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SEWING FOR KIDS: Banana Boat Tee with Vinyl Applique

Adding Your Own Style Cotton Jersey Fabric Review How to Sew with Knits Pattern Review Pin & Sew Makes Review Selfless Sewing Sewing for Kids You Can Hack It

Hello, I'm Cherry (@goingtoneedstitches) and I'm delighted to be contributing to the Pin and Sew blog. I'm sharing a t-shirt I made for my daughter, who is 2.5. 
banana boat tee with applique
I had some of this lovely striped cotton jersey left over from a dress I made (this fabric is extra wide so you can squeeze more out of it than you think!), so decided to make something for my little one. I love patterns with extra details so was very taken by  the Banana Boat Tee by Lil'Luxe Collection. This was recently released as part of a collaboration of different designers for Project Run + Play for the "Farmers' Market" collection. It features cuffed cap sleeves with tabs, and ruching along the side seams with waist ties.
project run and play banana tee
It was a very enjoyable, quite detailed, sew. It took longer than your average t-shirt  because there are so many small elements. The neckline facing is minuscule! The jersey is lovely and soft, a great weight for a t-shirt, and easy to sew with. I used a twin needle on the hem and around the neck-line facing and it has given it a nice professional finish. I sewed it up on my sewing machine and overlocker. I particularly like using a lightening stitch when sewing knits- it works well with my machine and unlike a zig-zag stitch I don't have to play around with settings so much.
red stripe
Generally I wouldn't recommend this pattern if you are a beginner as it is pretty fiddly in places- particularly in the smaller sizes. The instructions were good and well illustrated- although I found the layout a bit confusing at times. The instructions really ensure a clean finish to your garment - notches are marked (not always the case in children's patterns!) and guiding you to under stitch where needed and secure those cuffs in place. I took my time and pinned each little stripe and I'm pretty pleased with my stripe matching at the sides! 
For the tabs and ties I used a blue jersey from my stash. I finished the sleeve tabs with some pretty flower buttons. 
Although I loved the chic blue/red/white effect, I was worried that my toddler- currently obsessed with all things pink, purple and sparkly (we are clearly winning at gender-neutral parenting) would find it a little plain. I therefore tried out some iron on vinyls to brighten up the front. I bought a couple of sheets from Happy Fabric. drew out a simple flower motif and cut the sheets according to my template. It was really easy to do- my only tip would be that I needed to press the iron quite hard and for a bit longer than the recommended time. I used a  blue flock (velvety finish) and some gold sparkle. The result was even better than I hoped- the glitter is incredible. 
I will definitely use this technique again- it's a very effective way to add interest to a plain t-shirt.
Overall- I am so pleased with this top. The neckline is a little large- I was worried I'd stretched it when attaching the facing but actually I think it's just the way it's drafted. My daughter is quite petite and the size 18m chest (smallest size) is large than her measurement. When I make it again I will interface the neckline edge just to be sure though! In the meantime this top looked very sweet worn in the lovely spring sunshine.

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