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Summer Shirts

June 2, 2011

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had been doing a lot of sewing lately.  I think I have found my new perfect pattern, and I kind of want to make 100 variations of it.  But I promised Scott I’d only make 5… in this size.  For now.  Last weekend at Joanns they had Simplicity patterns on sale for 5 for $5.  And I stopped to pick up all four Lisette patterns from Liesl Gibson.  They are originally like $18, so for a buck I made a special trip.  As I was looking for a fifth pattern I came across Simplicity 5695.  It’s just a little peasant top tiered dress, nothing too fancy.  But the picture on the front looks as if it actually would fit a small person. This summer I’ve made probably four or five peasant tops, some from online tutorials, some from a pattern, and some I just made up.  And I hated all of them.  None of them fit Creamie correctly, and I was ready to give up completely on what seems to be the most basic of summer shirts.  Anyway, long story short for $1 I figured I would try it, with a recently thrifted pillowcase.

green shirt

I love it.  A lot.  I shortened the pattern to be a little shirt, and I had to adjust the length of the elastic to fit my skinnier than average child. (For my barely 23 pound 2 year old I used size 2, but adjusted the elastic lengths to be 16 3/4″ for the neck and 7.5″ in each sleeve.)  But it fits her.  And it looks like it fits her.  And that my friends is amazing. (For me… I don’t know why I’ve struggled so much to figure out this simple shirt!)

silly faces

And after I finished this green one, I made a few more.  And emailed my two best sewing friends with little girls in their lives to tell them that I had discovered the most perfect sewing pattern…. and they should go get one too.

the blowing dandelions

I picked up this cherry fabric for a 4th of July shirt, but then got all excited and let her wear it to go fly kites on Monday.  Which is also when she figured out how to blow a dandelion.  See, look how successful she looks!  But I’m sure she’ll be wearing all of these shirts every single week the whole summer.  (The cherries are from the new Riley Blake line Sew Cherry by Lori Holt)


I got the idea for the waist sash/tie thing from this shirt on pinterest, originally from here.  I really like the way that it looks.  And after I got this shirt done I realized that the red and white polka dot sash kind of makes her look like a pirate… Oops.

tire swing

This post is turning out to be longer than I thought it was going to be, but I might as well put all these projects together.

JD purple skirt

I picked up this fabric last week to make a skirt for my friends daughter.  It is Joel Dewberry‘s Aviary 2, and though I’m not really a purple person, these two colors remind me of the lilac bushes that are in my moms front yard.  And after I got this skirt finished I decided I really liked it more than I had originally thought, and I picked up a bit more for another shirt for Creamie.

on the swings

The sash on this one is just a little bit skinnier, but I don’t particularly prefer one over the other.  I like them both.  Oh, and did I mention I love this pattern?  I wish it came in more sizes.  It only comes in a 1/2,1,2 and a 2,3,4.  I hope by the time she outgrows size 4 I’ve figured out how to grade patterns well enough to make some variation of this shirt for the next 10 years.

purple peasant top

I love these last two pictures of her.  And while I was changing her shirt a hundred times at the park (yeah, I’m organized like that) she kept saying “Mama make this shirt for me.  I love it.”  And that my friends is enough motivation to make at least 100 more of these shirts.  I love it too.  And next time you are at your local Simplicity pattern retailer, BUY THIS PATTERN.  It is so far the best $1 I’ve spent in that department. I mean, I’ve made three in a week!  And I’ve never purchased a pattern and had a finished product in such a short amount of time. And I already have fabric pulled out of my stash for two dresses and one more shirt… and I might try one out of knit too.  I am going to be able to make this in my sleep.  Actually, that would maybe be the awesomest thing ever.  Being able to finish projects while I slept?  Will someone develop a pill or a powder or a potion for that?  I’ll be your first customer.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. mindy permalink
    June 2, 2011 2:11 pm

    Love it Erika! They all turned out DARLING!!! I want to go buy a pattern right now. So cute! And I love the sashes, too cute!

  2. Melissa permalink
    June 2, 2011 2:17 pm

    Love it!!! I love the simple style and the fabulous coordinates you picked! It just looks… PERFECT!

    PS, I have a couple white with red prints that seemed to match some of your red, white pink prints you posted a while ago. I bought them to make some skirts, but don’t really like them for it anymore. Let me know if you’re interested in a fabric trade.
    We still don’t know the gender of our baby, but I’ve already started sewing two blankets! As soon as we find out boy or girl, I will be in a mad sewing rage/fabric hunt!


  3. Lynda B permalink
    June 2, 2011 2:22 pm

    Love that cherry fabric, but love the blue nail varnish more! 🙂 made me smile, a trendy girl indeed!

