May 13, 2011

Kid's Clothing Week

Edit: Not sure if the 24 hour technical issues that Blogger had resulted in anyone getting notification of this post and then finding that it temporarily wasn't there to read, or if you tried to comment and couldn't or what. I hope that even if you managed to read this post before it went down for a while, that you'll let me know if the subject matter is something you'd like more of sporadically in the future. Sorry to the few people that did comment and then their comments also vanished. Can't help thinking that the poor people working to fix this issue over at Blogger, probably all night, must have several new grey hairs today.

I don't tend to put too much on Filth Wizardry about the stuff that I make (sew/knit/crochet) for the kids, because this blog is usually more of the stuff that we make together or they make themselves, but I did say in a post a few months back that I was thinking of posting links to some of the patterns and tutorials for things that I have had work out well for us. This week, as I'm sure a lot of you already know is Elsie Marley's "Kid's Clothing Week" for Spring 2011, so I've taken the opportunity to pull out a lot of half finished sewing projects that have been begging to be completed and thought I'd share those along with a few other bits and bobs that others might find useful if they are also into sewing/knitting and crochet for their children. I'm not sure if KCW is supposed to be purely sewing, or if the yarny stuff counts too, the yarny stuff is still clothing for the kids though right, so I'm guessing it's a legitimate part of the deal?

Right, first off, here's a few links to some kid's clothing projects we've done on here in the past that you might want to try out. I'm not a very skilled seamstress, so mostly what I do is basic or involves hacking together other garments either outgrown or from thrift stores.
  1. Superhero fleece poncho capes.
  2. Pocket Softie Skirts
  3. Pirate girl bandana skirts (post I wrote for Alpha Mom)
  4. Tea towel skirts and a couple of years later kid decorated tea towel skirt.
  5. Post no.1, post no.2 and post no.3 on plastic bag iron on transfers
  6. Kid's princess dress from old formal wear
  7. Underpants pockets
  8. Tea towel shorts
  9. Hawaiian shirt dress hack
  10. Dress up mermaid tails
The thing I finally finished today was a strawberry shortcake outfit that I had meant to get done for my younger daughter's fifth birthday back in March. I mostly hand sew, so sometimes things take longer than they should do ;) LiEr over at Ikatbag has made a couple of really cute strawberry shortcake outfits in the past that are totally from scratch. You can see hers here and here. My little girl had her heart set on a replica of this particular version though and I'm not awesome enough with the sewing machine to accomplish that from raw material, so I hacked it together from other garments...

The way I ended up going about it was to use felt from Daiso to cover a cheap baker boy type hat that we also found in Daiso (total 5 bucks), then I found a pair of stripey socks in the dollar section in Joanne Fabric. The dress was made by applique onto a dollar store kid's tshirt that I cut off short and used a piece of tshirt material fabric that I found in the remnants at Joanne that was just big enough to squeeze six panels out of that I could sew together into the skirt and then sew it onto the tshirt to finish the dress. You can't really tell from the photo, but the skirt part is pink and red polkadotted, just the opposite way around to the one in the cartoon, but it was all I had handy. She's very pleased with it, and although the hat is a little over the top, the dress is perfectly fine to just wear out and about this summer.

She's asking for pink hair to go with it, and I can't really say no given that she's seen plenty of pictures of me with pink hair :) The kids do find this funny, but not nearly as funny as the fact that their dad, who has a shaved head, used to have dreadlocks!

Something else that I've got on the cards to finish off this week is more sewing clothing for the kids from old felted cashmere sweaters. I keep my eye out for these when I'm in the thrift stores. Usually someone has accidentally felted them and that's why they are in the thift store in the first place, other times I wait until Goodwill has it's everything for $2 sale and go see how many of them I can find. Here are a couple of pictures of a sweater I made for my younger daughter a while ago from a couple of different blue adult cashmere sweaters that had been felted and cut into pattern pieces. They are so warm and soft and snuggly! I have a pale pink felted cashmere sweater that I'm planning to make some trousers and a top out of in a 6month size for the baby to wear this winter.

Something else I've been making a few of for the new baby are sleep gowns from old tshirts. There's a great tutorial and pattern for this here on "This Mamma Makes Stuff", and I've already made the two below, but have another three cut out and ready to sew up this week (all from old batik tshirts that my husband brought back from his trips to Nepal)

As far as the crochet and knitting goes, I'm pretty new to this game. I started really having a go at it about two years ago, but really it's only been the last year that I've been able to do anything beyond a scarf or a dishcloth. The way I taught myself was basically via Youtube videos. There are so many of them out there, showing everything from the basic stitches to less heard of techniques like Norwegian Purling (which I am now a big fan of and use whenever I'm knitting ribbing) The other massive source of patterns and inspiration has been the free to join site, which I signed up to in 2009 out of curiosity, but didn't have enough knitting knowledge to really get any use out of until this year. There are so many brilliant and totally free patterns available and beautifully catalogued there. It's really a marvelous site and resource! So anyway, here are a handful of the more simple projects I tried and had sucess with, plus links to the free patterns they came from in case there are any beginner knitters like me reading that want to expand the types of garments they can make without jumping in at the deep end.
Newborn bolero jacket.

This cute little teensy jacket is by Babyfatness and the free pattern is called Sweet and Lo. You can find it here. It was so quick to knit up that I want to make more! I used a bulky yarn to get a newborn size, but worsted weight would make a perfect baby doll jacket and I haven't tried it yet, but I bet sock yarn would make one that fitted a barbie doll nicely.

Easy sock pattern.

This was the pattern that I used to learn to make socks. It's a pattern for baby socks, so they knit up really quickly, but I've been able to change my yarn and needle sizes to make fluffy bed socks for my six year old or nice big stockings for the kid's for Christmas with the same pattern. The pattern is called "North Country Baby Socks" and you can find it for free here. I learned the basics of sock structure from several Youtube videos so that I could understand what the pattern was telling me to do.

