Designers: April 2012 Archives
I had the pleasure of getting a head start on Fabric.com's newest Free Pattern Download by Create Kids Couture: Hannah's Pillowcase Bubble Romper. Seeing this pattern brought back memories for me. My mom told me that I used to run around in these rompers when I was my daughter's age. Though I remember that all of mine featured the classic 1980's rainbow and terry cloth, I loved them anyway because as a busy kid I was able to get dressed with one article of clothing. I am glad to be able to pass this onto my daughter. This pattern was quick and fun! I did make a few adjustments for my little one and since she has been wearing it I have a few more. I will share all.
First I did not make the belt, either one. The reason for this was two fold: 1) I didn't think my daughter would tolerate it and 2) I have a limited wiggle-free time to dress her so I decided the time was better spent with socks, shoes or pony tails instead of belts (though I think both belts are adorable).
Next, I chopped off the top part of the romper right below the arm holes and stitched on a coordinating fabric (if you follow suit make sure you add in a sew allowance when cutting your coordinating piece). The bias trim matches the main romper fabric and I made the tie for the top out of my remaining bias trim, making it the same length as the thin tie. I also used the elastic at the legs since I don't have a serger. But if you want to shirr, you could add 3/4 in. to the legs when cutting, fold up ¼ in. press, fold up ½ in. press and then shirr the legs.
In the future (probably this weekend), I will pull out the ties and make straps. I recommend, folding down the front and back for the casing (before adding the bias on the arms) but adding elastic instead (I am going to use 5-6 in. for the size 3T. Then make the bias trim continue past the arm holes on the front and back to make straps that tie. This allows for younger kids to take off the romper by themselves and easily. The elastic still allows for the gathers but gives some room when pulling the romper down for potty stops and the straps mean little ones can pull it off and on by themselves without having to tie ties.
Finally, I want to add some rows of shirring onto the romper right at the waist. This will give a similar look to the belts but without the extra accessory. I am considering just two or three rows but we shall see how many I end up with. I just want to nip in the waist a bit since it so roomy.
I have to say that my little one looks so amazingly cute running around in her romper that I know more will be coming. It is perfect for hot days, playing in the sprinklers and running to the pool.
The Create Kids Couture Hannah Pillowcase Bubble Romper is now available for download. And my pattern modifications discussed above are finished and ready for posting. I was too excited to wait for this weekend. First, I pulled out the one long shoulder tie and inserted 6 in. of 1/4 in. elastic into each casing (one for the front and one for the back) and stitched them in place. First I stitched up one end and then pulled the elastic through the other end and left a little hanging out so I could hold it tight while stitching and then trimmed it off so it was invisible (very similar to adding the shoulder elastic to the Oliver + S Class Picnic top. Then I cut 4 ties, 10 in. long and stitched them onto either side of each casing to make tie-able straps. The elastic plus strap making it easy for younger kids to pull the straps off and down for changing and potty breaks but doesn't ruin the styling of the gathers and ties. You can stitch your ties tied to prevent them being untied by curious hands.
Finally, I added 3 rows of elastic shirring at the waist. I started 6 in. from the crotch seam but in hindsight I wish I had measured higher, maybe 8-10 in. from the crotch seam or halfway between the bottom of the armholes and the crotch seam. I followed the instructions for elastic shirring provided for the shirred belt. I added 3 rows of stitching 1/2 in. apart. The shirring worked great and looks super cute. My daughter loves this even more now that she can take it off herself and I love the elastic waist that helps the romper stay in place. Share with us your modifications on our Facebook page!
According to Wikipedia a Layette consists of a collection of clothing for a new born baby but can include bedding, accessories and care items. With my first child I had a shower and received many of these items as gifts and most of them were gender neutral (I was adverse to pink and ruffles which has declined somewhat). This is good since we do not yet know the gender of our second kid and won't find out for another few weeks. I want to start working on the layette now without knowing the gender. I am going start on the easily gender neutral items such as hood towels, blankets and hats that I have seen in some posh shops but know I can make for less.
On a recent trip to Charleston, SC I popped into an adorable kid shop that was selling super soft, super cute Aden and Anais Cotton Muslin receiving blankets. They were amazing but I'm going to recreate them using our Batiste fabric self lined and using fabric paint and stamps embellish with cute little designs just like the originals.
