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Great Wall of China Inspired Children’s Clothing

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

Even though I’m not eligible to win a prize, I’m sewing along with Project Run & Play for the week 1 “7 Wonders of the World” theme!  (If you missed the news, I’m now leading Project Run & Play!)  It’s too inspiring not to!  Here’s a look at our Great Wall of China Inspired children’s clothing.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

Around our house, we have studied the Great Wall of China in our history studies many times.  Since it’s one of the ancient Wonders of the World, we chose to be inspired by both the architecture, and the surrounding landscape.  And we decided to have a little fun too!

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

For Annie’s dress, we chose to be inspired by the length of the Great Wall of China and sew her another maxi dress.  We started with the Camden Raglan, and got busy designing it into a dress with special little touches.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

The first little touch we added was to insert lace on the lines of the raglan sleeves.  It’s a sweet little touch, and represents how the Great Wall of China criss crosses the entire country.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

The second little touch we added was to design a bell sleeve for the sleeve hem with more lace inserted at the top of the bell.  Annie chose the length she wanted the sleeves to be, and absolutely adores how they bell out and flow with the dress.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

The final touch we added was to leave the sleeve and bottom dress hems raw.  With time and wear and washing, they will curl up slightly.  The intention was for this design feature to mimic and accent the white of the lace and cherry blossoms.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

We used this Art Gallery Pandalicious Jersey Knit Yinghua Cherrylight Fabric.  “Yinghua” means cherry blossom.  It’s perfectly soft, drapes beautifully on the sleeves and skirt, and is stable enough to make the neckband turn out perfectly.  Annie styled it with her Panda Vest we sewed for her earlier.  This is to represent the pandas in the wilds of China around the Great Wall.  You can read all about it in that post, but it uses panda fabric from the same line of fabric as the cherry blossom fabric.  And she also borrowed a fan from Allegra for a photo prop.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

Next came some raglan t-shirts for the boys.  Yes, more raglan t-shirts for these boys!  What can I say?  We used the Oliver+S Field Trip Raglan t-shirt pattern.  For David we are sewing a size 7 and for Lowell a size 5.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

For the fabric, we used some Riley Blake Knit Stripe Aqua/Navy Fabric for the sleeves, neckband, and the back of Lowell’s t-shirt.  We chose stripes to mimic the lines of the Great Wall of China.  For the fronts, we used Riley Blake Designs navy blue jersey knit fabric.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

Then came the fun part!  We decided to use our new Cricut Maker machine to make fortune cookie gold foil iron on graphics with two fun sayings.  And the little strip of twill tape represents for the paper fortunes inside!

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

David’s shirt says “Tough Cookie” with a fortune cookie.  David is quite a sweetie, and like many boys his age, loves to see how tough he can be!   Click here for the free cut file if you want to make a shirt like this too.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

Lowell’s shirts says “Fortun*Ate” as a fun play on words about eating fortune cookies and how fortunate we feel to have him as our son!  If you want to make a shirt like this go here for the free cut file.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

For the photoshoot, we tried to find a location the was faintly related to the landscape of China.    We found a river, a gazebo, some cement pillars, a lamppost, and a timber frame shelter.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

What do you think of our Great Wall of China inspired children’s clothing?  Be sure to go over to Project Run & Play and check out what all the designers created for the 7 Wonders of the World prompt, you’ll be inspired and amazed!  And you can see what everyone else is sewing along here.

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

This isn’t the greatest picture to showcase the clothing, the lighting is too bright, the kids are wiggling, and so on.  But after I got home and was editing the photos, I noticed how the boys are holding hands with their fingers interlaced, and it was a done deal!

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

Oh, and if you guessed that I rewarded them with fortune cookies for a modeling jog well done you guessed right!

Great Wall of China inspired children's clothing designed by Skirt Fixation

Affiliate links are used in this post, because if we ever hope to go to see the Great Wall of China someday, we’ll need some money!  Just kidding, but we do appreciate those of you who click on our affiliate links the help us earn a few pennies at no extra expense to their total. 

