Fun Kidwear from Remnants

Remnants of jersey knit

Ah, the possibilities for knit remnants! This post features the red and white ones made into girls’ tops, plus a twirly skirt to go with the tops.
I made a couple more of the Imke tops featured in the luscious book Sewing Clothes Kids Loveby Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn. In honor of spring–here in central Florida it was 90 degrees last week, that’s our spring–I made them with short sleeves. The hoodie sports an improvised pocket on the front that turned out a bit crooked: the engineer spouse was not conspiratorial. “You had a GRID to line it up with,” he said, pointing to the stripes on the front, his voice trailing off to a mutter and his brow furrowing. Sigh. I thought about taking the seam ripper to it, but the jersey is so fine and delicate I’m sure the result will be holes, so I left it as is, hoping it exudes a Grunge-y sort of eclectic charm.

Imke girls' tops

The Insa skirt was also a pattern of Sewing Clothes Kids Love. I found an old, old red cotton remnant that was thin, faded in spots, and had a number of scrapes, holes and cuts in it, so I had to cut out the 4 skirt gores one at a time.

an old relic from Rag Shop probably

I have to say that the patterns and instructions in this book are wonderful. Lots of topstitching and many little flourishes to make this sturdy kidwear.

Insa skirt

The underskirt is trimmed with some reflective rickrack I bought on clearance from JoAnn’s after Halloween. The overskirt is half lace and half cotton red skull bandana print. I love the author’s technique for making the overskirt puff up. I hemmed it with a decorative heart stitch. All together, a fun postaweek2011 remnant project for me to sew!
P.S. You know, it’s fun to play the game of getting a bargain. I have succumbed to that marketing psychology that urges people to BUY NOW! because it’s on sale–you might need it, then later it won’t be as cheap! As a result, I know I have more craft and sewing stuff than I currently have need of, although my intentions to use it up are still good. And if I miss out on a great sale, I tend to feel that I’m a bit of a loser. I didn’t get the best price; so, there’s something wrong. But at least I’m playing by the rules. When I see or hear about people shoplifting, switching price tags, butting in line at the cutting counter or cash register to take unfair advantage, it takes the juiciness right out of the bargain victory.

And then there’s all the misery of the other outcome of succumbing to market psychology, the hoarding. Everyone knows someone about whom they can lightheartedly say “Oh, she’s a packrat.” But for some bargain seekers, their hunter-gatherer instinct has gone terribly wrong. I don’t know when I crossed over the line of feeling vaguely uncomfortable having a large fabric stash to feeling like I’m riding around in a Cadillac with the top down on a victory cruise around the fabric store stadium, waving and catching long-stemmed roses thrown to me in tribute of my stash-building prowess. But, I have friends who are worse pack rats than I am. And I have more grandchildren to sew for than they do. That’s my consolation at this point.

Remnant Imke’s

Visual "to-do" List

It’s ugly, but functional.  When I cleaned the sewing room a while ago, I just piled up all the UFO’s and projects-in-the-making on these two barrels. I do have a paper “to-do” list, but this one shows more drama, more urgency. It’s not that I’m a huge sluggard, but I have more plans than I have time or inclination to finish.

This week’s project is a follow-up from the Burda top I made last week. I used some of the leftover knit jersey, plus added a length of orange knit jersey and a remnant of orange and brown striped jersey. I made the girls some Imke tops, using the FABULOUS patterns and ideas in Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy J. S. Langdon and Sabine Pollehn.

I don’t know how I can say enough to convey how much I love this book. The clothes herein are creative, fun, and crazy easy to make! The book retails for about $25 but you can find it on Amazon at a discount. I bought mine at Borders with a 50% off coupon they gave me. You can also find it at JoAnn Fabric and use one of the %-off coupons that they give away. Patterns for ten articles of clothing, with their many variations, are included in sizes 3 – 12.

I hope the girls like to wear these tops as much as I liked making them!

with applique's and a pointed hood

With pieced sleeves and tee collar

This Imke top pattern:

You can choose to make it with a pointed hood or a rounded hood, or a tee-shirt collar, pieced sleeves and bodice, short puffy sleeves, bell sleeves, short puffy sleeves on top of pieced or straight or bell sleeves, with a bell-shaped hem for girls, or a straight hem for boys.

And you can applique or embellish it as you wish.

I appliqued monkey motif’s to the hoodie, using fabric from a prior project.

These patterns, like the Burda and other European patterns, don’t have seam or hem allowances so you have to add it.

I’m sewing the stretchy knit jersey seams with a 2.5mm zig-zag stitch on the machine, then overlocking the seams. The necklines are topstitched. The hems are a sewing machine flatlock stitch that turns out very stretchy.

I sort of pushed the envelope when it came to using up remnants from my Burda top, but hey! Less waste. Some day the pile of remnants will become small enough that I will be able to throw it out with a good conscience.

Chocolate remnants good to the last drop

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