Monday, May 10, 2010

Kids Clothes Week 1 - Review

Well, here it is. The little stack of clothes from my first week of my Kids Clothes Challenge! I managed to sew five new things for my big girl in a week and I'm so inspired to dive right into my second week. Here's what I made...
Super soft denim pleated skirt with lined shorts attached underneath. Pattern from here. I omitted the bow because my girl is a huge bow-hater. Made these in one night. The only tricky part was figuring out how to sew the shorts lining correctly. Once I figured it out though it was super simple. I used a vintage solid blue cotton I had laying around and the denim I picked up at Joann's for $4/yd. I'll definitely make these again. You could also just use the skirt by itself or the shorts by themselves making this pattern a great one for the price.

Ruffled tank made using Simplicity 3513 View B. This isn't fabric I would have picked on my own but Miss B picked it out and I was obliged to use it. It did turn out cute and I do like the vintagy vibe of the fabric. Super easy pattern, this came together in just a few hours from cutting to finishing the last hem. The pattern calls for using a bias tape casing for that front gather but I just used elastic thread in my bobbin case and sewed a few lines of "smocking" to create the same effect. Super simple and much, much faster.

More fabric Miss B picked out and I do like this one. It is pink but not overkill. This one is the Oliver + S ruffle halter from the new Stitch magazine. This came together super quick and the construction is so cool! It may seem weird at first but just roll with it and it turns out perfectly. The pattern calls for leaving the edges of the ruffles unfinished with just a single row of stitching along the edge to prevent crazy fraying. I have to admit even controlled fraying sounds scary to me but I decided to throw caution to the wind and do like the pattern said. We'll see how it washes. I can see me making a few more of these. So cute and the perfect top for summer.

This is by far the most difficult thing I've ever sewn and I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of this shirt. I want one in my size! This is the Oliver + S music class blouse. I've been wanting to sew some Oliver + S patterns for such a long time but honestly the cost of them has prohibited me from doing so. I finally splurged and let me tell you that's the best pattern money that I've spent probably ever. Making this shirt was like having an intense sewing course right in my own home. I can't even begin to tell you how much I learned making this and how much confidence this gave me. The patterns are so detailed and easy to understand. They explain things so clearly and give you tips on how to improve the quality of your garment and tips on making difficult areas easier. This shirt took me several days to make but it was so worth it. Miss B is in love with it and would wear it every day if I let her. I'll definitely be making more and I'm sure they'll go much quicker now that I've made one. I made a size 6 which fits her perfectly except for the length. She's gotten so tall, so the next one I'll have to add an inch or so in length. And I included a little close up of the little neck label I made for the girls clothes.

And last but not least I made her the Ice Cream Dress also from Oliver + S. I used a gray oxford shirting I found at JoAnn's for $1.50 a yard and a Robert Kaufmann stripe that was impossible to resist from Sew Mama Sew. (It was on Clearance) The shirting was a little tricky to sew with as it had a tendency to fray like crazy, so unlike the cottons that I normally work with. But it turned out beautifully. Another amazing pattern and I could seriously rave for days about how great they are. I cut this dress out one evening and sewed it another evening, so all in all it took about 4 hours I think. Not too bad. Again, it'll go much faster now that I've already made one.

So, in review here are some things that I learned this week:

• I don't hate facings as much as I used to. We're still not friends but our relationship is "amicable".

• If you sew something wonky, take it out and resew... you'll be much happier with the end product if it's well done.

• Favorite new trick from Oliver + S patterns: Sew a basting line where folds are (ie: a hem line). This makes folding and ironing your hems a piece of cake and they turn out perfect every time. (Especially on curved areas!) It may take extra time but it's really worth it in the end.

• I love detailed patterns. Little pin tucks, gathers and pleats make me happy. Why? Not sure, maybe because it looks so much more professional and special.

• I can't wait to try again to make something for myself! Granted kids are just little cylinders with none of the fitting issues that us ladies have but still, I think I've learned a lot and hopefully it'll translate.

This has been a super long post and I promise I'm almost done but I wanted to thank everyone that left a comment on my last post. It was very hard to write and get out but I'm so glad that I did. Your kindness and positive energy has been so overwhelming and so very appreciated! It's forced me to look at myself differently and in a much more positive light. I know that I still have a way to go but it's so important for me to be able to show my girls that you can have self confidence at any size. So, thanks again, I love you all!


  1. woohoo! great job, kayanna! i especially love the ice cream dress. perfect colours, right up my alley! i can't wait to try that one out, myself.

  2. oh my goodness, that music class blouse is adorbs! makes me wish i was having a little girl.

  3. Everything looks so beautiful and I just love your labels!!!! I def agree that O+S patterns are worth the cost. I always feel like I learn so much about sewing. The music class blouse you made is gorgeous.

  4. Way to go - these all look great!

  5. The yellow shirt is so cool, I love it! All the clothes are beautiful, you have one lucky girl!

  6. This is the first time I visit your blog. Your profile description could be written by myself - funny. Happy 2nd week...

  7. They all turned out beautifully. I really ought to try sewing some patterns in order to pick up some tips. I keep just making things up as I go along, but I'm sure there's probably some easier ways of doing things.

  8. aww those are all so cute!! fantastic job kayanna! i am super impressed with your sewing skills! makes me all the more eager to learn how to use the sewing machine i recently acquired!

  9. they are all so pretty. i have raved on an on about oliver and s for a few years now. it really is amazing how much you learn sewing from them. i have made quite a few and have a bunch of other ones waiting to try. they are such a good investment because not only are the patterns beautiful but the sewing skills you learn from them.
    the music blouse and skirt are next on my list.

  10. These are so dang cute! I would like one of each in my size, too! Nice work mama!

  11. They're all so cute, I love the label! Great job :-)

  12. First of all SO cute! Everything so far looks amazing and I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

    Second, I agree with you about the basting line for sewing a hem. What a great trick. I used it on the popover dress but you have convinced me to breakdown and buy the ice cream pattern.

    Third, what lucky kids you have. Their mum is awesome.

  13. Super cute! Your girl is so lucky!

  14. I'm a little late to the party, but these are fab! It's hard to tell, but the pink ruffled tank fabric looks a bit like Aunt Grace prints, which I adore. All the pieces are lovely. Great job. Makes me want to pull out my machine!


Your thoughts are always, always welcome. Just know that I appreciate each and every one of you even if I don't always have the chance to respond.