Vintage McCall’s 6497 // A shirt for Miss Seven

My original plan was to make Miss Seven a pair of pink cigarette pants to go with her new coat. However, I fell in love with every view on the front of this pattern cover and I thought I’d try out the shirt first.

I used more of my vintage sheet set to make this shirt. The print looks so lovely in a shirt that I’m planning to make myself one now too.

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The pattern went together beautifully. My only complaint was to do with the sleeve cap ease, but I find excessive sleeve cap ease a fairly common feature of old patterns. Next time I’ll shave some height of the sleeve cap so it can be set in a lot easier.

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I made this pattern up in a size 8, which corresponded quite well with Miss Seven and a half’s chest measurement. I expected it to be a little bigger on her than it is though. However, it would stand to reason that she has lovely broad shoulders like her mother. The torso fit is lovely and it looks comfortable. I suspect the pants and skirt in the pattern will swim on her tiny hips so I may have to grade them down first.

And before I sign off on this post, I just want to share a quick peek of the best leotard ever. It’s a birthday present for Miss Five. My beautiful, gentle Miss Seven is modelling it. The tiger poses will come later with the fierce Miss Five. I even added tiger eyes to the back of the suit so she could terrorise people behind her too. The pattern is Jalie 3136, which I’ve now made more times than I can remember.

I made the fabric myself on Spoonflower. I used the sport lycra, which is a nice weight and completely opaque.  In fact, this fabric generated so much interest that I ended up purchasing the license for the photo so the design could be made available to others. It will only be available on Spoonflower for a limited time though.

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Kwik Sew 2422 and 1615: swimsuits for my big girls

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer: I was given this fabric for free by Funki Fabrics in exchange for making something and blogging about it. How could I say no to free fabric, particularly with swimsuit season upon us.

We all know it’s hard to be completely objective about something if you’ve been given it for free, but I’ve tried my best. For a little more information, it’s also worthwhile checking out Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow’s review here.

I made two little swimsuits with my fabric, and I have a little bit more to go yet. My first make was for Miss Five, using Kwik Sew 2422 (complete with a big raspberry drip of melted icy pole on her leg). She was quite specific about the exact style she wanted (down to the actual pattern and strap design). She also chose her own fabric; digitally printed neon tetras. She wanted to be in camouflage for her swim lessons. Obviously.

My only modification to this pattern (from last time) was to raise the neckline by 1.25 inches. Then I just measured the old neckline curve, compared it to the new, and adjusted the length of neckline elastic by the difference. I should have also narrowed the neckline a little as I raised it. Next time.

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The second pair was for Miss Seven, using Kwik Sew 1615, with the same (added seam) modification I’ve used in the past. I think she looks very chic! I only lined the front of the swimsuit bottoms, but due to the light colours, I realise now that I should have probably lined it all. At the moment, they aren’t see-through when wet, but I will have to wait and see how that goes as the print fades.

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I’m pretty fussy about most fabrics, and swimwear is no exception. I was pleasantly surprised with this haul. The prints on the fabric were spot on and exactly as I expected (I could have ordered swatches but I didn’t bother as I was mainly sewing for kids. Yes, double standards abound in this house.). For me, the enormous variety of printed lycra and foiled dancewear fabric are the best thing about Funki Fabrics. I will say though, that their website is a bit awkward, and it does take a bit of time to navigate.

Quality wise, I think the swimsuit fabric is good. In comparison to a RTW surf rashie I own, the fabric is better. But it’s not the best I’ve ever had. I think this may come from the fact that Funki Fabric is all about variety and fabric design. It appears to me that they have the same white, base fabric that they apply all their prints to. It’s a little bit thinner than some other swimsuit fabric I have in my stash, so if using it for myself, lining will be a must. For my kids though, this fabric is more than adequate on it’s own.

Overall, I’m actually very happy with this product. The fabric has a lovely, smooth hand, good stretch and recovery, and the printing is beautifully done. The lighter print (black hearts on cream) feels a little painted on, but not terribly so, and I suspect this is intended to improve the opacity of such a light colour.

We’ve already taken the new swimsuits for a few test runs (which I was waiting to report back on) and they’ve performed very well.  I can’t confirm that they helped the “big arms” actually make it out of the water, nor did I lose sight of my child amongst all the other neon fish at our local pool, but I am happy to say that there have been no saggy, baggy bottoms or immodest see-through togs.

