Finished Object: Sailboat Top and Pants

Last week I went cut-crazy.  I started just cutting a pair of these shirts from pink t-shirt slub for my Lila and her cousin who is the same age.  Soon I found myself rummaging through the quilting stash and then the up-cycle stash, pulling out pieces that might be cut into shirts.  The size 2 shirt can be cut from about .5m of 45″ wide fabric.  I cut two from a .5m piece of t-shirt fabric (it was wider, more like 60″) though I had to cut the facings from another fabric.  I ended up cutting eight shirts and fused interfacing to facings before I came to my senses.

This is a cute, versatile shirt for a little girl or boy, made from the Oliver + S pattern.  I made the pants several weeks ago from a piece of delightful pink cotton cord; Lila also has the skirt made in cord.  I have some nice denim for a few more little pants for her and her cousin.

A few issues (all caused by me):

The pattern does not call for interfacing the entire facings, just where buttons and buttonholes go.  I noted that after I interfaced 8 shirts worth of facings.  Big deal, the facings give the shirt a nice structure, especially the flimsy slub knit I used above.

I did something bad when I traced the pattern pieces.  I made the front about an inch shorter than the back.  This is a problem.  When I came to finishing the hem, I noticed the discrepancy and cut off the “extra,” only to realize it makes a kind of short shirt.  It looks ok now, but what about in a month or two?  The best part is, I have seven more shirts cut this way.  If anyone thinks of a fix, let me know.

The sleeves are super-long.  Lila is a small 2, but still.  I had to take off another 3/4″.

I put the cutest little iron-on applique on the “front” before I started sewing.  Except it was the back.  I let Lila pick a handful of little appliques for her shirts and pants, this was my favorite.  By the way, those iron-on appliques do not come off.  Now she has a cute little shirt with back interest.

I like the clean simplicity of the garments, they’re cute and sweet and I can make all sorts of little girlie clothes with them.  I also have the discontinued Puppet Show Tunic and I may pick up the Tea Party Sundress.  I can foresee making Lila clothes from scraps of my own clothes.

The only thing I don’t like is the designer’s apparent distaste for sergers.  I re-worked some of the steps when I taught this class to make it faster and neater using a serger.  For example: finish the edges (especially the side seams) before you assemble the pieces.  Don’t clip the crotch curve, just trim it very closely and serge.   Exposed RTW seams are not clipped.

For the skirt back, clip almost to the dots at the kick pleat.  Then serge the raw edges.  Otherwise you end up with a raw edge at the top of the kick pleat.

With the top I chose to attach the buttons right after I made the buttonholes.  It was easier to get at them.  I used jean’s buttons for the pants, very easy to smack them into place with a hammer.  Quick, as well.

More cutie pics.  I know what you really came for:


  1. Such cute pics!!!I feel your pain on the too-shortness, nothing's worse with a growing toddler. There is one easy fix for girls though — flounces and/or ruffles, matching or contrast fabric! I've added them to more than one top/dress to eke out a few more months of wear. If the cousin's a boy I don't know what can help there, though…

  2. Yup, cutie! Why don't you just add a wide piece of fabric (self or contrast) to the bottom? I'm sure I've seen it in RTW. When I recycled a piece of denim recently and just left in some seams it looked totally intentional, since so many clothes are pieced/have a lot of seams now.

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