Yes, more matching outfits for Kiki and Lulu. They love it. What can I say? One way of looking at it is that, partly because they are only two years apart, if one of them gets something and the other one doesn’t get exactly the same thing, hurt feelings and jealousy abound. I’m telling myself that this is a normal part of growing up. So when it comes to sewing, it’s become easier to make two in many cases. The exception to this new rule comes in on Lulu’s side. As I’ve mentioned before, she only wants to wear skirts and t-shirts with animals on them at the moment or dresses that “spread around.” (I’m not exactly sure what she means by “spreads around” . . . there has been some trial and lots or error here.) If I make something that doesn’t meet this criteria for Kiki, Lulu is fine with it and doesn’t want one for herself anyway. So, to my great relief, I’m not obligated to make two of absolutely everything. Pfew. But with this pair of outfits, I think I’ve succeeded in making everyone happy! Lulu has been asking for a bunny shirt and skirt for a while, so I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect bunny fabric. I found just that in Ann Kelle’s Urban Zoologie Part 5, Rabbits in blush. It’s bright, it’s fun, it’s funky, it’s bunnies. Done and done. The magenta knit is interlock left over from Kiki’s Halloween costume from last year. I got it from Fabric Fairy — looks like they don’t have this color anymore, but there are lots of other shades to choose from. I was very glad to see that I had enough to make both of these shirts with plenty left over. I’m not sure why I had so much sitting around . . . this is the bright side of fabric hoarding 🙂 For the bunny shirts, I decided to try something new and looked to the Oliver & S School Bus T-Shirt. Not surprisingly, it’s a great pattern. And, it’s nice to have two different neckband width options, as well as long, short or capped sleeves. Here, I chose the narrow neckband and capped sleeves. The School Bus T-Shirt also goes all the way up to size 12, so I’m set for t-shirts for a good long while. For the bunny part of the bunny shirts, all I did was make a little heart template, which I traced onto the paper side of some fusible webbing. Then, I ironed the webbing onto a an appropriately sized piece of bunny fabric. Next, I cut out the heart shape from the fabric bonded to the webbing, carefully peeled off the paper, and ironed it onto the shirt. All that was left was to zig-zag around the heart. The webbing keeps the heart in place perfectly, so that it doesn’t slip around or get otherwise funked up while sewing it on. Nothing to it, really. The skirt is the Oliver & S Lazy Days Skirt, which I’m getting a lot of mileage out of these days. I have at least two more of these in my queue, especially since this pattern passes the Lulu test and can be made in less than an hour, including cutting. Sweet! I’m lining up some projects for Kids Clothes Week, which I can’t believse it already coming up next week! My list includes a couple of dresses made from the same pattern, but in different fabrics. Let’s hope that will be matchy matchy enough for these two — I’m ready for a little more variety! Are you planning to sew next week?
Whoa — summer’s here! How’d that happen?
My girls need new skirts, and they need them now!
Seems that Lulu’s new rule of fashion is to wear only skirts and t-shirts with pictures of animals on them. And since Kiki was not in a skirt phase when she was three, there aren’t many hand me downs to be had — of skirts, that is. Lulu’s closet is bursting with handmade dresses worn and loved by her older sister two short years ago which remain untouched. Such is life.
And Kiki has grown out of almost everything. You know how it is.
A big packet of fabric arrived from Joann’s last week, after I took advantage of a certain 50% off sale. Inside were several very cute prints from the Tutti Frutti embossed line. Despite the cuteness of the prints, I never wanted to try these out in the past because they aren’t 100% cotton. Yes, there is polyester in there. Why does this matter? Elitism? Snobbishness? I must sheepishly admit that both these are probably applicable here. But, since they were on such a good sale, I figured the time had come to try them out.
All I can say is that these fabrics are awesome, and they do not wrinkle. Not a bit. Cram them into the drawer, leave them in the drier indefinitely — no matter. They look flawless at all times! And, they are seer sucker. OMG. To think of what I’ve been missing!
Both girls saw these fabrics and demanded skirts, stat. So, I did what any busy sewing mama would do, and I whipped up a couple of Oliver & S Lazy Days Skirts. They each took about 45 minutes to make, including cutting. No joke. Once you have the hang of it, you can crank these babies out in no time.
(In case you’re new to sewing for kids, or you’ve been spending all your time on a desert island, the Lazy Days Skirt is a free pattern. Oh yeah.)
Since the pattern calls for cutting a rectangle selvage to selvage, these skirts end up being fairly full — which is most certainly a good thing. Lots of “spreading around” while twirling, which is an essential element in a skirt for Lulu.
One yard makes two of these skirts with a little leftover. Fab.
The only change I made to the pattern was to topstitch around the top of the elastic casing, as close to the top as possible, to help keep the elastic from twisting. I read about doing that on the O&S blog somewhere, long ago. It’s a good trick, and keeps that elastic in check. The casing gets a little tight, so you have to use some elbow grease to feed the elastic through, but I think that’s what makes it work.
Oh, I also omitted the ribbon hem — only because I didn’t have enough ribbon handy. I just folded up 1/4″ twice and stitched.
One caution — if you use seer sucker, go easy on the pressing at the hem. I pressed out the puckers a bit, but they seem to be coming back with washing.
I cannot get these out of the drier fast enough for my girls. They want to wear them just about every day.
Here’s an action shot from the neighborhood lemonade stand . . .
I guess I’ll just have to make some more 🙂
Once your kid starts having clear opinions about what she does and does not want to wear, sewing becomes more of a challenge — am I right?? You may have the most fabulous idea for a new project that is (in your mind) perfect for your kid, taking her tastes and interest into account. You show her the fabric and the pattern, and she is excited about it. You sew it and proudly present it to an anxiously anticipating child . . . only to have her say “meh”.
This is one of those times.
A brief history . . .
Kiki is a big Mo Willems fan. Who isn’t, really? (For those of you not in the know, Mo Willems writes awesome and hilarious books for kids.) She loves how the pigeon from bus driving fame tends to appear in his other books. We’ll be reading Knuffle Bunny (another Willems classic) and she’ll see that pigeon cleverly hidden on the t-shirt of a minor character and will exclaim exuberantly “There’s our friend the PIGEON!” Imagine my joy when I saw that Cloud 9 released a line of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus fabric, in several different coordinating prints, no less. I planned the outfit months ago and waited for warmer weather. Finally, the time had come . . .
I decided on the Badminton Top and Lazy Days Skirt by Oliver & S. I’ve been wanting to make a Badminton Top for the longest time, and this seemed like the perfect way to use the main pigeon fabric with the feather print as a complement on the flutter sleeves and drawstring detail. The Lazy Days Skirt has long been a favorite, so it seemed like a no brainer (especially since I could use the same ribbon I used for the drawstring on the top for the ribbon hem on the skirt).
When Kiki saw the finished product, she said, “You know Mom, I really only like bright colors. Maybe I’ll wear this another day.” This is her very polite, four year old way of saying — this is never going to be worn, Mom. Ah well. Who knew that the pigeons would be just too gray?? She was gracious enough to put it on for photos, with the promise of an extra treat.
For the top, I cut a size 3 width and a size 4 length, which is usually a good fit for the 4 year old Kiki. This one turned out to be a little roomy — so maybe she’ll be more inclined to wear it after growing a bit.
Despite its lack of brightness, Kiki still found this outfit conducive to backyard roller coaster riding and basil tasting on this particular afternoon.
I’m happy to report, however, that the skirt has been worn several times with other tops. So I can be happy about that.