Shell stitch baby hat.

The free pattern for this cute little hat was written by Betsy Thompson over at "The Dainty Daisy". Here is the link to the "Shell Stitch Beanie" pattern. She's provided it in a range of sizes and they are so quick and easy to crochet up that I've made probably about ten of them so far this year in various sizes for various children and with different alterations, like having the center of the beanie start with a flowershape or making a sunhat brim for them.

granny square slippers.

These are thanks to Purl Bee. I learned to crochet granny squares using the Purl Bee tutorial here, and then when I wanted to make something with them, but knew I didn't have the attension span to make a blanket, they published this neat tutorial showing how you could make a pair of cute pixielike slippers using 12 granny squares. By using a smallish hook and some finish yarn I was able to make a pair for my five year old. I'm about half way through a totally green pair that I'm going to put white pom poms on the toes of when I'm done, because she's tinkerbell mad.

Crochet Hexagon jacket.

This free little jacket pattern can be found over on Elisa's blog "Yarn Tails" here. It's a very nifty pattern that can be altered to any size easily and I've made three of these already this year. It's just two crochet hexagons that fold up to each make one side of the jacket. I ended up adding to the lengths of the jackets that I made from the pattern and adding a hood to the one I made for an older baby. I still have to sew buttons on the latest one that's in blue, but it's nearly done.

So, last thing to say is that today's KCW task I have is to finish sewing up the hem on the Tinkerbell skirt I've been making for the fairy fanatic of the house. Here it is nearly finished. I used part of an old bridesmaid gown that I got from Goodwill for $2, and sewed it up using the same technique as the pirate girl bandana skirts that I wrote a tutorial for over at Alpha Mom earlier this year.

Please do let me know if any of these links are useful to you, because if they are then I can write other posts now and again that cover things made for the kids and not just by them, including toys as well as clothing and link to any free patterns I've found out there on the intertoobs that have worked well for us.


MaryAnne said...

I love posts like this, my vote is definitely to see more! =)

Those granny square slippers have me especially intrigued, as I could see my 5yo LOVING them!

icicle said...

We craft across all boundaries here -- knitting, spinning, sewing, baking, cardboarding etc. I'd love to see more posts like this too. And I'm totally checking out that baby shrug in hopes for a doll sized version...

Amanda said...

I love the clothing posts! My daughters really want the pirate skirt, now. Thank you!!

Heather said...

I enjoy reading the posts about clothes and other things you make for your girls as well as with them. I have not made anything yet but I'd like to! Thanks for sharing.

LiEr said...

Lindsey, I love that picture of you! AND I love your SS outfit. The hat is gorgeous. My kid would fight your kid for it, so I think I won't let her see it. I wish I were sewing some kids clothes this week, or any week, really. I'm instead making butterfly wings. So impractical. I've said this before and I'll say it again - I will forever be impressed that you sew your clothes by hand. Bravo!

Kory said...

I think this is a great post, love to see things to make for the kids along with things to do with them!

Ms. Huis Herself said...

I LOVE reading about the things you've made for your girls as well as the things you've made together. Whenever I've read any of your posts, I always want to immediately head out to the thrift store and/or the dollar store and/or dig through my scraps to start creating stuff!

I DID make a set of pirate skirts/tops for my girls after I read your post over at Alphamom & they wore them to our library's "Talk Like a Pirate Day" party last fall.

Christa said...

I tried to comment yesterday, but Blogger died as I was reading it. :)

Yes, I absolutely LOVE to read about this sort of thing. I like to sew a lot, and I love to repurpose things when I sew.

You have done an excellent job on every one of these creations!

Donna said...

The blue hooded sweater is lovely! I need to start picking up wool sweaters again, it's probably too late to find them at the thrifts with summer coming but maybe garage sales.

For your daughter's hair, it's blonde enough that you should be able to dye it temporarily pink with Kool-Aid.

Jenny Squawk said...

Love what your blog is now, but I definitely do love the makes you've made, too.

I'd be happy with whatever you bring to the blogging table.

Angie said...

I love this post! PLEASE do more! I am just now venturing into the sewing world because there is so much I love about it, like saving money on clothing of course. And since finding affordable clothing for my 3 kids is NOT an easy thing for us (on a tight budget) I would love to stretch our dollars more by sewing up stuff. And the pink hair... DO IT! I too have had several different hair colors (blue and green in high school) and my daughter will be able to as well when she wants it.

Ellen said...

I came you your blog through your post at Alpha Mom! I googled bandanna skirt and yours was exactly what I was looking for. My daughter had rodeo day at school and needed something to wear. I whipped that skirt up, posted a pic on FB and 3 more moms needed one by the end of the week. It was so much fun! Thank you for giving a spin off with the green skirt - beautiful Tinkerbell item!

Tasha said...

Thank you for the bandanna skirt tutorial! I combined it with another tutorial I found online, and made myself a little shirt! :)

Mama G said...

I love posts like this and would love more!

Jen said...

I love finding free crochet patterns. This was a great post!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog when I was looking for ideas on making a cape for my daughter for Halloween. The superhero capes you made were the template for her rainbow cape. I've enjoyed reading everything you've posted.

Lydia K. said...

I would love more posts like these. I love all the kids craft ideas, too. I just love your blog, I have gotten so much inspiration from reading here!!

Lydia K. said...

I would love more posts like these. I love this blog, so much great inspiration here!

Amy Smith said...

I loved this post! So many good ideas! I'm going to bookmark this page! My 4 yo daughter also likes tinkerbell, and we prefer tinkerbell over princesses, so that skirt might be in her future...