Tag Archives: For Fyon

Little sweaters

Cloned sweater. Conflict was much reduced when the sisters didn’t have to fight over the original.

One of the styles (my) contemporary teenagers like is a fairly shrunken, close-fitting version of the sweatshirt. I had cloned an existing one (which belongs to Tyo) for Syo, last winter sometime, which was successful but, like the original, very dependent on fabric stretch to fit. I wanted a version with a little more ease, that would work in less stretchy, classic sweatshirt fabrics. There are almost certainly patterns out there for this look—but I don’t own any of them, and I do own enough patterns that I should not be buying more for something as simple as a raglan sleeve sweatshirt.

Anyway, last night my husband sent me downstairs to sew while he played video games, and I cut out another Jalie Julia, but the fabric was dark and there’s white thread in the serger right now and I didn’t feel like changing it, so I looked around for a different project.

(The regular machine, on the other hand, had black thread in the needle and white thread in the bobbin, because Syo was apparently down there trying to alter a bra but she’s too lazy to change the bobbin thread. Or so I surmise, since the bra was still sitting on the floor. Because that’s life with teenagers. )

Anyway, so looking around for something else, I spied this fabric, which I bought my girls for Christmas presents last year. (This is what happens, teenagers, when you make the mistake of showing interest in your mom’s hobbies.)

I thought it was adorable and hilarious. It looks like sweatshirt fabric on the outside, but the inside is almost like a minky. And then when I was getting it cut we discovered it was flawed—some bad lines of staining on the soft white interior. It became steeply discounted and I became the owner of a ridiculous amount of it.

The kids thought it made great blankets (as most fleece fabrics do), and Tyo mused at length about making a giant pj sweater out of it, and a tiny cropped sweater for Syo, but nothing happened beyond that so eventually I packed it away into the stash.

But it would be perfect for white serger thread.

After a bit of digging I decided Kwik Sew 2893 seemed like a good place to start. While it’s styled like a baseball tee, it’s roomier than Jalie 3245, and the difference between a baseball tee and a sweatshirt pattern is largely about ease.

It’s a kids pattern but the XL is a size 12-14, which is about the same chest measurement as Tyo, and I figured if it didn’t fit Syo it would fit Tyo, and if Tyo didn’t like it it would work for Fyon, who is a very skinny eleven now. This is the convenient part of having multiple girls in the family, even if they don’t stairstep quite as neatly as they used to.

I wanted a slightly cropped length, partly just to use less fabric in this tester version, so I made it the length of the Extra Small size. This is still significantly longer than the sweater at the top of the post, and as it turned out, while it makes a short sweater, it’s not what I would call cropped.

At the last moment I decided to include the pocket, also in a size XS, because it’s nice for teenagers to have somewhere to stuff their phones. This was pretty simple, although more stabilization might’ve been nice. I did knit interfacing strips along the opening parts.

None of the grey ribbings I have in stash were a perfect match, but this one was the best. I could also try black at some point, that might be fun.

Anyway. While I was sewing it up I was convinced I was making a sweater for Fyon, but Syo tried it on and it fits her. It also fits Tyo but the length is awkward—longer than cropped but not as long as she’d like a normal length sweater. On the other hand she didn’t take it off and went on to sleep in it, so I guess it’s not that bad.

And it’s one tiny piece less taking up space in my stash.

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Jammie Pants

McCall's 6641

McCall’s 6681

Over Christmas, I was wanting to do a wee bit of sewing for my children, but by wee I do mean wee since I had about as much free time as I ever do lately, which is on the order of a few hours ever other week. For Tyo, stretchy cozy PJ pants seemed to fit the bill, but they needed to be as simple as possible. Even the Sewaholic Tofino pattern, which has to be one of the cutest PJ-pants patterns out there, and is sitting patiently in my stash, seemed too complicated.

So, after a bit of stash rummaging, I settled on McCall’s 6681, a Stitch ‘n Save pattern that I can’t quite decide if it’s cute, or just dated and butt-ugly. Anyway, the bottoms were a completely basic PJ trouser, which is what I was looking for. As it turned out they’re a teeny bit tapered, which I thought might suit the kids these days.

