I’ve made a few more things for Joe and used a few new patterns. I don’t make him clothes too often as he gets lots of lovely garments from friends and family, but he is just about growing out of some and was in need of a sweater or two for this ongoing winter snap here in Seattle. I realized I didn’t have a basic crew neck sweater pattern and, while at this point I probably could have come up with something myself, I went ahead and bought the Brindille and Twig version. Then I went slightly crazy and decided to make another sweater and a pair of sweatpants from the Ottobre Kids 06/2017 edition at the same time. “Kids stuff is so quick to make” I told myself and, while this is normally true, I hadn’t looked too closely at the Ottobre patterns and they were a lot more complicated than his usual makes!
This is a nice, simple construction which runs like most tee/jumper patterns. I used a lovely Verson Puoti French terry I bought from Jumping June textiles and decided to liven it up a little by finishing the bands and cuffs in a burnt orange rib from Girl Charlee. I would never pick this shade for myself, but it quite suits Joe’s very Celtic colouring.
I made the 3 to 4 size and it is a little big for him. He turns three next week and is quite big for his age, but I didn’t think the 2 to 3 would last too long. B&T are fairly generous in their sizing from what I’ve made before. I constructed the whole thing on the serger/overlocker and it took me around 45 mins from beginning to end, which was very satisfying! I would normally use the twin needle to topstitch the cuffs and neckband but I just left them be on this occasion to keep the look clean.
These are definitely not my usual style – I’m not personally drawn to all those patches and mix n match styles you see on a lot of little boys, but I thought what the heck. The pants were modelled with the jumper I was planning to make, so I figured I’d give them a go. I mixed a grey construction vehicle French terry with an aubergine knit I had and I was very unsure about the combo but I really wanted to use up some stash. The instructions have you coverstitch the seamlines after you’ve pieced the sections together, so I used an embroidery stitch from my regular machine in a contrast lime thread.
I’ve discussed before my tendency to forget to add seam allowances to the Ottobre patterns and, thankfully, that didn’t occur this time. However, I don’t care what anyone says, it is quite time-consuming. This was compounded by the fact that in this pattern you divide the front leg pieces into three for the various sections. It wasn’t clear if you also add seam allowances to each of these sections after you cut apart or if that is accounted for (note: you do add the seam allowances after cutting). The different seam allowances for different pieces on different patterns is kind of annoying too. Not annoying enough to stop me making them, but almost. I guess you get used to it. I made the 98 although Joe is actually 100cm tall, and I’m glad I did as they’re a little too big. I would say this pattern runs slightly large.
There were a few interesting aspects to the pattern. The pockets have a facing piece, which is the first time I’ve done that for a sweatpant, but it does result in a solid-feeling pocket. When it comes to attaching cuffs, Ottobre always has you do it on the flat and then sew up all the final seams to join. I usually prefer joining in the round as I think it’s a neater finish (although the Ottobre way is less fiddly for sure) but it actually worked well for the pants cuffs, so I would use that method again here. The fly front is just for show, but I should have finished the edge in lime thread. I only realized after I did it that you’re supposed to follow the line up the waistband to give a mock fly effect (see in line drawings). Mine would have looked silly, so I left it. I also missed out the buttons. These pants are okay, but they just aren’t my style overall, so I’m not sure I would necessarily make this exact pair again. He’ll wear them though!
I thought this jumper looked really cute with the snaps and contrast panel, but it was a bit more complicated than I anticipated. Not that that is a bad thing – it actually feels like a proper fancy jumper now I’ve finished – but it took some time. It has facings instead of binding and I have to say I’ve never put facings on a knit before, especially a kids knit. The plackets for the snaps also add some extra bits and pieces to manoeuvre, plus there’s a split front piece. That added to all the usual seam allowance additions and careful reading of instructions made for a slightly longer project.
I used a rather thick double-sided almost-quilted knit from JoAnn Fabrics, which made it perfect for the contrast section, but a little hardgoing for the machine at times. I trimmed the seam allowances nice and small to help out the bulk, but unfortunately trimmed a couple down I shouldn’t have around the neckline, which made the finish less that perfect there. No worries – I can perfect that another time!
I left off the interfacing from the front facing because it seemed a little thick in conjunction with the layered sweatshirt fabric. In retrospect I should have interfaced it as the problem is not so much the thickness, but the curliness of the cotton-lycra knit I chose and it keeps flipping up, as you can see in the pic. I added a few tiny invisible stitches to help it stay down in the end. One thing I like about Ottobre instructions: they may be brief, but they do include little details, like finishing the raw edge of the facing before sewing it on. This is something much more verbose sets of instructions often leave out.
Overall, I do really like this sweater though. It has a quality feel to it because of all the facings finishing and understitching. I also love using the KAM snaps – they’re so easy to put on and take seconds. I made the 98 in this style as well and I’d say this fits him rather well, with only a little room to grow into. He does have a longer torso than legs though, so that makes sense.
Now it’s back to my own projects and I’ve left myself a bit of a task with the #sewmystyle Rumana coat, given the extra time these garments took. Onwards and upwards! Have you made any interesting boys’ clothes recently? I always love getting new ideas!