Up in the Clouds

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This is my latest instalment of the Ottobre Design top from issue 4/2014 paired with trousers from the same issue and True Bias Mini Hudson Pants. I haven’t got a huge amount to say about the top pattern that you can’t see here…and I have also made the Mini Hudsons before. What can I say? When I find a pattern that works I tend to make it over and over. These two are my favs – relaxed, modern and fashionable. Wee Guy is a bit of a whirlwind so comfy clothes in which he can move around easily are definitely his preference. Wee Gal’s top and trouser set were not intended to look like pyjamas although, looking at the pictures, I can see that they do very much look like pyjamas. Not to worry, she’s a baby and is therefore oblivious! Sizes used are 104cm for Wee Guy and 86cm for Wee Gal.

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The cloud print fabric is from Remnant Kings in Glasgow. It’s cotton with around 6% elastane, beautifully soft and very stretchy with excellent recovery. I love it. Now, here’s the problem with living in Scotland at this time of year…there’s no blooming’ light! I took these pictures after work at around 5pm and it was already too dull. So, you probably can’t tell that these tops are actually two different colours – pink and red. It’s very obvious in real life but sadly, in this land of diminishing light, not so obvious here. The ribbing is from my stash – it’s also cotton. The blue sweatshirting used for the Mini Hudsons was part of a fabric haul I found on Gumtree. I scored a huge pile of jersey fabrics, including around 6m of this one, for an absolute song. I don’t know what it is exactly but I suspect it is 100% cotton. I just realised too that my version looks exactly like the sample version on the True Bias website! A very happy accident.

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The details… In an effort to make my knit clothes look as RTW as possible I’ve been adding a strip of binding to the inside of my necklines. I had a fair amount of trial and error to get a process that I was happy with but now I think I’ve nailed it. I use a strip of knit 2cm wide, stitch it to the seam allowance, fold down and edge stitch (still within the seam allowance) and then tuck under and edge stitch in place. This technique hides the unsightly innards while also stabilising the neckline. I then use the jersey stretch stitch on my machine to hem as it allows the fabric to stretch a lot!

And because kids are impossible to photograph these are the only pictures – out of about a thousand – that are not a flurry of blurred limbs.

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The Too Big toddler dress and leggings combo

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I am a huge fan of Ottobre Design kids patterns. I’ve made a few items for the boy – they fit really well and are very practical for everyday wear. I am sure this outfit will be no exception…when the girl grows into it. I seem to have a problem with cutting the right size and always end up going too big. Sure, it’s better than being too small but also quite annoying since she won’t get to wear this for a good couple of months at least. I blame RTW (always a scapegoat!) and its tendency to be smaller than it should be. Certain shops have the weirdest sizing in kids’ clothes – and some clearly don’t preshrink fabric as they get smaller after washing which really maddens me! But, isn’t that one of the reasons we make our own clothes?…because we know we can do better? Now, the bairn’s tall and has always worn a size bigger in RTW but, even so, her leggings are always up above her ankles (and the same with the boy, though in his case it’s that the t-shirts don’t always meet the waist band!) so, when choosing a pattern size I tend to – out of habit – go up. Turns out it was entirely unnecessary in this case. Who’d have thunk it?!

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I cut the size 86cm which is normally 12-18months and as you can see in the top pictures there is plenty of growing room. That’s not a bad thing but I just hope that the bairn grows into the waist before the leggings get too short so fingers crossed! The tunic and leggings patterns are from Ottobre Design 1/2015. All seams were stitched on the overlocker and then finished with the twin needle on the neckband/cuffs and the amazing Bernina stretch stitch on the hems (seriously, it’s the most amazing thing about my machine. The hem can stretch way more than a twin needle or a zig zag stitch and means no more popped seams on stretchy fabrics!) If you look really carefully you can see it here on the tunic hem  and leggings waistband – it’s the most close up picture I could get.

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The fabric is the really beautiful Elk Grove knit by Birch Fabrics. It’s organic cotton interlock knit and I’ve been hoarding it for about a year waiting for the right time to use it. It feels very soft yet thick enough to handle some rough’n’tumble toddler action. I only bought a half metre of each fabric and couldn’t get the whole dress out of one piece. I like the mis-matched arms though so I’m pleased with the way it turned out. If you can get away with weird details anywhere then it’s most definitely on kids’ clothes. Due to fabric limitations there was no way I was even going to attempt to match the chevrons on the leggings. Quite liberating really as I would probably have done it despite the fact that the bum will be covered. Fortuitously, I had the perfect match of cotton ribbing in my stash. I sure do love it when that happens!