Monday, May 25, 2015

For Cate: (Non-) Ruffled Capri Pants

In addition to the two tops I made for Cate, I also made her two pairs of capri pants using the Ruffled Capris pattern from Sew Classic Clothes for Girls.  The pattern is for a pair of shorts or capris (depending on length) with two front slash  pockets, one ruffled back pocket and ruffles on the hems of the legs.  The waist has elastic in the back waistband but is flat in the front.  I decided to leave off the back pocket and the ruffles but I did include the front pockets.  The first pair was made from a remnant of the stretch denim I used to make my Miette skirt.  I made a size four thinking I could simply install a fairly tight waistband then loosen the elastic as she grew.  But, the pants were clearly too big in the waist and after fiddling with the waist for a stupid amount of time, I finally gave up and threaded the elastic through the entire waistband.  The next issue I had to deal with were the pockets.  They are slash pockets with a scalloped top with the option of functional or decorative buttons.  I didn't feel like dealing with buttonholes on the pockets and in any case, Cate has difficulty with buttons so if I wanted the pockets to be usable, they would have to remain unbuttoned.  I did plan on adding the buttons as a decoration, though.  However, the pockets gaped so much when she tried on the pants that I actually sewed on a button going through the pocket to help keep it closed.

Even with the buttons the pockets still gape a
little when the pants are on her

Pretend I ironed these before taking this
The second pair of pants I decided to leave off the front slash pockets and add patch pockets to the sides of the legs.  I also decided to to make a size 3 instead of size 4.  The pattern only comes in even sizes, but it wasn't difficult to draw lines halfway between sizes 2 and 4.  I used a remnant of some khaki cotton bottomweight fabric that I used to make a Ginger skirt that I never blogged about.  These pants went together much better and I even managed to make the waistband work with the elastic only in the back.  The pockets went on easily and overall look less baggy than the denim pair.  Alas, they are too short in the back and, were it not for her pull-ups (disposable training pants), she would have a serious case of plumber's butt every time she bent over.  It's really too bad, because she looks adorable in them when she's standing up and her top is covering the waist.  I wonder if I could add some sort of yoke in the back that actually looks intentional in order to give them a little more coverage?  Beyond the back waist issue, they pretty much just fit her exactly which means they won't fit at all after her next growth spurt.  So, it's back to the size 4, I think.  I suspect the reason the size four looked so baggy was due to the front pockets so I will leave them off again.  I like having the patch pockets on the sides of the legs because they are easy to access for her, so I will probably do that again.

Cate, Movie Star!
On both pairs of pants I sewed the waistband facing closed on the inside by stitching in the ditch on the outside of the pants.  I assembled the waistband, sewed the waistband seam, folded the facing to the inside, folded the bottom of the facing over about a quarter inch so that the raw edge would be enclosed, then sewed directly on top of the waistband seam from the front.  It's a little tricky because you have to pay close attention to your stitching so that you stay exactly on the seamline* on the outside of the garment while at the same time making sure that you are catching the waistband facing on the inside.  When I've sewn skirts that have a waistband (for myself) I've always topstitched to catch that waistband facing because it's easier.  But, I'm less picky about my sewing for Cate (whenever I start to obsess I remind myself it's for a 3 year old who will likely get stains all over it at some point), so I figured I would try the stitch in the ditch technique because it was less likely to bother me if it wasn't perfect.  That's one of the nice things about making such small clothes, it give you a chance to try new things in small amounts.

I'm definitely making more capris from this pattern (maybe even with ruffles, who knows?) and probably the shorts as well.  However, I've also purchased a shorts pattern from MADE with a ton of variations for design features, so I think I may try those next, although she's not likely to need shorts for awhile.  It's been unseasonably chilly here in the Bay area.

*The spellchecker in blogger keeps auto-correcting "seamline" to "seamen". Strange.

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