Monday, September 28, 2009

Birdie kimono set

IMG_11350 by you.

I'm ashamed to admit, I have had this outfit 75% done for the last 2 months, only to get stuck on the binding and put it aside in frustration. Well, the pregnant friend that this was for had her baby last week, which lit a fire under my behind to get it done.

It's the Kimono PJ Set from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones book, generously loaned to me by the above no-longer-pregnant friend. I had the bright idea to do it in flannel instead of cotton, thinking it'd be cozier. This actually worked out fine for the most part, except for the binding, which I foolishly also tried to do in flannel. Here's a tip for anyone trying to make tiny flannel bias tape: don't do it. Trying to get 1/2" flannel single-fold binding to hold a sharp crease was next to impossible. And then folding it over and pinning the now 1/4" on each side? Infuriating.

So instead, I went and bought some double-fold bias tape from the store and sewed it on the "wrong" way (meaning, I just jammed the raw edges into the fold instead of opening it up, sewing along the crease, then folding and sewing again). I also opted to put binding along the cuffs of the sleeves too. I think it added a nice finished-looking touch.

IMG_11346 by you.

Like other Amy Butler patterns I've tried, this was not a difficult project, but there were a lot of steps and the directions can be confusing at times. I think I read them about 20 times before I started, just to be safe. My main complaint though is that the pattern instructions were a bit lacking in common sense.

First off, folding 1/2" hems on the bottom of the pants and the bottom of the kimono top looks totally absurd on a tiny size 0-3 month outfit. I was unhappy enough with how it looked that I ripped it out and sewed a 1/4" hem with an additional row of topstitching along the edge.

IMG_11348 by you.

IMG_11349 by you.

Second, how the heck they expect you to be able to sew the hems on the sleeves is totally beyond me. I ended up ripping open the side seams so that I could open it up flat, sew on the binding, and then sew it back up. If I ever make another one of these, I'm going to be sure to do my hemming BEFORE I stitch everything up and overcast the edges.

A last note about working with the flannel instead of regular cotton: because the weave is a little looser, it is not as forgiving when you make mistakes and have to rip out seams. If you look closely at the pic above of the pants, you can still see all the holes from where the original hem was. Also, the edges tended to fray more easily and the fabric is overall less stiff, so it was a little trickier to keep it pinned into the bias tape. But like I said, it all worked out fine in the end, so don't be afraid to try it. I'm pretty happy with how this outfit turned out, and I'll likely make more in the future.


Nicole said...

Have you seen Angry Chicken's video tutorial for binding? I really like her method!

Unknown said...

I hope some Amber-sized kimono jammies are up next!

Unknown said...

I hope some Amber-sized kimono jammies are up next!

Unknown said...

I don't know why that posted twice.

Michelle said...

Nicole, I have indeed seen that tute for binding and it's worked beautifully for me in the past. But the flannel binding was just too narrow and too floppy to cooperate.


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