Kids Clothes Week Summer 2016: Beachy Boatneck

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Until last night, I hadn’t touched my sewing machine in just over two months. My sewing production always tends to slow to a trickle in the summer, but that is definitely the longest I’ve gone without sewing a thing! Blame it on the heat (it’s been downright disgusting here lately), or the general lack of time with the kids home on summer break, or simply being too tired after long days of exploring/swimming/getting on each other’s nerves. Or, we can simply blame it on Netflix, the Olympics, or whatever draws me to the couch once the tasks of the day are finally complete (or pushed off for another day!).

Kids Clothes Week and the impending start of school dragged me out of my sewing slump, however. Since my son wears a uniform to school, my daughter can be the sole focus of my back to school sewing efforts, and sewing for only one child seemed manageable. We’ll see about that. Starting this task two weeks before the start of school may not have been the best move.

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In some ways this project seems like the ultimate compromise to me. I love sewing my daughter dresses. My daughter loves rejecting said dresses and demanding soft, cozy garments. And so, despite my deep desire to start the school year with a slew of newly sewn dresses, I am acknowledging that an unworn pile of dresses would irritate me beyond belief, and it’s far better to make her something that she’ll enjoy and wear multiple times.

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Hence, my return to sewing comes in the form of a t-shirt. Ah, the glory.

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I’ve sewn t-shirts before, but this was my first time with this pattern. It’s the Beachy Boatneck by Melly Sews for Blank Slate Patterns. I tease about the lack of glory in sewing a simple tee. Every time I sew something up in knit fabric and I feel it could pass for ready-to-wear quality, I’m pretty darn proud.

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The fabric definitely passes for soft and cozy, too — as evidenced by my daughter’s immediate request to wear it and her later suggestion that it could be a PJ shirt, too. Success! The fabric is an organic cotton interlock from the Acorn Trail collection for Birch Fabrics. Last year I made my son a pair of creepy crawly pajamas with another fabric from this collection.

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My one regret in sewing this shirt is being too lazy to switch over to my double needle to finish the hems and topstitch the neckline. But a girl can only handle so much at once — baby steps, people, after all this is my first time sewing since early June!! Let’s not rush things.

It’s a good pattern with reliable instruction and it comes together quickly — probably even faster if you don’t have to reintroduce yourself to your sewing machine! The pattern uses a front and back yoke facing rather than a neck binding, and I love that clean look. I sewed up a size 4 for Daisy based on the measurements provided, but the fit is a bit loose on her.  It’s not sloppy big, but there is definitely room to grow. Interestingly, she mostly wears a size 5T in RTW shirts. The pattern also lends itself nicely to adaptation, and I’m hoping to play around with it soon.

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Now that one back to school project is in the books, let’s hope I don’t fall back into another summer slide. I suppose I could take the easy way out and just sew up a whole pile of Beachy Boatnecks — she is quite happy with this one, and who am I to ruin a good thing…

Or, more appropriately, who am I to mess with an intimidating ninja superhero? I’ll leave you with one of Daisy’s oh-so-imposing ninja stances; she’s been practicing all summer.

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KCW Spring ’14: Woodland Leggings and Knit Cardigan


More Kids Clothes Week spring sewing. And more comfy knits that proved perfect for the park today.

Leggings details:

Fabric: Jay Cyn Designs for Birch Organics, knit, purchased from Fabricworm

Pattern: Go To Patterns leggings pattern, size 2T

Cardigan details:

Fabric: knit interlock from Jo-Anns

Pattern: Slouchy Cardigan by heidiandfinn, size 2T, modified with shorter cuff


The leggings were inspired by a post on the winthrop chronicles about leggings that the author, Sarah, made her daughter. I had been coveting this knit fabric on the Fabricworm site and musing about what to make with it. When I saw the leggings Sarah made, my mind was made up and I just had to have this fabric. Birch Organics has such wonderful woven and knit fabrics, and I especially love the designs by Jay Cyn Designs. I previously used a different design for a birthday girl’s horse skirt. Daisy and I have been playing “I Spy” with these leggings, trying to identify all the woodland animals it features.


The knit was very easy to sew, probably because it is not very stretchy and is a nice thick cotton that doesn’t slip when sewing. The size 2T in this leggings pattern is still slightly big on Daisy. I think the fabric will actually show a bit better when the fit is more snug.

Mom Cardigan

In a nod to KCW’s theme of “Mini Me”, the cardigan I made Daisy was inspired by the cardigan I wear all the time. All. The. Time. I recall when I purchased it in early 2009. I was in J.Crew looking for some clothes for an upcoming trip to St. Thomas with dear friends. I loved the cardigan (it’s a medium weight french terry) but thought it seemed pricey for what is essentially a sweatshirt. My husband convinced me to buy it, and I can unequivocally say I have gotten my money’s worth! It has served me well.


There is also another aspect of “Mini Me” to this cardigan. The fabric comes from a knit dress I made myself that was a HUGE miss. I accidentally purchased the knit dress pattern in the wrong size, then accidentally ripped it when opening the package (rendering it unable to be returned), and was too cheap to repurchase the pattern in the correct size. So, I tried scaling the pattern to my size, and it didn’t work — at all.  It was reminiscent of a hospital gown or a muumuu. At least I was able to reuse the fabric, although I wish I had taken a picture before cutting it up! The only problem is that I did not have enough fabric to cut one straight piece for the wide binding that runs along the cardigan. I actually had to piece three separate cuts together for the requisite 54 inch binding, and that resulted in an obvious and annoying seam on the left side of the binding at about chest level. Hence the little fuschia rectangle I attached in an attempt to cover the seam and add a little flair. Kind of a weak fix, but better than having to stare at that misplaced seam!

It was my first time using the cardigan pattern, and I liked it a lot. It was a relatively quick and easy project, with good instructions.

Daisy seemed really comfortable in her new clothes. She did, however, keep trying to button or close the cardigan front. I had to keep explaining that this sweatshirt does not close. Once she started running around the park, she didn’t give it another thought.



Two more days left in KCW. I’m not sure what’s up next for me. But my son is definitely quite aware that so far I have sewn for only Daisy. I may be guilted into making him some sweatpants after all.