Archives for category: sewing for children

…the last few weeks. I’ve been completely MIA at my own blog because I was sewing like a mad fiend for the Pattern Review “Sewing For Children” contest. I’ve got three pieces left to make before the end of the month and then I’ll heave a sigh of relief. In the mean time, I’ll share with you what I’ve made thus far. Some of it is good. I can’t seem to find any bad, but there is ONE fugly. But more on that later.
Let’s begin!

Advance 8932
a jumper and blouse pattern.

This is a size 8 or 10, if I recall correctly and hails from the late 50s. I only made the jumper since my childrens’ school requires *polo* shirts. Even for girls. Which is better than the button down oxfords *I* had to wear. But I digress. The fabric is a polyester spandexy suiting from Joann’s. It was red tag fabric that I picked up for ~$2/yard. WINNING!!!

You can see the pattern envelope here, if you like.

Simplicity 8769
1970
PantDress without skirt

From there, I branched out into some super 70s awesomeness, also known as the “pantdress”. Simplicity 8769 from 1970 was the pattern du jour. I used quilting cotton for the outer, juvenile apparel for the skirt and a vintage bedsheet purloined from my nana’s closet (with her permission, I promise!) for the lining. I wanted to fully line it because who wants raw edges in their hoo-ha?

I used the owl fabric for the reverse of the reversible skirt. Buttons were from my stash as was the zipper. W00T! for using up stuff in my stash!

Moving right along… We’ve hit the 60s and the 70s, lets aim for another decade…

Simplicity 4870

Helloooooo 1940s. Now there are some little girls who can’t carry off all these frills and ruffles. And to be honest, they CAN look a little dated. Luckily for my little peanut, that’s not the case.

For this seafoam green number, I used another one of nana’s purloined vintage sheets for the dress and lining. The trim is vintage deadstock lace! How awesome is that? Vintage pattern? Check! Vintage fabric? Check! Vintage trim? Check! Vintage button for the neck closing? Check!

This dress also came with the matching doll dress pattern as well. I took some liberties with the doll dress because I’d pretty much run out of ruffled part (the top of the sheet) and I’m a lazy cuss. I’m NOT going to put as much effort into a doll dress as I am a dress for an actual child. So I cheated a bit.

Simplicity 9529

Since we’re like, totally sewing our way through the decades, like fer sure, let’s swing by the 80s. They called and they want Simplicity 9529 back. This was a fun pattern to sew. It was all like, totally, a flashback for me. I think I owned an outfit very similar to this as a kid.

The skirt portion and jacket are fully lined with the raspberry fabric to keep the totally rad purple Star Trek TNG fabric from scratching the skin. And yes, I DID have to refrain from singing Raspberry Beret whilst I was working on this one. The skirt and bodice are all sewn together to give the impression of a skirt/blouse. The belt is detachable (and currently lost!?!). This beauty is dry clean only. Someone smack me back into sanity so I don’t ever do that again for a 9 year old. But really the fabric was JUST too awesome AND I bought it specifically for my purple lover AND it was all red tag fabric, so what’s a girl to do? I just wanted to have fun with it…

Simplicity 2007

I feel like I’m missing a decade in here or something. Let’s see, 80s…. Check. 70s…. Check. 60s…. Check. 40s…. Check. That’s IT! I’m missing the 50s. Okay. Here we go kiddies, let’s take a trip back to the Nifty Fifties!

This here is probably my second favoritest kids’ outfit I’ve ever made in the history of ever. Check OUT the mad plaid matching skillz! Now I know that some people think matching plaid is of the debbil, but for me, it’s like…. I don’t know how to describe it. It just is one of the most soothing things to do. Which means I’m officially nuts. Or something.

This is my daughter’s favoritest – even more than the purple – outfit I’ve made for her. What I love is that when sewing vintage patterns for her, she’s a straight 7/8 and not a 10/12 like the RTW stuff you find in stores. She’s freakishly short for her age (just like her mama!) so I’ve pretty much given up on RTW for this kid anyhow.

