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Posts Tagged ‘Clothes’

  1. Making a Camp T-Shirt Smaller

    June 30, 2015 by Michelle

    I came home tonight to a huge hug from my daughter. Bliss. A few minutes later my husband let me know camp had sent home a t-shirt she needed to wear tomorrow for field trip day. I knew what to expect, but today, I guess I’d just had it.

    I pulled out a youth small. The same size as the last camp t-shirt and the size used whenever she’s gotten to dye-tie t-shirts for one thing or another. On my 5-year old, a youth small is a baggy potato sack dress.

    I had her try it on (even though I knew it would be huge) and went nope, she’s not wearing this. No more tying it 80s style to the side. Who cares about length? The neckline and arm holes are so huge she can’t possibly be comfortable in this t-shirt. That is the exact opposite intent of a t-shirt! So I spent a couple hours making a shirt that started the size of the one on the right, into the one on the left.

    I am very greatful right now that I 

    1. Know how to sew.
    2. Own a serger.

    If you have a small kid and art at all crafty, knowing how to sew comes in handy a lot.

    So I’ll try to think more about how I’m happy I could make this a decent t-shirt for her and less about the fact that I can’t just order a camp t-shirt that fits!


    I wasn’t planning to make this a tutorial when I was working on it, but I’ll provide an outline of what I did so those of you out there who know how to sew have a starting point. (And for my own reference when/if I do this again.)  Baisically, you cut the shirt apart & sew it back together. The only thing you don’t have to redo is finish the collar and hem the sleeves.

    1. Find at shirt the right size for your base.
    2. Fold both t-shirts in half.
    3. Cut the sleeves off on a curve, close to the seam.
    4. Line the top of the shirts up and draw a line parallel to the side of the small shirt allowing for a 5/8 seam.You may want to put this on your child to get a sense of how much of the neckline to take in. 
    5. With right sides together, line up the collar so you won’t have a gap when it’s sewn.
    6. Sew across 1/2 inch to an inch depending on sizing needs. (Try on your kid again, you can always rip out the stitching at this point if you made the neck too small)
    7. After you have the sizing right, if you have a serger, resew/serge the seam. (Or reinforce and trim if no serger)
    8. Next I remeasured against the sample shirt and noted where the armhole would start. Either with a French curve/pattern ruler (or eyeball best you can if you don’t have one) measure out the armhole on the sample shirt and then mark the equivalent on your large shirt, and cut.
    9. Serge the side seams.
    10. Try on your kid again. If those arm holes aren’t right, now is the time to make adjustments
    11. Measure against the sample shirt the size of the sleeves. Again using the French curve, measure and cut to reduce the sleeve length.
    12. Draw a parallel line to the existing seam on the sleeves (right sides together) measuring the width on the size of the armhole.
    13. Serge the sleeves along this parallel line.
    14. Pin the sleeves to the armholes.
    15. Sew/baste the sleeves in place on your normal sewing machine. Serge at seam (or reinforce within 1/4 inch and trim the seam if no serger.)
    16. To hem, first serge a single layer fabric around the base of the shirt to desired shirt length. 
    17. Fold under 3/8 inch and use a double needle to finish the hem.

    I have a few photos I’ll add later when my WordPress app stops crashing.

  2. 9 Month PJs at 14.5 Months

    August 22, 2011 by Michelle

    In the spring, I started buying 6-9/9/9-12 month size clothes for the summer, because I didn’t want to go through two sizes over the summer. Though a bit big, t-shirts worked. But, shorts, leggings, & pjs unfortunately I had to buy from 3-12 month in sizes depending on the brand. But her growth slowed down and really, she’s been a 3-6 month size in most brands, even though I dressed her in some larger clothing. I even have a 0-3 month skirt from last summer that still fits her.

    But this weekend, we hit a milestone: 9 month Carter’s PJs.

    For better or worse, Carter’s sizing is my yardstick. I suppose because they are consistent across clothing type & because everyone seems to have at least some Carter’s clothes. In addition, PJs are my marker of a true clothing size change because they have less wiggle room on sizing. Shorts might have stretchier waists & t-shirts will work snug or baggy. Footie pajamas can only work for a limited time.

    So about 8.5 months later than the average child, we’ve moved to the next size PJ. Unfortunately, Carter’s doesn’t start adding anti-slip grips to the feet of PJs until 12 month size. Good thing we’ve got mostly carpeted floors! Our little walker has been walking in 6 month non-grippy PJs for a few months, and has done okay, but most days this means stripping her to a diaper to run around when she first wakes up in the morning. This has been fine for the summer, but could be a problem when it gets colder.

    Growth Spurt Signs

    There were other signs of this little growth spurt:

    • Hitting her head when she walked under the table.
    • Her big belly shrinking (she tends to fatten up slightly then stretch, which means she goes up & down in pant sizes.)
    • Finding things in her little hands that were previously safe in the middle of bed stands & end tables.
    • An easier time & greater willingness to climb down the stairs (each step used to be like a little jump.)

    Oddly not on this list: eating everything in sight. I thought at one point she seemed to be eating more, but as I look back, no more so than her normal feast to famine eating habits. I’ve thought she was going through a growth spurt a few times before based on food intake. One of those times it actually turned out her growth had slowed down. (Which was right around the time I was starting to buy 9 month clothing.) I’ve come to find eating an unreliable way to predict growth spurts.

    So my next dilemma? What size to buy for fall/winter? Layering helps, but I still need to draw a line. I’ll hold off awhile, but with consignment sale season starting soon, i’ll have to decide in the next several weeks. I’m leaning toward 9 month sizes, but perhaps 12 month is a wise move to take me throughout the whole season?

    Any other moms with slow growers out there (or regular or fast growers) have some clothing buying tips? Leave a comment below.