Kids Sewing – An Obvious piece of advice…also The Louisa Coat by Compagnie M Pattern Review

One thing I have noticed about sewing for my kids is that unlike sewing my own projects – there is no time to “marinate” the project once it has been traced out. Because kids, much like bean sprouts, grow at astonishing rates. Even when I think I’ve got the measure of the rate of growth a spurt happens and trousers are looking decidedly Michael Jackson circa 80s.

I know it was a style thing but every time I see this I think he needs the next size up.

This was a rookie error on my part. Eighteen months ago I bought the fabric from The Shuttle in Shipley. It was on sale at a great bargain price. The pattern is the Louise Coat by Compagnie M. This pattern is a mammoth of a pattern. First of all, it has a gazillion pages that I taped up (I believe it was at this point that I reconsidered my relationship with PDFs – and it was closer to 55 pages but still…) And then because it’s a kids pattern I couldn’t cut out the pattern – I had to trace it off since I might need to make them the coat again. It has a lot of pattern pieces to trace too since it fully lined.

The size range is very impressive for the price from age 1year to 12 years. It boasts a lot of features too:

  • 2 back options : basic & special split back (beautiful in combination with the hood option)
  • 2 closure options : zipper or buttons
  • 2 collar and hood options : Standard Elton collar, Tulip Elton collar, Hood (with or without piping)
  • Extra options : cuffs and a flower detail

By the time I got to cutting out the lining I was tired of the project and began to seethe at the idea that I would go through all this effort (It was going to have piping too) for them to only wear the coats for 1 or 2 winters at most? (Its not their fault I know but still….) Anyway, things happened and I didn’t sew for a while. It sat in the UFO box which I am working through slowly. So when I got to this bag I realised that they probably had grown out of it since I had traced the size 4y before they turned 4 but now they will be 5 this December.

The lining was those thick padded quilty looking fabrics but alas when I basted the coat it was very clear that lining it would mean they could not wear them. So I made lemonade out of the lemons. I decided to fish the coats without the lining and call the lining a sunk cost.

The quilty looking padded fabric that was meant to line the coats.

Now, to be perfectly honest, I wanted to just chuck the entire project bag in the bin and put it down as experience to NEVER wait on sewing a kids project BUT…..BUT…… 2 things happened that trapped me into finishing them –

  1. The door to my cave is not kept locked and it has come to my attention that sometimes the kids wander in there and have a gander. The twins did just that when I had the pattern pieces out to which they put 2 and 2 together seeing the sizes and came downstairs with ebullient smiles proclaiming what a wonderful mother I was to make them sparkly pink dresses. What are you going to do? I tried to give myself an out by saying that they might not fit because I cut them out a long time ago. Now, this is where I learnt that my kids pay attention when I am doing things. ” Thats ok, you can get us to try it for size mummy. You’re the BEST mummy in the whole world to make us sparkly dresses” and my fate was sealed.
  2. The other thing is that I just adore them so much and of course I had to find a way to make it work!

I used the barest of seam allowance to get as much room as possible and even then its tight of they wear a jumper underneath. I finished one hem with bias binding and the other was just a normal hem. I used their favourite buttons which were the largest buttonholes I have ever sewn. I bought these wooden buttons back when I started sewing in 2013 ish so its good to use them up after they have spent years being toys.

Ok so my obvious advice to myself to remember is that much like a fire drill when I decide to sew for the kids there is no choice it has to be done quick! No marinating the project- get it done! The reasoning for a fast completion here is compelling – they will grow out of the size you are marinating!

Nearly forgot to mention that despite this self-inflicted issue – it really is a lovely pattern that has well thought out and presented instructions. Excellent value given all the different views you get and the large age range of the pattern. I’d like to give this another go but maybe in another year :-). Once I got going with and decided that it had to be done it actually didn’t take that long to make – 2 sittings of about 2 hours each.

What’s your advice for sewing for kids? Have you made rookies errors like this too? Let me know I am not alone please ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by,

Peace and love,

Hila

PS They were delighted with their coats that it was worth it and in the end, I felt silly for resenting the time it would take to sew them up. Even if they only wear them a few times – the joy on their faces is more than enough to make it worthwhile.