Batpants!

Batpants!

Despite the deliciously-soft panda fabric featured throughout this post, the first Christmas pair was made with Batman fleece. This was a rare score, indeed, since Fabricland has had mostly bugger all for licensed anything the last couple of years, so I had to snaffle it up when I saw it, since this year Tyo is All Batman All The Time. I’m not terribly into taking on pop-culture as totem or mascot, myself, but, well, I suppose there are worse mascots she could adopt than Batman. And this was a LOT easier than the Pikachu onesie.

Now, while one of the major downsides of having a teenage daughter is her ability to steal your clothes, in making these as a present, it became a bit of a boon—I made them to fit me, just a little bit shorter. It worked fairly well, though I should’ve made the waist a bit more snug—not sure if that’s to be blamed on my comparatively-larger waist (do you see the hips on that kid?), or the way the elastic stretches out a bit in sewing. Anyway, they aren’t going to fall off. And she was very, very happy with them.

So, when I finally dug out this panda fleece (purchased a year ago last fall, originally for Tyo before she came down with a bade case of Pikachuitis) to make a pair of comfy pants for Fyon’s birthday (who is eight now, by the way, how the hell did that happen?), I figured I should make Tyo a pair too, for old time’s sake, even if pandas are so year-before-last. Since I had the pattern all ready to go ‘n everything.

The pandas will get you if you don't watch out!

The pandas will get you if you don’t watch out!

So I did.

Tyo-fitting pattern changes

Tyo-fitting pattern changes

Being the second make, I tweaked the pattern a bit, finalizing the changes I’d made to the rise the first time. I make these changes kinda preemptively to a lot of pants patterns, especially when I know they were designed for a higher rise in the front than I like. (I’ve become comfortable with a very uneven rise, nice and high for lots of coverage in the back, dipping low in the front to sit under the belly. Tyo seems to like it too, but it makes it really hard to wear most storebought pants and leggings. For this pair, I added a bit of length (depth? I always forget which it is) to the back crotch, as well, just for good measure.

The front.

The front. I forgot to get her to hike her shirt so you could actually see the rise.

Now, I’m certainly not going to be a fit-Nazi about some baggy PJ pants, but I am pretty pleased with how they turned out, anyway. No smiles and straining, but not so huge she’s swimming in them. How much can be credited to my alterations and how much to the fact that these are loose PJ pants, I don’t really know (I suspect mostly the latter, though.) And no, I didn’t even try to pattern-match panda-faces across her butt.

The back.

The back. Also, why can’t I have hips like that? /momsulk

The back hangs almost straight, and the rise is nice and high.

The side.

The side. You can kinda see the angle of the waistband under her shirt.

The best thing about PJ pants like these is how damn fast they are to put together. These didn’t take more than an hour all told (it helped that the pattern was ready to go, mind you), and I also managed to churn out a couple of fuzzy pants for Fyon and the Waif. And I think I have just enough panda fabric left to make some 3/4-length comfies for Syo.

Small fuzzy pants

Small fuzzy pants

There’s only one problem: Osiris is now wondering where his panda pants are.

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Lots of little leggings

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Jalie 2920 Leggings

Jalie 2920 is getting a lot of love around here. Maybe because a pattern with just one piece is about my speed these days. Stylish helpfully traced the sizes for her girls out, so when I had a smidgeon of downtime I found myself cranking out a couple. If I spent half an hour on either of these I’d be surprised. I feel a bit bad because I probably should’ve left the fabric for Stylish to practice on… but there’s enough left to make a couple more pairs, anyway.

