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Made by a Fabricista: A Chambray Linen Easter

Howdy ladies and gentlemen!

It's been quite the couple of months since we last met up...

In those months I made these Easter clothes for my kiddos, which I'm excited to share with you belatedly!


I used Fabric Mart's awesome Exclusive Chambray Linen for these.  It's my first time using it, and I'm super impressed!  The fabric definitely has some of the famous linen wrinkle, but since it's blended with cotton it's a bit mitigated.  I also used their thread matching service for the first time (I think; if not the first time it's been a long while!) and the matches were pretty spot on.


For Peaches's dress I used the Grape for the main fabric, and the Mint was the main for Cheeks's awesome button down.  I used the Carolina Blue as accents on both (plus bits of Grape for Cheeks and Mint for Peaches so all three fabrics were represented in each garment).  I love the blend of color!  They aren't available on the site right now but I'm betting they'll be back sometime.


I received this fabric in early March, in time to sew up at my yearly sewing retreat.  I'd planned to complete both of these garments there, but the news of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading emerged and was blaring full blast in Wisconsin by mid-retreat.  My anxiety overtook the fun of the event and I left a day early, only getting this much of Cheeks's shirt completed.


The following weeks of settling into our new normal has been rough; the omnipresent juggling of parenting and work without outside support has been difficult and exhausting.  But I know we're all stressed right now.  Hugs to you if you need 'em.  It was really a struggle for me to put the effort into finishing these garments, since I saw the writing on the wall that we would not be able to gather for Easter celebrations with family.

But this fabric...it was lovely to behold upon receipt, but it's also a joy to sew.  And I'm not the kind of person who says nice things just to be nice; I mean it, y'all.  I will buy more of this (thank goodness it's one of Fabric Mart's few textiles that is reorderable!)



I am glad for any joy I can get in a time where there is more strife than the average.  And this shirt and dress?  JOY.

Peaches's dress is Simple Life Pattern Company Betty.


The biggest feature on Betty are the bodice flounces (created from graduated circles, the inner part of which are then sewn onto the garment flat), which are lined and look nice but felt like way too much work for the effect produced.  Clipping and sewing all of those curves felt like the epitome of tedium.  Even though the result is lovely, I'll likely settle for some mere ruffles next time.


The other notable design features here are the gathered circle skirt (MAXIMUM TWIRL!), skirt ruffle, pockets, and the many bow options.  There's also an additional color blocked bodice option that I skipped because there was enough going on here already! 


The one thing I was not very happy with was the side bow construction.  As you can see in the photo above, each side bow is made of two separate tabs that are then simply basted together once the bodice has been sew up.  I found it difficult to position the bow center in a way to cover all of this basting, which is a shame.  I often like to sew a pattern the directed way the first time, but I'll figure out a way to construct this using a single bow piece next time.


I decided to go Full On Bow and use both the side and pocket bows.  Because who knows how long she'll permit me to totally cupcake her up like this?!


The pocket bows were a little funny as the directions were simply to make them and "hand sew them on" but there were no specific directions on the hand sewing factor.  I didn't stitch the bow and bow tail to the bow center, and they started wiggling their way out by the end of the day.  You can tell I'm a bow newbie, eh?  Definitely secure all bow parts to themselves! Ahoy matey!


I thought the pockets were super fun, though little Miss did not seem to realize they were there.  She does not yet understand the joy of females when they realize their dress has *pockets*. But maybe that's OK; because then she might realize how weird and unfair it is that we don't always have adequate pockets!


For the closures I used Kampsnaps pearl snaps.  I've used them in previous projects (1 2) as well and just love love love them and basically use them whenever possible.  I think they complement this dress so perfectly!


Just don't be a silly like me and put them on before finishing the stitching on your bodice.  I ended up having to switch to my zipper foot to make this work out, which made for some weird edgestitching accuracy.


Based on her 20" chest measurement, I used a 1/2" side seam allowance (instead of the prescribed 3/8") with the size 2T, to bring the bodice in 1/2" total. Based on previous SLPco makes I cut a 3T length in the skirt, and am very happy with the fit.


Lastly, I really adore the super full gathered circle skirt and the miles long ruffle at the bottom (I enjoy the outcome, though do typically not appreciate sewing the latter).  Twirl city! There's just nothing like a really full skirt, amirite?


That's about all for the dress, besides the compulsory flat lay...


And so we're onto Cheeks's super darling button down shirt!


Cheeks is wearing the Tadah Patterns Kids Troop Shirt.


See what I meant about that infamous linen creasing?  He had this shirt on for a total of five minutes at this point.  It's just a part of linen's casual charm!


Boy has this pattern got options.  From epaulets to pockets with or without a top flap, three different shirt fits (this is the relaxed fit), three sleeve options (two long and one short; this is the classic buttoned cuff with tower placket), and rolled sleeve tabs, if you want 'em!  Whew.


I totally went for the sleeve roll up tabs and love the look.  What I didn't think about was the fact that I failed to accurately count the number of buttons I needed.  If you look really hard you'll see there is one button that is not like all of the others, but I was not about to run to JoAnn for this *one thing* at a time like this.


This is one of those patterns that has everything you need, all rolled into one neat package.  Yes for versatility!!  A hallmark of a great pattern, in my opinion.



Sewing all of these fun little additions really takes some extra time, but don't you think they add a metric ton of pizazz?


To make the tower part of the tower placket more stable to sew, I stuck a bit of Steam-to-Seam-2 (a double sided fusible tape) in there to hold everything in place.  This photo is before removing the paper backing.  Worked like a charm!


I'm not gonna lie, after all of this his next one is going to be a basic short sleeved button down, but I'm pretty jazzed to use this very well drafted pattern for his button downs from here on out.


Man, he's so handsome here, our little guy.  Not biased or anything.  Ha.  :P


I made him a size 5 for his 23" chest, per the size chart, and kept second guessing myself, thinking he might need larger (he always seems to grow out of everything the second I cut it out!  If you've sewn for a small child I'm sure you're familiar with this phenomenon) but the sizing is spot on.  Another star for Tadah!


Onto the requisite flat lay!


So there they are:  my sweet babies in their Easter best that no one saw except for in photo.  If you celebrate:  how was your Easter?  How are you doing with the pandemic?



Until next time, my friends!

Jess




Comments

  1. Beautiful sewing, lovely fabric and adorable kids. I spent Easter alone but hey that's just how it is right now

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your kids are adorable! I love what you've made for them. What a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those are just so lovely! I love the colors you combined. And the flounces were worth it- they are so adorable- they just make the dress!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very nice. Thanks for so many photos, I was really able to appreciate everything about your creations, and your kids are so cute! You’re right about the fabric, it’s fab, and I was curious about it, so glad to see some sewn up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are fantastic! The flounces are everything, and they stand out so beautifully in the linen, but then there's pockets behind the bows? How cool! And such a handsome shirt. I'm always looking for new patterns for my boys. They've outgrown too many patterns at this point!

    ReplyDelete

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