Louisa Coat Pattern by Compagnie M

Pocket lining
Faux piping. I just pressed it so a bit of the lining showed. Much easier to do than actual piping.

 

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Girl’s Seersucker Dresses 11/2017 #130A #burdachallenge2018

As it happens, the twins were going to a wedding in June with their dad in the USA. Since it was term time and we didn’t want the school going kids to miss school, we sent a delegation to represent us at the wedding so to speak. And so began the wedding guest dresses project.

It all started with the seersucker fabric that I picked up when I was at Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market with my friend Eleanor. There was something about the crisp delicate lightness of the pastel colours that caught my eye. Eleanor has had experience with seersucker and she advised me to not press it – its supposed to have the raised texture. Wikipedia explains it “……..giving the fabric a wrinkled appearance in places. This feature causes the fabric to be mostly held away from the skin when worn, facilitating heat dissipation and air circulation. It also means that pressing is not necessary.

There is a joy to working with a woven fabric that does not need pressing! It made me realise just how much time is taken up with pressing when sewing up a garment. There were times when I forgot though and found myself pressing a seam out of a deeply ingrained habit.

Girl’s Dress 11/2017¬†#130A

As for the pattern, I went with a cute but simple dress from BurdaStyle 11/2017. Here is the line drawing:

BurdaStyle 11/2017 #130

 

And here is the style picture –¬†

Its a relatively simple dress to sew up especially since the skirt is a rectangle gathered to fit the bodice. I traced out the size 110cm though they are about 100cm tall – and the fit is just right for something I want them to wear for at least another year. They are at the stage where they are growing rather fast so I am finding that I have to size up so I don’t blink and they can’t fit into it. It’s not so much of an issue with knit fabrics.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric to cut both front and back bodice pieces on the bias so only the front had to do. The neckline is finished with a facing. I added patch pockets to the skirt fronts. Still, they love their dresses and the seersucker was perfect for a hot and humid Saturday in Annapolis. Pictures..

Thanks for stopping by! And until next time, Happy Sewing!

If you’d like to see the fabric texture and drape you can check out this quick video where I talk about my plan for it.

Peace and love,

Hila

#burdachallenge2018

Girl’s Jersey Dresses 04/2018 #128 #burdachallenge2018

 

There’s something about bright highly contrasting colours that I find attractive. During the last SEWDOWNDEWSBURY I bought 1 meter of such psychedelic swirling colours at Fabworks. Its not the best quality jersey – the pattern is printed – but it is not the worst either. It washed well and kept its brightness well for the quality of jersey it is. That is to say, it lost about 20% of the colour.

The pattern was one of my #burdachallenge2018 planned makes for April 2018. Its style number 128, here is the line drawing:

BurdaStyle 04/2018 #128

I think this particular issue of Burda has a lot of great kids patterns and I will be making more from it.

BurdaStyle 04/2018 #128 
BurdaStyle 04/2018 #128 

I traced the 110cm. They are 104cm currently, so they can grow into these. The pattern is a super fast sew. For the neckline, I just turned under and sewed with zigzag stitches. The contrast yoke is a scrap fabric that I picked up at a swap.

BurdaStyle 04/2018 #128 

The fit is just as I have come to expect from Burda – spot on for them. Up next I’d like to make these in a better quality jersey like maybe AGF.

BurdaStyle 04/2018 #128 

They love the dresses and they have been worn  A LOT since I sewed them up:-).

Thanks for stopping by! And until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

#burdachallenge2018

Kids Sewing – Ottobre Kids Design Magazine and Skater Dress

I have been on a roll of making clothes for my kids lately. These were made earlier in the year and were well received by the wearers.

Kitchy Coo Skater Dress

The girls’ skater dress is described as¬†funky yet functional knit dress has a fitted bodice, high neckline and a curved flared skirt. With a generous cut, the dress is designed to be worn for up to two years per size, here the skirt hits at the knee in the first year and just above the knee in year two. There are options for a sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve version, with bodice pieces drafted specifically for either sleeved for sleeveless.

