New Knit Fabrics

I received a large package in the mail yesterday from the US containing 20 yards of knit fabrics. They are mostly cotton rib knits which are suitable for the baby jumpsuits and little t-shirts, a cotton jersey and a cotton thermal. I now have t-shirt patterns made up for sizes newborn to 4 years old, and jumpsuits for newborn, 3 and 6 months of age. I just need to get sewing and testing the sizing on some babies and toddlers.

Unless…

….someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.
Dr. Seuss from The Lorax

The Lorax has to be one of our favourite Dr. Seuss books (there are many that we love).  It is a tale of greed, non-sustainability, and lack of concern for our environment, with the beautiful lilting rhymes that Dr. Seuss can do (and it doesn’t have tooooo many made up words that an make some of his books a hard read).  So I guess it was inevitable that when we saw a bolt of Lorax fabric a couple of months ago, Mr. 3 snatched it up and took it to the counter for cutting.   He was adamant that I make him a hat out of it, and it had to have the Lorax fabric on the outside AND inside.  

I made the boy a hat…almost to his specifications.  There is a contrasting fabric inside but not on the brim.  I also made him a matching backpack for kinder (preschool), because his old backpack is too small to fit all the things he needs to take.  I was rewarded with huge smiles when I unveiled the hat and backpack, and they had to be tested out immediately.  In fact, they have barely been off him, and he has been practicing putting his lunch in it using the wooden and felt foods that the kids have.  

We took some photos in our overgrown garden with the tomatoes we had picked that day.  Don’t ask me why some of the poses were necessary, I was just told to photograph them.  There seems to be some excitement about starting kinder now, whereas until now I think he has been a little scared.  0nly a few days to go.

If you would like me to make you a preschool backpack, please email me (christine@wispythreads.com.au) to discuss options. I have several things on the go at the moment and probably won’t be making any more in the near future unless someone wants one….or my younger son demands his own.

Babies, babies!

We have a number of friends having babies this year. Three were born 2 weeks ago, on the same day! So I decided it was time to draft a pattern for a jumpsuit to fit a 4-5 kg baby. Luckily all the babies are boys since I don’t have any girly rib knit fabric (yet). I’m not saying that a girl can’t wear rockets and helicopters, but I guess most people would consider it a boy pattern.

This first outfit is now ready to give to one of the babies. I hope it fits!

Favourite t-shirts

Last week I took the two kids to the post office to pick up some fabric I had ordered. We always take a sneak peek at our fabric parcels before driving home. My nearly-4-year-old son took one look at the monster truck fabric, grabbed it and wouldn’t let it go. I had to let him cuddle it all the way home, AND promise to make him a t-shirt out of it. Every day afterwards he hassled me wanting to know whether or not I had finished the t-shirt, until it was done.

The monster truck t-shirt is now his favourite t-shirt, and my younger (steam-train obsessed) son is in love with the train stencil on one of his t-shirts. It is fun to sew for such an appreciative audience.

Hats at play

Today is two months since I registered Wispy Threads as my business name. It feels like we have moved so very slowly at times, but in reality the last two months have been really busy. With the help of my husband, the hindrance of two small children, and remembering that we have been on a family holiday, had Christmas and my younger son’s birthday, we have still managed to have a market stall, set up a website, photograph the 20-something hats I have for sale, develop the online shop, draft a number of sizes of t-shirt between 6 months and 4 years, and a variety of other tasks like organising business cards and clothing labels. And, of course, make hats and t-shirts! There is still a lot to do, but I feel like we are getting there…or somewhere.

Talking about two small children, I took a few photos my kids modelling some hats at a local playground yesterday. All of the clothing they are wearing was made by me. The big one, who turns 4 next month, was wearing a Wispy Threads t-shirt in size 4, and his pants and the little one’s clothes were made using commercially available patterns. I will be adding t-shirts to the Wispy Threads shop after a bit more checking of the fit for the various sizes I have drafted.

Hat Sizing

I am currently making four sizes of kids sun hats.  For each product I provide a measurement range for the head circumference that the hat should fit. To determine the head circumference of your child, use a dressmaking tape measure and measure the head where a hat is expected to sit (across the middle of the forehead and above the ears). Do not pull tightly on the tape measure, but also make sure that the tape measure is not loose. If a tape measure is not available, use a piece of string (or similar) around the head and then measure with a ruler.

It is difficult to give an age range for each hat size. The average head circumference of boys and girls differ substantially, with girls generally having a smaller head circumference than boys of the same age. However, as a bit of a guide for the younger children, I would expect the XS size to fit babies 10 – 18 months of age, and the S size to fit 18 months – 3 years (girls 2 – 3.5 years).

Size XS will fit a head circumference of ~45 – 47 cm.

Size S will fit a head circumference of ~48 – 50 cm.

Size M will fit a head circumference of ~51 – 53 cm.

Size L will fit a head circumference of ~54 – 56 cm.

Until the online shop is active, please contact me by email (christine@wispythreads.com.au) if you wish to purchase any hats from the shop.  Please be advised that I will be away from Dec 15 – Dec 26, so I will be unable to fill any purchase requests until I return. A flat rate of $6* is charged for delivery.

*All prices on the Wispy Threads website are in AUD.

About Hats

While it is lovely to have a beautiful hat, it is probably more important that the hat functions well in shading the face, ears and neck of the wearer (though if the wearer doesn’t like the hat and won’t wear it, it doesn’t matter how much shade the hat provides). Since I have been making hats I have been doing a lot of hat-spotting while out, and I have seen many pre-school aged children (in particular) wearing bucket hats with very small brims that really don’t provide much shade, or they sit high on the head which again results in less shade for the face and neck. Also, if the brim is too large such that it is folded up to be worn, the protective effect of the larger brim is negated.

I did a bit of searching on the Internet and found that the Cancer Council has guidelines for hats and a document on Sun Smart Hats. They recommend that bucket hats shade the face, neck and ears by having:
– a deep crown so the hat sits low on the head,
– a brim width of at least 5 cm for a pre-school aged child or 6 cm for primary school aged children and older (including adults), and
– hats should be made from a close weave fabric, should not obscure vision and have good ventilation
– should have a dark lining to reduce the amount of UV radiation being reflected onto the face and eyes

Using the above information, and without getting any hats tested for an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating, I made the following decisions:
1) I would make the hats out of cotton patchwork fabrics for both the outside of the hats and the lining. Patchwork fabrics come in a wide variety of patterns and colours and tend to have a more dense weave compared to other lightweight cotton fabrics. The first hat I made my son had one layer of patchwork fabric on the outside and was lined with cotton drill which is a much heavier fabric. The drill made the hat heavier and hotter to wear than it needed to be for summer hat.

2) I would attempt to have dark fabrics on the inside of the hats, though that would depend on what I can find to match prints, and what is available in collections since it is easier to match fabrics if they come from the same collection.

3) I would make the hat brims for kids more than 5 cm wide, but less than 7 cm which was the width of the first hat (medium size) I made my 3.5-year-old son (it appeared to obscure his vision at times). Brim sizes for the kids hats now range from 5.5 cm for the XS size (for older babies, approximately 10 months+) through to 6.25 cm for the large hats (though brims may vary a few millimetres in size due to the nature of being handmade).

I will be posting photographs of hats that are available for sale soon, as well as fabrics I have available should anyone want a hat customised (change brim size, add chin strap, etc.).

*I have no association with the Cancer Council, all information was found via Internet searches*