Yet another Brindille & Twig pattern. The Raglan t-shirt. It's an excellent basic that I use often and would recommend. I thought I'd approach this post a little differently though. As these photos are all over a year old, I have had a chance to see how the fabric for these makes has held up. One of the reasons that I sew is to reduce waste so I like to make things that are going to last and will get a lot of use. I wash my children's clothes on a hot setting with Gain as they are often going in with soiled items and cloth diapers. I dry them in the dryer. This is probably as hard as you can be on clothing, but it's a reality for many children's clothes that they are regularly stained and washed. So in the interest of science and sustainable sewing, here is the same shirt made in a variety of fabrics and how they did:
Birch Organic knit. I believe that at this time Birch knit fabric was an interlock knit which was 100% cotton. This made for a fabric with some stretch but very little recovery. This made it less ideal for bands and you can see these ones became wobbly and stretched out with wear. It is my understanding that it is now produced with some elastane in it so new fabrics will look a little different. This fabric has such a nice thick, substantial feel to it and feels very natural and soft. I love the patterns it comes in but the colour tends to fade quickly, especially on the darker prints. Some of the cream bases and lighter prints have held up better to wash and wear but they all show signs of fading. The fabric itself is in excellent shape with no signs of pilling or loss of integrity. These fabrics are expensive but I'd buy them again in light prints, especially for babies with sensitive skin.
Girl Charlie knit fabric. This fabric was so cheap. I bought it during a sale and I think I spent about $2/m on it. They have an amazing selection of prints and a very large catalogue. However, I wouldn't buy from Girl Charlie again. These knits are quite thin and they aged quickly. Many of these garments became pilled and worn within a couple months. Some garments have holes in them. Areas of stress, like the neckbands lost resiliency quickly. These might stand up better to lighter use but they feel too disposable to me. The colour has not faded as much as on the Birch Organics but there is some fading on the darker prints.
Robert Kaufman knits. These feel a bit thinner than the birch organics but are a heavier weight than the girl charlie knits. They are a good weight for t-shirts and leggings. They have good stretch and recovery and I use them regularly for bands. The variety of prints is more limited from the retailers that I have seen. I really enjoy the prints though and think they are also great as a way to mix with other prints for a modern look without getting too busy. There has been a little fading on the black after many wears. The fabric itself has no pulling and has not bagged out. I definitely add this fabric to my cart to have on hand to coordinate with others when I see it.
Up-cycled fabric. This is a little different as these fabrics have been worn already by me in the form of a t-shirt. I have mixed feelings on up-cycling as I often think that if the garment is still in good shape it is least wasteful to pass it on to someone who will still wear it as is. If there is damage or wear to the garment, then it makes sense to harvest the usable fabric and make something new. I don't tend to up-cycle garments made of cheap or worn fabric as I don't like to spend sewing time making something that won't feel nice or last very long. Those garments get turned into rags or cloth wipes in our house. These shirts had been worn by me when I worked with kids and had discolouration around the armpits so were good candidates for kids clothes. I wash my own clothes in cold water with a gentle eco detergent and hang to dry so they were definitely not treated as harshly in their previous life. The first example is a graphic tee printed on an American Apparel Tee. It is in great shape and will be passed to my son. The second is a tee of unknown origin I received as a gift. The graphic has cracked a bit with washing and drying but the fabric is OK. I imagine anything with a vinyl print won't wear as well with hard washing.
That's all for now. Any fabric recommendations for children's clothing? Do you up-cycle? Do you care about sustainability in your sewing?
So this blog has basically become a fan page for Brindille & Twig. This is for good reason though. In terms of sewing for little ones they have a great selection of patterns and I can usually find what I am looking for in their catalogue.
I believe that the hooded raglan sweatshirt is the first pattern that I tried from Brindille & Twig as it's offered free on their website. I think the blog, So, Zo...What do you know? is where I first discovered it.
It's a free pattern and it is a great way to try out the company before making a purchase. It definitely won me over.
The hoodie itself is well drafted with clear and thorough instructions. The hood is lined and there is a front kangaroo pocket. I have left the pocket off at times but my daughter has reached the age where all things must have a pocket.
I have found like all B&T patterns, I make a size smaller than retail but that the measurements listed are accurate. I've read a number of people on the B&T facebook group size up at least one size on the hood as they find it runs small. I haven't had a problem with this. My daughter's height, weight and head circumference are in the 85 percentile and she currently wears a 2-3T at 2 and half years old.
There is a seam at the centre front of the hood under the chin. I've read people will cut this on the fold to get rid of that seam. It doesn't bother me and it takes more fabric that way so I haven't tried it.
I've used a variety of fabrics to make this hoodie. I've used french terry, cotton lycra, and some novelty faux animal fur print for the body of the hoodie. I've also seen fleece used with success. I'd suggest sizing up for the body if you use something with little stretch. I'd also modify the hood to have a lower opening under the chin if using little stretch as it can make it hard to get on and off.
I'd recommend using something with good stretch and recovery for the bands. I've had lots of success with cotton lycra and ribbing.
This hoodie gives lots of opportunity for creativity. Colour blocking, modifying the pockets or adding piping to the raglan sleeves are some common modifications. Adding ears to the hood by adding an extra seam an inch behind the front of the hood is something I've easily done for Hallowe'en. I've also seen people add a seam down the centre back and then add dinosaur spines along the back of the hood all the way down which I may try at some point for fun.
I wholeheartedly recommend this free pattern to all my friends interested in sewing for their kids. Do you have any great free pattern recommendations?
Its been a long time. I created another human. When I had free time I chose to sleep or sew. I have gone down the rabbit hole of kid custom fabrics...a post for another time. Today, I'm highlighting my daughters absolute favourite dress. She would wear this dress in a blizzard and tell you she wasn't cold. Toddlers are crazy stubborn though. See toddler eating an onion.
This is the tee shirt dress from Brindille and Twig. I've made this dress multiple times for my daughter and I've made it as gifts. It has a nice A line shape and a high low hem. It is super simple to sew (just like a tee shirt) and takes less than an hour on little sleep to finish. I love how it is easy to wear, comfortable, stylish and provides good sun coverage. It is also great for most seasons in Vancouver as you can wear it with leggings. I'm so in love I bought the adult version of this pattern from the sister site but I will have to wait until breastfeeding is over again.
As for all of Brindille & Twigs patterns, I size up from RTW, the instructions are super clear and the drafting is excellent. It comes with a long and short sleeve option. I've made this with long sleeves in a stretch velvet as a fancy winter dress with success.
The fabric I used for this dress is a mystery knit I picked up from Our Social Fabric. It's a true stripe, not printed and has some drape. This dress can be made with basic cotton lycra, but I like it best with something with a little drape to it like a bamboo jersey. I would recommend that whatever fabric you use, make sure that the fabric you use for the neckband has good stretch and recovery. Otherwise it'll be too tight or too sloppy.
That's it for today. Do you every covet your children's clothes?
A blog to document my attempts to create a well-fitting wardrobe for myself and my family through sewing and knitting.