Monday, 9 May 2016

Choose your own synthetic character fleece adventure

Both kids were very much in need of new dressing gowns and slippers, and if there's one kind of fabric where I just genuinely do not give a shit, it's synthetic fleece.

Until there is a Nani Iro equivalent in polar fleece then it may as well be licensed characters as far as I'm concerned. So of course, that's what they chose.


The pain of purchasing such dreadful fabrics was lessened somewhat by Spotlight having a sale on "licensed character fleece" and then completely removed by how much the kids really love this kind of thing.


The dressing gowns are made using Kwik Sew 2654 which I'd made previously and hated making. The result was fine although it seems to be one of the very few things I've made and never photographed.

I suspect it was in my very first days of sewing knits and I definitely didn't own an overlocker. I figured maybe it wasn't the pattern, it was me, and I should give it another chance.


Since I already had the size XS (4/5) drafted I just added length to the sleeves and hem to make A's version. probably about 1.5"on the sleeve and 2" on the hem length if I remember rightly.

This Disney princess fleece is disappointingly thin but she was sold on it. The proper weight, contrasting fleece on the shawl collar adds a bit of warmth at least.


P's Marvel comic version is the straight size 7/8 and fits fine. The great thing is that as they grow, you just unfold the cuffs and keep using it. Once the length gets to Hefner style hip height, it's time for a new one. Easy.

I had planned to use the sewing machine just for the facing steps and do everything else on the overlocker, but the fleece shifted in such a way that the overlocked seams were likely to miss the bottom layer. I ended up basting on the sewing machine then overlocking every seam.

It was no quicker or easier than my first version, but they do look nicer on the inside.


There was just enough leftovers to cut a pair of Happy Feet slippers each. Hers are Kids Medium and fit well, his are Kids Large and are a bit small. I'd traced around their feet on paper to get the sizing and knew his would be close, but I guess the seam allowances took more out than I'd figured. So, really, still shy of 8 years old he has small adult slipper sized feet??!!

I redrafted the tops of the slippers slightly to be a bit higher at the back heel and to come further up the foot at the front. It reduced the opening size considerably and at least they don't fall off as readily as previous versions of this pattern.

Using tissue paper to stitch through I've added these mini soles of carpet underlay to the undersides. If you like your kids as sliding missiles you can skip this step (at your own peril).

I'm not going to kid you, sewing yucky fleece into boring garments like slippers and dressing gowns did drag on. But it was worth it in the end....


... and while I was faced with the task of stitching the icky fabric I hit the Maaidesign shop and bought some much nicer fabric!

17 comments:

  1. Swear words and Hefner references....I wish we could hang out in real life!

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    1. Wouldn't it be fun. You could come over, we'd sit on the couch, drink wine, talk rough, hand sew hems and watch the Giro. Perfect!

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  2. A job well done. And kids do love to be cosy in winter! The matching shoes are a nice touch and those cuffs on the sleeves are an excellent idea.

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    1. Thanks Marisa. It is nice to have matching slippers isn't it. Weird how that kind of thing is satisfying :)

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  3. As dull as these were to sew, they are the sorts of garments that will get regular wear - so all that boredom will be worth it in the end!

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    1. It's so true Masha, and i know going out to buy dressing gowns would have been even more tedious!

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  4. Ack! Cool bottoms on those slipper!

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    1. I think the kids wish I'd left them off and made them slippery slippers!

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  5. for what it's worth, the smiles as they truly appreciate their lovely robes-of-hideous-fabric are lovely...

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    1. Ha ha, thanks Reeni, you made me laugh!

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  6. Oh man my kids go nuts over the licensed fabric too, bless their little hearts. These are cute though, and clearly loved!

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    1. Could be worse I suppose, what if the kids coveted Missoni towelling for their bathrobes! We'd be broke!

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  7. I'm not a fleece lover either. I can't get past the fact it is made of soft drink bottles so I'm wearing someone else's coke. My kids were given a stack of dressing gowns that they rarely wore. I haven't replaced them as they grew up. They do like the fleece quillows I made, and snuggle into them on the couch while watching movies.

    Yours are super cute and look cosy too. Looks like they'll get a lot of use.

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    1. Oh, I think the ONLY redeeming feature of fleeces is that it can be made from recycled PET bottles. One of my pet peeves is plastic water bottles, and if daft people will buy water then at least their rubbish can be recycled. I have an awful suspicion that this fleece might not have any such eco claim... :(

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  8. Great looking dressing gowns and oh my those slippers!

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  9. You are a good mum - the kids look cute, cozy, and happy in their robes:) I generally think twice about taking my daughter to the fabric store because her favourite part of the store is - you guessed it - the licensed flannel and polarfleece! I did let her pick out a piece of it to take to kindy with her for a nap blanket - it made her happy and I didn't actually have to sew with it.

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