Posts Tagged ‘knits’

big joey dress -- probably actually-1-2I managed to make something last week, something I cut out last fall and then left on my ironing board for eight months. It’s a Make it Perfect Joey Dress, a favorite pattern of mine, and of Lila’s, too. The orange one I made when she was in Kindergarten rivaled that first Geranium dress as her most loved and most often worn garment.

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I have no idea why this sat for so long. Once I started it, the top half was finished in a couple hours, and I would’ve happily kept sewing if I’d cut out two skirt pieces rather than just one. Instead I had to order more fabric – thankfully Llama Fabrics still had this print (Morse Dot from Katarina Roccella’s Imprint line), so it all came from the same bolt, and I got right back to work when the new fabric arrived. Started on day #1 of Kids Clothes Week, finished on day #7.

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The fabric is an Art Gallery knit, same as my first Joey. I like these knits for their quality and great range of prints, and because they have enough stretch to make bindings. My only complaint is that there’s some fading, especially with the darker colors.

I remember thinking she looked so grown up in that first Joey dress. Same with this one, only about a year and a half growner-upper.

big joey dress -- probably actually-1-12‘Tis the season for monkey bar callouses and backyard raspberries. Happy almost summer!

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scout skirt  -- probably actually-1-2

Make it Perfect has a new pattern, the Scout Skirt and Sweatshirt, and I tested the skirt back in June. I always look forward to Toni’s patterns, they’re some of my very favorites. This one is no exception – a super simple, swingy knit skirt.

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You can’t get much faster or easier than a skirt like this – a couple side seams, elastic in a knit waistband, and a hem. Speaking of which, I think I finally managed to figure out hemming knits on my machine – the twin needle really makes a world of difference.

PicMonkey CollageI don’t have a lot of knits on my shelves, so I went to my local Fabric Depot to pick something out. This is a Windham knit called Sunshine Serenade Soire. I’d never seen this print, but it jumped out at me with its water color-y look and bright colors. A print like this goes with almost every solid colored top Lila owns, which is a plus. I made this skirt over a month ago and it gets chosen from the (sizable) skirt pile quite often – it’s comfortable and easy to wear and I can see myself making this one over and over again. This is a size 6 with no adjustments, and the fit is perfect.

scout skirt  -- probably actually-1-3 You can see Toni’s versions and read more about the Scout pattern here. I hope to try the sweatshirt too when the weather cools down. And check out the new Make it Perfect blog and shop – the site got a beautiful new make-over!

Enjoy your weekend!

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Behold! A knit dress.

little joey in squares -- probably actually

It seems the selection of good quality/well designed knits has been growing by leaps and bounds lately. Especially at Art Gallery – I’ve wanted to try one of theirs for awhile now, and my opportunity arrived when Toni of Make it Perfect asked if I’d like to sew up her new pattern, the Joey Dress. I love the style and knew Lila would be into a comfy dress like this.

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This print is called Threaded Shreds Mamey from Katarina Roccella’s Indelible line, which includes several knits (this one is really cool, too). The fabric is so super soft, and has 5% Lycra for a nice stretch. I’d hoped to use a solid for the bindings (like Kristin’s – so cute), but I couldn’t find a good match (coordinating solid knits, please, Art Gallery!) so I used the print for everything. You can definitely go either way with this pattern – I especially love Toni’s solid blue version.

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My main complaint about knits is that my finished product is never quite up to my quality standards. Each one acts a little differently depending on its makeup, and while I’ve tried every sewing-with-knits tip known to man, I still haven’t cracked the code. Because of that there are some problems with this dress, but nothing too tragic – I think I stretched the neckband a little too much, and a few of the seams are a little wavy.

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I love the dress though, I mean I really love it. How it feels, how it looks, how it fits, the sleeves, the pocket, everything. Well, everything except the fact that she looks so grown up in it. Five going on 15.

a little joey in squares -- probably actually-2I live in fear of things coming out too short, so after reading Sanae’s Big Joey post, I added 1.5 inches to the size 5, just to be on the safe side. I hemmed it before she tried it on, and it’s too long – I think I prefer it just above the knee like Toni’s. Maybe I’ll hem it up another inch or so, or maybe I’ll leave it alone and she can wear it until she’s seven. I’m even semi-happy with how the hem came out – I used twin needles for the first time and it really did help to combat the waves.

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Anyway, yet another great Make it Perfect pattern – I want to make a bunch of Joeys! Thanks to Toni for the pattern and to Linh for the beautiful knit! Good stuff, all around.

NEWS FLASH :: Toni just announced that Make it Perfect PDF patterns are 50% off for two days!

