Next on the catwalk are Sophie and Annika looking cool and sweet in matching polka-dot themed ensembles.
Both of these outfits are made from Miss Connie’s bodice and pants patterns. It was fun to adapt them to give a different look to each of the Kidz. Two fat squares of material – one plain, one polka-dot – were ample to make trousers and top, leaving enough left over for a hat as well. I made Sophie a bolero jacket with full-length sleeves to match her crop trousers, and Annika a sleeveless crop top to match her full-length trousers. Annika’s ensemble is completed by a summer hat in the same materials. These are the Kit’s Couture creations which form the core of their outfits.
In addition, Annika is wearing Monique classic ankle strap shoes in cream; and their other garments – Sophie’s pale yellow batiste blouse, her sandals, and Annika’s turquoise jacket – are all part of the summer outfit Annika was wearing when she arrived. These are beautifully made garments from Kidz ‘n’ Cats, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the pale yellow blouse suits Sophie’s delicate colouring better than it does Annika, whose auburn hair and dark eyes are flattered far better by the rich warm yellow of her new outfit.
I began with Miss Connie’s ‘basic elastic waist pants’ pattern which is for full-length trousers. This is another well-cut garment and the trouser legs fit the slim-legged Kidz beautifully. I was focusing on the construction of the garment so didn’t attempt to add any trimmings at all, just put the trousers together as per the pattern instructions – adding an extra half-inch at the waist edge as advised by Connie when she sent through the patterns. This gives at higher rise and adds ease to the garment. I was a little puzzled that the bottom of the legs was cut curved rather than straight across. I’m not sure why this was done and I might well straighten it next time I make up a pair of these trousers. The crop top was easy to adapt from the bodice pattern. It was just a question of deciding how short a crop top I wanted, and then making it up in the usual way, finishing off the edge by folding in both bottom edges and top-stitching them together.
The hat was the real challenge. This was made from Vanina’s ‘tuto chapeau’ pattern, and proved quite tricky to put together. I’ll certainly be making a hat for Sophie from this pattern so will write about that in a later blog when I’ve honed my technique…
When I came to make Sophie’s suit I had got the bit between my teeth and wanted to play around with the patterns a bit more. Miss Connie provided a tutorial on ‘designing pants lengths’, so I followed her excellent instructions to create some cropped trousers. I decorated the leg edges with purple rick-rack braid to make them a bit smarter. I decided to rework the bodice pattern to create a bolero jacket by cutting the back all as one piece, and halving the front pattern piece and curving the inner edge from the neckline to the side seam. Like the crop top, the jacket is lined, with the lining slip-stitched down to neaten around the armhole seams. It turned out to be quite a fiddly little job. I top-stitched around the jacket edges to provide some interest – I definitely need a bit more practice with top-stitching, it’s too easy to wobble! – and I trimmed the sleeve hems with rick-rack braid. The final touch was to add a yellow butterfly button to the left front.
I really like these patterns from Miss Connie. They fit the Kidz ‘n’ Cats dolls beautifully and I can see how they can be readily adjusted to create different styles of trousers and tops. Making these outfits really helped me gain confidence in adapting patterns, and I also began to see how to use trimmings to add interest and individuality.