I have lived in Florida for about 8 years now, and I have never witnessed such a cold winter. It has been very cold, and of course, I have had to pull out many german sweaters that have been sitting in my closet for years. I am very thankful for the fact, that I decided to keep them, even though they have been collecting a lot of dust over the last years. I have even worn what I like to call my “Russian Coat”, which is a large very heavy fake fur coat that I bought over 20 years ago. It may not look like new anymore, but it is soooooo warm. Love it. I get stopped all the time when I wear it, because in Florida you cannot find anything like it in the stores. Needless to say, I am relieved to know that I have the clothing that is necessary for this weather.
My children on the other hand are a completely different story. I have sweaters, and jeans, and leggings, but nothing in wool, and very little in corduroy. I think this is the first time I really needed to sew for Olivia. As you can imagine, her closet stays quite full. So I started to pull a few fabrics that I bought from Germany and decided I needed to make something fast and warm. So here is what I got. This is an old fabric I bought years ago specifically for Olivia. I only bought a yard because HILCO fabric is expensive. I believe this was called the Pippy Longstocking fabric. Anyways, Olivia picked it out, and wanted me to make something nice.
I decided to use the Lucy Lou pattern from Felicity Sewing Patterns. I chose to make a size 5, because that is typically the size I use and buy in the stores. It is a simple jumper pattern, and the author includes lots of options including ruffles for the straps. Very cute. The pattern was easy to follow, and her instructions are written very clearly. I ran into two problems. A size 5 was huge on my Olivia. She is about 21″ in the chest, which according to her pattern I would have needed to cut out a size 18mos. ????? So not paying any attention to the measurement guide, I cut out a size 5, and not only could two Olivia’s fit into the jumper, but it was much too long. So I removed the skirt, and cut 3 inches from the length. Instead of taking in the side seams, I decided to use an old trick, and placed elastic underneath the arms. Olivia is skinny and small. Although she is almost 7, a size 5 fits her perfectly. As a matter of fact, on most patterns, I have to give her a size 6 in length. So this pattern runs a bit big compared to others I have used in the past.
The elastic helps pull in the width, and brought the top up another 1/2″, which is just what I needed. The other problem I ran into was putting the pattern together. I no longer own a color printer. I was tired of buying a new one every year, and tired of the ink drying out all the time. I own a laser printer now, and I love it, but it will not print out colored patterns. For the first time, I had a really difficult time putting a pattern together, and determining what size to cut.
So in conclusion, I intend to make this pattern again even though it ran so big. Next time I will make it in a size 3 or alter the width of the pattern for that size. The straps will have to remain a size 5. I do love the pattern for its’ simplistic chic and the various options it has to offer. Tops like this are a perfect accessory for leggings or jeans in the cooler months. I was just hoping to find a pattern I could use in my shop, but this is not one of them.