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silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually-7

I made this shirt two weeks ago, so it’s technically a cheater KCW project. But Liesl of Oliver + S just announced her collection of digital t-shirt patterns (kids’, women’s, and men’s – you can outfit the whole family!), and I was a tester for the kids’ version, the School Bus T-shirt pattern. I sewed up one for each kid, so I thought I’d share Lila’s today.

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The School Bus pattern is a basic t-shirt that comes with several options – three different sleeve lengths and two neckband widths. This is View B, with a more feminine, capped sleeve and a narrow neckband. Views A and C are your standard short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts. It’s so nice to have basics like this from trusted sources like Oliver + S – you always know just what you’re getting into, and it’s always something good. And as with all great basic patterns, the options for customization are endless.

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I sewed a size 5 and was really happy with the fit – it’s relaxed but not overly roomy, and the capped sleeves and narrow neckband definitely give View B a girlier feel.

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The silver dot knit came from a sale rack Old Navy tee. I don’t know if it was the fabric or the fact that I skipped the walking foot this time, but it sewed up like a dream.

silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually

If you want more info on any of these new T-shirt patterns, check out Liesl’s introduction post on the the Oliver + S blog. Each pattern is available on its own, or you can purchase a “Family Pack” that includes all four (men’s, women’s, and two size ranges for kids). I’m looking forward to trying the women’s Metro T-shirt myself. After KCW, of course.


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Oscar is making a triumphant return to boy clothes today:

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And the elk are back! I was sure the (new to me) Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-Shirt would be a pattern worthy of the yellow Elk Grove knit I’ve been hoarding since last Kids Clothes Week. It’s true, I almost never cut into the good stuff on my first attempt at a pattern unless it’s Oliver + S.

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This pattern is now available on its own in digital format, so if you’re looking for a great raglan pattern but aren’t interested in the accompanying cargo pants, you can buy just the T-shirt portion of the pattern. Same goes for the Playtime Leggings and the Seashore Bloomers – both are available as stand-alones. I love the idea of splitting up the patterns this way so you can pick and choose just what you want to sew. Of course, you never know – I’ve purchased a few patterns for just one garment and ended up loving the one I thought I’d never make (Class Picnic Shorts!). But still, this is a great option to have.

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Anyway, Lila’s elk Hopscotch shirt ended up on the small side, and I think I may have overcompensated with this one. It’s an 18-24 months and it’s all-around pretty big on him. It’s definitely a more relaxed fit than the one other T-shirt pattern I’ve tried, so I think lengthening the 12-18 month size would’ve been fine. He’s suddenly a huge kid though, so I’m glad this one will fit for awhile – this fabric really is an all-time favorite.

Oscar still walks like a drunk man, which means a lot our photos looked like some variation on this:

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We called it quits after four minutes, and he already had wet hands, wet knees, and a wet behind. His modeling skills are still developing.

P.S. My elk came from LiMa Sews, but it looks like she’s down to a couple Elk Grove Chevron knits. The Flight knits are coming soon though! And thanks to Liesl for providing this pattern – my opinions are, as always, my own.


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It’s Kids Clothes Week again! I’ve been working on a couple things, and first up is a little knit top for Lila.

elk grove hopscotch top -- probably actually-0205

I recently got my hands on some Elk Fam in Pool, a dreamy new knit from Birch Fabrics. I love this stuff. It’s 100% organic cotton interlock, which means it’s stable and easy to work with – it keeps its shape nicely and doesn’t shift or stretch too much under your scissors or presser foot. If you’re new to knits, interlock is a great place to start, and of course this stuff is extra special – besides being organic and super buttery soft, it’s covered in elk!

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There are other great prints in the Elk Grove knits line, too – poppies (like the canvas I used for Lila’s fall jacket) and chevrons. And the colors divine, especially the yellow. Oh yes, it’s the perfect shade. I picked up a little of that too, for Oscar.

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I decided to try a new-to-me pattern (the top is new to me, anyway) and chose the Oliver + S Hopscotch top – the skirt is a favorite of mine and I’ve always wanted to make the top/dress part of the pattern. I like the cross-over style and the gathers, the details are nice and simple. It all came together very easily and took one night to sew (albeit a late night), including tracing and cutting out the pattern. My hems are wavier than I’d like, which is one of the reasons I don’t sew with knits much. I tried tissue paper under the presser foot with the bottom hem, and it helped, but it’s still not perfect. And don’t look too closely at the hem in my photos, because I didn’t pick out all the tissue!

