Friday, May 15, 2009

New Look 6639, Girl's Tee

Narrowed width of A, added ruffleSo 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.

Trena and Fox 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!

With my nephews, 5-09


wendy said...

Awww, that dress is SO cute. :-) I love the colors!

Kwik Sew and Jalie both have good kid tshirt patterns, but they're a little harder to track down to buy. I keep thinking of using the Jalie sweetheart tshirt as a kid dress top- I might have to steal your idea for the skirt!

Trudy Callan said...

I love how you recycled the skirt and made it into a dress for Marvel. What a great idea! She looks so adorable in it. My favorite part is the ruffle at the hem.

kathy said...

That's adorable--I'm glad your skirt found a happy new home. Don't worry about Goodwill though--I'm actually wearing a "homemade" skirt I bought from a thrift store at this very moment! I'm actually probably *more* likely to buy something if I know it was homemade (partly because I figure some of the other possible owners wouldn't appreciate the effort that went into it). Granted, I buy most of my Goodwill wardrobe on "dollar days" when each piece is only $0.99, but still!

Katharine in Brussels said...

Adorable family photos, thanks for sharing! So good of you to recycle your sewn goods, I find it a little harder to recycle them than RTW.

Little Hunting Creek said...

What cuties they all are! I love the dress! Marvel will be fun to sew for in the future.

Uta said...

I also find it hard to let go of stuff I've sewn... But I know for a fact that quite a few people in Germany peruse secondhand stores for "unusual" items, and your skirt would have been right at home there. That said, the girl's dress is adorable, and I bet it's extra special for your niece because her aunt wore it before her! Oh, one tip on kids' basics: Have a look at the back issues on the Ottobre fashion website. There's a lot of good patterns to be had in one issue.

judy said...

I use Jalie 2805 for my kids (as well as myself!). This is a great t-shirt pattern that works for every size. Cute pictures!

Lindsay T said...

Adorable refashion for Marvel! When my daughter was little I used to cut my Laura Ashley-style dresses from the 80s to make things for her.

Nancy K said...

Very good refashioning. She's adorable.

Myra said...

Really cute shots. Did you broil in Texas, we are! We're southeast of San Antonio.

Edris said...

Great photos of your family. I have used this NL pattern twice for my daughter. I am trying to make it into a TNT for her. Like you said the neckband needs to be adjusted (shorter) for a better fit. I am still playing with this one for her.

Sew4Fun said...

Great refashion! I use to make a lot of that style for my daughter when she was young. That is basic tee with a skirt attached. Very practical and she loved them. So did I. :)

Anonymous said...

The kids are adorable. Along with the cute ruffle on the skirt.
I refashion a lot of my clothes--and transform them into girl skirts or easy tops.

Claudine said...

Great outfit! I love sewing for my girls.

laura said...

Kwik Sew was my #1 choice for patterns when my kids were little, they had everything you could want and were so simple too. Aren't you so lucky to have all those nieces and nephews (all fun and no work! And great pictures too!). I only have one of each, and I'm thrilled that my niece, who graduates this month, loves purses so you can just bet what one of my presents will be.

badmomgoodmom said...

I see homemade items at thrift stores in CA. I have even bought some. I showed the detail of one blouse I bought just to study it:

People donate clothes because of shrinkage all the time. You can't trust the sizing tags on old (and some would say also new) clothes. If you don't have a tape measure with you, they usually have several at the register.

OTOH, I also buy things that are too large just for the yardage.

Sewfast said...

Sounds like Marvel will join the sisterhood of sewistas one day! Very cute outfit indeed! And as for the Goodwill...there is alot of crap in there and I'm sure garments you have made are a cut above!

badmomgoodmom said...

It is very hard to find plain kids t-shirts. But you can make them in minutes using Kwik Sew's Sewing for Children.

I trace them and put them in plastic sheet projectors along with dates that I used them for my daughter. When she grows, I trace the next size up or lengthen the last set.

FWIW, Kwik Sew patterns fit me very well through the shoulders, much better than the big 4 and comparable to Burda. Skirts and dresses also fit very well. Kids pants and shorts fit well, but the crotch curve on women's pants is funky.

They never work for me; another woman with a similar build to mine had the same issue. We are both moderately slim, athletic pear-shapes.

The KS books give you tons of useful basic patterns for $21 (Amazon). What's more, they give you customization ideas and instructions.

I posted some pix of the KS books, patterns and the stuff I made with them here:

Anonymous said...

Jalie 2005 is that basic t-shirt pattern that everyone on PR has reviewed, and it starts at a toddler size 2. I think it's OOP. If I hadn't just freecycled mine I would have sent it to you.

Ladylike said...

Some of my most favorite (and best fitting) thrift store finds are handmade. For a while, I swore that someone was making dresses for me and leaving them at thrift stores!

So, I say don't ever worry about donating clothing that you've sewn.

Ingrid said...

I love the family shots, so cute!
As for a great Tshirt pattern I would recommend the Ottobre basic tee. I think it's number 301 of their Creative Workshop series in sizes 92-170cm in both a straight and fitted style. Their drafting is excellent and you can buy it off their website.
I have that OOP McCalls pattern, I made a skirt out of a fabric remnant when I was a university student and got loads of positive comments, one girl even wanted to buy it off me! For years it was my favourite garment I'd sewed and I still haven't parted with it (but don't wear it now, doesn't look so good on a 40yo!)