Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Lion Dungarees

You knew I'd be back with more Clothkits stuff didn't you? In my defence I was not just satisfying my own kit needs, I was making sure I was being equal with the kids. I have this inbuilt sense of fairness about my two, and if I do or make something for one of my children I have to equalise it with the other. I think it's because my mum did that with my brother and I. That meant that I had to force myself (haha) to choose an outfit to make for my boy. I loved the dungarees so went for a pair of them but was deliberating between the funky car ones and the lion ones.

I decided to go for the super retro orange and red lions because he loves lions...and because I can only get away with dressing Povey in this kind of thing while he's still small ;) I'm guessing that they must have been based on some of the original Clothkits designs, if this classic catalogue shot is anything to go by!

The kit was as super kitty as I could want and again I made them in one evening but to be honest that was because I COULD NOT STOP! I finally completed them (save trying them on my boy to do the hems) at 2.00am!

I was in such a hurry to make them I forgot to take a photo of the whole thing before I cut them out but managed to find this photo online. All other photos here were taken by me or Clothkits.

Considering they were a pair of dungarees I was surprised by how easy they were to put together. The most fiddly bit was sewing around the elastic at the back. They did come up rather small I felt. I made them in the largest size, which is meant to be suitable on a 4 year old, and they only just fit Povey at 3! Then again he isn't a small lad.

Povey himself loves them but was rather reluctant to be photographed! I finally managed to convince him to let me near him with the camera on day two of wearing them and these three shots are all I could get! His expression in the first one is priceless but doesn't reflect his opinion of the dungarees honest (I think the fact this was day two of wearing after he made me wash them overnight shows he likes them!) it was more in objection to being made to sit still!

Back soon (hopefully) with some more (non-Clothkits!) sewing projects!

Sunday, 7 June 2009


I have long coveted a Clothkits pattern to make up. Unlike many it's not something I remember from my childhood, (mother sewed a lot for us but as this was in the mid-80s she missed Clothkits's heyday by a few years) it was last year when they had their major relaunch that they first came to my attention. For one their prints are just so gorgeous! Bright colours and retro styles, right up my street! The other thing that appealed was the whole "kit" idea. Now anyone who knows me well knows that I love a kit... of any kind; fajita dinner kits, pamper you kits, nail kits, craft kits, kit kits just any kind of kit! I even like the meals you get on planes because they're like a little kit. Clothkits's kits just looked perfect but until now I had resisted as they just seemed rather expensive and we are poor as church mice! A nudge from a lovely friend and a well-timed sale meant I finally submitted and ordered their Stop! Traffic Lights Frock Kit for Papaya.

The kit arrived the very next day and was suitably pleasing in it's kitness. Inside the tissue paper was not only the printed fabric but also the buttons, thread and lables I would need to make it up.... oh and the all important instructions!

Clothkits designs come all ready printed onto the fabric. Every piece was there, even the lining. You then just cut it all out (you don't even have to leave selvage around, it's all been worked out for you!) and sew it up. Easy peasy!

It really was easy peasy too! I can only ever sew in the evening once the children are in bed and then I have to do it on the dining table so must clear away before morning. I was therefore very grateful that the dress just took the one evening to complete, bar the hem which I needed Papaya to model it for!
It was so super simple, no matching of notches, the pieces just fit together. It makes you wonder why we ever bother with patterns and all that nonsense!

The only sticky point I had was with the back of the dress where the halves of two cars had to be matched. The instructions didn't tell you to do it, so it wasn't until I turned the dress right way out that I noticed the problem. It looked okay mismatched but I couldn't bear it! At that point I couldn't unstitch the whole thing so I had to try and restitch from the inside to even it up. I did my best and if you don't look too closely it's pretty good.

I decided to forgo the buttons that came with the kit and instead used some poppers (matching the yellow colour to the road lining) for ease of dressing.... and because I'm not much good at buttonholes ;) Here is my Papaya modelling it, I reckon the poppers work well with the modern print on the dress.

I am now properly addicted and have my eye on more of the range, including maybe a skirt for me. I still reckon they're pretty expensive so had better start saving up!

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