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Also, I made a size 3 lengthened to 4, and I only ended up turning up a 1/4 inch on the hem because it wasn’t looking long enough. The width is just right, but I like my tops longer, so I’d probably add an inch or so next time so I can give it a proper hem.

She’s wearing it here with one of her many Swingset skirts – this one was made during last fall’s KCW.

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My mind has been spinning a bit with all the great things you could make with these knits. Baby things mostly – blankets, little beanie hats, sleep sacks…all those cute Ottobre outfits I’ve got pinned on my “sewing for baby” board. And kid stuff too, of course – t-shirts and leggings and dresses and all sorts of other stuff. Good knits are hard to come by, and these are really, really good knits.

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I got the fabric from Linh at LiMa Sews – she has the whole line of Elk Grove knits in stock if you’re looking, as well as lots more from Birch, including the new Eiko line. So much good stuff, I tell you, and lots of great new arrivals coming in all the time. I can’t wait for Birch to release the Flight print in knits this Decemeber, and I think I saw a preview of a beautiful stack of Birch organic fleece on Instagram (please order that stuff too, Linh!).

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So the only bad news about this cute little top is that Lila says the yoke seam is itchy, and she kept complaining and tugging at it. I wonder if I could bind it with something soft…rabbit fur, or marshmallows maybe. I’ll be working on that.


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My second project for summer KCW is a simple one – a Made by Rae Flashback Skinny Tee for little Oscar.

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With a pocket, of course, because babies need tiny pockets. To hold their washi tape and such. Lila insisted on shoving that in there.

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It didn’t last long, though.

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The long sleeves aren’t very summery, I know, but 12-18 months is the smallest size, and I knew it would fit better in the fall. Even though it’s big on him, I still love the fit of this shirt.

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The knits are re-purposed t-shirts from Old Navy, and the blue is a cotton/lycra blend, since the neckband needs to have some stretch. I preserved the hem from the gray shirt, making this extra fast and easy to sew up. I had forgotten how quick these are to make – it’s a super satisfying project and one that’s sure to get lots of wear.

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I made one silly mistake on this shirt. The front and back pattern pieces are identical except for a little dip in the neckline on the front. This is my second time making this size, and apparently I only printed out one pattern piece the first time around. Since it had already been cut on the front/back line, I ended up cutting out two fronts without even noticing. Luckily it doesn’t seem to make any difference when the shirt is on. But when you prepare your pattern pieces, print out two separate pieces for the back and front so you don’t make the same mistake!

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I’m excited to be the next stop on Laura’s Fancy Pants Leggings pattern tour!

I first discovered Laura last spring during KCW when she made these wonderful pajamas for her boys, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Her blog, Craftstorming, is full of sewing and crafting and baking inspiration, and she’s recently started selling patterns at Titchy Threads. The Fancy Pants Leggings are her first pattern, though you’d never know it – it’s one of the most thorough, professional patterns I’ve ever used. The leggings are so quick and easy to sew, and come together so nicely – I highly recommend this pattern!

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The size range is 0-3 months to 4T, and I tested a size 3-6 months for Oscar. He’s a tall, skinny 5 month old in these photos, and the fit is perfect (and still is today at almost 7 months). This was my first attempt at sewing a bum panel – it’s such a cute feature and allows for some extra diaper room, as well as an opportunity to use a contrast fabric, which I’d love to try next time. For these I used a thrifted gray and white striped knit (subconsiously trying to channel Laura’s striped jammies, I think!) with an aqua cotton/lycra blend for the leg and waist bands.

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In the final version of the pattern the waistband for this size is one inch wide rather than the two inches you see here, but it would be super easy to customize the size of both the waist and leg bands should you choose. You can also hem the legs instead of adding bands, or use exposed elastic for the waistband. And there’s a shorts version, too. Lots of options, and they’re all explained very clearly, with plenty of photos and detailed instructions. And if you’re new to sewing with knits you’ll find lots of helpful tips within the pattern. It’s rated “Confident Beginner” – even if you’ve never sewn with knits, you can make these leggings!

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You can get your copy of the pattern here, and check out all the stops on the pattern tour below – lots of fabulous Fancy Pants Leggings to be seen!

