Zoë and I initially read "sportswear" and she was keen on lycra with sports shoes and gymnastic poses... but when we checked the definition of American Sportswear on Wikipedia we found it was something quite different, but could cover a huge range of looks.
Slightly baffled, we Googled for images to give us some ideas. Since Zoë has to actually wear these clothes (PR&P is a great excuse to fill her drawers this spring) I was after something practical as well as fun. The sailor-inspired styles from the 1930's caught my eye. It was a start.
The shorts came first. I was keen on culottes but Zoë had other ideas, so we whipped them in under the knees with a band of red jersey and called them harem pants.
They've got a comfy jersey knit waistband (our favourite kind!) which folds over double for a snazzy look.
The pants themselves are very full with a low crotch. Roomy and lightweight; perfect for hot days and great for racing around.
White jersey knit, with a red jersey and dotty crisp cotton trim.
I cut around another of Zoë's t-shirts to get the right size and shape (much like I did for the hoodies). The overlocker (serger) made quick work of sewing it up, but the real fun was in the details.
The sleeve cuff is prettily gathered up with a nifty little band. Do you see? It ends up looking a bit like a bow and it just lifts an otherwise boring sleeve.
I did the neck twice... I wasn't going to - but something wouldn't let me leave it alone. So it ended up a little big. But she'll grow!
The first neck band was red jersey knit but it just didn't sit right. It kept riding up at the back and quite frankly, looked yuck.
So, I took it off and had another go with the dots. This time I slightly stretched the neck of the T-shirt as I sewed the collar on. Once it was flipped over, the collar sat much flatter. I was disappointed that the knot at the front didn't fall as well as the jersey knit but remedied this by making a wee jersey toggle.
It's based on a pattern in the sweet book making children's clothes by Emma Hardy. It's a lovely book, the clothing is practical and fun. The patterns are brilliant for a novice sewer, but even a seasoned seamstress will be inspired by the pretty fabrics and fun details.
The patterns in the book are only for sizes 0 - 5, so for Zoë's hat I cut the pieces a little bit bigger, and away I went.
The hat whipped up in no time and with no exposed seams it looks very professional. Very satisfying.