Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Magpie Pinafore (and coordinates) for my Magpie.

Hi again! Posting two days in a row? Crazy, I know! I am attempting to do a better job of keeping up with the blog, because I find that if I don't blog an outfit shortly after I make it, I tend to lose interest in the prospect of writing a post. I've read other bloggers express similar sentiments, so I know I'm not alone on this!

This little outfit started with an inspiration pin that I put on my Maggie Sewing F/W 2015 board a while back - a cute printed corduroy jumper/pinafore to wear over long sleeves. I pinned a bunch of other corduroy jumpers on that board as well - clearly I was stuck on the idea! I started shopping around for printed corduroys that would appeal to both Maggie and me, and landed on this Robert Kaufman "Cool Cords Flower Stripe" 21 wale corduroy, which has a fun mod tulip print.

Then I looked around for a cute pinafore pattern. It doesn't seem like indie patterns have much to offer in the "cute pinafore" department. I considered a sleeveless Geranium dress, this vintage pattern I sewed up early last year, and several other vintage options on Etsy, when I remembered - I own a dozen Ottobre magazines! There must be something in one of them ...

When I found this little pinafore (1/2014 #10), called the "Magpie" - well, I knew it was meant to be! While I am more apt to call Maggie "Mags" or "Maggie McGee," Steve often calls her "Magpie."

Of course I had to add a little white piping to that lovely curved yoke seam!

I sewed this up in a size 92 (approximately 2T) with no modifications except that I omitted the lining on the skirt (the pattern instructs you to fully line the jumper, which would be great if you were using a lighter-weight fabric, but isn't necessary for corduroy - the yokes and straps are lined in white poplin).  I also maintained a bit more length in the skirt by facing the hem with some pink hem facing rather than turning up the hem. With two buttons on each shoulder strap (Maggie is using the higher set right now) and a longer skirt, I am hoping that this little jumper will fit next winter as well. I was able to cut this jumper out of just one yard of corduroy, so this is an economical make!

Maggie has actually been pretty under the weather this past week - we've kept her home from school since Thursday for intermittent fevers and now she sounds like an old man who has been smoking a pack a day for 40 years, and is hacking every few minutes, but I think the virus is just taking its course. This is the hardest thing about winters - the neverending viruses! So it took a long time for her to warm up to the idea of a photo shoot, but I managed to get a few smiles out of her notwithstanding the dreadful ick she's fighting.

This tulip corduroy ended up being really perfect for this jumper because it isn't actually directional - it looks good upside down as well as right side up. That's important because the back yoke piece wraps around to form the the straps. I didn't actually think this aspect of the design through before cutting, and I just feel lucky that the different nap and pattern-direction isn't a problem with this fabric! On a more velvety corduory, I think the upside-down nap on the straps would look funny.

When I finished the jumper, I knew I wanted to make a t-shirt and leggings to go under it. This Kaufman Laguna knit in "Cherry" was the perfect color to go with the pink tulips on the pinnie.

For this top, I used another pattern from the 1/2014 issue of Ottobre, this time #11, the "Autumn Forest" jersey top, with the center-front gathers. I love this shape on Maggie, and I see myself making more of these! 

I gathered the front with clear elastic and I bound the neckline with self-fabric, using Ottobre's recommended method, and both turned out really nice! My only complaint was that my off-white serger thread was showing a bit, so I went over the seams on my sewing machine, zig-zagging with pink thread as well. I might have to suck it up and buy some pink serger thread one of these days (shudder - I hate rethreading my serger with different colors, but it does make a difference in the final product!). The Laguna jersey has enough lycra to make a nice and stretchy neckline with decent recovery (not all jerseys do, so be careful with this approach!). The sleeves and bottom of the shirt are simply hemmed with a zig-zag stitch. I added a little length to the shirt to make it more appropriate to wear by itself over leggings and hopefully get a little more life out of it.

The Laguna jerseys are not the easiest to sew - they curl like the very devil - but they have a nice weight and stretch, and feel substantial and sturdy for children's clothing, which is why I keep coming back to them!

The leggings are the "Tiny Path" leggings from Ottobre 6/2013 - a two piece legging (front leg and back leg) with knee patches. I made them once before, here. For the knee patches, Maggie and I chose a polkadot Laguna knit. I don't know how well these go with the Magpie Pinafore, but they sure are cute! I've noticed Maggie has worn holes in a lot of her leggings and they are finally starting to look a bit short on her (miracle of miracle, the child is growing!) so I owe her a few more pairs!

Even though Maggie isn't feeling very well right now, it was obvious that she likes her new outfit! For my part, I am enjoying sewing from my Ottobres! While the instructions are not super-detailed, they do tell you what you need to know, and there are so many styles to choose from!

Well, I better get back to cuddling my poor hacking baby girl. Hope you all have a great week! Have you sewn any Ottobre patterns? What's your verdict?


  1. So adorable! Love the outfit on her, I bet all three pieces get a lot of use! Hope she feels better soon.

  2. Well, you definitely can't tell she is sick in the photos - she is sunny and sweet as ever. And ... those curls! As awesome as the tulip corduroy is (and it is awesome), all I could look at in the photo from the back was her adorable curls. The outfit is super-sweet; it looks very Hanna Andersson to me. Well done, Mama!

  3. That pinafore is adorable!! Hope she feels better soon!!

  4. Love this fabric. Perfect for a pinafore. And I think polka dots probably coordinate with everything when you are tiny and adorable. 😊

  5. Super cute pinafore, and Maggie looks so cute even when sick... poor little thing, hope she's better soon (and that you don't get it!). I've sewn a couple of things from Ottobre and they've been great - they are such good staple patterns to have on hand.

  6. I hope Maggie is better soon, virus season sucks.
    What a cute pinny, I love it!
    I have not sewn with Ottobre but I used to use TopKids which looks very similar. I loved them but tracing was a bit of a nightmare.
    I do have a love affair with vintage and have 100's of them, I had better have a lot of grandchildren.
    xx Nicole

  7. Well, first of all, you totally nailed it based on your inspiration pin - although I would say yours is better than your inspiration. I really love the corduroy you picked and I love that you piped it, too! I thought I spotted that on IG but then wondered if it was the fabric and the way it was pinned. It's hard to tell on those little photos.

    I am really sorry Maggie has been so sick! That is so tough!

    I love Ottobre patterns, but I have wondered recently if I have all the patterns there are to be had at this point. The last few magazines I've received have seemed to be a lot of the same. I mean, 40 patterns per issues is just so many patterns. But I'm afraid to cancel because so many of their issues are just so awesome! I was going to ask you your thoughts on that even before I read this post.

    I hope Maggie feels better soon.

  8. This is awesome! The shape of the front with the piping is perfect. I love pinafores too, and have also had trouble finding a good pattern.
    I've made a couple of Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids pinafores (pattern "r") which is similar to yours, but with a frill on the straps and a shorter yoke.
    I'm definitely going to try to track down this issue of Ottobre to give their version a try.
    And kudos to you for making the shirt and leggings to match!
    I've tried to follow Ottobre's advice and gather with clear elastic, but with disastrous results. Any tips??

  9. Maggie's outfit is perfectly adorable and comfortable looking! I hope Maggie is feeling better!

  10. I love how the dress turned out! That corduroy is so adorable and perfect for this style. The t-shirt and leggings are really cute and the perfect color for your little pink lover! I haven't ever seen from Ottobre-- I should try to get my hands on one since I've seen so many cute things sewn from the patterns.


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