Another Must-have baby item that I see in every magazine in my doctor's waiting room is the Redfish Kimono Onesie. I love the bell shaped sleeves and wide leg openings. Created in a green, white or red color print, these Onesies could easily cloth a sweet little boy or girl. I, of course, will be pulling fabrics from our Retro & Mod section or maybe some jersey knit prints.
I am also jonesing to knit something for the little one. I have a ton of great yarn in neutral colors (I just love the way grey pairs so well with blue or pink or yellow or green or ...). I found these amazing garter stitch hats over at Land of Nod, hand knit from cotton with a neat little tassel at the top. So easy and quick I could make 3-4 before I was sick of the pattern. I love the creative color combinations too. Must duplicate!
Finally, I found a Toweling Romper at Boden (My favorite site) and it was love at first sight. The idea is brilliant especially considering I had a robe for my first baby and that was a disaster. She hated bathes and trying to get a crying, thrashing baby into a robe that ties only was not working out. But this combo romper plus towel will dry your baby and keep him/her warm while you calm them down or assess the water damage. The store bought romper has a snap front but I am considering some Velcro to make it even faster!
This should keep me busy or 2-3 weeks. Look for my future posts where I will share the patterns and modifications for each item I make so you can recreate it too!
One of my favorite sewing patterns to relax with is Amy Butler's Chelsea Tote. This pattern is available in 2 sizes. I made the larger size for a knitting tote and have received many requests from friends for a Chelsea of their own. Of those who can sew, I tell them about the pattern and offer these tips for sewing up a Chelsea easier.
• I have read some suggestions about not marking on the outside of the fabric, as Amy suggests, and I disagree with Amy with stipulations. I used a water soluble marker and mark on the outside and then spritz it with a water bottle afterwards and it all turns out great. Some bloggers are of the mind that you would need to wash the bag afterward to get the marker off. I recommend you just spray it lightly, it disappears and your bag is good to go.
• FRAY CHECK- buy some and use it! I used it along my cut lines before top stitching the handles and then again in the corners after stitching. However, I have a suggestion on the handle too, if you will read below, but if you follow the Chelsea directions to the "T" then use the fray check as suggested above.
• Fabric glue or just a plain old glue stick. On my next Chelsea, I would use glue to keep the handles in check and then construct the bag as instructed without topstitching the handles. Then once you get to the part where you are attaching the reversible side to the outside there will be no stitching on your handles. This is when you top stitch around the top of the bag to finish it off, then top stitch the handles or if you prefer hand stitch the handles together. I feel that this will insure that your handles have a nice clean look. I cannot get my topstitching on both the lining and outside to match up and couple that with the fact that I am matching up handle holes at the same time. This will cut down on stress and guarantee a nice finish.
I recommend using quilting cotton to make sure you find the perfect print for your Chelsea bag.
It comes as no surprise that I am quite pleased that Fabric.com has added a kids clothing designer to our growing line of Free Pattern Downloads, Create Kids Couture. The first pattern released for free download is the Marilyn Slim Fit Peasant Dress & Top which I made this past weekend and loved. I was surprised to find what a fan I am of a well placed ruffle especially when the model is so especially cute in well placed ruffles.
First, this was a pretty quick garment to stitch up. The pattern is easy to cut and assemble with most of the pattern pieces rectangles that you cut out according to your size from the chart provided. The only piece you need to print and cut is the sleeve cup. The directions are a snap given that you are provided with pictures along with your instructions. This is a fun pattern to experiment with different fabric combos too because you can opt for just one fabric for the whole garment, 2 fabrics (one for the body and another for the sleeves and ruffle) or go crazy with 3 fabrics (one for each the body, sleeve and ruffle).
I am a really big fan of the elastic neckline. It creates a very soft shape that doesn't shift and my little one found comfy. PLUS, it can be stretched for larger heads or so you don't mess up those braids you spent 15 min persuading your little girl to "sit still" for. I chose not to add elastic to the arms because my daughter ending up not liking it (though today she might like it) and I thought it was too puffy. The plain sleeves look just as beautiful. I created the top length and am very pleased with the length. It is just right for a top though if you omit the ruffle (which I will try the next time I make it just for a different look) I will add 2 in. to the body to compensate. Despite the "Slim Fit" in the name, I found this dress very roomy for my preschool that still sports the toddler big round belly. She didn't feel confined or restricted in her movement. The top was a big hit! You can also try this pattern in a knit. Just cut a size smaller and cut the stretch widthwise on all pieces.