Monday, April 28, 2008
Princess and her Care Bears shirt
A couple of weeks ago, after deciding that I wanted to try out blogland's favorite Simplicity 3835, I noticed that the shirts that Lera was making for her little girl also appeared to be 3835. Being totally clueless as to how to attempt to shrink a pattern that much, I asked her for advice and she responded:
Actually, there is a child version that is similar to the 3835. It's Simplicity 4206. No shrinking necessary (unless your 2T is too teeny for a size 3, that's the smallest size).
Yay- it's a Sewing for Dummies pattern! Thanks to a $1 pattern sale, I picked up #4206. The "for Dummies" part alleviated some of my fears of shirt-making, so I dug out a fabric that I don't really care for (but the Princess adores!) and jumped right in. I figured that using a fabric that wasn't my favorite would be a good way to try out this pattern- that way if I really botched it, I wouldn't feel so bad! I cut the pattern out along the size 3 lines and prepared to pin and cut... but couldn't get over just how big the pattern pieces looked; so I brought in one of the Princess' new summer t-shirts, folded it in half lengthwise, and laid it down on top of the pattern. Yeah. The pattern was about 4 sizes too big, it appeared.
I really thought about this and wasn't sure how to address this problem. Late last night, watching tv, I had an idea and went to give it a whirl. I went down and reduced each piece of the pattern to 75% on Hubby's printer/copier... then laid these pieces out next to the example shirt. Much better. I decided to give it a try and at least start the process... I ended up finishing the shirt! This morning when I showed the Princess, she was SO EXCITED and couldn't wait to put it on- she loves Care Bears and kept pointing to each one, saying "Baby, baby"... she has a pink Care Bear that she adores and also calls "Baby".
The size 3 at 75% was pretty perfect, but doesn't give her much room to grow. I like to use 1/4 inch seams, but tried a wider side seam on this shirt- if I'd stayed in my comfort zone, she'd have more room for her tummy. Next time I'll stick with 1/4 inch, or maybe try the pattern at 80% of size 3. I also added about 2 inches to the length of the shirt, but even with that it's almost too short and I'll probably add 4-5 inches to the bottom next time.
Now that I've figured out the pattern, I think the next time won't take nearly as long. This Sewing for Dummies pattern required lots of brainpower, due to a lack of explanation on the directions. The sleeves took entirely too much work trying to figure out how to attach them... I've never done sleeves before and this wasn't how I would have envisioned them. I do have another project in mind for this pattern and have already cut out the pieces. I'm planning a bit of a decorative project to embellish the front before I begin sewing, though, so a little teaser is all you'll get for now: