Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pattern Review: Simplicity3808

Simplicity 3808
Size A: XXS, XS, S, M, L
Contains patterns for girls jumper/dress/shirt with pockets and jersey shorts, boys romper/shortall, bib (with decorative embroidery and applique directions included), and diaper bag.

Description and my Experience:

I really like this pattern, it's my go-to for baby gifts! Two buttons, two button holes, no zippers and simple construction. I've made several girl dresses-in quilters cotton and in a lightweight corduroy. It turned out very well in both cases and looks great with or without pockets. The little jersey shorts are very simple, you could probably find something similar at Target or Wal Mart cheaper than the cost of the fabric.

The Simplicity pattern directs you to make a pleated neckline for both the boys shortall and the girls dress. The instructions are extremely clear and easy to follow. I have done a lot of different things with the neckline. You can do a simple gathering stitch (I do this most often for dresses) or add pintucks instead of pleats. For the example below, I used the pleating instructions included, but I accented every fold with a running stitch and thick orange embroidery floss.

My favorite part of this pattern is the boy shortall. It's very simple, and it's easy to make it look professional. I also really like the shape of the neck and straps. There is lots of room for embellishment and it's easy to add a personal touch. For the boy shortie, you can either finish the crotch with snap tape (directions included with the Simplicity pattern) or make small, matching pieces of bias tape and apply snaps with a snap setter. I find that this second option comes out more neatly, but the snap setter is a $22 investment. Still, if you make baby clothes often, it is definately worth it--snap tape adds up and always leaves me cursing and shaking my clenched fist at its inventor.


Here is an example of pin tucks in place of pleats at the neckline. I think this looks a little more "fancy." It would be really sweet in solid white for a tiny baby or a baptism.

Here I made 1 inch bias tape (they're not actually cut on the bias, just strips with the grain), sewed it on, then applied snaps with a snap setter. Those are size 16 snaps, I used 15 on the dark stripe romper.  

Things You Should Know about Simplicity 3808 
1) The sizes run quite large. My 15 month old, who wears 24 month Gerber onesies, wears a medium (12 mo) in this pattern and it's a little on the big side-the large (18 mo) size completely swallowed him. I would call it more of a 24 month. Definately base your sizing choices on the child's measurements rather than age, weights and lengths given on the packet, if possible. For the romper, width can be a problem, consider narrowing a bit on the sides. Try it on your child if possible before finishing side seams and sewing in the lining. If you're making a gift for a newborn, use the XXS, the XS is probably more of a 3-6 month size even though it says 1-3 months on the pattern.

2) The pattern calls for 5/8" buttons. I almost always use 7/8" because I like a prominent button. Small sizes would look fine with smaller buttons. Obviously you would also  need to make your own markings for the button holes, the guide given on the pattern will be 5/8".

3) The pattern doesn't call  for fusible interfacing, but I think the garments turn out a little cleaner looking if you iron a few strips on the inside of your lining where the button holes and buttons will go. I just estimate the placement and iron it on before I sew the lining to the outside. Small scrap pieces are plenty.

4) I always stitch in the ditch under the arms a couple of inches to secure the lining to the outer garment even more securely. It just helps during the washing process.

5) I have not made the bib or tote bag. The directions seem just as clear as those for the garments.

Overall, I rate this pattern five out of five spools! One of my favorites!!

Here it is in action! Simplicity 3808, size Medium, Boy Romper
Black and white stripe seersucker from Joann's, lined with a quilters cotton remnant from Hobby Lobby, orange buttons from Hancock's

You can see he's still got some room in the length and width (I did not take out width, I might for the next one). I like the fall color scheme! Here in NOLA it's sleeveless weather all the way through Halloween.

No comments:

Post a Comment