Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brief Instructions on How to Cheat (oh, I mean how to make a kimono shirt)

Jess (over at Craftiness Is Not Optional) is currently having the Rachel Wrap Sew-Along where she's taking the week (one dose of instructions per day) to teach us how to make adorable kid-size kimono-style shirts.  (You really must pop over there and bask in all the cuteness.  Not to mention Jess' fun-to-read tutorials.)  I've had a goal for a while now to sew more of Olivia's clothes, so of course I jumped on board with the sew-along!

But you know me.  I'm impatient.  And really bad at making patterns.  (And, coincidentally, bad at currently having a big enough piece of fabric around to make a kid's shirt out of.)  So once I had my pattern pieces all ready to go on the first day, I decided to try a little something different.  (And--I'll admit it--I chose the knit fabric so it was bound to stretch in case I made my pattern really badly as you all know I'm apt to do.)

Here's how my Olivia's little shirt turned out:

So here's basically the run-down on how I made this very plain-Jane version of the Rachel Wrap...
  • Made pattern pieces following Jess' awesome tutorial.
  • Cut out double of everything, using old t-shirts as my fabric.
  • Cut some strips of t-shirt (to make the ties), folded them in half, sewed them together, and turned them right side out.  I made 4 ties total.
  • Basically made two shirts, sans bias tape.
  • With wrong sides together, I sewed both shirts together (so one "shirt" became the lining for the actual shirt).
  • Kept those little sleeve ends open.
  • Turned it all right-side out by pulling everything through an open sleeve.
  • Edge stitched around the entire shirt.
  • Edge stitched those little sleeve shut.
  • Done and done.
  • And totally became an official cheater at the sew-along.

By the way, my pattern turned out awesome this time.  So awesome, in fact, that I just might try and follow the actual sew-along with regular woven fabric now.  :)

Also, as I was making this shirt, I liked it, but I wasn't sure how I'd like it on Olivia.  As it turns out, I love how it looks on Olivia.  Way more than I even thought I would.  I just love it.
This is by far my favorite picture from the bunch.  :)
And, as an added bonus, this shirt doesn't have to go over her head!  Olivia has always hated having shirts and dresses pulled over her head.  She always holds her breath (for reals) and really freaks out if I take too long getting the shirt on or off.  So as I was trying this sweet little shirt on her it occurred to me how extra awesome it is that this is a stress-free shirt to put on.

I made Olivia's shoes using THIS wonderful pattern from Winter Peach.
I definitely see more of these in our future.  Regular play shirts, extra cute shirts, pajama shirts, painting smocks, dresses...

Happy Wednesday!

P.S.  It's my sister Polly's birthday today!  
Happy Birthday Polly!
Please feel free to head over to her blog Helping Little Hands and give her some fun birthday wishes.  :)


Lckevan said...

Super cute! I love it...I may have to try this version as well as Jessica's tutorial! Ps. I love the shoes Olivia is wearing. Did you make them?

Katie Lewis said...

Thanks! You should definitely give both a try. I tried out Jess' version last night and it's great.

And--yes!--I made Olivia's little shoes. I meant to include the link and then I totally forgot. Thanks for the reminder! I've now included the link in the post, here's the link to the little shoe pattern in the Winter Peach Etsy shop:

It's a great pattern and really so affordable. :)

Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

love those cute pics of her modeling the shirt-great job cheating!!

winterpeachblog said...

Oh (with a sigh) she is so cute! The whole outfit is perfect :0

What a cutie and of course, I love the shoes ;) You are such a fun mom!

Dorothy said...

Nicely done, Katie. A very cute project modeled by a very cute toddler. Wasn't she just a baby last time I saw her?

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

Super cute, Katie. And it should fit her forever since you just tie it closed. Great job. I'm glad you decided to try for a little more sewing clothes.

Kathy Haynie said...

Wow. Ditto to what everyone else said. What a great pattern, and I love your shortcuts.

Kendra said...

Olivia is so cute! I can't believe how big she's getting!

Amy said...

OMG! I think your shirt is the best reason to make one! As I looked through the roundup of shirts this morning I was totally smitten with yours! LOVE it! You have totally inspired me to give it a go...with knit!

Brittany said...

What kind of stitch did you use to edgestitch??? I never have good luck edge stitching knits..thanks!!