Its only available as a PDF on the Kitchy Coo website. The size range is from 18months to 8 years. I traced the size that corresponds to 4 years age (4T) and the fit was spot on. The instructions are easy to follow and well supported with pictures. Just like the Lady Skater dress its also easy to sew up.

I used fabric that I bought online from Girl Charlee during a half-price Christmas¬†sale. The orange and black fabric held up well and is still going strong even after several washes. The pink spotty one didn’t¬†hold up well, unfortunately. We have had to throw it out as the fabric got ever more distorted with each wash.

Despite this – they love their dresses and I am currently making another one to replace the pink dress.

Ottobre Kids Design Summer 2015 T Shirt

This was a fun t-shirt to make because of the very interesting¬†sleeve style. I had never come across¬†a sleeve that’s half raglan and half normal sleeve. The sizing is just as expected for Ottobre – perfect. The fabric is a cotton jersey that he chose for himself when we were in New York last year.

He cut out the fabric but I sewed it up since the sleeve detail was more complex.

Verdict – he is a happy boy!

Ottobre Design Kids Summer 4/2015 T Shirt – Raglan sleeve at back
Partition seam where raglan sleeve ends.
I think my son has great taste in fabric because I love this!

 

BurdaStyle drop Crotch leggings –

They vaguely resemble Hammer pants for those of us old enough to remember MC Hammer. We weren’t¬†very keen on them – whether its the fabric or the crotch, we don’t¬†know. I used leftovers from my Aurora dress and cut the fabric on the cross grain to get the pattern pieces to fit. The attraction¬†for these was that they would be easy to sew up (they were) but I am beginning to think that they need a¬†different fabric so I am curious to try with a different fabric when time allows.

The leggings don’t have a center front or center back seam.

 

Simplicity 1473 refashion – The sweater dresses I made over 18 months ago had become too tight on the chest. The fabric was in still in very good condition so I had an idea to refashion into a skirt by chopping off the bit above the pocket and sewing on an elastic. Voila! The twins love their¬†‘new’ skirts.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

¬†PS. If you’d¬†like to see them in action they are after the menswear section of this Youtube video.

Kids Sewing – La Maison Victor Lulu Pants

I literally finished these yesterday and the twins were wearing them this morning. This is one of those projects that I got so excited about when I snipped the last thread and I couldn’t wait for them to be donned.

The pattern is from the summer 2017 issue of La Maison Victor Рa magazine that I was introduced to by my dear friend Eleanor (www.nelnanandnora.wordpress.com) Its attractively priced at £5.99 (might have changed since I bought it). Lucky for me it is available from WH Smiths so I could peruse before buying.

La Maison Victor Summer 2017

This particular pattern looked sweet and the fact that it calls for a woven fabric caught my eye. I have tended towards only making knit leggings for my twins and thought it would be good to branch out.

Lulu Pants page in La Maison Victor

The fabrics used are both from B&M Fabric in Leeds market. They chose the fabric themselves and I think it certainly represents their personalities very well. The dotty one is a Riley Black quilting cotton.

I traced the size 4T which corresponds to 4 years and the fit is good. This size was based on their height and chest measurements. Overall I am very happy with how easy it is to get them on and off.  The seam allowance has to be added to the pattern after tracing.

La Maison Victor Lulu Pants
Scooter fabric for pockets was a hit ūüôā

The instructions are very (very) easy to follow and well supported with illustrations. I think this would be a great magazine to dip your toes in the world of sewing magazine patterns if you  find the likes of BurdaStyle daunting. The pattern sheets are clutter free and minimalist.

The waistband is meant to have a drawstring but lacking a suitable alternative, I just used elastic and left it at that.

Verdict from the twins – they love them! Especially the pockets (which have scooters fabric ) – the love to collect things and are constantly picking up little stones, leaves to add to their collection so pockets are handy.

I will definitely be making more of these as they do look like they have some room to grow in them too.

