If you look back on last season's Kid's Clothes Week post you'll remember how much fun I had upcycling a dress shirt for my little lady. I was super into it and really excited for this season to start. Of course I had grand plans which didn't quite come to fruition, but I did have a lot of fun and each kid got a piece of clothing that has not been removed since the photos were taken. I consider that a success.
The spring theme for Kid's Clothes Week is Wild Things which allows for a huge variation of clothes depending on which way you want to go. I had originally thought of carving animal stamps and printing my own fabric, but when i dropped by the store down the street to buy a stamp making kit it had sold it. Probably just as well as I would have made myself crazy trying to perfect a new craft the week of KCW. I went back to the drawing board and decided on stenciling instead.
I've tried a few different methods in the past but always come back to Dana's freezer paper method on Made. It's quick and easy and highly effective. The three things I treasure in sewing these days.
For Curly Sue I had been envisioning a short sleeve tunic sweatshirt. I had seen one at Gap this winter and really loved the style of it. I consulted my friend Erin over at Hungie Gungie on the best raglan sleeve pattern to use and she suggested Oliver and S's Field Trip Raglan. Great tip. The top is a little boxy for what I wanted so I used an 18 month size (she's a 2T) with a 4T length. I cut the sleeves pretty short and got pretty much exactly what I wanted.
I just pulled my serger out of storage and I've been on a knit kick this last week. I'm kind of obsessed with the speed and professional look that a serger can give you. I cuffed the sleeves and hem with a little tricky serging and found that I love this shirt. I warmed up my serger and knit skills with this great video from Dana's Made Everyday YouTube channel. It's worth checking out for some solid sewing techniques.
To work the Wild Things theme into my tunic, I decided to stencil a large elephant on the side seam. I really love Indian block printing and thought this would be a fun way to incorporate an animal into my shirt. I googled Indian Elephant Block Print and got a lot of great possibilities. I tried to find the right mix of interesting but not too complicated. This stencil was definitely tedious at times, but I'm really thrilled with the outcome.
Here's my image from google. I used a picture of a block and inverted the colors so i could easily trace around the elephant.
Here's my freezer paper stencil that I traced over my google image. You can see me trying to figure out light and dark space. It gets a little confusing in the depths of the belly.
Here's the stencil as I'm transferring the pieces to the fabric. I had to do some improv in places where lines didn't quite match up. The nice thing about block printing is it's meant to have variation so I wasn't too particular.
And here's the finished stencil. I used Tulip fabric paint that is a little heavy on fabric, but I liked the silver glimmer with the elephant. I also had to battle the side seam a bit because it was hard to iron pieces over the seam, but I just touched up a little after the fact. I'm so happy with the whole process. I find that I have a lot of ideas in my head that don't always make it to fabric like I want but this was a success!
Now my little dude has been asking for some clothes for a while. Between making samples for our spring line and fun dresses for Curly Sue, he's definitely gotten left out. So this was the perfect time to try my hand at the Mini Hudson Pant from True Bias. While I was still in my stamp-making phase I thought I might make him some Nantucket crab pants. But sometimes I think less is more and opted for just a sneaky dinosaur in his pocket. He approved. (I think.)
With my serger out of the box these pants went together so fast. And he loves them! I mean loves them. He's a bit of a bean pole so I cut the 4T size with a 5T length. They fit great. And he loves to run in them. The fabric is a super soft Rayon/Spandex from Mood Fabrics that has a nice thickness to it. And there's definitely enough left for leggings for our other minion.
The only thing I'd do different is stencil the dinosaur onto the pocket before i made the pants. That seems obvious but I was in a rush and wanted him to try them on before the waistband was on. And I wanted a little surprise. So if you open up the pocket you'll see it's just a floating Triceratops head. Oops.
Overall my crew is super psyched about this spring's Kid's Clothes Week. And me too. It's definitely worth checking out the Kid's Clothes Week blog to see all the inspiring Wild Things clothes. Thanks for following along!