kcw day one [spring 2013]

April 22nd, 2013

Kid’s Clothes Week has started! We will be featuring beautiful handmade clothes everyday on the kcw blog. There are already some lovely things to see on day one!  In the past, I’ve tried to have a new garment to show you each day, but this time I’m going to do something a bit different.

printed pattern

We like to talk about the process, but tend to only show the finished product. The finished part is pretty, the seam ripping and the swearing not so much. I wanted to take this week to break down a project into all its parts. Kid’s Clothes Week says to take an hour each day to focus on making kid’s clothes, so each post this week will be how I spent that hour. And by sheer luck I chose a project that took me a little over 7 hours.

pattern tracing

Hour #1 :

1. printing out the pattern: I’m using the Fairy Tale Dress pattern by Oliver + S. This is my first pattern by them (I know, I know) and I chose it because I wanted something complex but totally clear. Also, my daughter’s first communion is at the end of kcw and she need a dress for the occasion. It’s true  Oliver + S patterns are expensive, but when I saw this beautiful dress on flickr made with the same pattern I knew the pattern would be used for years to come.

I purchased the pdf version of the pattern because none of the shops in my area had it in stock (and I didn’t plan ahead). Instead of printing and taping all the millions of pages together, I sent the pdf to my local print shop. They printed it out on one giant ream of paper. It was slightly more expensive than I hoped ($12) but it also saved me a ton of time. I was in and out of the shop in 5 minutes.

2. tracing the pattern: I could have just cut it out, but that seemed too wasteful. I’m starting to warm up to tracing patterns. Armed with a hot cup of coffee, I might even say I enjoy it.

ironing fabric

3. ironing fabric: ironing on the other hand, not so enjoyable. For a size 7, the fairy tale dress pattern requires almost 6 yards of fabric. Crazy, right?! I was lucky to hit Joann’s on a 50% off sale day. The main fabric is a pretty swiss dot ($4/yard), the contrasting fabric (for the collar and bow) is a sheet I got at the thrift store long ago, and the lining is simple white shirting ($3/yard). I wanted to do it in eyelet, but I had no idea eyelet was $20/yard! I love the fabrics I ended up using, but they wrinkle easily. The ironing took me at least an hour if not more!

Stay tuned tomorrow for hour #2. It will be riveting, I’m sure!


21 Responses to kcw day one [spring 2013]

  1. Fiona says:

    Great idea to talk about the process! I think it takes the pressure off having to finish something every day, which is just an enormous task! I look forward to seeing how your dress progresses!

  2. krystina says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, sometimes seeing the finished products can be so overwhelming and I start to doubt myself because I can’t seem to finish things as fast as everyone else does. I feel so much better seeing this.

  3. trula says:

    Hello Meg,

    So nice to see another KCW starting. I unfortunately won’t be able to do any sewing this week but I’ve been doing some sewing in the last few days just to create some calm in the chaos caused by moving house :) Once I get my sewing machines unpacked I’ll be back and full of ideas from seeing everybody’s creations.

  4. Karin says:

    Last week’s scary, massive rainstorm in Chicagoland has forced a massive purge of the basement, i.e. the sewing, piano, toy, guest, everything I don’t want to see room. Inspired by KCW, the dried-out rug pads are back in place, the rug will go down tonight, and the sewing table put back into action tonight. Little one’s prepster pullover shirt in red ticking on-deck.

    • meg says:

      the same exact thing happened to me last month! I’m too scared to put everything back. Looks like I’m sewing at the kitchen table until summer…

  5. valeria says:

    Nice side of the sewing, and I love the to be continue aspect of it! Congratulations for the whole KCW

  6. Maria says:

    It is a great idea!, I like to see the process as well as the finished product! This is the first time I’m sewing for the KCW and it has been lovely, even after using the seam ripper for 1/2 hour of my hour of fun.

  7. Jo says:

    Lots of work but sounds like it will be worth it. I also kind of enjoy pattern tracing – it’s relaxing :-). I spent my first block of time tracing (last night) too. Was thinking I had nothing to blog about yet but you’ve inspired me – the process is important.

  8. Suz says:

    Wow, a seven hour dress… I am looking forward to watching it take shape!! I am not familiar with the pattern yet. Suz:)

  9. karmela says:

    I really appreciate you showing that the process takes time because I, too have found myself feeling discouraged by how fast people seem to sew…and how LONG the process takes me. I may spend my week cutting out a handful of patterns to sew up later…we’ll see. As long as I’m making progress! I’m excited to see your finished dress!

  10. nicole says:

    I was wondering where all the views on Zara&Elsa’s dresses were coming from.

    Thank you for the massive compliment,I am absolutely chuffed.
    I look forward to seeing your dress.


  11. kristin says:

    You’ve never sewed an Oliver + S pattern?!?! I really can’t believe it! Ha. Anyway, I think it’s so cute you’re using this for a first communion dress. And I like the idea of one big project through the whole week. Huzzah for KCW!

  12. Cherie says:

    Oooooh, I like this new thing you’re doing. The process is so important and I feel like we get to actually watch you from beginning to end – how fun! Can’t wait to see how your fairy tale dress came out!!

  13. Laura says:

    I’m totally freaking out – I’ve been planning to make this dress for KCW for ages (as a trial run for my brother’s wedding). I’m doing view A and I’ve cut the fabric and assembled the bodice. I’m so excited to read about your process and how it compares to mine. Fun times!!

  14. Tara says:

    Wow! that is a LOT of fabric. Every time I see that someone has made a fairy tale dress they say that it’s pretty involved but with a great result. I think if I were to tackle anything so complicated I could only do it with an O+S pattern since the instructions are so clear. No need to cause myself more reasons to seam rip everything and curse wildly under my breath.

  15. Lexy says:

    Would you mind sharing the name of your local print shop? I’m in Madison, too and have wanted to have patterns printed on more than one occasion.

  16. Anne Marie says:

    Oh, I love your take on kcw this year! Especially since I have ambitions of sewing the fairy tale dress too, however, I am a bit discouraged by reading that you think it is complicated… If YOU with your experience think it is complicated then it must be an impossible project for me who is not experienced – I will still try though. Looking forward to see the result!

    • meg says:

      Yes, I did think it was complicated when I first read it, but then I started sewing it and really it’s not that hard. There are a lot of steps, but the pattern directions guide you smoothly through each one. You can do it!!

  17. […] I was so happy! It took no time at all to put the pattern together after that. I was even inspired to trace the pattern for the size I needed rather than cutting out the paper so now I can make one […]