Friday, March 26, 2010

Sew new

How cute is this? Today I made a shirt for my little man. This is the Outo Otus shirt from the 6/2009 issue of Ottobre. Normally I don't make entire outfits as shown in the magazine, but this shirt was shown on the cutest baby and I immediately thought of my little man. The fabric is Hilco's Campan knit in a brown/red combo that I got from !st European Fabrics group on yahoo, purchased specifically for this item. Actually I really liked the brown/green version in the magazine, but I couldn't find it anywhere so I went with the brown/red.

This shirt went together pretty easily but after trying the lap-seam method that was recommended in the instructions I decided I didn't like the look and after ripping out the stitching I re-sewed the seam with the serger in the standard way, then topstitched the seam allowances toward the sleeve. The flat construction (sewing the arm and side seams all in one pass) is fast, but I'm not fond of the way the seam allowance sticks out at the cuff when done this way. I think that if I make this again (and I plan on it) I'll sew the cuffs to the sleeve in a single layer, then do the arm and side seams so that I'm able to fold the raw edge of the cuff in and then hand stitch it to the sleeve allowance, so that the underarm seam allowance is concealed within the cuff. I think this provides a much nicer finish, although that could be because I'm such a glutton for hand-sewing and finishing. I think a lot of people like the fast way, but then you run the risk of seeing the seams and to me that just screams "Poor Construction!!"

Another note about the fabrics and finishing: The binding isn't as nice as I'd like it to be. To begin with, I wanted to use brown ribbing but what I had in my stash was darker than the brown in the Campan. My husband thought the darker ribbing looked fine but to me it was off just enough to be noticeable and annoying, as opposed to noticeable and contrasty. I figured that if it wasn't going to match I'd better go farther so that it looked deliberate, instead of being a poorly matched fabric choice. Yeah, I'm anal like that. Anyway, the ribbing I went with is the same as the tan that I used in the Kaarna pants for which this shirt was made, so it was a good choice. However, this ribbing - while nice and firm and substantial in weight - has less stretch than I probably should have had. This made it difficult to fit the neckline and still have enough to adequately wrap it to the other side as described in the instructions. I made it work, but it's not pretty if you look at it from the wrong side. Also, I transposed the snap parts on one of the snaps, so that the post is on the wrong side. The snap still works fine and it's not at all noticeable when on, but it's another annoying mistake. Then too, the snaps are a red which doesn't really match with the red in the fabric, but I really had little choice. I wanted brown but they didn't have any so I had to go with red, even though it's a bit brighter than I'd like. It works.

So here he is in the entire outfit:

As mentioned in a previous post, I made the Nala combi by Farbenmix for Miss Gwyn. Finally I've got pictures to show of this one:

The second one shows how cute the leggings are. This is a really easy pattern and it went together really fast. I had some issues with it that were based on fabric and on not really taking time to translate the entire thing from German. The fabric part was due to a very small amount of the stripe: another Campan knit by Hilco that I purchased from Banberry Place about 3 years ago along with the floral. I bought 1 yard of the floral and I thought I bought a yard of the stripe, but either the fabric shrank drastically when I laundered it or there was less than a yard left when I ordered it and Corie just gave me what was left. Anyway, I had to make things work with what I had. The only problem really was that I didn't have quite enough to do the entire neck binding in 1 piece with the stripes going vertically. There's really no point in doing horizontal stripes on the binding because the effect is pretty underwhelming. I tried to rectify this by cutting 2 pieces and then sewing them together, but I ended up not being able to line up both seams in the binding with the shoulder seams. In retrospect I could have easily avoided this if I'd done the 2 binding pieces separately and then sewn the shoulder seams afterward, but hey - hindsight is always 20/20. For the record, Corie still carries the floral knit I used.

Which brings me to the other minor problem I had with the construction. Not bothering to translate the entire instructions or to really look at the sew-along, I didn't bother to slash the circles which are the ruffly cuffs. Instead I finished the edges of the circles (a bit tricky, I must say) and then applied them in the round to the legs and arms after sewing the leg and arm seams. This method works well, but is a bit more picky than I'd like if I were to make it again (she likes it so I probably will). So next time I'll do the slash to make the finishing of the cuffs easier and then sew the entire side, arm and cuff seam in one go. I let Gwyn choose where to put the Farbenmix label and she thought that was cool; it's on the left arm, near her shoulder.


  1. Hi Jen,

    I'm sorry that the Fenna skirt is not available in your desired size. When your daughter has a hipwidth up to 74, the size 140 can still be used.
    My youngest daughter's name is also Fenna. And my mum's name is Jennie (a bit like Jen ;-).

    Bye-bye, Esseline (Esla-Ista design)

  2. Hi again,

    I forgot to let you know: At size 140 the skirt length is 50 cm.
    Hopefully it meets your needs anyhow.

    Kind regards, Esseline