I am relatively new to the world of sewing kids’ clothes, but as I began to follow some sewing blogs, I noticed that Project Run and Play came up again and again. I had been enjoying being a spectator, but decided that it would be fun to hop on board with the monthly sew-alongs and see what I could come up with. The February challenge is to come up with an interpretation of the Mademoiselle Muscle Tee, which is a great basic (and free!) pattern and tutorial from Living With Punks. Now, it is still pretty chilly where I live, and while I can certainly see using this pattern again for some cute summer tops, it is hard to wrap my mind around that at the moment. Still feeling inspired by this season’s Kids’ Clothes Week upcycling theme, I decided to use the pattern to make a little sweater vest.
The black sweater fabric was my old J Crew cardigan (a merino, cashmere, nylon blend), which I had retired because the sleeves were disintegrating – cuffs, elbows, there were so many holes that it was beyond patching. This was my first time cutting up and re-using a sweater that hadn’t been felted, and it went fairly well, except for the back, which required some piecing. It’s OK, but the cables don’t quite match up, so we won’t look too closely at that part:) For the neck and armholes, I used a silky-soft cotton/bamboo knit from l’Oiseau Fabrics, cut on the bias for diagonal stripes. I pretty much followed the pattern and tutorial as written, although I made the neck binding a bit wider. I also re-used the ribbing around the bottom of the original sweater, which gives it a slightly different shape than the original pattern.
I knew I wanted to add some sort of adornment, since E would find it way too dark and plain, and there were also a couple of small holes that needed to be camouflaged. And so, the poppy decorations were born. They are made of wool felt, with sparkly black buttons sewn in the centres. I’m happy to report that this one has received the stamp of approval from the kidlet – it’s super soft and snuggly, but it was definitely the flowers that sold her on this one, since she loves poppies!
E had a great time running around in the porch of a neighbourhood church, a location which I picked out because it is really cloudy and dark outside, and I hoped that all the white would help brighten up the pictures (photos in my house are a no-go at the moment – everything is coming out dark and blurry). She was also excited to wear her brand new red shoes instead of snow boots. And there you have it – my winterized version of the Mademoiselle Muscle Tee!