I especially love the side invisible zip and the back bow detail on this one. You just don’t see stuff like this at the local Big Box Mart.

And now, for the pe-ayce de ray-zis-tahnce…

McCall’s 4672
1942

McCall’s 4672, overalls and jacket. I’m giving you the big version of the picture so you can really take in the details:

Self-covered “stealth” buttons that are matched to the pattern of the fabric so you just don’t see them.
“Stealth” pocket on the jacket.
Chinese dragon that goes across the front from one leg to the other.
Fu Dogs that face each other on the jacket front.

Longevity symbol
overalls without jacket

How cool is THAT? Now that you’ve seen the good… Brace yourself for the fugly. Because, friends, it just ain’t a pretty sight.

1962
Toddler Maternity Pattern?

Yeah. Not quite the result I was looking for. This one did not pass go, did not get entered into the contest. Why? Well, despite the awesome fabric, it just wasn’t *right*. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And this was a BIG lose. Laura Petrie might have been able to carry this one off. Or even Lucy Ricardo as maternity wear. But even with dupioni silk(!) and awesome stretch check fabric that feels like taffeta, this outfit wouldn’t make the grade. And the shame of it all is that THIS pattern is one that I really, really, really wanted to make up. I’m not even sure I’d resell it, it’s so bad. Plus it’s missing a couple of pieces.

***And might I say I REALLY hate Blogger’s method for inserting photos into posts.

In spite of not starting these until the Tuesday before Easter, I finished these frocks with enough time to do a photoshoot and Easter isn’t until tomorrow! Of course getting a decent picture of two very active girls is a bit of a trick…

With Amy (little one’s) dress, I decided to leave the scalloped apron unadorned. What with the waist tie (I cheated and used a ribbon) and the little bow at the collar and the contrast and the topstitching on the pintucked yoke, I felt like there was enough happening on the front of her dress!

Oh, and a word to the wise – if you decide to make a dress like this, don’t use Kona cotton for the apron. Two layers of Kona, gathered, at the waist was right bulky! I was so afraid I was going to break a serger needle on it!

Betsy’s dress is a dropped waist style which works well if you have a girl like mine with a looong torso. She still fits into her thrift shop crinoline slip from last year – that was one less thing I had to do!

The ribbon trim was my favorite part. I sew ribbons on everything.

I am so pleased with how these turned out; I hope the girls don’t outgrow them anytime soon! Then again, the sky blue material was re-purposed from a bed sheet so they didn’t really cost us anything.

Hello again! The one nice thing about making vintage children clothing is that several can be made in the time it would take me to make one dress for myself. That is, until she gets quite a bit bigger 😉

Back in December I posted a dropped-waist alteration I had made to this pattern:


Simplicity 8714, copyright 1970

I’ve been at it again – trying a few different things with my wide-shouldered very active toddler. The first version in blue is useful, but did not fit as well as I wanted it to.


baggy in some places, pulling too much in others.

So I made alterations detailed here and ended up with this:

I like the finished result! She looks quite a bit like the toddler in the bottom right corner of the envelope – but with straight sleeves added on (it is cold here!). One more picture of the remake here.


McCalls 8715
year was 1967

I fell in love with the illustrations on this envelope long ago – and my own daughter hasn’t even grown into this size yet! But – circumstances came up and I got to use it last night. I made it in the top view for my niece Elizabeth, who lives in Minnesota. It was extremely simple and easy to alter to what fabric was on hand. I used it as a ‘safety’ pattern because I can’t get there to try anything on her and the A-line shaping means it is very likely to fit her. Her mom measured her around the chest and it came out to match this pattern. The last dress I had made her she had outgrown and was pretty upset about it! Auntie sewer to the rescue.

Pictures of the finished (but unpressed) product at my blog.