I've spent much of my sewing time this month on some fall clothes for my daughter. I wanted to make an outfit that would be cute, but not cutesy, coordinated, but not matchy, and casual, but not sloppy. Now I've reached my goal with some success, but I'm pretty sure this outfit is just about as matchy-matchy as one could get. Oh who cares? She's a baby! And for this year, she's apparently my babydoll.
Although I am a new mother, one thing I know for sure is that children need stretchy fabrics. That's why I chose stretch corduroy for the trench coat, stretch cotton sateen for the tunic, and lycra for the leggings. This lycra, found years ago in some NYC Garment District fabric dive, has an excellent recovery. It is so similar to the Underarmour brand performance fabric.
Thank you very much to The Fabric Fairy who sponsored a giveaway on sewmamasew.com. I was a randomly selected winner, and I chose a beautiful stretch corduroy designed by Merimekko for the trench coat.
The designs of Liesl Gibson perfectly address my desire to sew something juvenile and stylish. So I used her Secret Agent Trench Coat and Roller Skate Dress/Tunic patterns from Oliver & S. They are fantastically drafted and written. I learned so much from them. While the coat is designed like a real trench with some of the requisite details such as the gun flap, sleeve tabs, and self-fabric belt, the gathered skirt makes it just right for a baby girl.
The trench coat, underlined with stretch cotton sateen, has bias bound seam allowances.
I added a hanging loop for convenience and a detachable hood which comes on and off with buttons and buttonholes. (I spent way too long deliberating on whether I wanted a detachable hood or a hat.)
Time and fatigue. The only time I can sew is after Baby goes to bed--the best time for...making major sewing mistakes. Only in a pre-baby world did I stop myself from sewing while tired. Having said that, I don't think I had too many seams to rip and re-sew. Those buttonholes weren't easy though. I blame my machine.
Fitting bespoke garments on a 15-month-old will either make one cry or laugh hysterically. I opted for laughing, especially while I followed the child around the house begging her to let me measure her waist, check hem lengths, etc.--all of which she interpreted as some hilarious cat and mouse game of chase. Immediately upon removing said garments or tape measure, she would stand quite still, of course.
What I Learned:
- Sewing ahead of season is highly recommended. We are ready for temperatures to drop at any time. No frantic shopping for a fall coat and paying too much for something we don't like.
- Binding seam allowances is not at all difficult and looks great, especially when the inside of your jacket or coat is sure to show.
- I am not as averse to matchy-matchy as I once thought, as long as it's on a baby.
DJ Mary's Pick:
(Ray Charles, Bein' Green)
"It's not easy bein' green... but if green is all there is to be...it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be," Joe Raposo.