When Michelle put out the call for blog contributors, I immediately fired off an email and was over the moon when she emailed me back to pick a fabric. Since it's hard to find good quality knit fabric locally, and since my girls' favourite clothes tend to be knits, I asked my eldest to pick the fabric for something for herself. (I must say, I felt very virtuous letting her choose because the blue heather linen knit was calling my name. Oh well, the things we do for our kids :)!)
After much deliberation (over an hour on the website!), she chose "bowler". I was glad I asked because that print would not have jumped out at me as being something she would like!
The patterns I used are both from Jalie, another Canadian company. (The tank is #3245 and the shorts are #3351). It's my first time sewing any of their patterns but I know it wont be the last! Both the top and the shorts were quick to make and came out looking great. J. likes how sporty and comfortable her new outfit is, and was very excited about the little pockets in the side panel of the shorts -- they're just big enough for her ipod.
Both patterns also use very little fabric. I have enough bowler fabric left from the one metre cut I received to make my younger daughter a matching outfit, I just have to find the time to make it. She's lobbying hard for it, though, so I think it will jump to the top of the sewing queue! I don't purposefully make them matching outfits but I do try to honour special requests :)
In terms of construction, I don't have a serger but that wasn't an issue. I used a closed overlock stitch on my regular sewing machine for the seams and a narrow zig zag for the binding (If you don't have a special stitch on your machine you could probably do the whole thing with a narrow zig zag without any problems). I find hemming is the most stressful part as some knits tend to get wavy but not this one. I added some stay tape before using a double needle and it worked great.
I thought with such unusual fabric, it would be fun to do some "staged" pictures. J. wanted to go all out with a bowler hat and bowtie but we don't have those things just lying around the house. I was worried if we waited too long to track them down it would never happen (or that the outfit would be worn to shreds before it did!) so I suggested that one prop -- a paper mustache on a stick -- would be enough. When we looked up "mustache images" online, I was looking for good shapes but it was the saying that came with this one that caught J.'s eye. I asked her what it meant and she said it means you have to respect the mustache. I still don't get it. I guess there's a whole mustache culture out there that I know nothing about, lol!
Anyway, she loves the outfit: she likes to be unique and just a little bit silly and this fabric fit the bill. It was lots of fun working with her to make something that she loves and I anticipate this outfit getting lots of wear this summer! Thanks for the fabric, Michelle!