Pattern review: Jeffrey’s Summer Jumper by Create Kids Couture

I got the Jeffrey’s Summer Jumper pattern from Create Kids Couture, intending to make matching outfits for my nephew and his brother (on the way in a few weeks!) to wear. But first I turned it into a girl’s romper for my niece to wear on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, etc., with just a few adjustments. First, I omitted the pocket from the front, and added three appliqued stars. Second, I added ruffles across the butt (because who doesn’t love a baby ruffle butt). Third, I added little flutter “sleeves” to the shoulder straps.

And here are the results!

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This was a pretty easy sew, even with matching up all the little stripes everywhere, and very easy to adapt. I also love the way CKC makes their patterns. Through the use of negative space pattern pieces and rectangle shaped pieces, I only had to print a couple pages. LOVE, since PDF patterns are traditionally a printing/cutting/taping nightmare for me. My one complaint about the pattern is the finishings in a couple areas.

First, on the cuffs – the way they are attached is not the easiest thing to figure out, and leaves an unfinished seam inside the edge of the pants. The photos on the pattern show that the edge can be serged or zigzagged over (I  don’t have a serger, so I had to zigzag them). When I make this again for the boys (I already have the pieces cut out, just need to find time to put them together) I think I’ll change how the cuffs are attached.

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Second, the waist seam, as written on the pattern, would leave an unfinished edge on the inside. Since the bib is lined, I didn’t think this was necessary, and went ahead and changed it when I made it. I just sewed the lining to the shorts (so that the seam would face the inside of the lining), then folded the bottom edge of the outer fabric up (to the inside), and topstitched around the edge of the bib, making sure the inner seam was encased. No nasty unfinished seam right on baby’s soft belly! Plus, the topstitching fit in with the other topstitching already on the pattern, around the top edge of the bibs, the straps, cuffs, etc.

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One last baby pic so you can see the front of the romper, and then some photos I shot of the outfit on a hanger before I sent it off to my niece. I’m submitting this romper to the Sewing Mama RaeAnna contest, please vote for me when voting opens! Thanks!

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Fabric notes: All the fabric and the buttons I used for this project were leftover from other projects! That’s right, total fabric and notions cost= $0. The red and white striped has shown up on this blog on numerous occasions, it’s a cotton shirting fabric. The red and blue are cotton quilting fabrics. The white star is linen, and the flutter sleeves/white ruffle are white cotton.wpid-20140519_194847-1.jpgwpid-20140519_194921-1.jpg

Christmas ensemble, part 3: The boys

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In keeping with the slightly formal (but not too formal) nature of our Christmas looks, I wanted the boy’s (my husband and son’s) versions to be dressy but not require a jacket. So I decided to make them matching vests and ties, using this men and boy’s pattern by Simplicity. The pattern directions are exactly the same, which makes things very easy – the men’s version is just bigger than the boy’s.

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Jackie Rabbit

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My daughter’s kindergarten class was tasked with “stuffed animals” for the theme of their basket for a school basket auction fundraiser, and rather than go and buy a stuffed animal, I thought it would be more fun (and more unique) to donate one that I had made.

I found this great Jack Rabbit softie pattern, and used various scraps of fabric that I had on hand (most left over from my daughter’s Rapunzel Halloween costume), I made this little pink-and-purple bunny. I think she’s more of a Jackie Rabbit than a Jack Rabbit 🙂

I embroidered the eyes instead of using buttons, to make this more all-ages suitable, and only ran into one mishap (which the pattern had explicitly warned against) – I accidentally sewed one of the ears into a side seam. But luckily it was an easy thing to fix. The kids and I had great fun stuffing the bunny, although the leg joints are tiny – I used a funnel to get the stuffing in the legs.

This was a great pattern, and I will definitely make more of these little bunnies in the future as gifts – I wanted to make more for Easter this year, but the timing just didn’t work out. Maybe for next year!

Stripey Cat

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This was the first stuffed animal I ever made – a stripey cat for my baby nephew. It was also the second time I ever appliqued anything – his little eyes didn’t quite end up where I planned them to (as you can see from the difference between the top and bottom images) but I still think he turned out quite cute. He has a little stripey tail, too.

The colors pick up on the sheets I made for my nephew’s crib, and integrate some scrap blue striped seersucker along with the red and blue flannel from the sheets.

I used this stripey cat pattern (albeit with fewer stripes) and I would definitely make this cat again. It’s a very easy pattern – only two pieces, the main body and the tail – which makes it easy to play with and make it fun with the stripes and face. Now that I know what I’m doing with applique, I think it would turn out even cuter, and going all out with the stripes would be fun, too.

Christmas ensemble, part 1: My top and skirt

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I’m very excited about the new “Project Sewn” website! A sewing competition site for adult clothes, from the minds behind “Project Run and Play“? Could it get any more fun?

The first post on Project Sewn is a link-up for clothes that we sewers have made for ourselves. This outfit was the first time I made separates for myself on my sewing machine – I had hand-sewn skirts for myself before, but never made a top.

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Crib sheets

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My sister- and brother-in-law decorated their baby boy’s room in royal blue and bright red, with a Mickey Mouse theme. I lent them a hand and made two fitted crib sheets, a matching pillowcase (for when baby becomes a toddler, or for tired parents to use in a rocker), and — updated — two flat sheets, too.

I used this crib sheet tutorial from Made, and tweaked it slightly to color-block the sheets so that a different color shows through the crib slats from the side. I love that the sheets are fully fitted for a crib, and that the elastic is encased – things that make it easier on parents when they are changing baby sheets all too frequently! The photo shows one of the sheets on my son’s toddler bed – yep, full-size crib sheets fit on toddler beds, extending the life of those sheets.

For the pillowcase, I followed this envelope pillowcase tutorial, because I love envelope pillowcases for kids. They stay on much better than traditional open-ended pillowcases. Love this tutorial, and you can use it for any square or rectangular pillow, decorating, color-blocking or otherwise mixing up fabrics in pretty much any way, as long as the final measurements are correct. So easy, and can be done with just a four seams if you keep things simple.

Updated: When I posted this, I asked my sister-in-law “Did I make you flat sheets too?” because I couldn’t remember.. and that is why I started this blog, so I can keep better track of all the sewing projects I’ve completed! In any case, toddler flat sheets are super easy. Because a toddler bed is so narrow, you can make them with just about any fabric you want without having to worry about the fabric width (that’s really great since character or quilting fabrics, which make fun sheets, tend to have narrower widths). Here’s a tutorial that gives dimensions and walks you through how to make a toddler flat sheet and a pillowcase from a twin flat sheet (good for upcycling or Goodwill finds); and here’s one that shows you how to make a toddler flat sheet with one fitted end, which is handy since toddlers like to kick their sheets off.