Friday, 8 April 2011

A sewing diversion. Knit overalls from a photo

My daughter's closest friend is a charming young lady, with a strongly developing individual style. Her mother asked me if I could help her find a pattern to replicate these knit overalls, as she had been unable to find a similar garment in RTW, nor in the pattern catalogues.


Having possibly the largest collection of sewing patterns within 1000km, I felt well qualified to meet this request, particularly as many of my patterns are rather dated. This may or may not be due to some injudicious purchases of bulk lots on ebay in the past.
Much to my surprise, the closest I could come up with in a remotely appropriate size was this pattern from TopKids 42, published 1997, which shares only a few of the apparently desirable features of the subject overalls.


Somehow, I could not let this be.
I did not think this would be a good project for a beginning seamstress making a garment for a teenage daughter who had something very particular in mind. Knits are tricky IMO.

The best thing about being able to sew is making something that meets your inner vision of a particular garment, and the next best thing is making a garment that meets another person's inner vision - particularly if you are quite fond of that person. Unfortunately, I find it extremely difficult to meet the inner vision even of members of my own family, who by forceful education have some idea of fabric qualities and pattern requirements, so I embarked on this project with some trepidation, but also some insurance.
1. I wanted to make them
2. I picked the fabric and pattern to meet a clear visual guide from the recipient 3. It was a complete surprise to the recipient, and 3/4 of a surprise to her mother, whom I consulted for important things like favourite colours, but failed to inform that I was making the garment, rather than just assembling requirements. (A bit sly, but she forgave me)
4. I could use my daughter for fitting, as she and her friend are a similar height and build, and the overalls are a very loosely fitting garment.
5. The friend's birthday was approaching, so I had a good excuse to give her a present.

These are what I made.


I altered the pattern from a woven to dimensions more suitable to the cotton-lycra knit by taking 5cm in width from each leg and the front bib.
I used woven selvage to reinforce the crotch seam, the side openings and both the strap seams and the vertical seams on the bib. All the pockets are lined with cotton woven print.


This was a nostalgic project for me. The scrunched shoulder straps reminded me of the scrunchies I made to wear in my hair at primary school, and revisiting TopKids 42 had me searching through my photo album for the last pattern I made from the magazine (the print dress). Aren't they sweet toddlers?


I was happy with the project before I parted with it, but fortunately, it met with a very favourable reception.
Here is an excerpt from my Thank you card (published with permission from the artist)
Sometimes everything works out very nicely.


KID, MD said...

Nice work! Her drawing is too sweet.

Terry said...

That is so great- they look good and isn't it grat that she appreciated them?

Terry said...

Wouldn't it be "great" if I could spell??

Marie said...

LOL - you did a good job with them. I had a pair of pink ones when I was 11. Never thought I would hear of someone wanting a pair now.

Sharon said...

So cute, and love the card.

Imaan said...

I'm amazed by your generosity and of course the sewing skills:)

Ruthie said...

Aww that's lovely! Really great how much thought you put in and was spot on, and that she really liked them. What a wonderful result.

shams said...

Really cute! A very nice gesture on your part and that card is adorable!

Carolyn said...

A happy ending, too wonderful! But they are lovely, such a nice thing for you to do, and her thank you card is very sweet.
Oh, those TopKids magazines were pretty wonderful. I have a small collection too...

Uta said...

Not sure what's more adorable - the overalls, your daughters as toddlers, or the thank-you card...?

The Slapdash Sewist said...

That card is so adorable! How lovely to have a sewn gift appreciated that much.

Anonymous said...

I am constantly amazed at the volume of garments that you produce considering the fact that you also have a family and work. How kind of you to take the time to make your daughter's friend such cute overalls. I bet she will treasure them. You are a really lovely person

Handmade said...

How cute! You did a great job with those overalls - and to get a lovely thank you card is pretty special too!!

Carol said...

A fantastic job and a really lovely thank you card. I'm very impressed but now, more than ever, am convinced that you are quite mad. You obviously have way more patience than me ...

Shelley's Garden said...

Beautiful! And they must be so comfortable.

Gail said...

I made so many things for my girls from Top Kids. I recently gave my collection away. They are still quite current designs aren't they. I made these overalls in patterned denim.