Monday, November 25, 2013

Mission: Secret Squirrel and a Pattern Review Thrown In

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 Have you heard about Secret Squirrel? Well if not, go check out what he is all about.  Basically, he's a world traveler who gets to visit various lucky bloggers and give out secret missions(5 acorns). Sounds kind of fun right? Well being the geography buff that I am and loving a good challenge to tie things together, I've been meaning to sew along for the past couple of months. But as always, life happens and my ideas never quite make it out of my head.  
This month however was different, because each of the things I envisioned were things I already had plans to make. Convenient, nah(that would be German for 'Right"'s getting late here and I'm a little loopy)?
First up let me tell you the "Acorns":
Those would be 1. Where the Wild Things Are, 2. Blue, 3. David Bowie, 4. Pockets and 5. Great Britain.
Now on to my probably can't see them all that well in the lousy photos, but it was dark and I haven't figured out the camera's flash. While it doesn't do the outfit justice, I think the yellow glow effect looks kind of cool.
Here they are:
1. Furry vest
2. Blue button on the pants and a blue zipper as well(I only had a navy blue 4" zipper so this was by default)
3. Ruffly white shirt...think of the movie Labyrinth. That's the first thing that came to mind when I thought of David Bowie.
4. Pockets on the pants with...
5. A British flag sewn on to them.
And here's the cool thing, the pants I had already lined up to review, the vest was from the dress pattern that I just reviewed and I promised to make Sophia a furry one from it and the white shirt she needed for an upcoming chorus concert. The only thing I really had to think about was how to add Great Britain and on the black stretch denim I think the flag looks totally trendy.
So how did I do with Secret Squirrel's mission?
 The shirt is a completely made up pattern and the ruffles were made from circles. I'm trying to decide if the vest even warrants a was so easy and simple. I used the vest pattern from Simplicity 1787.
As for the pants (you can see the blue in the button) here's the run down:
Pattern: Burda kids 9500
Again, it's one I picked up at JoAnn's a little while back because Sophia wanted some skinny jeans. It comes in sizes 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13jun and 14jun. I'm assuming the 'jun' means junior and I'm not sure how that changes the sizing by adding that. I sewed them up in a size 10. 
Special Materials: You'll need a 4" zipper, button and some interfacing and the fabric called for is stretch blend fabrics. I used a stretch blend denim with some spandex in it. It was a dream to sew with...stretchy like a knit but sewed like denim.
Skill level: I would say intermediate. Burda is not heavy on the pictures or explanations when it comes to their directions. I think they assume you know a lot going into a pattern like this. That being said, I think you could figure this one out even if you've never sewn a zipper fly before.
I pretty much stuck to the pattern...until I realized it was not fitting well. Which leads me to the good, bad and ugly.
Good: A great classic of a pattern with a great skinny jean look.
Bad: My legs were kind of wonky looking and were twisting around...probably my fault, but I've noticed that some of my store bought skinny jeans do this, so maybe it's a skinny jeans problem. Any thoughts? Also a bad, Burda has you basting EVERYTHING before practically each step...I skipped this a lot.
Ugly: The rise is really too low in the back and the rear end didn't fit quite right. I ended up taking the back seam in by another inch to help it fit better. If I were to make this again, which I will despite this all, I will add a couple of inches to either the back yoke or back leg pieces to bring the back up a little bit and I will take off some from the width.
 Overall I'll give it and 1/2. I gave it the half because I think it is such a classic pattern and it really wasn't that hard to put together.


  1. Cute outfit Sally! You were creative with the inspiration given! You have made quite a few pairs of must find it worthwhile?

    1. Gina, Thanks! I have 2 girls with completely different types of bodies and what works for the older is not working for the younger...that means hand me downs are a no-go. Also for my oldest daughter our hand me down pool has dried up so I found that both of them needed pants. The knit pants I made for my youngest were definitely worth it, knit was on sale and I was able to whip up 3 pairs of the oliver & s knit pants in 2 hours. These jean type pants were not that hard to make, but would probably only be worthwhile if you could find some material on sale or super cheap (I'm thinking I could probably get a pair out of a XXXL pair of mens jeans I picked up at Goodwill or something like that). That being said, it was worth my while because I got the fabric cheap and I could basically custom make jeans to fit Sophia's petite body. She declared yesterday that they were her 2nd favorite thing I made for her (the altered Nature Walk pullover is still her favorite).

    2. I find making my daughter pants totally worth it because she is very thin. Even with adjustable waists, RTW does not fit her very well. And once you get the hang of a fly zipper, they really are not hard.

  2. Great job! I always think of Labyrinth when I hear David Bowie too.
    I think the skinny jeans turned out great.

    1. Thanks Theresa! Funny how I can't picture him as anything else. I think because the movie was one of the first I remember ever seeing, it made such an impression in my mind.

  3. Those pockets are super cool!
    I have a question... I was curious to know about tweens right now and their hobbies and what accessories they wear. Are tween girls into 18 inch dolls (like American Girl dolls) and having matching outfits with their dolls? Just wondering if you could offer a blog post about that subject. And what type of accessories are tween girls into? Are they making the Rainbow Loom bracelets?

    1. Thanks Rachel! I asked my daughter and yes she has friends that still are interested in American Girl Dolls (she's 10 and in 5th grade) and the loom bracelet craze is still going strong. As for accessories we have that as a post idea so stay tuned.

    2. I asked my daughter and another tween girl and they do not really play with their 18 in dolls anymore. My daughter never was that into American Girl but the other gal used to be but she says she rarely takes them out now. As for those Rainbow Loom bracelets, they seem to be very popular and they will probably make it under the Christmas tree this year.

  4. AWESOME job!
    I have wanted to sew along too. Just too much on my plate now.
    So glad you did, though!

    1. This one was a fun one, I just couldn't sit it it tied in nicely with what I had on my plate already. Thanks!

  5. The outfit is fantastic! or should I say cool ;) It ties everything together so nicely!

    1. Thanks Jenya! It was a fun one to pull together.

  6. I LOVE the back pocket embroidery! Great outfit.:)

  7. Great job with the acorns Sally - I love that vest especially :)


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