Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Sunny Clothes!

You guys!  I have been loving this early warm weather, especially after the last few years of dismal springs followed by gray wet summers and finally a few sunny days in August.   I'm even happy to see the rain we've had for the last two days, like coming home after two weeks of vacation--I'm not even sad, because I've been able to enjoy the last two sunny weeks so much.  Last year, I only made one sundress because by the time it got warm enough for me to be motivated to sew one, summer was almost over.  But here we are, in mid-May, and we've already had several warm days, including some record highs for this time of year.

Soooo, I have been making warm-weather clothes faster than I can blog them!  The internet is SO GOOD.  I can't believe the number of free tutorials and even printable patterns out there.  My Kids DIY Clothing page on Pinterest is getting crazy full with stuff I want to make.

For today:

The Snappy Toddler Top from Prudent Baby

Out of one of my favorite fabric combos--I am finally starting to run out of scraps of this stuff!

I went with the buttons instead of snaps, because I didn't have any cute little snaps on hand.  Although it was more challenging than I would have thought to find two matching buttons in my stash, that were the right size and coordinated with my fabric.  One of the hazards of using mostly vintage buttons!  Would you believe this is the first time I've ever made buttonholes on my sewing machine?  My mom recently discovered a bunch of sewing-related papers in my grandma's stuff, including THE MANUAL to the machine I've been sewing on for a good 10 years.  It has my grandma's name written inside the front cover; I love that. Among other things, I learned that there is a secret compartment in the back of my machine containing such handy devices as a buttonhole foot and a zipper foot.  I HAVE HAD THESE THINGS ALL ALONG AND NEVER KNEW IT.  My years of putting off buying new feet for my machine have paid off.  Between the long-lost foot and the accompanying instructions in the manual, I have now conquered buttonholes.  Look out zippers, you are next!

However (of course there is a however!  This is me!)  I wrote this blog post before trying this top on Little Sister.  Can you see where this is going? Yes, you've guessed it, it's too small.

She can squeeze into it, but barely.

I was so bummed, too--when I showed it to her, she said, "New clothes?  For me?  Wear it?"  But it was not to be.

Look at her poor little armpits pinched in there!
And OF COURSE this was the last of the scraps of this fabric that I love, so I couldn't just make another identical one.  I thought about removing the neck pieces, widening the armholes, reattaching the bias tape, adding length to the bottom, and reattaching everything, but that just seemed like a lot of work for a top that was pretty easy to make to begin with, so I decided to just choose a different fabric and start again.  I am disappointed that Little Sister won't have a dress from this fabric, but I'm sure if it was really important to me I could track some more of it down at some point.  (For reference, I printed the pattern at 110% and added a small seam allowance, but then I assumed the pattern had included a seam allowance so I sewed using a larger seam allowance than I had cut, so I probably ended up somewhere in the 12 month size.)

When I recut, I didn't reprint the pattern larger, I just cut around the original pattern a lot bigger, including lowering the curve for the armholes.  For the neck panels, I also widened the curve.  So I can't tell you the exact directions for getting an accurate pattern for 2T.  But I did eventually end up with a great top that Little Sister can actually wear, and a sweet top for our friend's little girl who just had her first birthday.

Hey, look at that--I actually had FOUR matching buttons!
The most important difference is in the size of the armholes--the rest of the pattern is pretty forgiving.

Yay!  It fits!
Sweet gathers in the back
Little Sister loooooooves her pengwong (that's penguin, if you don't speak Iris)
So thanks again, Prudent Baby, for another great tutorial!  I am in love with this sweet top. As a matter of fact, I'm making a teeny tiny one next for a friend who has a newborn little girl.  Planning to pair it with some baby bloomers too--stay tuned!


  1. Iris is such a wonderful model! :) That is an adorable top - great fabric choices for both, but man do I love that first one! Hmmmm...I happen to know one little girl that just may fit into it...but then again, I'm the one who should be sewing up thank you clothes. Emerson is wearing all Iris these days...XOXO

    1. I was worried that it would be too little for Emmy too, so I gave it to one of Liam's playgroup little sisters, whose birthday was just a few weeks ago--but you were definitely the first person I thought of! You could totally make this pattern though :)

  2. What size did you make the armholes and neckline? I am making one for my niece and don't have anything to compare to. Thanks!

    1. I just measured the armholes on my finished 2T garment, and in the front, it measures 4 inches from where the armhole meets the neck piece to the seam at the bottom of the armhole, and in the back it's 4 and 3/4 inches. I know that I only tucked the front and back panels inside the neck piece a little bit (1/2 inch at most) and I used a pretty small seam allowance for my single-fold bias tape at the armholes too. So it was probably only a 1/2 inch or so bigger than that when I cut it. Hope that helps!


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