buttons Instagram to adapt it with this bear applique. This is the first time I have done any applique on jersey and I’m sure I still have lots to learn, but I’m pleased with this as a start!

The great thing about this bear is that is only uses very simple shapes to create an impression. I used bondaweb to attach the nose and mouth and then just stitched with a straight stitch. I’m hoping that the double row of stitching at the top of the curve will be sufficiently robust, but if not I might have to go back and use a zigzag to attach it more securely.

The little 3D ears are a very cute feature too!

I couldn’t decide which way out to put the hood. In the end the fabrics chose for me because the cream scraps of Ponte were heavier than the mustard French Terry so the seams wanted to press with the French Terry to the inside. (The scraps came from this jumper– thank goodness that my photography planning and execution has improved!) I also did a little topstitching on the hood to help the centre seams to stay flat because I’ve noticed them moving a bit on the previous hoodie.

Like Lottie’s latest outfits, this hoodie got a size label. It will definitely be helpful when I put it aside for her to grow into.

Toby just looks so cute! This version of the hoodie doesn’t have a pocket, but he hasn’t started using pockets yet so I don’t think he will miss it.

I wonder which other animals would work well in this style? I’m thinking about a lion perhaps with a 3D mane. What would you go for?