January 31, 2013

Sewing for Juniper

I've made a few things for Juniper over the last couple months that I haven't bothered to post or review because they're so simple, but I decided I'll just pile them all into one post so I can move on. Also, I'm sure you're dying to see some pictures of the little doll, who's 11 months old now and trying to walk. She's adorable!

Juniper! 11 months old.

Here she's sporting pink and red (one of my personal favorite color combos), and her new leggings were just finished this morning. They're sewn up in red cotton interlock (leftovers from Lincoln's Halloween costume) using the leggings pattern by Johnny Mango Seed. I could have probably traced a pair she already had, but I found Johnny Mango Seed through the magic of the interwebs, and honestly, I'm more than happy to support this small business. All of the patterns appear to be on sale right now, so go check it out!

This pattern includes sizes ranging from 3M to big girls size 8, so I know I'll be using it for years to come. And there's just one (1!) pattern piece. A leg. There's no outside leg seam, so just sew the inseam, crotch seam, apply elastic, hem if you want, and you're done! There's really no reason not to make a pair in every color of the rainbow, since they take about 20 minutes from start to finish.

And in case you're curious- Juniper is wearing the 12 month size unaltered. She's about 22 lbs, 11 months old, and on the short side. They're a little long on her, but that means she'll be able to wear them longer than 5 minutes, so I'm good with that. I also took up about 1/2" for a hem, which is an optional step in the pattern, but I think it looks cute with a 3-step zig-zag.


This picture is from before Christmas when I made the little Ottobre Pinafore dress/top she's wearing. You might recognize the fabric as the same baby-wale corduroy that I used to make myself a skirt in November. I actually purchased the fabric with this little jumper in mind, but obviously bought way too much (lucky for me).

Vivielle Pinafore Dress

This is another criminally easy pattern. Three pattern pieces (front, back, sleeve) and a little bit of elastic shirring. Easy peasy, and quite cute! It's from Ottobre issue 4/2011, pattern #5, the Vivielle Pinafore Dress. I made Junie size 62 with no alterations and it fits as a top, but even when I first made it it was too short to be a dress.

The only real trouble I had with this pattern was with the shirring. Initially, I made five individual lines across the front and back, but the knots came loose and the elastic threads pulled out after I had the whole thing assembled. I went back and ran my shirring over the same lines, but stepped down to each row with a couple of stitches on the ends, so now it's all one long line of stitching running back and forth instead. I tied those loose ends extra well and added some fray check to glue them and they're holding up just fine.

How do you normally finish the ends of your shirring? I thought that the seam connecting on the sleeves would be enough to hold it, but obviously I was wrong.

Crumpled Leggings

Also from Ottobre (and way back in October), are the Crumpled Leggings (pattern #4 from issue 6/2011). These are also size 62 with no alterations. They look a lot darker in the photos here, but they're actually what is hanging below the corduroy pinafore in the brighter window shots above. They're a raspberry pink interlock that was leftover from a top I made myself long ago.

Crumpled Leggings

Here you can see the cute little ruched detail at the ankle- achieved by sewing a strip of clear elastic to the leg and then covering it with a ribbon. Easy, fun, and looks very RTW, dontcha think?

Toddler Jammies Toddler PJs from jersey nightshirt

And finally, we have two pairs of little PJs that I made by cutting up an old, threadbare set that we had inherited in order to make a pattern. There's nothing special here- it's just a long sleeve tee and fitted pants, but I had to show them to you so you can see my innovation. See, the problem with a teeny little tee like this is that it's just a little square- not much shaping. I realized the morning after I put Juniper to sleep in the red ones that I put the shirt on her backwards! So when I made the pink ones the next day, I added this:

Butterfly tag

I found a whole bag of these little embroidered appliques at the thrift store (almost 100 in various styles for like $2), and I didn't know what I would ever do with them, but now I do!

Embroidered Applique "tag"

Yes, I have tags, but I don't always like to put them in the neck because I don't want to cause irritation. These little embroidered patches are pretty soft though, and bonus points for total cuteness, right?

So there you have it. A capsule-wardrobe for the cutest little thing in the house! While I do enjoy the satisfaction of sewing something complicated, for the kiddos sometimes it's just best to knock out a few quick basics. They grow out of everything so fast, it seems crazy to spend too much time or resources on their clothes. Those are time and resources that are obviously better spent on clothing myself, after all!