Two little Jalie 3136 leotards

These leotards are such a quick and easy make. I love the opportunity to use contrast fabric, and I’m very happy with the overall fit on my tall, slim girls. I’ve made a few pairs already (here and here) so I knew what to expect. For Miss Seven, I stuck with a size 6, the same as last time. They fit her very well through the torso. The leg elastic is borderline too tight, but I think she’ll be ok with it. That’s the only thing I’d say about this pattern, is check the fit of the leg elastic before sewing it on.

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Miss Three LOVES gymnastics, more than anything else in this world right now. Three year olds really don’t need gymnastics leotards but I couldn’t resist making her one, just so I could watch her impossible cuteness in it. She wakes up everyday, puts on her leotard, and asks if its her ‘nastics day.

Her suit was made up in a size 3 and it’s a perfect fit all over. She is on the 50th centile from head to toe, the true “baby” of this family. Despite, LOVING this suit, and actually being a very happy child all day, she decided to practice her grumpy, angry person poses for the photos. I did my best, but there really isn’t any point negotiating with a three year old.

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Last tutu togs of the season, and thank goodness for that!

So the downside of having three girls is that many things must also be made in lots of three. Swimmers are of no exception. No doubt, you would have seen this pair I posted about a little while back. Well these are exactly the same.

Once again, I used Kwik Sew 1615. I like this pattern a lot. With a little length adjustment, they really do make lovely swimmers. And having now sewn this pattern three times in as many weeks, I feel like it’s given me a lot of practice sewing very stretchy fabrics. I’m really pleased with how tidy this pair is compared to the first pair I made. Looking back, they were super cute, but left a LOT of room for improvement in the sewing stakes.


I used a size 5 for Miss Four and added 1″ to the body length before making my tutu modifications. These togs are a perfect fit right now. I’m hoping they will get her through the summer at least. I probably could have gotten away with a size 6 for her, but it would have still needed lengthening in the body. These sizes really do run small.



The fabric I used was a beautiful floral swimsuit lycra from Tessuti. It’s not a traditional little girl print, but I love the vintage feel of it when paired with that sparkly pink tulle. And of course, it is virtually impossible to get a photo of anyone in this house without being bombed by Miss Two. Quicker than you can say “sparkly tulle”, she appeared from nowhere with her own hand-me-downs on. It’s hard to believe Miss Four was wearing those same togs less than a year ago!

And this wild and woolly wonder was not content until she’d had a solo photo taken too, just like her sister.

Little leotards and bike shorts: Kwik Sew 2724

Having seen what leotard options were on offer at our local gymnasium, (and gasping in horror at the price and glare) I quickly steered the girls away, promising them a me-made version very soon. Personally, I think t-shirts and shorts are perfectly adequate gym wear for four and six year olds, but when everyone else is in shiny pink leopard print spandex, I felt a bit miserable sending the girls along in their grey cotton tights.

Luckily, I had a great remnant of floral swimsuit lycra in my stash. It was a remnant I purchased from Tessuti last summer. I paired it with a little big splash of metallic spandex from Mood and chose the simplest leotard/swimsuit pattern I could find, Kwik Sew 2724.

I’ve sewn a couple of Kwik Sew swimsuit patterns up now (here and here). Both times I found the body length of the design to be incredibly short. Knowing this, I started out with a size 7 and lengthened it in the body by 1″ before I started. The end result is a leotard that is quite clearly too big for my tall Miss Six. She’s not too fussed though. The width is ok and it seems comfortable enough on her without gaping immodestly. It just has a lot of unsightly wrinkles, particularly at the back. I probably should have just sewn a straight size 7, but I’m wondering if I should have also made a sway back adjustment and narrowed the bum width a little.

I also bungled the neckline a little. For some reason, I thought the back was the front when I was attaching the elastic, so the slightly warped starting point of attachment is smack bang in the centre front of the neckline. Really, I should have hidden that point under the shoulder seam anyway. I’m also not sure I love the look of that zig zag stitching, or maybe it is the metallic spandex that shows up every glaring mess you make.

I made the bike pants up in a straight size 6 with no adjustments. I ignored the elastic waist guide because it is easier and more precise to simply measure the child you want to fit! These bike pants are actually awesome. They fit her PERFECTLY and took a whole 15min to cut AND sew up. I might make them in some longer versions in winter.