Babies grow up so fast. I used to think it was silly to sew for them because they don’t stay in any size for very long. But sewing for babies is so satisfying—everything looks adorable on a baby! Plus, baby clothes are so small that they sew up in a flash. That’s why I appreciate classic, quick projects like the Clipper Shorts and Schooner Tee by Jennuine Design. Each item only took a short evening to make (including pattern alterations!) and in no time I had made a perfect baby outfit for summer lounging.
This is Lottie. She’s a sweet, even-keeled, bright-eyed baby. She is the daughter of my good friend and she was a perfect model for the Clipper Shorts and Schooner Tee. With Summer in full swing, a versatile pair of shorts and a pretty lightweight tee will last her throughout the hot months of the year.
The Pattern: Clipper Shorts
I was lucky to be a pattern tester for the Clipper Shorts. I was excited about the relaxed shorts silhouette that is perfect for both girls and boys. The pattern has the full range of children’s sizes from newborn to 12 years. It offers three different front construction options including no fly, faux fly and half fly (with a button!). There are options for no pockets, front pockets or back single-welt pockets and two lengths to choose from. The elasticized back waistband makes it easy to pull these shorts on and off. The waistband construction accommodates buttonhole elastic (common in off-the-rack children’s wear) so the shorts can grow with your child.
Bonus Pattern: Schooner Tee
Getting the correct sizing for the shorts was trickier for the smaller sizes, so there were some delays in the pattern-testing process. As a “thank you” for a little extra waiting, we testers were given another Jennuine pattern, the Schooner Tee, which pairs beautifully with the Clipper Shorts.
The Schooner Tee is a dolman t-shirt pattern with flutter sleeves. It has three hem length options including standard t-shirt, hi-low t-shirt and dress length. It comes together super fast and looks really cute.
The Clipper Shorts are made from a light-medium weight cotton chambray (it’s the same fabric I used for my Bonn Shirtdress). I like the versatility of the denim-look without the stiffness of real denim. I lined the pockets with a pretty cotton quilting fabric and accented the waistband with a natural colored cotton drawstring.
For Lottie’s shirt, I selected a lavender knit fabric from my stash that I bought for $1 at the thrift store. It’s super lightweight and has a beautiful texture—I’ve rarely seen anything quite like it (if you have, I’d love for you to share a link!). I think it’s polyester with a little spandex.
With a tiny waist and average sized hips (for her age), I had to make a few modifications to fit the shorts to Lottie’s perfect little body. On the size chart, Lottie measured 6-9 months for hips, but wasn’t even on the chart for her waist measurement. For small adjustments to the waist, you can simply reduce the elastic length in the back. However, for Lottie, I ended up taking in the side seams at the waist a total of three inches. To do so, I made a modification to the pattern itself and redrew the side seams above the hip notch. The final shorts fit great and no one would suspect that I made such a significant change.
A Few Notes
When sewing kids patterns, it’s important to take careful measurements, but it can be tricky. First of all, kids are shaped differently than adults. I like this video because it demonstrates very clearly where to measure your child so you can get the right measurements to make a well-fitted garment.
Secondly, kids are squirmy and occasionally volatile. Unfortunately, I don’t have many tips for getting your child to cooperate while you take measurements. Candy? Screen time? I say do whatever works. So far a little patience and persistence has been enough.
Final Thoughts — and a Coupon!
I am really happy with the way Lottie’s outfit turned out. If my daughter ever decides she’s willing to wear shorts again (remember how she loves summer dresses?), I’ll make a few pairs for her, too!
If you want to get either the Clipper Shorts or the Schooner Tee, they’re on sale for $5 each until June 21st. And if you’re interested in any of the other non-bundled patterns on the site, you can get them for 25% off with the coupon code CLIPPERRELEASE (also ends June 21st). Head over to the Jennuine Design pattern shop, if you’re interested!
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