Following the Kindergarten theme: American indian blouse

Hi there!

Back from holidays and willing to start a new year (well school year). We will be having some changes over here during this course as I will be looking for a new job, which will probably mean also a change in our family’s schedules. But let us not rush into what is still to come.
Before getting into the new sewing projects for this fall and winter term, I will like to post these coming days some projects that I finished before the summer.

The first is a blouse I made already a couple of months ago, following the theme they had in the kindergarten. Every term after a month or so observing the interests of children, they discuss in a “children assembly” which will be the subject they will cover during the term. The children finally vote and decide on the topic. Last semester the topic was American Indians. In our local fabric shop we saw a fabric with the American Indian theme and it was just calling for us. How perfect it was to fit the theme of the Kindergarten!

We have also learned many things about American Indians at home during these months: about their houses (did you know that the tipi was only used by the Indians living in the Great Plains?), their clothing, religion and moral values …

Here is a map they made in the Kindergarten about the houses:
2013.07.12_Indians

We also got several books covering this topic from our public library. The one we liked most by far was: “Tipi und Tomahawk. Geschichten, Spiel und Spaß für kleine Indianer”. It is in german and I did not find an english version of it. But it is a great book with a lot of facts but including also recipes, children games, etc. We liked it a lot.

And now to the pattern: It is a Burda pattern for a girl’s tunic, appearing in Burda Style 06/2012:
Burda_blouse_062012

And here is the version I made:
2013.05_Burda05-12_shirt
I did not realize that I cut the sleeves upside down until I saw the photos! At least I was consistent with both the sleeves.

So let us move on to the pattern review:

Pattern Description: Girl’s tunic with long sleeves and a button-up front detail in a front insert with gathers underneath.

Pattern Sizing: I made size 116 cm for a four years old. It fits very well with some room for growing. It has already been in high rotation.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?: The instructions were not clear. Some parts were really confusing. I tried to follow them exactly and at some points I did not understand how to proceed at all. With the back neck I was very unhappy. I finished it with bias binding as said, but I could not understand how to assemble it to the front in a nice clean way. So I ended having this bulky and horrible seam allowance up to the neck:
IndianTop
It is barely noticeable when she is wearing it, but it is terrible. How was it supposed to be is still a mystery for me, but I would put the bias binding after the back is joined to the front next time.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: The explanations were very confusing. The construction of the neck was not clear at all, and it would also be useful if they explain better how to join the yoke at the middle point.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: Yes, it was actually my first more complicated project. I learn to gather, to make the small button loops and to put sleeves.

Fabric Used: American Indian theme fabric

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Not completely. I like the design and the fit, but I would not do it again until I feel I can sew it without any directions. So for sure I do not recommend it for beginners.

KCW: Dress and swimsuit

The Kids Clothes Week (KCW) is over. Last week was the summer edition of KCW, a week to carve out a little time each day to sew. I had a pattern (Burda Style 06/2011, number 133) and the fabric cut before the week started, and with a bit of time in the evenings at the end of the week I had a new summer dress for Sara 🙂

2013.07_BurdaDress01
Sara was very pleased to get to wear it on the weekend. It is so nice to get such enthusiasm back.
2013.07_BurdaDress03
The dress is made with a linen in fuchsia. It is very fresh and summery. I specially like the back, with the crossing stripes.
2013.07_BurdaDress05
As you can see, I also made the coordinating hair tie.

So let us do the pattern review:

Pattern Description: Summer dress with shoulder stripes crossing at the back.

Pattern Sizing: I made size 116 cm for a four years old. It fits well and at the same time it has a lot of room for growing. I bet we can also use it next summer.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Yes, though the frill seems bigger than in the drawings.

Were the instructions easy to follow?: The instructions were not very clear. Specially the first step concerning the armholes. It took me a lot of time until I figured out that the bias stripe was supposed to be a kind of facing (and therefore you cannot see any seam in the inside).

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: I still have my problems with yokes.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: It has a pleated frill, so I learn to make the pleats. I used french seams except for joining the frill, as it would have been to bulky. There was also a lot of gathering to be made, which is something I did not do so often until now. I covered buttons for the first time for this project. They were quite small (11 mm in diameter) and it was impossible to cover them with the kit they come with. At the end I had to stitch the outer circumference of the fabric circle and pull the thread. In this way you get the fabric to lay down flat in the interior of the button and it can finally be closed using the tools in the kit.

Fabric Used: Linen.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Yes, but I think I would make the frill a bit smaller (in the circumference).

Here a detail of the frill:
2013.07_BurdaDress04

After finishing the dress I still managed in the weekend to finish a project I wanted to do for some time: a bikini for Sara:
2013.07_bikini
I used jersey knit and plain elastic band, things I had at home. No swimwear fabric, no swimwear linig nor any special elastic. I just wanted to try out a new technique: sewing with elastics. I followed the instructions found here. It is not easy and for sure requires much more practice. But I was happy with the result of this kind of muslin. It was a kind of experiment, but I´m sure it will get to be used at the lake this summer.

Some of the last DIY-projects

Here are some of the self-made things finished in the last months:

    A summer-handbag for Sara
    2012.07.28_EnCasa03
    Actually a reversible one that she has enjoyed a lot in the summer months.
    2012.07.28_EnCasa07
    The idea and the pattern are taken from this blog. I used some vlieseline to make it stiffer.
    A sun-toy for Pablo
    A great idea for babys using fabric scraps taken from Joel, a great crafter.
    2012.04.22_Sol2
    Frames for organizing the pantry
    2012.05.09_OrganizingThePantry
    A dress/top and a matching headband
    The dress is from a burda pattern. Sabine encouraged me to start sewing with this project. Thanks!! I also made the trousers to be used with it next summer, as this year is still more like a dress.
    2012.08.01_Vil.laDeCastello02
    Haarband
    Haarband2
    Reversible bag for the Kindergarten
    TascheWechselWaesche
    Mittens
    Using a pair of wool trousers that got felted. And one of the first neddle-felting projects. Just great and Sara loves them.
    guantes