Category Archives: Badminton

Did somebody say Scraptember?

I’ve said it before, my girls aren’t fussy. That’s probably a little bit of a lie. They refuse to wear jeans or long pants, but I think we’ve finally progressed beyond the ‘everything needs to be pink and sparkly’ phase. Queue me jumping for joy!

Like most other seamstresses out there, I’m forever collecting fabric scraps. I don’t actually ever put any fabric in the bin. Useable pieces go in my scrap basket and the rest gets lumped in a pile on the armchair where it quickly discovered by small hands and turned into all kinds of pretend food, dresses for toys, train tracks, bows, blankets, and decorations. There is a downside to this imaginary play though…my sewing mess is distributed throughout the entire house!

I often dig into my scraps to find a little bit of cotton to line bodices and skirts for my little peeps. My girls are still quite small so scraps go a long way. I usually try to colour coordinate and match the scraps when I sew, but sometimes I just go on a bit of a scrap-busting binge and wind up with all kinds of eclectic makes. Quite often, it’s the most miss-matched pieces that get the most love from my girls.

Here’s a little round up of my recent scrappy makes.
 
1. First up is a pair of Go To tights for Miss Six. The little skirt overlay is the perfect compromise. I modified the hem length and shape on my version. She thinks she is wearing a skirt. I think she is wearing practical pants. You’ve seen my Ikat jersey before, here, here, and here.
 

 2. Miss Two wanted what Miss Six had, so I made her a smaller version to the same specifications. Hers is the ultimate scrapbust. It’s hard to see in the photos, but I’ve used wool jersey for the front of the tights (here), white solid knit for the back (here), and of course, that infamous Ikat for the skirt.

 

 3. My girls virtually fell over in awe when I walked out in my last Two-Piece Set-Acular. It was the maxi skirt they couldn’t keep their eyes off. So I put my nice mother hat on and made them all a maxi skirt. I took more care making the matching version for Miss Six. It isn’t dangerously long so she can wear hers to school.

 
But it is still most fabulous for swishing and twirling.


4. Miss Four’s skirt was made using the most beautiful pink textured poly remnant from Tessuti Fabrics. Miss Six chose it for her birthday more than 18 months ago but I couldn’t quite bear to cut it up. She didn’t care though. Miss Six isn’t really into pink. Miss Four is though. She’s paired it with her big sister’s Badminton top


Miss Two’s skirt is pure scrap and an ugly little thing, but she doesn’t care. It trails on the floor and swishes which is all she cares about. I purchased the cotton voile on sale a while ago. I’ve since discovered that it’s probably a poly blend, having seen how much and how quickly it has pilled in the other little clothes I’ve made using it (here and here). I didn’t want to waste it, but I wanted to be rid of it. The ruffles are left over from my kimono. I must have pieced together a dozen little lengths to make that ruffle.

Here’s a bit of insight into what goes on behind the camera. The photo shoot basically consisted of Miss Four doing her poses while Miss Two inched closer and closer, before finally pouncing. The smiling assassin.

Butterfly Badminton set for Miss Four and a little on turn-of-cloth

Here’s a little deja vu for you. It’s not only a repeat of Miss Six’s Badminton skort and top, but I’ve managed to use up a lot of the remaining scraps from my Butterfly Maxi dress. I was left with several long, thin lengths of the Gorgeous Fabric after making that dress, but they were awkward lengths that weren’t wide enough for any adult stuff. I had just enough width in them to make a teeny, tiny pair of shorts, a gathered skirt and the little top you see.

I made a size 5 skort for my taller than average Miss Four, with exactly the same modifications that I did for Miss Six’s version. I chose to make a size 6 for the top, but I could have easily stuck with a size 5 here too. Sometimes I overestimate the size of my little whippet. This time, I left off the front band and tie.

Unfortunately, the only suitable contrast fabric that I had on hand was some yellow cotton sateen which is much heavier than I would have liked for the yoke. It is a bit structured in feel now, but it will do. Next time I’d also take the time to add that front band. I think it adds a little special something to the top.

As to the virtues of those shorts beneath the skirt. Miss Four was determined to show me proof of their workings with some serious twirls.