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Polar Bear Raglan T-shirts

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

If you guessed that I’m on a stash-busting, raglan t-shirt making, boy sewing streak, you’d be correct! So once again, I pulled out the Oliver+S Field Trip Raglan T-shirt pattern and got to work. Enter two polar bear raglan t-shirts.

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

This time, there was just enough of the Birch Organics, super soft cotton knit fabric left to use for sleeves and pockets on two shirts for my 2 youngest boys. They would also enjoy these fishing lures:


Birch Organic Camp Sur 3 Interlock Knit Lures White Fabric

And these pencils:


Cloud 9 Organics Sidewalk Interlock Knit Art Class Pencils Green Fabric

Or these dogs:


Cloud 9 Organics Sidewalk Interlock Knit Red Rover Dogs Red Fabric

But I digress! I love using a statement fabric to dress up a plain t-shirt. However because these shirts are cream, and my boys are boys, I’ve asked them to save these for nicer occasions like going to town rather than everyday occasions like wrestling in the grass. We’ll see…

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

I don’t remember where my cream fabric came from, but this would be a similar good quality cream knit fabric.  Art Gallery Solid Jersey Knit White Linen Fabric

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

Since the boys are fairly close to the same size and it’s difficult to tell one shirt from the other at a glance, I made the pockets different. On David’s shirt, there are 2 bears and the pocket is square.

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation
On Lowell’s shirt, the pocket is rounded on the bottom, and there is a bear with two birds on his back. Just enough of a difference to make it easier on laundry days and when they are getting dressed.

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

Last time I made these boys raglan t-shirts, I was unhappy with the way the neckbands turned out. At the suggestion of one of our sweet followers, I shortened the neckband slightly and am much happier with the way these lay. Always in search of the perfect neckband around here!

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

I sewed up one size for each of these boys so they will hopefully still fit once summer and hot weather arrives.  It also looks like I did the same thing when buying their pants!

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

But boys grow so fast, that it’s a stab at having to do less sewing.  Which doesn’t really matter if I’m trying to sew through my stash!  However I do have more boy than girl fabrics.

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but these two boys are so fun!  They are the only two of our 8 kids that have a sibling next to them of the same sex.  So that makes it extra fun is so many ways.

Polar Bear Raglan t-shirts sewn by Skirt Fixation

That’s all I have for you today except for about 50 more cute photos of these boys in their new polar bear raglan t-shirts!  Just kidding, leave me a comment about boys.  Or boys in white clothes!

Affiliate links are used in this post to great quality fabric.  If you click through one of our links, we might make a few pennies at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for supporting our sewing business!

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Modifying a dress to a peplum top

Modified dress to peplum by Skirt Fixation

Today we’re over at CaliFabrics sharing all about our surprising love for this Earth Floral London Calling cotton lawn fabric.  Go check it out!

Modified dress to peplum by Skirt Fixation

But we wanted to share a little bit about how we modified the Apple Picking Dress pattern by Oliver+S into a peplum, just like we did last time we made this pattern for Annie.  That one turned out to be such a favorite of hers that when she finally outgrew it, I promised to make her another one.

Modified dress to peplum by Skirt Fixation

Here’s the short and easy tutorial that will actually work for any drop waist dress, or you could easily do this with any dress with a waistband seam.

Measure from neck to waist, and shorten the bodice front and back pieces accordingly.  You will also need to shorten any placket pieces by the same amount.

Modified dress to peplum by Skirt Fixation

Then for the Apple Picking pattern, we just used the 1st ruffle only instead of both ruffles.  Ta-da!  Fast, easy, on trend, and suuuuuper cute!

Modified dress to peplum by Skirt Fixation

Of course, since there was leftover fabric scraps, I had to sew up a matching bubble skirt for the baby!    And the scraps of the scraps, I sewed a bonnet and the heart on Baby’s shirt.

Modified dress to peplum by Skirt Fixation

In fact, this cute floral fabric inspired a whole capsule wardrobe for baby, which I’ll be telling you more about very soon!

