No talk, all action

Sunday 24 October 2010
So, did my pointing out in the last post that Christmas is only mere weeks away jolt any of you into action as much as it has me? No? Well here's a reminder - it's now only 8 weeks away. Not that I'm planning on sewing all that much for Christmas this year, rather I need to sew up a summer wardrobe for both Anna and I because we're leaving for a holiday to tropical north Queensland the day after Christmas and boy is it going to be hot where we're going. As in really really hot. Lightweight dresses and cute shorts will be required. I've made a bit of a plan, and amazingly have actually started sewing up that plan too!

My lack of blogging last week (my bad, I know you all hang off my every word) is because I spent practically every night cloistered in my sewing room in a one woman sweatshop. I might have also been hiding from the terrible antics Anna has been employing in an effort to avoid sleep, but we won't point that out to my husband now will we? Anyway, last week I managed to sew two dresses, one pair of shorts and one skirt for Anna, and have cut out one dress and two pairs of shorts for myself. As I've said previously though, it is usually quicker and easier to sew clothes for Anna than to photograph her wearing them!

I did manage however to capture photographic evidence of the shorts I made for her, using McCalls 6016 which is a toddler sized pattern for boys. I bought it during a pattern sale on a few months ago where you could buy 10 McCalls patterns for 99c - with the exchange rate and postage it worked out at about $3Aus which is still about half the price they usually are on sale here in Australia. After buying a few adult and girl patterns, I thought I should get a boys pattern in case in the future I ever have a son. However for right now, I prettied up the plain beige cotton with some floral fabric scraps on the pocket trim to make it suitably girlish for Anna:
I don't know why blogger keeps rotating this photo, but I'm too tired to work it out. Just tilt your head for one minute, will you please?

However I have been once again caught out by the sizing of the Big 4 pattern companies kid patterns and by sewing whilst Anna is (or is avoiding) sleeping so I couldn't compare the tissue pattern against her (ha! as if!). Bizarrely this pattern has a cut on fly extension, yet it has no zipper and the fly is just decoratively top stitched down, and the whole waistband is to be elasticated. Since it had that little bit of fabric anyway, I decided to put in an opening zipper and just put elastic across the back.

But can you see in the photo above (yeah, the sideways one) how absurdly short that fly is, as well as the very long distance between the crotch and the fly? These shorts were unbelievably high waisted, so much so that when I pulled them up on her they finished up around her armpits! So I took the waistband off, moved the pockets down and cut about 5cm off the top of the shorts. I also took in the sides a few centimetres as well because they were really baggy too. Ah well, at least I know this pattern will last for years beyond her toddlerhood...

We gave these shorts a test run at the park on Friday and they performed well going very fast down the slippery slide:

sharing lunch with a little friend:

playing with water in the sandpit:

and ending up absolutely soaking wet in the sandpit:

Lucky it was a scorching hot day and all the kids there ended up wet and covered in sand, it was a good option!

Now I just need to get on with sewing for me, because I nearly melted wearing jeans (admittedly that had a lot to do with the lack of hair maintenance on my legs of late). Foolishly though, I have cut out some blue striped fabric for my next project - more pattern matching eek!


  1. Adorable shorts!! Love the contrast pockets and flaps! I may be stealing that idea for Myra's wardrobe...

    Big 4 children's sizing continually baffles me. Sometimes it seems they manage to get it right by accident though and then I find myself using a pattern over and over and over.

  2. Oh my where to begin...first I nearly fell off the chair laughing at the tilt your head comment. Second the reason those pants are so high waisted and big is for the little man that is still wearing pull-ups and hasn't been potty trained yet! Lastly and this is most important, get used to being held hostage by your child...this will not be the last incident! Ask me how I know! :)

    Finally, the shorts are very cute as is your daughter!

  3. Awww how adorable !!! I love the floral fabric pockets.

  4. I'm constantly amazed at how much you (and lots of other sewing mums out there) get done while working and taking care of young ones. I struggle with productivity and all I need to take care of is myself (also a struggle at times *grin*)

    Highly impressed!

  5. Oh my she is getting so big, what happened to your little bub?

    Cute shorts, had a chuckle about the fly.

  6. Don't know how far north you're going, but here on the border it is wet, wet, wet with more wet coming. Wet season has come early and will probably stay through until, well, when the wet season should have come.

  7. Cute shorts. Have a great time up north, but do expect rain. It is the wet season.

  8. Great shorts!

    I think the kids who test their parents the most have the cutest faces (as does Anna), so that when you look at them after they've frazzled you yet another time, you melt. My younger son was/is like that. His curly red hair and adorable grin saved his hide many times.

    This is just another way of saying how adorable Anna is. That angelic face reveals nothing. ;-)

  9. Too funny..... I'm there on the tilt your head comment!!! Been there done that! Too many times!
    Yep...Carolyn is right... those diapers get you everytime! You need to measure at the fullest part of her diaper and then go by measureing the pattern pieces! Other wise you will just need to find her and friend that would like to start sharing clothes... yep, while she is till in them! LoL... been there! My DGD is potty trained and the patterns that fit her (she is very petite) are huge!
    They turned out cute though... enjoy the heat while you can! We had rain, rain, and more rain yesterday all night and into the a.m. The dog hid, too much rain, and wind! Now the yard looks like a monsoon hit it! Leaves everywhere! Sure glad I picked the entire garden on Saturday!

  10. Oh, so jealous that you are heading into summer. It is getting cool here and I am not happy about it. Cute shorts!

  11. Very cute! My most used pattern is a Burda pants pattern for kids...they are sized for 2,3,4,5,6 and sizing is always fine. Even on the kids pattern, Burda has the shorter front crotch and longer back crotch, which seems to fit better than the other pattern brands.

    Enjoy your holiday always adds to the excitement of preparing for a holiday.