When it comes to something like me participating in Kids Clothes Week you might say “Roxanne! You already sew for your kids all the time!” but I like using the week to focus and prioritize my sewing projects. I really appreciate opportunities like sewing prompts, challenges, and testing because on my own I tend to be very “Ooh! Shiny and NEW!”, then I ignore whatever I had been working on. I often have trouble motivating myself to stick with a project without some sort of deadline looming and sewing community events gives me that grounding.
Pattern Revolution has recently been running a series called “Top Stitchers” where a blogger goes head to head against a member of Pattern Revolution in a sewing challenge. I have loved following the series and all the prompts! Needless to say I was especially keen on the Upcyclists challenge. With the theme of “March Madness” the competitors were challenged to create a child’s spring time outfit incorporating upcycled athletic wear. Seeing that challenge was my big “Hey! I could do that!” moment of the series. Then I realized that we don’t wear much athletic wear and I wondered if I could find something suitable for the challenge in the bins of clothing waiting to be re-made up in the attic.
The big athletic piece I found is a pair of orange ripstop capris that during a purge I decided that the rise was always a bit low for my taste but I loved the orange color so they went into the upcycle bin rather than the donation pile. Sure ripstop capris might not be the first thing you may think of when you hear “athletic” but if I’m being athletic outside of the house that is exactly what I wear. I selected a few other bits to upcycle along side the capris because I wanted to do something a but more than just downsizing the capris and selected pieces based on how comfortable the materials would be to wear outdoors during an athletic activity. I love the breathability of cotton so it dominated how I selected coordinating pieces.
For my pattern choices I was inspired in part by a contest that UpCraft Club is running where you sew up one of the children’s patterns sold in the shop with the inspiration of “High Fructose”. All the snazzy orange hues and the pinks/yellows on the sheet made me think citrus. Kudos to whoever selects the patterns for the shop because I just so happen to own quite a few of them and it took me a while to prioritize sewing to one or two patterns rather than the “SEW THEM ALL” part of my brain was chanting.
I have been itching to sew up the Clemence Shorts by Filles à Maman and made the choice based on the variety of coordinating bits I had to upcycle. I thought the overall design would be perfect for utilizing several “fabrics”.
I loved the resulting blend of the orange utilitarian ripstop with the softness of the floral printed cotton sheet and blue menswear print. Poor Pen has been sprouting teeth so a lot of this outfit was sewn very slowly with a snoozing baby in my lap and the scallops are not what they could have been with two hands available and no baby in my lap, but I think the shorts still turned out great nonetheless.
Also wanting to make a coordinating top, I selected Charlie Dress by Mingo & Grace. Not wanting to compete with the scallops on Clemence and wanting to make the dress more of a top length, I left off the bottom ruffle which turns Charlie into the perfect a-line top. Since the fabric was slightly see through I fully lined the top and left off the bias trim to keep all the attention on both the orange gingham and the silhouette of the top.
Pen is a bit smaller than the 12 month size for both the patterns. I reduced the elastic on the shorts by 1″ and added a 1″ hem on the top to make both pieces a bit smaller but still allowing plenty of room for Pen to grow.