Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sew Elena: Circle Shorts & a woven Nessie

Elena didn't need another outfit. At all. But she got a new one anyway because I was so inspired by a recent post from my Finnish friend, Krista, who blogs at Helmoja ja hepeneita. (She is awesome by the way.) So the outfit Krista made her little girl just spoke to me, or screamed at me actually, that even if Elena didn't need the outfit, I needed the experience of making it. Sewing this sweet outfit was a real joy. Go ahead and laugh at me, I'm used to it.

Even though this make was largely about me, I tried to at least think a bit about how these pieces could fit into her fall/winter wardrobe and be useful and appealing to her. Some leftover gray ponte de roma sounded like the perfect choice for the circle shorts. The wrong side of the fabric will slide nicely over thick tights on cold days.

Circle shorts? Yep. I think this goes beyond culottes. My not so ladylike 4 year old can squat on a rock and be covered so that is cool. To make a pattern piece, I combined a full circle skirt pattern piece which is a quarter circle (you with me?) with a flat front shorts pattern. I laid a transparent piece of paper over the 2 pieces and traced the quarter circle skirt for the side seam and the crotch curve of the shorts for the inner seam. So basically a quarter circle skirt piece with a crotch curve extending out one side. The waists matched up so it was easy. The waistband is a separate piece with 3/4" elastic inside. I made a muslin and it looked good so I went with it and used up the last of that ponte, pretty much.

The shorts also have 2 patch pockets on the front for a bit of decoration, while keeping them neutral.

So the top uses up more of that thrift store gingham sheet used also for her Mini Sutton blouse because it is just a muslin, technically. Some people (i.e. my husband) may think it is too babyish. But I like my little girls to look like little girls and not miniature teens or adults so it suits my taste. Classic little girl. She is my last and I want to enjoy this stage for a while longer.

Now you will fully know the depth of my love for the CINO Nessie Top pattern, because this is a Nessie! Why buy another patten, and print it, and tile it, and trace it....  The Nessie had all the lines I was looking for and really only needed a few modifications to be made in a woven. Mostly with the bodice pieces of course.

So the front and back pieces of the Nessie are the same except for the neckline and she includes an option for a color blocked yoke on the front piece so that made it easy to cut the back as 2 pieces just like the front. I cut 2 upper fronts on the fold, and 4 upper back pieces not on the fold and adding about an inch to the center to make room for a placket. The lower halves were cut as usual except for adding a few inches to the center - more on the front piece than the back piece - to be able to gather it up. In addition to the button opening, I put a continuous placket into the back skirt piece so it goes on really easy. I also cut the long sleeves slightly fuller than the pattern piece since there is no stretch.

If I do this top again in a woven, I'll go up one size for a little more wiggle room. She has worn this the rest of the day so it must be comfortable, but I think it would be better just a little bigger. Don't you love it when they don't want to change out of the outfit after pictures? It's a great reward for me.

 If you've made it this far, I want to thank you for that and I want to thank Krista again for the inspiration. Now go check out her blog because she is so, so good.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Angela, I love your shorts! They are better than what I made, they look exactly what I would have wanted my shorts to look but since I made them out of an old mens' shirt I just couldn'd get them as wide as I would have wanted to. And what a great way to make your pattern. And Elena likes them - yes!! My daughter also wore yesterday her culottes :). That shirt you made is a perfect match with the shorts too, all in all it's a very classic and elegant outfit with beautiful color combination. It was nice to inspire you and thank you for all your lovely words ❤.


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