Making miniature clothes is so much fun! It would take a lot for me to reach for a peter pan collar for myself but when you’re dressing a baby the cuter the better!
This is the Peter Pan Collar Shirt from Shaka Laka Bum Patterns on Etsy. Yes that is the actual name and I love it. You have to have a pretty decent sense of humour to name your business that so I take a (little tiny) hat off to you Filipa. It’s a PDF only pattern and comes in sizes ranging from 0-3 months to 2-3 years.
I actually really appreciate PDF patterns. You can download them immediately and print them on sturdy paper rather than the annoying tissue paper that comes with most patterns. I like to cut round the size I need rather than trace it off, and with a PDF pattern if you find you need a different size you just print it again.
This pattern is so easy to put together, and very clearly laid out and annotated, and with it being for babies, there are only 8 pages to stick together. It’s great if you have any leftover fabric to use.
I made it up in the 0-3 months category, thinking I would give it to my cousin who had only just had a baby girl, however I started this at the end of the summer just before I went back to London and of course, didn’t give myself enough time to finish it. I always see on Instagram and other blogs people being like ‘Oh I whipped this up in an hour’. Tell me your secrets people!! I am the slowest person. In a way I like that because it’s kind of at odds with the rest of my life so it gives me a chance to relax, but at the same time, I just don’t get as much done as I’d like.
Oh well, it’s finished now but the little baby is too big to wear it. It will just have to wait patiently in a drawer for the next baby to be born. You can see in the photos that some of the blue chalk I used to mark the buttonholes is still on the fabric. I’m going to be honest here, I think I forgot to prewash this fabric and now I’m really scared that if I do wash it, it will shrink. Maybe if I just handwash it in the sink it will be ok? Maybe? Or maybe I should do a raindance to please the fabric gods. Or maybe they’d like a glitter dance better? I think I’d like a glitter dance better.
The fabric I used is some sort of polyester from somewhere on Goldhawk Road and was a nightmare to press. The buttonbands especially took me ages. I don’t have a clapper so I used my Great Granny’s wooden knitting needle box instead. Crude? Yes. Sacrilege? Maybe. But it did the trick.
The fabric has an awful tendency to unravel too and with it left cut for so long, this proved a little bit of a difficulty when sewing up the 3mm seam for attaching the collar especially. Both a cm and inch version of the pattern instructions are provided and I don’t really have any qualms with the idea of such small seam allowances in theory. Filipa says in her profile that she studied design and I believe that 1cm seam allowances are pretty standard in the fashion world, however, it really did cause me some grief with my unraveling fabric, and my sewing machine just did not want to go along with it either.
I use a Pfaff Smarter 140s. I really like it and it has been very good to me as a beginner especially, but it just does not like small seam allowances. Every time I try to stick to that 1/4in guideline, the fabric wants to go to the left, making the actual seam allowance I’m using even smaller. When I tried to adhere to the 3mm seam allowance it came out at more like 1.5mm seam allowance. Not a huge deal in a baby garment but it is annoying. My theory is that with such small measurements, the edge of the fabric is running directly above the feed dogs and when they move, the fabric moves to the left with it.
Overall though I really like how it turned out. I think it’s super cute but quite modern at the same time. I love the button up back. I just used simple 1cm black shank buttons I found in my local craft store (McMullans in Dungannon if you’re interested – they have a small section upstairs), and I think they work really well against the fabric. What I did find quite interesting with this fabric though is how the black stripes of the houndstooth fabric affected the black thread in the buttonholes. When the edges of the buttonhole fell over the black stripes, the buttonholes looked lovely, but when they fell over the white stripes, it made the buttonhole look really quite hideous and badly made. I did try to do the third one again to see if I could make it look any better but it was no use. I did my best to pattern match but when it came to it, the vertical lines on the fabric are ever so slightly wonky, not enough to bother me usually, but the way it affects the buttonholes is quite irritating.
For now though, I’m going to keep staring at it all day whilst I tell my ovaries to calm down. I won’t be having a baby just so I can dress it up in this. Seriously ovaries, I’m telling you no.