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Pattern Reviews> Folkwear> 109 (Little Folks)

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Reviewed by:Elona
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About Elonastar
United States
Member since: 8/24/02
Reviews: 15 (patterns: 9)
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Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 12 people
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Posted on:7/19/12 5:52 PM
Last Updated:9/15/15 5:53 PM
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Pattern Info provided by Elona

Pattern Rating:Difficult, but great for Advanced Sewers
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people    Very Helpful by 1 people   
Type:Baby clothes
Fabric:Linen  [See other projects in this fabric]
Pattern Description: 8 Baby patterns from Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Korea (cute padded booties), Morocco, and Nepal. I made the Mexican baby shirt for a newborn. It is described as a dressy little garment to be worn when you take your baby out for a 'paseo,' the evening walk in which you meet friends and show off your new baby.

Pattern Sizing: Newborn. (There are four patterns for babies, and four for 2-4 year-olds.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. Better, actually, because the pattern illustration is small and blurry.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Not really. There are a lot of them: 5 page of for construction, and 9 pages(!) describing seldom-used hand sewing techniques. The instructions are detailed and wordy, and shown on many separate pages—which is actually helpful—but you do a fair amount of flipping back and forth.

Since it's a folk garment, the pieces are simple rectangles, and you have the option of putting them together by hand (recommended) or by machine, and then there are many options for finishing the shirt, ranging from no embroidery to full-bore drawn thread work.

I had made this shirt once before and cheated slightly by using waste canvas to do the Algerian Eye Stitch embroidery. This time I decided to do the fancy stuff.

On the front of the shirt, there’s a design composed of an upside-down stepped pyramid made of 3/8” openwork squares. To create this, I found it worked best to trace the shirt front onto a big square of linen and then hoop this whole piece. Once this is done, you mark a central stitch, and from there, following the instructions, you clip either vertical or horizontal threads and then withdraw them in a specified order. When creating the grid, you have to take considerable care to unravel the weave only as far as particular warp and weft threads that form the exact edge of the design (and with very fine fabric, it is really handy to have strong magnifiers and a bright light).

After you have undone all these threads, you leave the ends dangling until after you have secured them all with a little, teeny buttonhole stitch worked with—in this case—cordonnet thread, size 50:


Then you can cut off those thread ends.

Next, you use somewhat heavier pearl cotton (I used #8) to work an Algerian Eye Stitch in each square like this:

Grid half done

Completed grid

After assembly, the instructions suggest hand-finishing all visible edges and hems with a narrow or rolled hem. In my opinion, it would be a good idea to change all the 1/4" seam allowances to 1/2", which would give you more options for finishing edges, in case the fabric did not lend itself to a really, really narrow hem.

I used the machine for the front and bottom hem, and did the sleeve hem by hand. Instead of finishing the neck and other edges with the suggested buttonhole stitch variation, I used feather stitch. Both times I have sewn this little shirt, I have tried the buttonhole stitch edge-finish, and to tell the truth, I just don’t like the effect, whereas a feather stitch worked in #8 pearl cotton is pretty and follows curves nicely, as you can see in the flash glare here:

Feather stitch on curves

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? These are kids' patterns of a type very seldom seen these days, since they are older, traditional folk styles that have pretty much disappeared from today's world.

Fabric Used: Delicate linen gauze from Gorgeous Fabrics. It's extremely sheer.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None, apart from choosing certain embroidery stitches not recommended.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, because of the unique garments contained in the envelope. If you want to make something beautiful and different for a baby, this is a fine pattern to work with—but it’s a good idea to walk yourself through the pattern construction beforehand--bearing in mind the weight of the fabric you are using--as well as think about what effects you are interested in, and do some embroidery samples to choose the best threads and stitches.

Conclusion: This is a pattern for a lovely and unusual baby garment which could be passed down within a family.

There are more photos here.

Edited several years after the fact to (hopefully) fix broken links due to sale of previous photo storage site.

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9 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
marthamyers said... (9/16/15 8:56 AM) Reply
This is charming. I hope you've sent pictures to Folkwear.
mending maven said... (9/15/15 10:29 PM) Reply
How beautiful. It is elegant in a folksy way!!!! Love the handwork!
Claverie said... (9/15/15 8:08 PM) Reply
whoah! very nice.
m/m said... (7/20/12 9:01 AM) Reply
A lovely and timeless garment for a very lucky little baby.
VivianZ said... (7/20/12 7:43 AM) Reply
OMG! This is beautiful, I love the handwork.
blue mooney said... (7/20/12 7:14 AM) Reply
Beautiful work! It's nice to see a "folksy" heirloom piece.
MariannaSew2Pro said... (7/20/12 2:50 AM) Reply
Wow, this is something different, and a beautiful work. I like the idea of making something for the baby to show it off!
rivergum said... (7/20/12 1:11 AM) Reply
Very, very beautiful!
loti said... (7/19/12 7:42 PM) Reply
That is adorable, I love the drawn work.
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