Kids Clothes Week - Day 2! July 23 2014

Welcome to Day 2 of Kids Clothes Week (KCW) at Fabrications! 

It's Sarah here today.  You can check out my KCW profile here and today I'll be sharing a 'blue bird' Tea Party Sundress

But before we get to that, let's start with a shout-out to local sewists Catherine, Crystal and Michelle who are on board for KCW!  Thanks for joining us, ladies, and we look forward to hearing/seeing more about what you're making this week.  So excited to see what will pop up in the Fabrications Flickr Pool as the week progresses!

Ok, back to the Tea Party Sundress, from Liesl Gibson's Oliver + S line of children's clothing patterns.  This is far and away my favourite children's dress pattern. It's the first clothing pattern I ever sewed and I've lost count of how many I've made.  (Getting my wee friend to stand still in the dress was near impossible, so most of the photos here are on a hanger!)

This 'blue bird' dress is a size 2T, made for my 18 month old daughter.  She's fairly tall and only just beginning to loose her baby chub.  The 2T fits loosely but comfortably on her this summer without a t-shirt underneath; and it will work with a long-sleeve and leotards in the fall and winter.  I've added length to other patterns (see Liesl's how-to blog post), but not to the Tea Party Sundress.  It fits quite a range of little body shapes, and with great style.

This sundress has a lovely long silouette, curved princess seams.  The bodice has pointed button flaps over the shoulders and a curved seam where it joins the dress, which works with or without piping.  The sweetest part of the dress is something you don't see right away - the faced hem - a feature that helps hold the curve of the princess seams beautifully. 


The separate bodice and panelled dress pieces offer a lot of flexibility in fabric choice. For this 'blue bird' version I used a blue shot cotton for the bodice, side panels and faced hem; and a sweet blue/yellow bird patterned fabric (sadly sold out at Fabrications!) for the centre front and back panels.  Using a darker fabric on the side panel gives the illusion of a longer dress and body; it looks equally cute with all the same fabric used across the dress panels.

Making this 'blue bird' dress was my first time sewing shot cotton.  I hoard the stuff like a Prepper waiting for the fabric apocalypse, but rarely cut into it.  My big lesson with the shot cotton was to use a finer needle in my sewing machine (duh!) and to step far far away from my serger. Like most patterns, it calls for finishing all exposed seams (e.g. zig-zagging the raw edges).  I tend to be lazy about this sort of thing and either skip that step (and regret it later), or whiz things through my serger.  Well, my serger ate the shot cotton.  There were a few expletives.  Let's move on.

One additional note about fabric - although the pattern calls for woven fabrics (eg chambray, quilting cotton, voile, etc.), it works very well with knits, given the long silouette.  I've made a couple with recycled t-shirts and new cotton jersey, both hand-stitched with felled seams in the style of Alabama Chanin (which I'll delve into some other day!).  

As a first try at sewing for children, you can come away from this project feeling amazed at how professional the finished product looks.  This is something I feel every time I sew one of the Oliver+S patterns.  If you are thinking of starting to sew children's clothes, Liesl Gibson's Oliver + S line of patterns is an excellent place to start.  She has built a thriving online community and presence around her pattern lines (she also makes patterns for young girls and adult women), sharing her considerable sewing knowledge through blog posts and videos.  She also reaches out to readers/sewists to talk on her blog about customizing her patterns, which turns out some amazing things.

That's if for today.  Don't forget to post your own KCW photos to our Fabrications Flickr Pool!

See you tomorrow!