I made this little jumper with pockets for Lila last fall. This is one of those projects where you have a very clear picture of what you want the final result to be, and you know you're going to have to either wing it completely or alter an existing pattern to get what you want. I knew I wanted a burgundy corduroy jumper to dress Lila in for Thanksgiving, but I wanted it have some cute girly accents so it wasn't so "heavy" on the eyes. So I went trudging through the internet to find a pattern to alter.
What I found to work with was this free pattern and tutorial from LiEr over at Ikat Bag (her version to the left). Because I was born with no memory (probably not my only birth defect...) I totally lied to my friend Melissa and told her that I made this with no pattern. Whoops. Sorry LiEr!! At the time all I could remember was making the pattern for the pockets, and making homemade bias tape for the trims, and deciding at the last minute to add the little ribbon bows. And I knew I used some of Lila's existing clothing to set the length, and to modify the width. So somehow that all just swirled around in my head until it solidified into the thought "I made this from scratch". Well thank goodness I've since remembered. Now you can head on over to Ikat Bag and grab the pattern for yourself!
Here's a closeup. My lovely vintage (we're talking avocado green) sewing machine decided to go into semi-retirement during this project, and quit sewing any stitch other than a straight. As a result, I hand-stitched those buttons and buttonholes. A labor of love, and a good reminder of how easy and quick it is to do on the machine. (I've since purchased a new sewing machine, which is loooveleeey, but I do miss my old Kenmore).
The fabrics are all from JoAnn's, and except for the corduroy they're leftover scraps from other projects, so I have no idea who made them, or whether they're still available. At the time I sewed this I wasn't thinking about blogging, and as I've mentioned, I have no memory. But you can probably still find the corduroy there.
As you may have guessed from the title of this post, she outgrew this jumper in an instant. It then became a shirt, as you can see above. And if you look closely you can also see evidence she's a messy little eater. This thing's been through the washer over and over again. But now that the weather is approaching the 90's around here, she probably won't wear it again, unless it somehow still fits her this fall (which I doubt).
The pattern comes in two sizes: 2T and 3-4T. As she was less than six months old when I first made the jumper, I cut the size down considerably. I also changed the angle at which the sides flare out, so that the jumper turned out narrower at the bottom than the original pattern, since that's the look I was going for.
Can you see the way it fits rather straight and snug, as opposed to flaring out?
One of the nice things about this pattern is that it's simple, and calls out to be embellished. The pattern doesn't include a piece for the pockets, so I just drew up a size and shape I liked, and added bias tape to the top. Hey, if you're looking for a tutorial on sewing with bias tape, I just happen to have one here (flashes big smile). I also added the bias tape trim to the bottom hem for a more finished and matchy look.
I don't remember what type of seam the pattern called for, or if it did, but I went with flat-felled seams along the sides. I'm liking the look, and I think I'll start using it more often, especially since it's not that hard to do. Also, if you're like me and don't want to invest in a serger, it makes for a nice fray-less finish. It's also flat on the inside unlike french seams, which stick out a little. I don't know why, but I'm always thinking about whether the clothes I make Lila will scratch or annoy her when she wears them. She could probably care less, but still, isn't that one of the points of handmade? All the nice details.
I chose these matching buttons by default, since they were really the only pair I had that would work on this jumper. But I'm glad I did, since I think brightly colored ones would detract somehow from the pockets and trims and make the finished product too busy.
Do you think I should be feeding her more? Well, she did go and outgrow that jumper, so I guess we're okay. :)