Anyway I couldn’t wait to share this cuteness so its a rare occasion where I have sewed, photographed and blogged in 24 hours :-). Add to that I also ran 4km and swam 500m in the same time period makes me feel like I am doing ok.

Looking forward the next thing I want to make from this magazine is this lovely top for my boys.

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Girl’s Turtleneck Sweater 11/2017 131B #burdachallenge2018

A random #burdachallenge2018 post on IG made me aware of this BurdaStyle kids sweater pattern.

BurdaStyle 11/2017 #131B

Surprisingly I haven’t¬†paid too much attention to kids sewing patterns in BurdaStyle Magazine.

I decided to give this a go because of the simplicity of the pattern.

No neck seam but just the shoulder and side seams only.

I used a fleece lined scuba fabric that I bought last year from B&M Fabrics (Leeds Market). This was one (pair) of my January #burdachallenge2018 makes and I was happy with how they turned out.

I used hot pink cuffing for the sleeve band and green jersey for the hem band. The other alteration was to omit the zip. My fabric had more than enough stretch to easily go over the head. With the zip this pattern would work with wovens.

They got the seal of approval from the twins and they love their sweaters. The sizing was spot on. I traced size 110 for their 104cms height. They will be wearing these for at least a couple of more years yet.

I am now going through my collection of magazines with a view to finding more kids patterns that I can try out. Have you sewn with the kids patterns from Burda?

 

Thanks for stopping by! And until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Kids Sewing – Ottobre Kids Design Magazine and New Look

Over the past year I have been doing a lot of sewing for my kids. They love choosing fabrics whenever they come fabric shopping with me. Unfortunately I don’t always have time to write the individual blog posts for them so I have collected all the pictures I could find of some of the kids clothes.

New Look 6423 – this is the second time I have made these. The fabric was bought from B&M Fabrics and it is a great quality that has stood the test of many washes whilst still maintaining brightness.

This is a set from Ottobre Kids design Magazine Summer 2016 Issue. The leggings are capri length which I thought was cute for summer. The fabric was also from B&M Fabrics in Leeds Market. They do great quality jerseys there.
This dress is the same pattern as the T shirt above from Ottobre Kids but I just lengthened it. Ali akaThimberlina kindly gave us this fabric and it was enough to make a much loved dress.
These capri length leggings are great scrapbusters and made many more.
Neckline detail of another of the Ottobre T shirt
The fabric was also from Ali. Sewing buddies rock!
The T shirt has a side panel which gives it a bit of interest.

I love this rainbow cuffing that I bought from B&M Fabrics
Contrasting side panel
Ali used her coversticth machine to do the hems for me and I was smitten – so much that I decided to buy my own coverstitch machine.

I truly love sewing for them. This year I am aiming to do more kids sewing too.

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing everyone!

Peace and love,

Hila

4th Birthday Dresses: Ottobre Summer 3/2016 #19

When my twins turned 3 years old in 2016 I left it until the very last minute to make them birthday outfits which turned out ok, but I knew they should have been so much better. You can read about it all here <link>. In 2017, armed with the determination that is bourne out of a desire to learn from a past mistake, I set out to make them the most awesome birthday dresses I could.

They love fabric shopping as much as I do and so I thought I’d let them choose the fabrics and the pattern. They flipped through my Ottobre Kids Design Magazines and they¬†choose this fancy looking shirtdress. I heard them say things like twirly swirly.

Ottobre Kids Design Summer 3/2016

 

Though they are identical twins they actually have very different personalities. The floral print is a Liberty craft cotton and the multicolour geometric is a cotton lawn. Both were purchased from Leeds Market. I was really proud of myself for cutting into the Liberty as I had been precious about that for over 2 years :-).

Once the dresses were sewn up, they went through my buttons collection and made their choices.

The twins love their dresses and they love twirling in them.

I really enjoyed making these dresses with them. In future, I will take that co-creative approach as opposed to me just making something without their input. In theory, it should mean they are more likely to wear it.

I rate Ottobre Kids patterns as they are so true to size. I sewed size 110cms and my girls are about 102cm tall. The instructions are excellent. The armhole is finished with bias binding.

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!!!!

