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.
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.
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 –
- 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.
- 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 🙂
Thanks for stopping by,
Peace and love,
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.