Kids Clothes Week is ba-aack! A perfect excuse to set aside my New Year’s resolutions of organizing my sewing room, and simply get down to sewing. (As though that took a lot of arm twisting, ha!)
I took a very long break from sewing during the holidays. It wasn’t intentional. I blame it on reading. After my last holiday sewing project, I started catching up on reading and suddenly found all my “me-time” being dedicated to reading rather than sewing. And I truly enjoy reading, so I decided to just go with it. Time to feed my brain some literature. Not that I was exactly dedicated to high brow lit, mind you. I think I need to find a way to balance time for both reading and sewing in my life, so that it doesn’t seem so feast-or-famine-y between the two.
But now that KCW is here, I’m feeling very energized to sew again. I selected and traced my patterns and cut all my fabric prior to the start of KCW, just so that I could focus on actual sewing this week. And I started this project early – I was too excited to wait!
Today’s project is The Everyday Camp Shirt by Fishsticks Designs. I purchased the “big kids” pattern (there is also a separate pattern with toddler sizes), and made a size 5. My son is currently on the fence between the end of toddler sizing and the beginning of boys’ sizing, but this big kid size 5 is a great fit for him. It works perfectly paired with a long-sleeved shirt for the colder weather, and it should fit well on its own for the summer. He’s grown a bunch in the past couple of months, so I’m eager for something to fit him for a while!
The fabric is a cotton poplin from Lisette’s Spring 2014 collection for Jo-Ann’s. I adored those clouds, hot air balloons and paper airplanes the moment I saw them. It kind of makes you want to just float up among the clouds. Alas, no such lofty trips were had. The only trip I made was back to the store with Eli to obtain his stamp of approval before purchasing the fabric. He was just as enamored as I was. Actually he was equally excited about another fabric from the same collection – featuring green wavy stripes and cars – so I had to employ some maternal powers of persuasion to convince him we should start with this blue clouds print. If he hadn’t been so amenable, I may have been forced to institute a new rule – the person doing the sewing gets the tie-breaking vote!
With the perfect fabric in hand, I set out to tackle my fear of shirts. More specifically, shirts with collars. When I just started sewing, I read a how-to article about sewing shirt collars, which was featured in a popular sewing periodical. I’m not sure if it was due to my limited sewing knowledge at the time or perhaps a less than user-friendly writing style, but the whole thing seemed incredibly daunting. I remember thinking it would be a long time before I made a shirt with a collar. So, I’ve never attempted a shirt until now. (I’ve also never purchased that magazine again!)
The Fishsticks pattern was easy to follow, and the end result was completely satisfying. Yay! The pattern allows for some variations such as making the shirt with a yoke, which I did not do here. Since the pattern goes up to size 14, I think I’ll have plenty of time to try different styles. (After all, there is that other Lisette fabric with the green stripes and cars…..) And the collar — no problem! I shouldn’t have been such a wimp.
So I’ve shown you the balloons and planes, what about the trains?
After a quick photo shoot of the shirt, we went to visit the nearby Eli Whitney Museum to catch the last day of the annual A.C. Gilbert train show. A trip that, by the way, and for reasons known only to him, necessitated my son changing into his Superman shirt and cape. The visit was the perfect remedy for the cabin fever we’d been feeling in trying to avoid the frigid temps around here. I am often amused and a bit surprised by how taken both my son and daughter are by trains; the kids love trains. But you know what? Their parents were just as mesmerized during the visit. The level of detail that went into the models and the scenery, the authentic chugga-chugga as the trains went whizzing by, the smell of the steam engines (yes, real steam!). So fun!
I was obsessed with this circus tent. With the push of a button, the lights came on, trapeze artists started flying by, the elephants and tigers twirled and did tricks.
And there was a miniature New Haven of yesteryear, too.
And in addition to the trains, this year’s exhibition was highlighting 100 years of Gilbert’s Erector Sets. There were many impressive Erector Set displays – including a replica of the Woolworth Building that reached the top of the museum’s vaulted ceiling (unfortunately, my picture was not worthy), ferris wheels, airplanes, and all sorts of inventions with moving parts and lights and fun gadgetry. There were stations set up to encourage visitors to try their hand at building something, too.
It was so refreshing to spend an afternoon around objects that were intended to inspire invention and hands-on creativity, as opposed to plastic toys that do all the work for you! No one was standing around texting or with their head stuck in their phone at this venue! As soon as Eli saw the tables with the tools and parts, he was excited and inquisitive and wanted to build something – anything! Poor Daisy, she was excited too, but couldn’t quite reach the table top yet.
As impressive as the Erector Sets were, I’ll be sticking to sewing for now. I hope to have a couple more projects to share during this KCW. And you can always check out more on the kids clothes week blog.
Thanks for visiting!