This is my little Chickmunk. Yes, you read correct. We don’t have chipmunks around these parts. We have Chickmunks. No matter how many times I correct the child, it still always comes out as chickmunk. I personally think that she’s a bit of a chickmunk herself.
This bright, summery suit is a new girl’s pattern that I’ve been working on. It’s a copy of the tie-back suit all the big girls wear at swim practice. The fabric is the most delicious Liberty of London swimsuit fabric from The Fabric Store.
It’s been a while now since I’ve sewn up my first Liberty of London suit. I can now attest to the fact that the fabric lasts well with constant use. It feels beautiful and smooth to the hand and it performs nicely in the pool. It definitely outlasts any of the cheaper swimsuit fabric I’ve picked up from Joann or Hancocks over the years. I’ve learnt the hard way that you get what you pay for.
Miss Six claimed this suit before it was even finished. It’s actually a size too big for her. She should be wearing a 24. This is size 26. It looks ok when it’s dry, but if you look at the photos, you can see some gathering/wrinkling around the leg and through the waist area. There is also more tie than there should be.
The fit becomes more apparent when in the water. A good fitting suit SHOULD actually stetch a little over the curves of the body. There should be negative ease; a little bit of negative ease in a practice suit, a LOT of negative ease in race suit. The back tie allows a bit of flexibility with fit. You can tighten or loosen the straps as you please. And I know that I see plenty of kids in poorly fitting swimsuits. However, when you are swimming laps, it feels awful wearing a suit that doesn’t fit. I’ve always made sure my girls have suits that fit correctly. I’ve possibly spoilt them…
Anyway, this little chickmunk still gives the suit a big thumbs up!
Miss Five has had her heart set on a cheetah print playsuit for a while now. She fell in love with a silk swatch I ordered a while back and I convinced her that it would suit a little playsuit. The idea of her in cheetah print kind of appeals to me. But because I was drafting this pattern myself, I thought I’d test it out with scraps first.
The bodice is made using some beautiful Art Gallery scraps from my Carolyn Pyjamas and wrap pants. I had such a small amount of this left that both the front and back bodice pieces have centre seams. It’s not ideal, but you can hardly notice with the busy print.
The pants are refashioned from my long yellow kimono jacket. When cutting the pattern pieces, I positioned them along the side seams to preserve the pockets for the playsuit pants. The kimono rayon is heavy and drapey, but those pants would work just as well in another type of knit or even a woven fabric.
Gaucho pants and culottes are so hot right now and I love being able to translate this trend into some cool kiddie clothes. Miss Five fell instantly in love with this little playsuit and I can see her getting loads of wear out of it in summer. It’s comfortable, cute, and most importantly, she can get it on and off without too much bother.
You’ve seen a slightly different version of this dress before. I wasn’t happy with it and although I meant to walk away, I simply couldn’t stay away for long. There was too much about the original version that I did like. It had potential. Unrealised potential.
So what did I do to improve on the original? I cut away the skirt, raised the bodice a little, changed the front bodice shape, and redrafted the skirt completely. I think I’ve come away with a much better dress. And have I said before how much I like yellow right now? Could it be that some of those yellow pineapples I keep seeing in blogland are finally rubbing off on me?
I’m going to put my hand up and say that this dress was not intended for my smallest peep. Not in the beginning anyway. I knew I was treading a fine line to make the pattern (and small fabric remnants) fit Miss Four, but she was the one with her eye on the sunflowers and I was determined to give it a go, not just for her but for the sake of Oonapalooza.
The good news is, the dress does fit Miss Four, but it’s a very tight squeeze, and most definitely, it will not fit her come Fall when the weather will be more suitable for wearing neoprene and polyester. We decided to wrap it up for Miss Two’s birthday in November. Miss Four was more than happy to pose for photos and give it a trial swish. She wanted to keep it for herself but was (surprisingly) able to see reason when she realised she couldn’t bend over to do up her shoes.
As usual, when I’m sewing something for myself, there is at least one (if not three) little requests that get put to the seamstress. Miss Two usually just wants the same as me. The bigger girls are a lot more specific with their requests. Miss Four seems to think that I have the power to change the colours and shapes of prints on fabric. But for a change, she was quite enamoured with the sunflowers exactly as they were. It’s a shame it doesn’t fit her because it really is her kind of dress. There’s always next time.
The dress pattern itself is self drafted. I’ve made it before here and another time before this. I should have tweaked the bodice lines a little before I sewed this one. I keep forgetting that I bound the armscye in the original version, instead of fully lining it as I did with this one. I just need to add a little extra to the seam allowances in the armscye. And I really need to start taking better notes when I sew things!