So I was cleaning out my closet recently and came across the green polka dot skirt at left, which I made for the One Pattern, Many Looks contest in 2007 from Out of Print McCall 7526. Obviously my taste has changed since then because all three versions just got the boot.
I generally give my gently used but still serviceable clothing items to the Goodwill (I'm very careful to make sure it is still a nice item; worn out, stained, etc. become rags or go in the trash). However, I am always ambivalent about donating sewn items because I fear they just throw them straight in the garbage, no matter how well made, because they are "homemade" and who wants that? And, legitimately, there is no tag with sizing information, which creates more work for them.
However when I dropped off my most recent load I walked through the store (everyone is always talking about finding patterns and fabric at their Goodwill, but I have never found such a thing). My eye was caught by a pair of RTW pants that had suffered a very slapdash swayback adjustment, with raw edges everywhere, on the rack. My sewing is better than that. So maybe there is hope for my sewn, donated garments yet.
Anyway, when it comes to things I've sewn, I'm even more selective about donating than ready-to-wear and this skirt did not make the cut. The style is not in any way "in" right now and it takes very specific tastes to wear it. Tastes that strongly coincide with being under five years of age. Hmmmm.... I think there's still life in the old girl yet. My niece, Marvel, agrees:
Do you know how hard it is to find a plain t shirt pattern for kids? It's so odd. You'd think that all the pattern companies would have a t shirt and elastic waist shorts pattern, but they don't. I finally spotted one in New Look 6639, which also has a jumper and leggings.
This project was way more complicated than it should have been. The first time I did it, I realized after it was entirely finished that I had cut the fabric--stash about two years old from the G Street $2.97/yd table leftover from a no-pattern ruffle back skirt--on the crossgrain. It's not a 4 way stretch. She wouldn't have been able to get it over her head, the sleeves would have cut off the circulation in her arms, and it would have grown toward the floor the second she put it on. So I cut off the skirt (I had serged it to the tee). The second time I made it, I had cut the fabric on grain but I had cut the tee full length and the "waistline" would have been almost to her knees and the skirt dragging on the floor. Cut the skirt off again. Cut the t-shirt off at the waist. Sew the skirt back on. Finally, success, and luckily it was the perfect length.
The pattern is perfectly serviceable. I love that it comes in a huge range of sizes, from 3-8. So you can use it for five years! It has a neckband, which is fine but the draft isn't great. It's a rectangle piece of fabric and it is drafted to be as long as the neck opening. It should, in fact, be a little shorter so that it sits flat. You can (sort of) see that it sort of pooches out at center front in this side view.
Marvel was very pleased with the dress and immediately put it on in the McDonald's playland and began dancing around. I would call it a success! She totally loves dresses. When my dad ended up in the hospital my brother and his family came to visit and when I saw Marvel she immediately started pointing out the features of her dress, such as the floral print and the bow at the waist. She is an avid follower of my sewing via my flickr account, so she knew I would understand. I can't wait until she's old enough to come do a sewing internship with me!
All photos are here and the review is here.
And for more adorable kid pictures, here I am with Fox! I finally got to meet Cash and Fox, which was very exciting. Cash got a little fussy when I held him, but Fox was my buddy. I can't remember if this was taken before or after he spit up into my cleavage. Jet was too busy running around and playing to have his picture taken, but there are always new pictures of Cash and Jet (and more of Marvel and Fox) on my sister in law's flickr, like this really sweet one of all four kids.
And just for good measure, here I am with my sister's boys. We are heavy on nephews in my family. It's a good thing my one niece loves dresses!
Hear my recorded interview!
5 hours ago