That’s it for today…short and sweet, just like the peplum!  Go check out our full post with lots more photos of these two over at CaliFabrics.

 

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5 Ways to Learn to Sew

5 Ways to Learn to Sew

5 Ways to Learn to Sew

We realize that not all of our blog readers have the ability to sew.  And as you know, we think sewing is a very worthwhile endeavor!  The satisfaction of creating something from raw material to finished product is like no other.  So today, we’ve compiled a list of ways you could learn to sew.

1. Learn to sew by taking a class online:

We’ve taken a class on Craftsy, and we can really recommend it as a way to learn to sew, or to learn a new sewing technique.  The classes are video tutorials and are well worth their money.  Beside learning from an accomplished instructor, you also receive at least one pattern, and there is a good format for interacting with your instructor and fellow students.  This is the best way to learn to sew in your own time because once you purchase a class, it’s yours forever and you can take it at your own pace.  Here are some absolute beginner classes we found on Craftsy.

Garment Basics

Sew Ready: Garment Basics (affiliate link)

What: Learn to sew a pencil skirt.

Length: Almost 4 hours instruction.

Price: 24.99

A-line Skirt

Design and Sew an A-line Skirt (affiliate link)

How Many: 5000 taken this class

Length: Over 4.5 hours instruction

Price: 29.99

Sewing Studio

Sewing Studio (affiliate link)

What: Learn Machine & Sewing basics  by making a pillow and skirt

Length: Over 6 hours instruction

Price: 29.99

2 Learn to Sew by taking a class in a store:

Many fabric stores offer classes in sewing.  You can choose from classes at your big box store, or a smaller more intimate class from your LQS, or local quilt shop.

For example, Sewing 101 at your local Jo-Anns will cost you $35, includes sewing supplies, and lasts 2.5 hours.  If you don’t yet have a sewing machine or have too many distractions at home and need the accountability of a class in person, this may be the best choice for you.

3 Learn to Sew by finding a mentor:

Skirting the Issue by Skirt Fixation

Let’s say you know someone who sews.  Ask them to teach you!  We’ve gladly taught others to sew, and you’ll find most seamstress glad to share their knowledge.  This is the oldest, and probably most tried and true method of learning to sew.

4 Learn to Sew by YouTube-ing it:

Made Everyday

It’s been said you can learn anything on YouTube, and sewing is no exception.  Some of our favorite sewing channels are:

Made Everyday with Dana  

Dana makes you WANT to sew everything, and she makes it easy and professional looking too.

Melly Sews

Melly’s channel is a weath of information, just like her website.  Plus she has some really quick and easy tutorials to get you started sewing something in no time.

Inside The Hem

This is a new collaboration by 3 experienced seamstresses.  We like what they’ve done so far, like demystifying reading a pattern, and we can’t wait to see what else they come up with.

5 Learn to sew by just diving in:

O+S by difficulty

When we review a pattern, we often give it a rating.  Sometimes we’ll even recommend a certain pattern for an absolute beginner.  There are some indie pattern companies that are known for their teaching abilities.  Oliver+S is a company we can highly recommend as we’ve sewn all their skirt patterns as part of our All The Skirts series.  Each Oliver+S pattern has a scissors rating from 1 to 4.    If you started by sewing all the 1 scissors patterns, and worked your way through them, by the end you would have an absolutely comprehensive sewing knowledge, and your child/children would have a stunning wardrobe too!   Each pattern also lists which skills are used, which is very useful!

That’s it for our top 5 methods to learn to sew!  Which looks the best for you?  Any other recommendations?

