Friday, 25 March 2011

and so to bed...

I've been taking the pyjama theme towards springtime with this pattern from 'Vintage Style for Kids' by Fiona Bell. Mixed feelings on this book: on the plus side, it has beautiful photography, the clothes are gorgeous in an Enid Blyton-esque way, and there are plenty of patterns for boys (not just pyjamas, but shirts and shorts as well). On the other hand, the instructions are brief to the point of unhelpfulness, and the computer printouts of the pattern pieces don't give any indication of scaling, so construction from this book is a hit and miss affair. On balance, possibly more of a coffee table book that a useful resource for making clothes.

Hmmm - that scaling issue may be the reason why son#2, aged 5, can only just squeeze into this pyjama top, in size 6...

It's nice enough, though, and should see a few nights of use. I did enjoy the pocket placement with those deck-chair stripes:

(please ignore the snaps where the buttons should be... I was looking for a quick finish once I'd realised it  wasn't likely to be a good fit)

For the trousers, I used a shorts pattern from 'Making Children's Clothes' but Emma Hardy. It's not so glam as the vintage clothing book, but it's an old favourite and it works every time!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bear ear tutorial

There was a lot of trial and error involved in making my bear ears last week!

Here's the technique which worked best:

(I might also be using it for bunny ears at Easter)

Here's my template - the solid lines are the cutting lines, and the dotted line is the stitching line which represents the actual size of the ears.

Cut four pieces of the larger size in your main fabric, and two of the smaller size in a contrasting fabric.

Here they are!

Place the smaller pieces in position, with the straight edges aligned, and attach them
(either by sewing or glueing - either works fine)

Now put the larger sizes together, right sides facing each other, so the  smaller inner pieces are sandwiched in between.

Sew around the curved edge using a 5mm seam allowance
(above left).

Now make a very small pleat at the base of the front piece of the ear, as shown above right. My pleat was about 5mm from the fold line, and I stitched about 1.5cm up from the base.

Turn through the open bottom part of the ear - see how the pleat makes it work?

Now you can stitch your ears to whatever you please. I attached them to a hoodie, but an alice band could work just as well...

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bear ears for book day

It was World Book Day yesterday. The boys were allowed to go to school dressed as 'any character from a book'.

Son#2 was Harry Potter - easily achieved with an eye-liner scar and a paper wand.

Meanwhile, son#1 decided to go as Captain Bluebear.  I was quite excited about his bear outfit, especially the ears. Here they are:

And here's the whole hoodie, based on the Imke pattern from Sewing Clothes Kids Love. It's made from an Ikea throw with tasselled edges, to add some hairy beariness to the cuffs and hem.

Then we added a bear tummy as well:

And the trousers had tasselled ankles.

Runcible O is nearly nine, and maybe getting a bit too old to wear ears in public on a regular basis. But, if needs be, the ears and tummy can be unpicked, and the tassels trimmed away to leave a plain fleecy tracksuit. (Luckily we haven't had to do that yet - he's adopted the whole outfit as his current pyjamas of choice.)

If only my Oliver + S book had arrived - it's due any day now, and it has the perfect pattern for a hat with ears. But somehow the timing has gone awry. Unless it arrives in the next few days I'll be adding a tutorial for bear ears shortly...