Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Kids Clothes Week - how was it for you?

If you took part in the week-long sewing challenge to make stuff for your kids (or anyone else's!) how did you get on? The flikr pool and Pinterest board (search for kcwc community) are full of amazing clothes. Check them out as they are so inspiring and original, and don't forget to pop over to the Kids Clothes Week Blog too.

If like me, you watched The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2, I expect you have been inspired to start (or rediscover) sewing clothes. Kids clothes are a great place to start as they are quick to finish and usually much simpler than adults clothes. And hopefully the children will be less harsh judges than Patrick and May!

I have to say I'm pretty pleased with what I managed to achieve this time. It's no secret that my ambition far outweighs what is humanly possible in the time available, but I like to give it a good go! You can see my previous Kids Clothes Week challenges here, and here. I think the key to getting as much done as possible is careful planning and spending an evening cutting and prepping. That way I was able to spend the time on the following days just sewing. The idea is to spend an hour a day, but once I got going in the evenings I usually spent more time than that. Which helped make up the time on the evening I went out!

Wiss has been growing almost visibly so I really wanted to concentrate on making him some clothes this time - my aims were trousers, shorts and t-shirts. But as always, I had some gifts for other little people to make too. Baby Belle was born in November but I just hadn't got round to making her welcome sleepsack yet. These are becoming a little bit of a tradition for us: whenever a new baby is born I make a sleepsack from an old band t-shirt that has meaning for the parents. The Tom Jones one can be seen on this post, and I've made The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for some twins!

Baby Belle's parents were/are big indie kids and so her sleepsack of choice was made from a Suede t-shirt. The pattern is from 'Growing Up Sew Liberated' but you can find tutorials on Pinterest too.
>Next up on my list was a birthday present for a Star Wars mad 3 year old. I made these PJs using some Star Wars logo print brushed cotton (found on eBay) and Dana's Kid Pants tutorial. And instead of making a t-shirt from scratch I just customised a super-soft cotton long-sleeved t-shirt with the offcuts of flannel.
Last on my list of things for other children was a birthday present for a 3 year old girl. She likes pretty things and fairies but is definitely not a full-on pink girl (hooray!) so I planned to make her a Warhol Dress. I love these dresses - they're cute, simple and made from an old t-shirt. A perfect upcycling project! But when I went through my box of old t-shirts I found one that would make a great dress with only a few alterations. The plain yoke and band at the bottom stayed but I shortened the main body by about 5cm, cut new armholes, and reattached little puff sleeves.
So finally, by Thursday I was free to start on clothes for my little man! He requested a pair of yellow trousers (EVERYTHING is yellow at the moment!) and the only appropriate fabric I had was some vintage 70's stuff with a faint rib running through it. I used Dana's Kid Pants tutorial again but had a few problems making her pattern for a 2/3 year old bigger for Wiss, which resulted in a very high waistband or a rather saggy bottom! He didn't seem to mind though and wore them to nursery the next day. I added some concealed side pockets as Wiss takes a car or two with him wherever he goes at the moment!
We had an invitation to a Fairy and Elf party at the weekend (for the little girl mentioned above) and although fancy dress wasn't specified I couldn't resist making a simple costume for Wiss. Using a green t-shirt he already had as a base, I simply added felt leaves and twigs onto a striped patch which was sewn to the shirt. I used the leftover leaves and twigs to make a matching cuff and voila! One 'Tree Elf' costume (or Tree-Fu Tom if you prefer!) There's another picture of him on this SecretSunday post
The week was nearly over, and although I had cut out the pieces for a few Raw Edged Raglan t-shirts earlier I hadn't sewn any together. The pattern is from Sewing for Boys and is super-easy to make as it uses unfinished seams on the outside of the shirt. This is perfect for upcycling old t-shirts too, so Wiss will be sporting a few creations that used to be Papa's! I managed to work out how to sew jersey properly on my new(ish) machine (using the walking foot, and a slight zigzag stitch) and was able to knock this out in just over an hour.
I think the Sewing Bee must have rubbed off on me as I was constantly thinking 'I must make my top stitch neat and even', or 'ease the neck band in gently'. And just like some of the contestants, I had problems reading the instructions especially as I was setting myself against the clock. However, as I heard myself swearing and cursing every time I burnt my fingers with the steam as I pressed, or stuck a pin in my finger, I did think that maybe I'm not quite ready for the BBC!!

The week is over for another season, but that doesn't mean that I will stop sewing. I've really enjoyed getting back behind my machine, and getting such quick results is very good for morale. I have a stack of things left to finish for Wiss, and a head full of ideas of things I'd like to make for myself too. I don't think I'm going to be the only one this summer wearing some handmade creations: The Great British Sewing Bee has inspired loads of people to get making.

If you're making something then please let me know - I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

1 comment:

  1. Some really lovely ideas! Makes me want to learn how to sew more competently! :D x


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