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Inkodye Sunprint T-shirts

Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationThe traveling theme of Kids Clothes Week inspired me to finally try something new that I’ve been wanting to for over a year!  I used the sun to print fabric! Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationInkodye projects have been catching my eye and I even bought a kit last year for the Project Run & Play theme, Make Your Own Fabric.  But then the sun never came out, I was pregnant, and we did this project instead. Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationAs part of my inspiration post as a Kids Clothes Week contributor, I featured an Inkodye rocket project, and was determined to pull out the kit and try it again.Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationI was disgusted I had waited so long to try it after I found out how easy it is!  Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationWhile there are a few little things I’ll do differently next time, I am so thrilled with the way these Inkodye t-shirts turned out! Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationFirst the changes:  1.  Next time I will make sure to choose photos to work with that have lots of contrast.  You can see more contrast in Thomas’s horse shirt than in David’s construction shirt.  That’s because there’s not much color contrast in construction equipment.  Not that David has even noticed, much less complained!!  Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationChange #2.  Next time I will use less Inkodye liquid.  As you can see, I slopped a little around the edges.  While I love this grunge-y look, it did use up more of the liquid than necessary.  Which means less liquid left for more projects!Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationAnd (needless to say) this was ridiculously easy and there will be more Inkodye sun printing projects around here soon!Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationNow the particulars.
I used this kit to create the shirts: Inkodye Print Fabric with Light kit Blue

I followed these instructions to the letter.

I used the Oliver+S Field Trip Raglan T-shirt pattern, size 5 for David, size 8 for Thomas.

Fabric: The navy fabric is Art Gallery Fabrics organic solid knit from Imagine Gnats.  The white is cotton knit from JoAnn Fabrics.

Process:  I cut out the shirt fronts, sun printed them, laundered them, and then sewed up the shirts patterns. Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationThe photo on Thomas’ shirt is a vintage photo of Roy Rogers riding his horse, Trigger.  These two are some of Thomas’ favorite characters.   And it’s pretty well been established how much Thomas loves horses and cowboys.  Like here.  And here.  And here.Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationThe boys were literally waiting for me to take these off the sewing machine, and tried them immediately on. Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationActually, I had to make them take the shirts back off so I could hem them!  David went to bed in his Inkodye shirt last night too!Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt FixationI love these rough and tumble boys and was so delighted for a chance to make them some special t-shirts while learning a new skill, Inkodye sun printing!Inkodye t-shirts for boys created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

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The Franklin Top & Onstage Tutu Skirt

Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt Fixation

Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationThe Franklin Dress by Brooklyn Pattern Company was chosen as the pattern to sew during the Flip This Pattern series over at Frances Suzanne.  Now we love this pattern just as is, and plan to make it someday, but the challenge was to flip, or change the pattern.Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationWe decided to make the Franklin dress into a top instead of a dress.  We simply cut the width we needed and used the 6 month pattern line for length. Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationAnother change we made was to make short sleeves, but keep the elastic ends.  They are so cute that way! Annie has been asking for “puffy sleeves” lately, and was thrilled to finally get a top with “puffy sleeves!”Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationBecause Frances Suzanne is the place to add piping, we naturally had to add some piping between the yoke and the main fabric! Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationThe last change we made was to add ribbons to the sides that can be tied in either the front or the back. Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationWe used some sweet little swiss dot fabric from JoAnn’s to make our flipped version of the Franklin Dress. Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationThe navy blue yoke fabric was in our stash as were the buttons.  We also used the buttons on Annie’s 2+2 blouse.  The little pleats in the yoke are so very adorable!Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationA top can’t be worn alone, so we needed a skirt!  Since we are sewing up ALL the Oliver + S skirts,  (you should find out more about this because it involves winning Oliver+S patterns and gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!) and there are 2 free Oliver +S skirts, and since Annie doesn’t have a tutu, we decided it was the perfect time to make an Onstage Tutu skirtFranklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationThis is a free pattern from Oliver + S with the end result being a beautiful tutu for your little girl!  We made just two changes to the Onstage Tutu pattern because we wanted a really full tutu; we doubled the width of the tutu, and made two layers of tulle instead of one.  The method was the same, and I love how the top of the tulle is enclosed in the waistband for a no itch finish. Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationWe had both the gold tulle and the white under layer fabric (leftover from this skirt) in our stash.  It would be delightful to make the Onstage Tutu skirt again with different combinations of under layer and tulle.  We might even use a floral fabric for the under layer like we did on this knock off skirt!Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationYou really must go over to Frances Suzanne and see all the different, beautiful versions of the Franklin Dress from both the competitors and the sew along participants.Franklin Top and Onstage Tutu Skirt made by Skirt FixationSew My Stash 2015 reality check: 3 out of 4 fabric used in this outfit came from the stash, and 100% of the notions were in the stash, exceeding our goal of 50%!  Yipee!