Sadly for me though, she has now decided that shorts (even if hidden beneath a skirt) must only be worn with ‘running shoes’, so whenever we see her wearing her lovely butterfly silk ensemble, she is also wearing a big clunky pair of less than pristine, hand-me-down sneakers that are still an inkling too big for her, with her white socks pulled up to mid calf of course. There’s a good visual for you!

Once again, I can only sing praises for Oliver + S patterns. However, I would like to point out a wee little finicky thing to do with understitching and ‘turn-of-cloth’ that you are bound to encounter in this pattern. When I understitch a seam, I lose length on the fabric because it rolls towards the lining when pressing the facing/lining under. Obviously, this is what you want. You don’t want any chance of the lining rolling out to be seen on the outside when you are wearing the garment. I’ve tried to demonstrate this below.

White fabric and yellow lining

White fabric on the left has been cut a little longer than the lining. The seam has been stitched (crookedly…sorry!). You can see the excess white fabric on the left. The lining and fabric line up perfectly on the right.

Both pieces have been understitched identically

And now they have been turned to the right side and pressed. You are looking at the yellow lining. See the tiny bit of white fabric rolling towards the lining on both pieces. This is what you want! But then look at the bottom. I overestimated the turn-of-cloth when adding a little to the white fabric length on the left, but it’s easy to trim it off, and much better than it not reaching the edge at all.

And from the top side. I didn’t adjust for turn-of-cloth with the white fabric on the right. See how the fabric doesn’t meet the lining anymore.


So the amount of fabric length you lose is pretty much related to the thickness of the fabric. A silk CDC will have a very tiny turn-of-cloth and you will hardly lose any length (although there still might be a few mm difference). A thick wool would make a considerable difference. Where you run into problems is in matching up the bottom of the lining with the outer fabric. Suddenly you have a difference in length of between 2mm and 1cm, and this can cause problems. If my pictures don’t do it for you, there is also an excellent article in Threads Magazine that explains turn-of-cloth beautifully.

An easy solution is to simply lengthen the lining pieces slightly, rather than keeping the lining and fabric pieces the same. In this pattern, the lining pieces for the waistband and the yoke are the same as the outer fabric (no surprise really), but the pattern does specify understitching. The first time round, I ended up having to narrow both the waistband and the yoke in order to adjust for this as I was sewing. The pattern still worked fine with the narrower results, but not everybody likes to problem solve on the fly. With this version, I added a few mm to the width of my lining pieces and voila, perfectly matched fabric edges and seam allowances throughout. It’s a much more pleasurable sewing experience when all the edges line up!

Oliver + S Badminton skort and top: perfect for the handstand obsessed

Since starting gymnastics a few months ago, Miss Six has become a little fanatical about doing handstands and cartwheels at all times. And I do mean, at all times. I can be walking towards her, and suddenly it’s her feet I see, and not her face. She walks down the hall and does a handstand. We walk to the shops and she sees a patch of grass on the verge; she’s upside down doing a handstand. I think she’s spending more time on her hands than her feet these days.

Now, a six year old doesn’t have much modesty. This might change when she heads back to school. But right now, she doesn’t care about flashing her undies or perfect little tummy, luckily so, because she refuses to wear anything but skirts and dresses. Even so, it can’t be pleasant to have a dress hanging over your face each time you invert. So I thought I’d make her a skort: shorts covered by a skirt! Perfect!

 

I used the Badminton skort and top pattern by Oliver + S. I made the skort up in a straight size 6 using a cotton voile from Mood. I wasn’t too fussed on the scalloped edge look of the pattern so I just skipped this bit, but doubled the skirt width to add some decent gathers instead. My girls are more interested in swish than detail. I love the way the skirt turned out. It fits Miss Six beautifully and is perfect for handstands. See the cute little shorts underneath.


The top is also lovely. I made it up in a size 7. It is comfortably loose but definitely not too big on her. Miss Six has been admiring my faux silk Camilla camisole since the day it was made. And I wear it frequently. She loves the fabric, which has a very authentic silk charmeuse look and feel to it. It actually matches the cotton voile very well so I used a few little remnants to make the top for her as well. The shape and style of this top is beautiful. The instructions are great too. It is a fiddly little top to make with that skinny curved yoke (and the slippery satin I chose to use), but it is definitely worth the effort. I think it looks lovely and Miss Six has given it a big thumbs up.