Monday, May 04, 2015

Sidetracked: A top for Cate

After modifying the paper pattern following my second muslin of the Pastille I decided I needed a break from all of this fitting business.  So, I decided to make something for my 3 year old, Cate, who is basically a straight cylinder.  Fitting her is mostly a matter of cutting out the correct size.  To make it even easier, I decided to make an A-line top, which meant that, as long as it fit around her chest, it was going to be fine.

Before Easter, I bought the book Sew Classic Clothes for Girls by Lindsay Wilkes of The Cottage Mama.  I had planned to make Cate's Easter dress from one of the patterns but was saved from the madness that grips me every Easter to make a fancy dress in 24 hours by the appearance of another special dress (stay tuned for a future post on this topic).  So, this top was my first project from the book.

The A-line top/dress pattern has an appliqued bib on the top and a round collar on the dress, although of course, those are interchangeable.  It's fully lined which I wasn't sure was necessary but decided to do it anyway.  *cue portentious music*  It's a pretty simple pattern so I thought I could make it in a couple of hours.  Boy was I wrong.  It was entirely my fault, however, because I kept going off on my own when attaching the lining rather than following the directions, thus leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth when I found I couldn't turn the garment right side out through the opening I had left no matter how hard I tried.  So, when I got around to reading the directions, it was late, I was tired and frustrated, and I couldn't understand what the heck I was supposed to do.  I made the further mistake of attempting to picking it back up again while Cate was awake and asking me approximately 5,968 questions about what I was doing while trying to read the instructions.

I eventually figured it all out, but I do believe next time I will be doing a bias tape facing on the neckline and armholes!  For what it's worth, I do think there were a few steps that could have used more photos to illustrate the instructions in order to make it all easier to understand if you've never tried to line a dress before.  It made me wonder if all of her pattern testers were quite experienced sewists.  I would call myself an advanced beginner, but I'm no dummy and can usually follow a set of directions!

All of the materials for this top came from my stash.  I forget the provenance of yellow lining/bib fabric, a quilting cotton that was a remnant from making Cate's first Easter/Baptism dress.  The fashion fabric is a Kauffman print on quilting cotton that I purchased 4 or 5 years ago.  I haven't been able to find it online.  The ric-rac and pre-ruffled eyelet came from Joanns as well as the flower button and appliques on the bib.  The button for the back closure is from my button tin collection.  The ruffled eyelet was a last-minute addition when I had her try it on before I hemmed it and decided I wanted it a bit longer.  It's a little big in the neck and armholes but that means she will be able to wear it over a t-shirt through the fall and winter and under a sweater in the spring and hopefully by itself next summer, especially since I added the ruffle for length.  If I'm going to go through the trouble of sewing clothes for a child, I want the clothes to be wearable for as long as possible!

I could see using this pattern for a corduroy dress/jumper for the fall/winter, too.  I'd like to make more summery tops with this pattern as well, but first I'm going to make one or more pairs of the ruffled capris (sans ruffle) since that is what she needs most at the moment.

ETA:  I was originally going to include a review of the book Sew Classic Clothes for Girls in this post, so I included "+ Book Review" in the title, but then decided it made the post too long, so I removed the review bits but forgot to change the title until after I published the post.  Oops.  Book review to come after I finish making the capris.

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