Cold weather sewing

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

It’s so easy to sew in the summertime.  Lots and lots of beautiful patterns for flouncy skirts, sleeveless tunics, sundresses, t-shirt dresses, little cotton shorts… simple, breezy patterns that sew up in no time and require very little yardage.

But when the weather turns cool I seem to hit a sewing slump.  There just aren’t as many long-sleeved patterns available and even fewer that I like the look of.  I’m not a fan of layering lots of clothes on my girls.  It makes too much laundry, and it gets complicated for little girls who like to dress themselves.  I need dress patterns that avoid all that fuss.  Patterns that can stand on their own and require only a pair of leggings and a jacket.  Not that I’m against all layering; I just like to keep it to a minimum.

After spending many an evening searching for girls patterns I purchased 4 that I could use for both girls this winter.  I’ve spent the last several weeks sewing for Miss P, building up her fall/winter wardrobe.

I started with this sweet pattern.  This is the Charlie Dress another of Rae’s darling pattern creations, and there’s nothing I don’t love about this dress!

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

I like the length of the sleeves (these are 3/4 length) but they can easily be altered to come all the way down to her hand.  I love cut of the dress.  The looser fit makes it easy for her to move around and play in.

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

Really though, the neckline is what makes this dress.  I used some dotted chambray I ordered from Fabricworm for %50 off.  The accenting cuffs, hemline, and neckline are made from the reverse side of the fabric.

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

Here’s a blurry shot of the backside.  I’m trying to be better about including pictures of my girls wearing their clothes.  When I get serious about researching and buying patterns, it’s really important for me to see how the pattern fits once it’s sewn up.  Anything looks cute spread out on a flat surface, the real proof is how it wears.

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

While I was at it I made her two, because it’s always a good idea to make two!

Charlie Dress in pansy print | Inanorchard

 

Charlie Dress in pansy print | Inanorchard

I also made Miss P a Geranium Tunic.  I’ve made her many, many Geranium dresses and this is the shortened version of the dress.  I know it doesn’t look like a good winter choice, but it’s not difficult to put a cardigan over the shirt, or add a plain colored tee underneath.

Geranium Tunic | Inanorchard

Don’t you love this fabric?  It’s from an Art Gallery fabric line called “Winged”.  This particular print is called Aves Chatter in Dim. I purchased mine from Hawthorne Threads.

Geranium Tunic | Inanorchard

Last but not least I whipped up a few leggings to go with her new dresses.  I’m not the kind of girl who just makes up her own patterns (as so many other talented seamstresses do), but making a legging pattern is a no-brainer.  There are tons of tutorials on making your own legging pattern, and there are even a few free printable patterns, but they tend to be for newborns or 3-6 month-olds.

Baby leggings | Inanorchard

I don’t have a lot of experience sewing with knits, but I thought leggings would be a good place to start.  These leggings have their problems but at least they are wearable!  I’m still experimenting with different techniques, tools, and threads.  I have yet to work all the bugs out, but I’m getting there!

Baby Leggings | Inanorchard

The scalloped knit I got from Hobby Lobby.  It came in a fun mustard and coral color.  It wasn’t the easiest to sew on.  First, it’s striped which means lining up and matching all those little raised ridges.  Also, it’s thin, stretchy knit that likes to curl up on the edges.  Somehow I got through all the little obstacles and ended up with a couple of pretty cute leggings (if I do say so myself).  The lace trim was an attempt to hide some wretched looking hemlines.

Baby Leggings | Inanorchard

Here’s Miss P sporting her yellow leggings (these are the same leggings she wore under her chambray Charlie Dress).

Miss P in her baby leggings | Inanorchard

 

Baby Leggings | Inanorchard

 

I’m hoping in the next several weeks to work on Miss E’s winter clothes.  I’ve got a stack of patterns and fabric on the sewing table all set aside for her.  I’m going to be brave and attempt to make an entire dress out of knit fabric.  Stay tuned!

PS- if you enjoy my sewing posts you might want to check out my Instagram feed. Sewing posts are some of the most time-consuming to photograph and write up.  Which is why they’re so few and far between, and there are lots of little projects that never really make it into a blog post but I usually manage to snap an Instagram photo as I’m sewing.

Thanks for stopping by and saying Hello!  ~April

3 thoughts on “Cold weather sewing

  1. Shannon

    Ohhh, I wish for your expertise. Maybe I should just give it a shot and see how it goes. Oh, but I already know how it will go. (Not well) :) Your girls are blessed to have you as their Mommy!

    Reply
  2. Pettybunch

    I remember us having this discussion a couple of years ago when my granddaughter was born in Michigan in the Fall – there are little to no warm weather dresses for babies/little girls!! I LOVE that Charlie dress – so cute! And 3/4 sleeves are nice for littles if it’s not terribly cold!

    You are a brave girl to make up the leggings pattern! And they are terrifically cute! Can’t wait to see little E’s clothes all made up!

    Reply
  3. Clarita

    You are just so inspiring! The way you make clothes for your daughters that are so amazing they belong in a boutique, and so not what I used to think of handmade items (the sad, poor children, I always thought). You bring a whole new dimension to handmade that is just so beautiful!! I love the patterns you find, and the way you bring them to life with fabrics. What lucky little girls you have!! xoxo

    Reply

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