August 14, 2014

Knit & Sew: First day of School

Wee Wanderer Collection

Wee Wanderer Collection

Just last week we were talking vacations and now it’s back-to-school — August is a tricky month! We recently added the Wee Wanderer Collection to our shelves and we are just so enchanted by the firefly-catching, lazy dreaming, tree-climbing vision of summer it depicts that we decided to use it as the inspiration for our first-day-of-school palette. We so often focus on patterns for adults or babies and we’ve been wanting to talk about what to knit or sew for the kids in your life. What better opportunity than the start of a new school year?


1. Jill Eaton Minnow Merino in #4703, #4731, and #4756 — This cozy superwash merino is perfect for a Flax sweater. This free, unisex pattern is designed for a first-time sweater knitter and sized for the whole family. The simple design is great for beginners while offering a more experienced knitter lots of room to play with striping and patterns, making it a great choice if you have a child who likes to be involved in the design process.
2Wee Wanderer in Meandering — This is such a lovely, ethereal print, perfect for the Norah Dress and Tunic! The Norah is a versatile pattern (tunic or dress? short sleeves or long? collar or ties?) that comes in a wide size range. It’s also fully-lined, making a great choice for lighter prints like this one.
3. Spud & Chloe Sweater in Splash, Ice Cream, and Popsicle — Those colourways sound like a day at the beach, don’t they? They’re the perfect trio for the short-sleeved Chloe cardigan, whose short-sleeves make it a great transition garment from summer to fall.
4. Wee Wanderer in Tree Lights —  We really love all the prints in this collection so much, and we think this one would be perfect for a backpack or lunch bag! For backpacks, we think both the Toddler Backpack (which has instructions for sizing up for bigger kids) and the Retro Rucksack are great backpacks for kids: sturdy and big enough for all the things they need, without carrying so much their shoulders will hurt. There are lots of great lunch bag tutorials out there, but this step-by-step guide is great, and offers lots of opportunity to play with different patterns (a great way to use fat quarters!)
5. Buttons! There are so many fun ones.
6. Wee Wanderer in Summer Night Lights — Back-to-school blankets may not be standard, but this border-print is so perfect for a simple blanket (like this one we made a little while ago) that we can’t resist suggesting it. Call it a homework blanket, maybe? Somewhere special your little student can curl up after school to get some work done.
7. Wee Wanderer in Wander Woods — The Sweetheart Dress is so adorable that we have trouble not suggesting it for every fabric we feature. We love it for this print especially, though, because of the all the different motifs it features: curious horses, reading in the grass, going swimming — lots of mischief to tone down the sweetness just a little.
8. Oliver + S Music Class Blouse and Skirt Pattern — This pattern would be perfect for the Wee Wanderer collection, but we also love the idea of doing the skirt in chambray and the top in something cute and co-ordinating — this line-drawn Good Friends cat and dog print perhaps?
9. Wee Wanderer in Meandering, Nature Walk, and Glow Friends — These more subtle, smaller-scale prints make them a great choice for bottoms, and in particular, Parsley Pants! Designed with big pockets and knee patches, these pants are made for kids who play, and we love them. Why not try contrasting knee patches or contrast pocket flaps for some extra fun?
10. Louet Gems Sport in Champagne, Bright Blue, and Willow — We love stripes for back-to-school (we love them all time, truth be told) and the Playful Stripes Cardigan is such a fun way to show them off.
11. Tosh DK in Bloomsbury, Robin Red Breast, and Baltic —  It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Brooklyn Tweed’s design aesthetic, so when they came out with a collection especially for kids, we were thrilled. We love all the pieces, but Atlas really sticks out to us for its versatility (knit it as a pullover or a cardigan)d and the opportunity to play with colour. This is sure to be your child’s next favourite sweater.
12. Co-ordinating thread: Mettler Silk-Finish mercerized cotton in #554, #837, and #668
13. Oliver + S School Photo Dress — If a photo is worth 1,000 words, then surely a photo dress is worth something a little special. We wouldn’t usually suggest Liberty Tana Lawn for a child’s garment, but this doesn’t require a lot of fabric and would be so special sewn up in one of Liberty’s rich florals. For more of an everyday dress, though, Art Gallery Fabrics’ Drift Collection would be an excellent choice.