For the most part I can keep my fabric stash in control. I am trying to make more clothes for myself and in being more considered about what I want my wardrobe to be made up of, means my fabric buying is more considered too.
However this all goes out the window when it comes to loud patterns destined for kids clothes. Sometimes a patterned quilting cotton pops up, that just makes me loose my mind and I can’t walk away without a few yards.
However as beautiful as quilting cottons are and as super cute my nieces look in dresses covered in lions/ pups/ cacti/ doughnuts, the last thing a busy mum needs are garments that need ironing before their tots head out the door.
I know kids patterns only need a little fabric, but when I saw this bargin bright floral fabric on eBay I snapped up 3 yards.
I wanted to make my niece a knit fabric dress, that would wash well and survive the daily spattering of yoghurt/pasta/blueberries/paint that kids clothes have to endure.
After looking for a pattern, I came to Brindille and Twig’s Baby T-shirt dress. I felt having a pull on dress with no fastening would be the best for my bouncy toddler buddy.
After looking at this pattern I couldn’t help but check it out on Sprout patterns. If you haven’t had the chance to peruse this site it is well worth it, but be warned it can be quite the rabbit hole!
Sprout patterns is a sister site to Spoonflower. This genius site prints dress patterns from indie designers right onto the fabric, so no laborious tracing of patterns. The design is printed straight onto the fabric in your size, so all you have to do is cut…PLUS you get the whole range of amazing Spoonflower fabric designs to choose from!
Preprinted dress pattern, in your size, covered in lobsters? It’s yours!
Anyway back to my Brindille and Twig dress….
As a start I found the sticking together of this pattern confusing, I am so used to piecing together pdfs patterns, where you match numbers and segments, but the Brindille patterns use the overlap method instead.
The pattern only has four pieces, the front bodice, back bodice and sleeves, so it’s super quick to cut and prepare your fabric.
After my wonky Zeena dress, I was very weary whilst cutting, but this fabric behaved beautifully and was so easy to sew and handle.
As a knit fabric I did the bulk of the work on my overlocker. As mentioned before I am still learning the ins and outs of using a serger, so didn’t want to disturb it too much by changing the thread colour so stuck with grey and I don’t think it look too offensive.
I used the overlocker for all the seams, but still had to whip out my normal sewing machine to sew the hems (I know you can use overlockers for a flat stitch too, like you see on sports wear often, but my exploration hasn’t brought me there yet).
As a knit I didn’t have to bother finishing the edges on the overlocker, as they wouldn’t have frayed, but thought it’d be good to have as much child proofing as possible and it also is helping me clock up my serger miles. Once I finished the edges, I used a zig zag stitch with pink thread to turn the hem and the sleeves…pretty proud of the neat guts for this dress.
I really liked the instructions from this pattern of how to add the stretch collar and after my collar misfire on my Inari dress, this has really helped this method stick in my brain for future knit projects. I love the way rib collars look for sweatshirt, but something having the matching fabric, like on this pattern is more appropriate and sometimes rib is hard to track down anyway!
All in all this is really easy pattern to sew up and sure it has made it to lots of Mums Tried and Tested List. I have plans for another for my other niece (have to be a fair auntie!) and might take inspiration from the options on Sprout and have contrasting sleeves and collar for a baseball tee look. In terms of toddler dressing this should be an easy match with leggings and boots, I mean there are plenty of colours in it to match with…