I am in awe of Anna Maria Horner. Actually I'm in awe of anyone who can sit there and just visualise a sewing pattern and draft it out (although I'm pretty sure there might be a bit more work to it, and possibly a few technical courses thrown in the mix too). Where do the ideas come from the in recesses of someone's brain to have the back leg a little wider than the front leg to perfectly accommodate a little nappy-clad bottom, or to have a two part back yoke to give a bit more dimension where it's most needed, and a dip at the front to take away excess poofiness?
As I said. Awe.
I've made the Quick Change Trousers twice now, and I can only see a growth spurt that puts Kitty way way beyond the pattern sizes and my rough and ready sizing up, putting an end to wanting to make more. The aforementioned little touches of genius make me love them as a Mama trying to persuade a wriggly girl that clothes really are the way to go, and the pattern is written in a nice simple straightforward way, to help me (an advanced beginner on a good day) make trousers that I'm proud to send out into public.
It was -6 this morning so our photo shoot was short and sweet, and involved a lots of layers everywhere for both of us. Kitty stepped outside in both hat and mittens but abandoned them in the herb garden before she'd taken even a few paces so we snapped, hoped for the best, and scuttled back inside. But here they are, the Scoot or Cycle quick change trousers:
I'm torn whether I like these or the pirates best, but on a day like today, flannel lining wins the day.
Kitty certainly had no complaints which is the best you can ask for in a little girl whose vocabulary of actual words stretches little beyond Mama, Dadaaa, Yea, No, Dap (meaning "bring me! bring me that now"), Pow!, Row-row (as in Row, row, row your boat), Hiya (and variations thereon) and a whole hoard of wonderful babbling. (When she was having her bath this evening I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, answer: "Bebe!")
They've still got massive turn ups so I'm glad she's happy wearing them because with a bit of luck they'll last all this winter and be around for next.
The sizing up over the bottom worked really well; these have exactly the right amount of ease for her to play comfortably, with no problems getting them off and on over big nappies, and the slightly wider legs don't cause any problems. The next pair will definitely have the same waist and hip increases, but I might try to shape in towards the ankle back to the original pattern width to see if it makes much difference, or whether she ends up looking like she's sporting 1920's style jodhpurs. I'm also seriously contemplating reversible shorts for the summer, using different fabric for each side and different again for the back yoke. It's true, the possibilities are endless.
What you can't see under all the layers is that the best match I have for a top half is a cream long sleeve t-shirt. Perfectly acceptable but not very exciting, and after the last aqua marl t-shirt in the right size sold out of the Mini-Boden sale before I could get to the computer yesterday, and my favourite Molo basics don't seem to do a turquoise, I'm a little out of ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions for a long sleeved shirt that might match? In the meantime I'm cutting a swatch of the fabrics to carry around in my workbag and planning an onslaught on the baby shops of Birmingham during this week's lunch hours.
The Bare Necessities
Pattern: Quick Change Trousers from Handmade Beginnings
Size: 18-24 months (the largest size) with 0.5 inch added to the outside of each pattern piece.
Fabric: Sherbet Pips Pink Skaters (cotton) and Michael Miller Bicycles (cotton flannel) both from Fabricworm in their Thanksgiving sale - I can't see either on their site at the time of writing.
Time to make: an evening for the cutting out, two naps and another evening to finish - about 6 hours start to finish.
Would I make it again: Yes. Definitely. Watch this space.