{Kids Clothes Week} Upcycled Bee-utiful Hemp Racer Back Singlet

Kids Clothes Week is back and this time I am determined to finish the whole week!!  Just one hour of sewing each day, for kids. Then next week I'll do things for me [wink].

I am so so pleased with how this Bee-utiful Hemp racer back singlet turned out. Not just with my sewing skills but with my newly found shit hot pattern making skill!

This is what happens when:
A. the power is out and you can't sew your ALREADY cut to sew pile, which you have done in your attempt to actually succeed at Kids Clothes Week
B. there is a whole box full of clothing that you just can't bear to throw away, even things Mr Toffee Tree has discarded them from his wardrobe several years earlier (or that you have purchased from the salvos for upcycling)
C. you don't have a pattern and can't just download another one because of problem A.
D. you have enough determination to get ONE THING FINISHED.

Had the power been on, I perhaps would have downloaded the Doli Tank by Lou Bee Clothing. Or maybe the Shandiin Tank. That's pretty cute too. Anya pulled this bee fabric out a few days ago and asked me for a bee top. She is now completely fussy and doesn't always want to wear what I make her.

How did I do it? 

I took the Fawn Lily Tunic pattern pieces in a size 3 and pattern hacked it, flipped it & made it mine. I like the hemline on this pattern and the fit around the chest is pretty good for Anya, so I knew I wouldn't have to alter too much. I laid the front pattern pieces together, traced around them and voila, a front singlet piece. Truth be told. It wasn't exactly voila. I did what I have never done before and made a muslin! I didn't want to waste that precious hemp shirt!! 

I did the same for the back piece, sketched out my own  racer back, making sure the top of the straps on each front and back piece was the same width, and that the arm to hem length was the same on front and back. I cut and pinned up the muslin. I did need to do a little bit of armhole and neckline tweaking (a few times x a little bit), but I'm happy with what I ended up with.

By this time (and yes, I'd used up my one hour for the day) the power was back on, kids were home from school and while I was supposed to be cooking dinner, I sewed up the muslin. There was only unpicking of the side seams once before finally hacking up the back panel of Daddy's hemp shirt to put the 'real one' together.

One of the things that didn't appeal so much to me about the Doli tank pattern, and perhaps why I hadn't bought it before, was the armholes look enormous and a bit gapey. So I tried really hard not to make them huge on this top. They are probably still a bit big, but that's the trade off when sewing with a woven fabric - you still need to be able to put it on and take it off comfortably.

I love the curves to the bottom of the hem. The original hemp shirt had a curved hem, which I kept when I cut the fabric. I ended up folding this under because the whole top was a bit long. I could have made it shorter again, but it really is fine. I like kick out at the bottom of the A-line bodice. It's cute, it sits and swings nicely when Anya runs around! There is a tiny bit of high-low hem happening too.

And I'm not totally sure what I did with the racer style back - it's not quite symmetrical. I suspect my cutting wasn't quite perfect *shock*, rather than the sewing. I noticed it before I stitched the bias trim on it and thought maybe it would even up after it was sewn on. Didn't. I'll probably cringe every time I look at Anya wearing it now.

She's pretty smitten with it at least!

Have you got a stash of old things to magically turn into other things? Want to join me for Kids Clothes Week? Click on the link to the right and go sign up to see what everyone else it making!

If you have made something for Kids Clothes Week this week, be sure to let me know and leave a link to your blog in the comments!

x Michelle


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