20th – Abby from Things for Boys
21st – Rachael from Imagine Gnats
22nd – Celina from Petit à Petit and Family
23rd – Jane from Buzzmills
24th – Heather from Feather’s Flight

27th – Stacey from Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy
28th – Gail from Probably Actually
29th – Jenny from The Southern Institute
30th – Ros from Sew Delicious
31st – Carla from Small + Friendly


Oh, and you can win a copy of the pattern by liking Craftstorming and/or Titchy Threads on Facebook and leaving a comment here that you did! The giveaway will be open through Friday, May 31st – just make sure your comment is linked to an email address so that I can contact you if it’s your lucky day 🙂

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beachy boatneck

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I don’t know why I avoid sewing with knits. It’s never as scary as I think it’s going to be, and around these parts it has the most potential to be worn. Last week I decided I was going to make a t-shirt already, and I got the Beachy Boatneck pattern from the Go To Patterns shop. If you haven’t visited Andrea’s shop yet, it’s worth taking a look – she’s gathered together a bunch of great patterns (lots of basics and wardrobe staples, plus non-clothing patterns as well) by a group of talented and trusted pattern designers. The Beachy Boatneck is by Melissa of Blank Slate Patterns, and it was so simple and satisfying to sew. I can see myself making plenty of these shirts.

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Knits are Lila’s favorite, but she’s also going through a “girly” phase and is loving skirts and pink and fancy stuff like the rest of the four year old girls out there. The jeans for these photos were my idea…she hasn’t chosen jeans in months. We had a good long run with blue, so I’m trying not to take it too hard. Anyway, I thought maybe I could sell her on this coral-striped knit with its built-in sequins (originally an XXL women’s tee on clearance from Old Navy). That’s what girls like, right? Sparkles?

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I realize this is just a t-shirt and doesn’t warrant all that much excitement, but I can’t help it, I’m kind of excited about it. I think maybe because it’s knit (which, like I said, I fear!) and because it was just so fast and simple. I mean, crazy fast and simple. The neckline was faced, so no messing with bindings. And I used the existing hems of the Old Navy shirt for the sleeves and bottom, so no hemming at all. The pattern actually calls for a curved hem (lots of photos of that hem in the pattern listing), and I liked that look just fine, but I couldn’t resist stealing the shirt’s existing hems with their perfect twin needle finish.

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Based on her measurements I made a size 3, and the fit is just right. I like that it’s on the long side – short shirts are my nemesis.

Oh and one of my knit fears did come true – the back neckline came out a little wavy. The jersey was pretty thin and didn’t hold its shape very well – maybe I stretched the fabric a little when I was top stitching. I don’t know, but I’ll do better next time. And the next one is already cut out and waiting to be sewn up.

Highlights the big belly nicely, too, right?

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P.S. I recently became an affiliate for Go To Patterns and this post contains affiliate links for the shop. But I wouldn’t have written anything differently if it didn’t!

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Did I mention that this new baby, besides just being huge, is going to be a boy?

I will admit that a few tears have been shed over the fact that no child of mine will ever again wear anything in this stack of handmades.

This isn’t the whole haul, but I counted 68 items in this pile – exactly zero of which (given current social norms) could be worn by a boy. I already weeded those out, and there were three.

And while I know there’s plenty of great boy-sewing inspiration out there, I’m having trouble convincing myself that sewing for boys could ever be as much fun as sewing for girls…and so far I haven’t encountered a lot of people trying to prove me wrong on this point (though I’m absolutely up for hearing your argument if you have one!). Every time I go to start a project I get caught up in the fact I’d rather be choosing “girl” fabrics – this coming from someone who has absolutely no affinity for anything overtly “girly” and has rarely (if ever) sewn a pink or purple garment for my daughter. I love blues and greens and grays – but even so, the fabric options when sewing for girls are just more plentiful, because no color or print is off limits. It seems to me that even if you avoid ruffles and flowers and bows and all shades of pink, you’re still left with more choices in terms of clothing patterns and fabric and inspiration when it comes to sewing for girls.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be having this little boy, and I do realize that babies were not put on this earth solely to inspire us to sew. But man, the girl variety sure does have a knack for it.

So while I haven’t been terribly boy-inspired these days, I did manage to get pretty excited last week when Ruby of Zaaberry posted a free pattern and tutorial for newborn knit hats. I figured our little November baby could surely use a few of these. And because the selection of knit fabric out there is pretty limited anyway, I had no problem choosing some boy appropriate knits from my stash.

These little hats were so easy to make, and only took about 20 minutes apiece. I tried all the variations – knot, rounded, and ears.

The solid green and the blue polka dots are Patty Young knits, the stripes were an Old Navy dress, and the bear hat is made from Michael Miller organic sherpa.

I also made this hat (from a Carter’s receiving blanket), but it’ll be going to a friend having a girl…you know, due to those pesky pink and purple polka dots.

They’re all newborn size, but stretchy enough to humor a three year old:

And in conclusion, one last photo of Lila that I’ve already plastered all over every social media site, so I figure I’ll post it here too. Plus, it proves I have nothing against the color pink.

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