  4. June 2, 2011 3:16 pm

    Amazing & so adorable! I’m attempting to sew a dress tomorrow and am honestly terrified. Inspiring post!

  5. June 2, 2011 3:28 pm

    oh my gosh adorable!!! (makes me want a girl… but then I’d REALLY never get anything done!). 😉

    Love those.

  6. June 2, 2011 4:38 pm

    Love your shirts! I want to make some for my granddaughters. My daughter is giving away free cupcake toppers at Thought you might like them.

  7. June 2, 2011 7:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, you weren’t kidding in your email–they’re perfect! I love them. Especially the green one, but I love the ties on the other two, too. So, so, so cute. I’m going to have to make a few, for sure.

    P.S. I did not think pirate until you pointed it out. Mostly I just think adorable. Love.

  8. lacey permalink
    June 2, 2011 8:28 pm

    Ok, seriously, those are the cutest shirts ever! you should sell them at some boutique and make lots of money! i would totally buy one! i love all of your color combinations as well. Again, you are amazing. 🙂

  9. June 2, 2011 9:35 pm

    I find it refreshing to meet people with smaller-than-average kids. My 2 1/2 year old has been 21 lbs for the last 6 months, but her feet have grown almost 2 sizes. And her pants are getting short. I like her petiteness. She’s not chubby cute, but cute like dollhouse furniture.

  10. Lori K permalink
    June 3, 2011 12:01 am

    Love the little shirts!! They’re so cute in those fabrics!!! Have you tried the Lisette patterns at all? My local JoAnns is moving to a mall- 30 min away instead of 5- and hasn’t gotten any spring or summer patterns. I always get them on sale there. Anyway, those caught my eye right away
    then when I read who the designer was I’ve been wanting to try them even more.

  11. June 3, 2011 3:32 am

    Hey pink, will you make me that shirt with the strawberries? I love these!!!

  12. June 3, 2011 4:30 am

    I want that peasant top in MY size! I just bought a couple Lisette patterns at the $1 sale too! I’m in the process of sewing a top together, and would love to hear your thoughts when you get to those for yourself. Do keep us updated!

  13. June 3, 2011 8:44 am

    A) Love the blue nails
    B) My toenails are currently blue, Creampuff and I should be friends
    C) The first pic is my favorite because look at her GREEN EYES! Love.
    D) She doesn’t look like a pirate, but if you added an eyepatch and a parrot she could pass as one
    E) ….nope, that’s all.


  14. kirsten elkins permalink
    June 3, 2011 11:33 am

    ooooh they are perfect! you did such a great….and speedy…job. gorgeous!

  15. June 3, 2011 11:52 am

    Hi, I’m kind of goofy. I emailed Simplicity. here’s their reply. ” Thank you for writing. I would be happy to help you. In the Child size 3-8 I have a pattern #2377 that is very similar to pattern 5695. For the Girls size 3-14 although I do not have a dress pattern that matches 5695 I do have a skirt and blouse pattern 4206 that has a similar look. ” I also asked if they could add a link or a note on the pattern for upsizing, you know what is the same pattern in the next size up. “I hope this information is helpful and I will pass your request for upsizing information on the website to my superiors. ” is their Reply.

    Why did I do that I really liked your shirts for Creamie and would love to make the same for my five granddaughters, but two of them are size 6 and one a size 8. Two are twins age 2 and wearing a three. We grow them large in Minnesota

  16. June 3, 2011 12:32 pm

    they are adorable, all of them! I esp. love the Joel Dewberry. I love that pattern too. I was looking and there is something sort of similar in the girl’s pattern section, but when I made the 2nd one for Alison i upsized it just by adding some length to each of the pieces because the elastic makes it adjustable. you know what i mean? I’ll send you links to the dresses I made from that pattern. I’m going to make one of these with the sash, so cute.

  17. June 3, 2011 1:20 pm

    Awesome!!! The shirts are too perfect on that little honey. Well done, mommy.

  18. June 4, 2011 5:27 pm

    Ok – I LOVE her nails! 😀

    The shirts are very cute – but with four boys; totally not what I’m looking for. 😉 I do however, love when Simplicity, McCalls, and Butterick do their 5 for $5 or 10 for $10 sales. I now own WAY to many patterns!

    Have you made yourself any of these shirts? (not from this pattern of course)

  19. June 5, 2011 10:21 pm

    You are just amazing. I can never do any alterations to patterns… I am just a sewing klutz! Those little tops are too cute! You should make and sell them…

  20. Heidi permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:27 pm

    Hobby Lobby has Simplicity patterns on sale for $1 this week, so I picked this one up since I remembered your post about it. Can’t wait to make one of the dresses. I think I’ll have to make some shirts too.


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