Shirts are one of the hardest things for me to find for Raileigh. Her torso is so long, so shirts in her size range are often too short. When I go up a size, I find that shirts tend to be too wide. So, I have decided to try and make more of Raileigh’s shirts. I decided that I would just start with the spring shirts since winter hopefully won’t last too much longer. When browsing for patterns of tops that I could make, I found an absolutely wonderful shop called Little Chickadee Patterns.
Katie is the wonderful lady behind this shop. She is a mother of 3 with a talent for pattern making. Luckily, Katie decided to share her creative skills with us. But, before I share about the pattern that I fell in love with at Katie’s shop, let’s get to know her a bit better. I am pleased to introduce Katie Varela of Little Chickadee Patterns!
Name and Location: Katie Varela in Laguna Hills, CA
Where did you get your etsy shop name from? I call my daughter Little Chickadee (it’s one of her nicknames, anyway). The reason I got into sewing clothes in the first place was her, so it felt appropriate to name the shop after her.
What inspired you to open your etsy shop? I stay at home with our children, and my husband works hard to provide for us. I like doing something that can bring in a little bit of extra money, but I have little time. Creating and selling patterns is perfect for me because it doesn’t require hours of work for each order; I put in the hours on the front end in creating the pattern, and then I can just send it to people.
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do? Read, blog, go out to eat, make music, sleep.
Is there any craft you don’t know how to do but wish you did? My best friend started to teach me to crochet once. Then we both had kids.
What is your greatest accomplishment is life this far? Motherhood. While I am nowhere near the finish line (our kids are 4, 2, and 1), I do feel I have grown and learned so much through becoming a mother.
If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would you choose? I’m never good at answering these questions. Perhaps Ronald Reagan.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Married to my wonderful husband, doing fun stuff with our kids, participating in ministry at our church.
Where would you most like to travel to? I’d love to go to Italy for our 10-year anniversary (hint, hint, honey!).
What is your favorite children’s book? Matilda by Roald Dahl
The pattern that I was drawn to in Katie’s shop was the circle top shirt. I love it because it is unlike any other patterns that I have seen. If I am going to spend my time creating clothing for Raileigh, I prefer that it be unique and different. Additionally, I could tell that if would be easy for me to adjust the length of the shirt to fit Raileigh. So, I decided that this light and airy shirt would be an excellent spring wardrobe addition.
Katie quickly sent the pattern as a pdf file to my email address. I could not wait to get going! First, I read through the entire pattern. It was very easy to follow Katie’s written directions. Plus, she includes pictures to illustrate each step of the pattern. The pattern pieces are located at the end of the pdf file. Katie included a piece to cut out for the circular neck. She gives dimensions for the rectangular body piece. There is even a quick and easy to follow bias tape tutorial if you would like to include this on the arm holes or bottom hem.
The next step was to get prepared to sew. I started by pre-washing my fabric. This used to be a step I absolutely hated. However, with a toddler, you want finished garments that can thrown in the washer and dryer. So, I started pre-washing all my fabrics so that they are easier to care for. Next, I cut and prepared all of my pattern pieces. I created a rectangular pattern piece for the body using freezer paper. I labeled it with the correct size so that I can use it again when I make more circle top shirts.
It was finally time to sew! You begin by creating the neck of the shirt. The most time consuming part of this pattern is ironing the raw edges of the neck under. However, it is essential to the finished look of your garment that you take the time to do this well. In the end, I was very glad that I spent some extra time on this. When I got to creating arm holes on the body of the shirt, I decided to use bias tape to finish the raw edges. I absolutely love using bias tape. It is a bit time consuming as well, but the finsihed product is well worth the time.
After I gathered the body of the shirt, it was time to attach the body to the top. I was a bit nervous about catching all the layers of the shirt in my stitching, so I decided to use a zig zag stitch as opposed to a straight stitch. I was a bit worried how this would look visually, but I am quite pleased with the results.
It was time to create the buttonhole for the closure. Creating buttonholes has always scared me. I have a buttonhole foot, but I never, ever use it. Several months ago, I learned how to create a buttonhole using a zig zag stitch. So, this is the method I used. You can create a closure for the circle top using two smaller buttons or one larger one. I went with one larger one. After that, I hemmed the bottom edge of the shirt and I was done!
I instantly had to try it on Raileigh. It fits perfectly! I love how the gathers at the top of the shirt make it a bit puffy. Plus, the extra flowy fabric make the shirt not look so fitted against her little body, which I also like. The button closure makes it easy to slide the shirt over Raileigh’s head. I think this may be the absolute perfect spring shirt!
I am extremely pleased with Katie’s circle top shirt pattern. The directions are very clear and easy to follow. The pictures make it ideal for visual learners to follow along. If you are ever unclear as to what to do, Katie is just an email away. I also like that there are only a few pattern pieces. This means I get to spend less time preparing and more time sewing! I also really appreciate the way that Katie packages her patterns. You can buy all size ranges of a pattern for one price, or you can purchase only the baby or toddler sizes for a cheaper rate. This is great for moms like me who have surpassed the baby sizes or for moms who are just looking to make a garment in a specific size.
I am so excited that Katie is going to do a giveaway here at Wee Share. And, there is going to be THREE winners! That’s right! Each of the three lucky winners will get to choose one pattern from Little Chickadee Patterns! Thank you, Katie, for such a generous giveaway!
PLEASE NOTE: SOME EXTRA ENTRY OPTIONS HAVE CHANGED. PLEASE CAREFULLY READ THE OPTIONS BEFORE LEAVING YOUR COMMENT. ANY ENTRY THAT IS NOT LISTED HERE WILL BE DELETED!
Mandatory Entry (MUST be done before any extra entries will qualify)- Go to the Little Chickadee Patterns Etsy Shop. Tell me which of Katie’s patterns you would choose if you are the winner (feel free to also mark the pattern as a favorite on etsy!).
Extra Entries (Must leave a separate comment for each entry):
– 1 extra entry- Heart the Little Chickadee Patterns Etsy Shop
– 1 extra entry- PUBLICLY follow Wee Share using Google Friend
– 1 extra entry- subscribe to Wee Share via email (must be activated to count)
– 1 extra entry- follow WeeShare on twitter (include your twitter ID)
– 1 extra entry- tweet about this giveaway (may be done daily) You can use this tweet: Create beautiful spring clothes 4 your child Win your choice of pattern from Little Chickadee Patterns @WeeShare! http://tinyurl.com/yzndc5d
– 2 extra entries- Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back to the giveaway (please include web address of blog in your comment)
– 2 extra entries- add my button to your blog. Let me know where I can find it!
– 10 extra entries- Make a purchase from Little Chickadee Patterns. Make sure to let Katie know that you found he at Wee Share. Let me know what you bought!
Giveaway will end at 11:59 EST on March 10, 2010. Open WORLDWIDE- everyone can enter! Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond before I choose a new winner.