Now that I’ve caught up to date with the before-Christmas making, I think it might just be time to have a little look at the Christmas makes. As I said in an earlier post, the plan to knit the children each a Christmas jumper went by the wayside long before Christmas, and so I had a good hunt through the projects waiting list to find something that I could make for Kitty inside the one sewing day I knew I’d have between stopping work and the day itself.
And while I lingered over a beautiful party dress that will be hers before Easter if I have to spend a week not sleeping, for once my common sense prevailed and realism overruled eternal optimism. Well almost. I still thought I was going to be finished by lunch. I chose the Oliver + S Badminton Skort pattern, and a blue quilting cotton (Toy Box II by Sara Morgan for Blue Hill Fabrics) that she’d picked out earlier in the summer. It’s such pretty fabric that I’d picked up the very end of a roll at Darn it and Stitch in Oxford years ago but never found the right project for it but there was just about enough with a bit of jiggery pokery.
I didn’t help myself by adding a few inches to the skirt length either but I’ve sewn for Kitty before and she is (a) very tall and (b) likes to wear her skirts on the long side so extra inches it is. The front waistband facing and the hem facing had to be cut from a fat quarter of pale pink ice skates print but when she’s wearing it you’d never notice and I rather like the secret pop of pale pink, plus it means that she knows which way round they go, which isn’t always obvious.
By construction it’s one of the more complicated pieces of clothing I’ve ever put together, but Oliver + S patterns have the knack of making you feel very clever and in the end it all came together quite easily, especially now that I’m not avoiding the questioning gaze of my overlocker and happily serged up all the seam finishes. I genuinely wonder what on earth I was doing without it, it makes life so much easier!
Kitty loves it; she’d suspected I was making something for her when she was barred from the studio for the entire day but I think she must have forgotten exactly what we’d chosen together because on Christmas morning she tore into the wrapping paper to find out what I’d made.
Waist-wise it fits perfectly; there’s enough give that she won’t grow out of it in a week but not so much that it’s in any danger of falling down when her little brother
rugby tackles hugs her. I think if I were making it again right now I wouldn’t add quite so much extra length, perhaps only one inch rather than three, but give her until the summer and it will be perfect.
The shorts underneath fit pretty well too – even over reindeer leggings so it seems!
These pictures were taken in the gorgeous sunshine of boxing day and I had no idea she was still wearing her leggings underneath until I asked her to show off the shorts.
But back to the pattern; the shorts are a great fit and I’ll happily swipe it for some simple shorts for the summer.
The only bit about the pattern that I’m not wholly keen on is the back waistband. The front waistband is a deep faced band; there’s a complete lining to the front that you can see and it sits nice and smart against her. The back on the other hand is a single thickness waistband with the top folded over on the inside to make the elastic casing. And because the casing is only an inch deep it leaves an equal section sort of in limbo. It’s not part of the casing but it’s not part of the skirt either. It’s not a fundamental flaw don’t get me wrong and it definitely passes the galloping horse test but if I were to make it again I think I’d draft a bigger pattern piece and make a complete casing and then use really wide elastic to avoid the feeling of a high-low waistband.
I know it looks horribly crumpled in these pictures; she kept carrying them around with her on Christmas Day and tucking them into her stocking to keep them safe, and as anyone who has ever made for a child knows, that’s true love.
The t-shirt is from Sainsbury’s this summer (and is the same one as she was wearing with her camper van skirt) and the shawl is my Icarus shawl which may have gone the same was as my very nice Angora hat – how old are your children supposed to be before they start filching your clothes?