Peace and love,

Hila

xoxo

 

 

Easter Dresses : Ottobre Kids Design 01/2014 : Funny Faces Dresses

Since making¬†a dogs dinner of my twins’ birthday dresses <link here>, I vowed to make it up to them (&myself) so when Easter presented the opportunity of making them something special I jumped on it.

Using the same pattern as before and some long-term stashers I produced these dresses and leggings for them. The faced the hems with the same fabric as the leggings to make them matching sets. My girls love them and wear them constantly. These dresses have gotten so many compliments.

2017-04-152013-44-25
Ottobre Design Kids Funny Faces Dress

2017-04-152013-44-012017-04-152012-57-01

I am so glad I finally used up that Lillestoff fabric which I bought in early May 2014!!!!!! Its only been waiting 3 years :-). Heres to using up more precious stashers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

Simplicity 1473 Girls Hooded Dresses

My greatest sewing pleasure is sewing for my little people Рbut sewing for the twinks is my joy. I love choosing contrasting fabrics to make them garments that are the same but different. I have a soft spot for Simplicity 1473 as it was one of the first garments I made for my son. The top I made then in 2014 is still around and my twins wear it now  <link here>. Here is the pattern cover. Continue reading

Ottobre Kids Magazine Sheepish Hooded Jumper

Continuing with the theme of sewing for others, I am happy to share one of my favourite kids makes from last year.

My second little person was a sheep in the Christmas play. I felt the costume he was given to wear by the school was sub-par and inconsistent with his tremendous talent!!! So I took it upon myself to make him a sheep costume. After my zeal and indignation had fizzled out – I came to the conclusion that I wanted to make something that would also get a lot of wear even after the play.

With 48 hours to spare I got this jersey fabric from Fabworks Mill Shop (not available online) which has the most amazing soft texture! It was incredibly pricey for me at 12£/meter (I bought 3/4 of a meter) but I quickly rationalised as follows:

  1. He is number 2, therefore, numbers 3, 4 and 5 will wear this as well and if you calculate the cost then in makes it worth while.
  2. I was with hubs who is my biggest enabler. ” Just buy it and love and let’s go” is always his response (I can’t complain).

I washed it at 30 degrees and tumble dried without noticeable loss of texture or length.

I lined the hoodie with a blue jersey fabric as blue is said little person’s favourite colour too. It sewed up in under 2 hours and he was able to wear it for his production. He loves it and wears it almost everyday. The only issue was that little persons¬†3, 4 and 5 also wanted their own sheep hoodies too! Baaaa!

Pictures2016-12-11-13-44-442016-12-11-13-46-092016-12-11-13-46-12

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be back soon with another non-Hila project :-).

Until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Ottobre Kids Design 01/2014 : Birthday Dresses (Funny Faces)

Hello again,

I made some more dresses for my little people’s birthday outfits. This is the pattern that I used.

deutsche-zeitschrift-ottobre-design-01-2014-kids-fruehling_b4
Ottobre Design Kids 01/2014

I made one change which was to have a straight skirt rather than a gathered skirt. Much as I’d love to say this was intentional – it was down to poor time management on my part. I wanted to make the dresses with a tulle underskirt as well as the gathered skirt so they could ¬†have swirly twirly dresses. ¬†I arrogantly thought I could whip them up in a couple of hours, however, by the time we got to the eve of their birthday we’d had 60% of the little people ill and I could feel that I was catching it too. Energy was low and I realised I had to make the dresses (because they had been promised) but I altered them¬†to make in the quickest way possible.

I am not proud of myself for this, but I do promise that this year I will do better. The girls loved their dresses though (which made me feel even worse ironically). They turned 3 and had a brilliant day with loads of gifts and games and cake. I cant believe that its been 3 years already!

I bought the jersey from Jacks Fabrics at Leeds Market. Its a lightweight poly jersey at £3 per meter. It pills like mad though so its not something I will use to make day to day clothes. I have about 2 meters left which will make some PJs for the kids. I dont mind pilling on PJs as much.

Here is a picture from their birthday wearing the dresses.

 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Peace and love,

Hila