I really love the Charley Harper prints that Birch has put out in the past year. This vireo print is one of my favorites, and I was really excited when it ended up on knits as well as quilting cotton! This is the second thing I’ve sewn with the Birch knits, and I really like the quality of these knits a LOT; they hold up well, have a nice (medium) weight, and the perfect amount of stretch for clothing. One thing I learned the hard way is that they do shrink quite a bit in the wash, so my usual 1 wash / 1 dry prep for fabric didn’t work as well; the Flashback dress I made for Clementine shrunk even more in the wash after it was sewn and now is more of a 3/4 length on her sleeves and tunic rather than dress length…oops! Totally my fault, but I would recommend washing and drying these at least twice if possible before making something.
The pattern…hmm. I’m almost 100% sure that a pattern exists for this exact style, but honestly I just traced a pair of knit leggings he already had in a smaller size and added a little width and length to make them bigger. The final fit was trial and error (read: me wrestling them on him during a diaper change, then trimming off the seams with the serger after he went to bed, then repeat again the next day) and it took a bit more tinkering than I would have liked, but they look really cute now so I’m happy with them. But all that to say: life is usually easier when you just use a pattern. I could learn to take my own advice a little more in this department rather than going rogue all the time; it just saves so much time when someone else has done the work for me, and I’m realizing more and more how much my time is really worth.
I guess that brings up a good issue in general that I still struggle with when it comes to sewing: how to decide what to sew when time is so limited? I remember when I first realized that I could sew ANYTHING in that classic world-is-my-oyster kind of way; there was something so freeing and awesome about being able to sew anything I set my mind to. But inevitably the project list became overwhelming and unrealistic, and I’ve had to pare it down and really choose more carefully what I want to sew, especially because kids outgrow things so quickly. So while I’m still pretty spontaneous slash irresponsible about what I choose to make, I definitely try to weigh how much something will get worn or used against the amount of time it would take to make it, and then considering whether it might just be better to buy it and weighing that against the question of whether a child in Malaysia might have sewn it up for me…OK, I digress, but you get the point. In this case, the leggings will probably get a few months of wear, but considering how cute they look, it was totally worth it.