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Oliver+S Field Trip Raglan & Cargo Pants Pattern Review

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern Review

Oliver+S outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation using Cotton & Steel fabric from Fat Quarter Shop

Last week we gave you a glimpse of a BOY outfit we made and only gave you these general details of his outfit:

Dress Shirt:

Pattern: Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom patterns 

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Chambray Union  and Playful Aqua Jacks

T-shirt:

Pattern: Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan

Fabric: Art Gallery Fabrics Sahara Sun &  White Knit

Pants:

Pattern: Oliver + S Field Trip Cargos

Fabric: 2 pairs of Daddy’s khakis, refashionedOliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewBut that much hard work deserves a post of it’s own.  Not to mention the smoldering model.  Ahem.  So today we’ll give our our complete Oliver+S Field Trip pattern review.

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewWe started with an Ethan Shirt.  We’ve made this boy an Ethan shirt before, and loved it.  Plus he wears it a LOT.  So it was time for another one.

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewAnd we decided to get a little more adventuresome with this one.  We chose chambray for the main fabric, which Thomas loves!  He says every boy needs a denim shirt. Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewWe also decided to use some fun fabric for the facings of the cuffs and collar.  This was inspired by Annie’s 2+2 skirt outfit, and we wanted to make them coordinating without being too matchy-matchy.  Thomas wasn’t too sure about this, since a few of the jacks are PINK, but it hasn’t stopped him from wearing the shirt!

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewThomas’s grandpa always used to say there are some people who look good in anything they wear, and Thomas seems to be one of those people.  He makes anything we sew for him look awesome!

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewFor underneath the Ethan Shirt, we made a Field Trip Raglan T-shirt.  Because the chambray is a tiny bit itchy, and because we were making the other piece from this pattern and because we made Annie 3 pieces!

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewWe used the same Art Gallery solid knit fabric as Annie’s Aster cardigan.  For the whole matching, not match-y reasons as stated above!

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewThe sun gold knit and the white knit fabric both came from Imagine Gnats, and let us tell you about how awesome they are.

HisOutfitAnd about how awesome Rachel from Imagine Gnats is!  She really makes you WANT to get all your fabric from Imagine Gnats.

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern Review

The Field Trip Raglan Tee is one we will be sewing again and again for our boys and our girls!

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewLast of all we made the Oliver + S Field Trip Cargos.  Besides pajama pants, this was the first pair of pants we’ve ever made.  Of course Oliver + S made it doable, even easy and with a professional result!  Almost every seam has double top stitching, and there are 6 pockets…boy heaven!

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewThomas is very tall and skinny (where do these kids get this from?) so we made a size 7 width and a size 10 long.  It was fairly complicated to figure out where to lengthen the pants because of all the leg pieces.  We ended up lengthening each piece, which put the knees too low.  So we chopped off the top of the knee pieces, which made the overall result too short to hem with a regular pants hem, and we ended up making the hem just folded over twice, like jeans.  Next time we will lengthen each piece a little, and the bottom piece a lot.  Because there will be a next time.

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewThe only other thing Thomas asked to be changed is the next one have a real fly instead of a faux fly.  There’s tutorial for that, so we’ll attempt that next time.

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern ReviewIf you’re still with us after all that explanation and all that boy sewing, Thanks for reading!  We love sewing for the boys, it’s a nice change of pace and they love it when we do!

Oliver+S Field Trip Pattern Review