Monday, 18 February 2013

Vintage Dungarees

I have had a bee in my bonnet about making some dungarees for my youngest and I didn't anticipate how difficult it would be to find a pattern for some. My first searches only came up with patterns for very young babies and I needed something above an age two.

A lot of the newer styles are not traditional dungarees as I recognise them, mainly romper suits and short legged sunsuits. I could of course adapt the short style ones but I really wanted to find what I was looking for. So I went vintage.

I found this on sale with a seller on Artfire and the delivery charges were perfectly reasonable so I took a chance.

I had spotted a little girl in a pair of red spotty ones earlier in the month and thought she looked adorable so I bought some pinwale microdot cord from Dots and Stripes to see if I could recreate the look. I have to be honest, they are nowhere near as cute. My red is very, well, RED. I think the style and shape of them is very comfy and appropriate for a two year old. I like the pleats at the front they add a girly touch.

They have a zip fastening on the front yokes as well as button closures on the straps. I am not 100% sure why, you can get them on and off perfectly well with just the buttons because the fit is generous. It must be purely a detail. I wanted to make them up as per the pattern so I went along with it. I think next time I would omit the zip. Or sew the straps and leave off the buttonholes. No need for both really.

The leg cuffs are deep and folded back on themselves to the right side to create what the pattern describes as crushed cuffs. The length can easily be adjusted by making them bigger or smaller as required. I have hand stitched a few catching stitches on either seam to stop them unrolling when worn.

The pockets on the back are huge! 

The lines of the back are clean and uncomplicated.

She has a dirty backside from sitting in the sandpit, but at least it is good fun dirt!

 I like the practicality of these dungarees and I know they are a bit old fashioned and I won't get away with dressing her like a baby for much longer. (I am hanging onto this time for as long as possible - sniff sniff!)

The only thing I don't like is the colour, it is a bit too bright for me. She does look cute though so maybe it will grow on me.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Heidi and Finn Pinafore

It has been a long time coming but I finally made the Heidi and Finn Sweet Pocket Pinafore. Despite it being one of the first patterns I purchased I never got to make it in time for my eldest to fit into.

I like to think I have had enough time to think about fabric choices and am happy to be able to use my half meter of Storyboek Two fabric that I have couldn't bring myself to cut up before now.

The pattern ranges from 12m - 4 years. After a bit of research it seemed that the sizing came up small so I erred on the side of caution and reduced the seam allowances a bit. I took it down from 5/8" to 1/2". 

I used a plain white on the reverse side and put the pocket on to jazz it up a bit. I went without a pocket on the main fabric as I just wanted to look at all the pretty bunnies and horses without them being covered up.

The last step of stitching involves sewing the side seams together to seal the layers of the top. It calls for sewing the two main fabric sides together and going an inch either side onto the other fabric to create a flap for all the fabric to fold into. 

 I didn't want to do a line of stitches which would show on the grey fabric so I carried on sewing the side seams as far as I could before I had to stop. This left me with only a couple of inches to seal up. I hand sewed with a ladder stitch to keep all the stitches invisible.

I love the fact that it has no fastenings and is easy to get on and off. It is loose and comfy for little ones that never stay still and is a good way to add interest to a plain outfit (like blue jeans and a white tshirt).

Worn her with her Heidi & Finn Pleat Bottom Trousers - not by design, just the first ones I pulled out!

I love the design of the back!

and in reverse....

I found the pattern to be simple and easy to follow. Only 3 pattern pieces, including a pocket! The pocket caused me a bit of head scratching but nothing major. I couldn't see anywhere in the instructions that you stitched the pleat down and made it up without doing so. But it was niggling me because it didn't seem right to just flap open. So I went and had a look at the blog post that introduced me to the pattern in the first place to see how it was done. Raechel's blog is a staple read for me, she is just adorable. Her blog is choc full of interesting stuff and her children are cute as. So I could see that she had stitched it and followed suit. Much better.

The only other thing I did was to topstitch the entire thing once it was done. I wanted to keep that nice crisp edge.