I’m a little bit perplexed with this pattern, though. I get that it’s designed to stretch in length as well as width, and for snug, extra-stretchy fabrics…   well, I dunno. This purple is NOT such a fabric. I mean, it’s a pretty nice, beefy knit. The amount of stretch is good. But it’s definitely not a four-way stretch. When tracing, I had Stylish give lots of extra room in the leg length, to compensate for this. I used the longest lengths here, and I’m glad I did. The Waif’s are a little long, but she seems to grow up rather than out, so that’s probably a good thing, and Fyon’s are spot on. And that’s five or six extra inches beyond the pattern’s “proper” lengths. Well, the length dictated by their heights, anyway. The Waif’s pair are a size 2(F), lengthened to the five length and then beyond. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen her in a pair of pants that wasn’t way loose and baggy on her.

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The Waif, Tyo, and Fyon in their new leggings

This was after I had attempted to make myself another set of leggings from some luverly denim-look knit I’ve been sitting on and petting since I acquired it around New Year’s. The whole bolt at my local Fabricland recently got marked down to half price and I’m having a hard time not rushing in and buying up the whole damn thing. I used the same Jalie 2920 as for my black leggings. However, peeps, this is where those stretch gauges on the patterns become important. This stuff is stretchy, but not leggings-type stretchy. Length was not an issue, but while I could wriggle into them, well, um, let’s just say that it was putting undue stress on the fabric. D’oh.

Fortunately, as with the fleece pants, I have a suitable candidate with a derriere just a little bit smaller than my own handy in the house, so Tyo now has her first pair of jeggings. I guess I had better enjoy that while it lasts… we just had to buy her a whole new crop of skinny jeans, as the ones she got in September are getting too snug. (This is why I don’t make her jeans very often any more). The time until her hips surpass mine may be measured in months rather than years at this point. Oh, you cursed curvaceous pears.

I guess I just need to get some more denim-look knit for myself. /sniffle.

Anyone else addicted to deadly simple projects? I swear I’ll do something actually interesting one of these days…

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There is sewing…

Rather feverish sewing, actually. I’m working a bunch this week so the sewing time is tight.

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But, I have made some progress, at least, on my niece’s birthday dress. Still not sure how I’ll handle the dickie… I love the suggestion of an undershirt or slip, but lack ambition. I will do a side zip, though.

And at some point I’ll get to sew for MEEEEEE dammit!

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A Vintage Conundrum

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As things tend to when I’m not paying attention (which is almost always, apparently) a significant date has crept up on me. In particular, Fyon, my five-year-old niece, has her sixth birthday in a week. An auntie-stitched project of some sort is practically de rigeur, of course, but in the past the sheer physical distance meant that delivery dates were, well, flexible. Sometimes six months late flexible. Not so much when we’re spitting distance away.

Happily, it didn’t take much for me to pick a pattern: Butterick 3666*, a darling little sailor dress in the right size that I already know Fyon adores (because a favourite game these days is paging through the pattern listings on Auntie’s phone). Best of all, since we’re currently in the depths of the Canadian winter here, it has SLEEVES. A little more thinking, and a wee bit of fabric enabling, and I had acquired an eyelet cotton for an overlayer and a solid navy underlayer, which will look smashing, I think. Unless I decide to go white-on-white.

But, as I traced off the (uncut!) pattern, some troubling features became apparent. The dress has, um, some very vintage details. Like a side placket that closes with hook and eyes, and a little dickie in the front that snaps open and closed. It brings to mind fond childhood memories of the sailor dresses in my Grandma’s tickle trunk, which originally belonged to my mother and her sister. It also reminds me of how damn annoying those little snaps were, always popping open at inopportune moments and never looking quite as tidy as they ought.

I’ve been wracking my brain, though, and I can’t come up with a way to adjust the closures that won’t require major pattern surgery. A back opening doesn’t work with the sailor collar, and a front opening would be a fairly major design change. I don’t want to make the collar removable, either, because that’s just as fiddly. If it were a dress for me, I’d probably go with the “vintage details” just for the fun of it, but the last thing I want to make my niece is a dress that’s annoying to wear. And I don’t trust that the head opening will be large enough if I sew the dickie in place, although obviously I can sub in a zipper at the side seam.

grum.

Anybody with better 3D reasoning than me (or just more experience with sailor collars) have any ideas? 🙂

*Also, for the avid readers, a part of Carol Evans’ Wardrobe.

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Prezzies (2)

Simplicity 1149

More fun, although considerably more time-intensive than Style 2304, was Simplicity 1149. This is probably in the running for cutest little pattern ever. I was a little concerned about the width vs. length ratio, and obviously that kind of horizontal skirt poof isn’t going to happen without intense crinolining of a type I’m not keen to subject my nieces to, but I’m hopeful the sheer cuteness will make up for it.

Damn, this is cute.

Dress & Bolero

My older niece, Fyon (who is five), loves having dresses that match mine (well, loves it more than my kids do, anyway), so I thought I would use up the rest of my navy seersucker from the Cambie on a dress for her. I looked through my patterns for something close in style to the Cambie, but the closest I could find was actually the dress I made her last year, and I didn’t want to re-use a pattern where there are so many other crazy fun ones to try. So, Simplicity 1149. And I thought this navy cotton (cotton poly?) with the little white flowers would be the perfect complementary fabric. It originally came from my Grandmother’s stash, and Tyo had sorta earmarked it to make boxers out of, but hopefully she’s forgiven me for putting it to a more immediate use. I used it for the sash, the lining of the little jacket, and, most importantly, the ruffle ornament.

Ruffles!

There are two kinds of “ruffle” on this dress, both of which were pleated using the ruffler that came with my Pfaff, attached to my singer Featherweight. I have three ruffler feet now, but one only works with the army machine (which is put away and not really reliable) and the other works with the quick-snap foot on my modern machine, and has driven my absolutely fucking nuts in the past.*  I set it to pleat (gathering every five stitches, rather than with every stitch) although really there are plenty of places where it screwed that up. It looks fine, though—half the battle with ruffles is not to sweat the small stuff, in my opinion.

Anyway, for the skirt ruffle, I ripped on-grain strips, stitched them all together, and finished the edges with the rolled hemmer. For the edging, I pressed the strips in half lengthwise and basted down the open edge—I find if you don’t baste it closed, the ruffler tries to ruffle just the top layer and Bad Things Happen.

A very blurry attempt at a closeup. 😦 Showing edge-pleats and back buttons and bow.

Syo was eerily enthused when she came home after a quick mom-free vacation and discovered this little thing lying around the house. The first thing she had to do was try it on. (I’ll remind you that Syo just turned nine, while the pattern alleges itself to be a “size 5”.) It’s absolutely not the sort of thing she would be willing to wear in public—but some latent toddler in her just couldn’t resist trying it on to twirl around the house. It’s SNUG—she has to exhale a bit to get the waist button closed (These fifties pattern that assume that children have waists. Pfft.) But it’s still on her.

You cannot resist the Cute. You will be assimilated.

The skirt is obviously very short on my nine-year-old. Fortunately Fyon is a little narrower than Syo, and significantly shorter, so I’m thinking the fit should be great.

I finished the skirt hem with the last of my 2″ horsehair braid (actually, I was about 2″ short, and had to patch in a little section of hem with bits of 1″ horsehair braid. It is Not Pretty, but it’s all covered by fabric now and doesn’t seem to show. And combined with the double-tiered lining I added (made of stiff cotton-poly blend broadcloth) it really had a surprising amount of loft.

Bringing out the Inner Ballerina

We are so cute

Back view

Yes Yes We are.

Oh, wait. What. You’re still reading? Sorry, I kind of succumbed to The Cute there for a minute. Insidious stuff, that. Sorry for the grainy photos—this was the best light we could find in the five minutes we had before I went off to work that morning, and the camera did not like it.

Back, with buttons

Here, have a quick closeup of the back buttons (buttonholes made using my Greist buttonholer, ). I guess I shoulda taken a photo without the sash tied, too. /sigh.

but sooooo cute…

*possibly because there’s just too much vibration and movement on the light-weight, modern plastic machine, but anyway, I don’t trust it and didn’t feel like taking the time to experiment, when I have a perfectly good Pfaff ruffler foot anyway.

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