Monday Outfit: Koi Top + Grey Stretch Pants


Good morning, friends! I don’t know about you, but I’m having a bit of a sewing mojo crisis. I thought I would be all pumped and ready to get cracking on tons of sewing projects with the new year, and in theory I definitely am.

Maybe it was seeing the sheer number of clothes I made for K en masse a couple of weeks ago, but I started to hear whispers of “what are you doing?” in the back of my mind. And as I stitched up this absolutely lovely top from this absolutely lovely book in an absolutely lovely fabric, I was dismayed by the fit. How is it that I’ve been sewing for her for so long and have this handy space to record information about sizing, and yet I still manage to get it wrong? I know that the top doesn’t look as enormous as it does in real life due to my clever photo selections, but trust me, she’s drowning in it.


And then the pants were even bigger! From this book, using a fabric that I originally planned to use to make pants for myself — some kind of stretch grey denim.

[Puzzled head-shaking here]


Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed making the clothes as I always do. And yes, I was excited to take photos of K in them, even knowing they were too big. But I was surprised at how much I’d miscalculated and truth be told, the quality of my sewing leaves much to be desired. I couldn’t get the facing on the yoke of the top to line up correctly, so it’s a bit bunched on the left side, and I’m still hopeless at topstitching, which is evident with the pants. I guess I felt like I was not improving and maybe even regressing in terms of skills and this is not a good feeling.


However, I’m not one to stay down for too long. Clothes that can be grown into are no problemo, really, and now I definitively know that K is actually still at size 120cm, but she’s just grown taller without widening at all (in fact, she’s much slimmer now). A lesson learned. Besides, without K modeling them, the clothes don’t look bad at all, right? I really like the big yoke design of the top, and my errors aren’t too obvious. And I was proud to have squeezed this out of just one yard of fabric.


And behold, this will be the last set of photos you will see of K without braces for the next few years. So this week is about commemorating K’s unadorned teeth (though she’ll be adorable with braces, scheduled to be fitted in two days), and not about the ill-fitting clothes. Plus, all I need is a little Ted talk like this one via Oh Joy, and I’m back to feeling pumped and ready to reign in that meandering sewing mojo!


22 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Koi Top + Grey Stretch Pants

  1. Sanae! I had the same experience with my sewing this week! Eerily similar! I know how you feel. Except my sewing skills need to progress a little more before they can regress 😉 And you’re right, clothes they can grow into aren’t reaaalllly a problem, but it doesn’t help a girl out in the photo shoot/immediate gratification of it all. Of course, I think these are absolutely lovely!

    1. Thank you, Monica! Man, I’ve been messing up all over the place. I just tried to install an invisible zipper, and I kept doing it wrong over and over (like five times)!

  2. It’s a lovely outfit, Sanae, and I’m sure we’ve all made things that are way too big (not that it’s at all evident from the photos!). The pants and top look great together – love the colours.

    I’ve already been told that my daughter will need orthodontic work, so I’ll be watching K’s braces with interest!

    1. It’s been a little overwhelming getting all the orthodontic appointments going, she has to go so frequently! Normally they don’t start this young, but K needs a lot of work done because several of her teeth are stuck in her gums with no room to go anywhere…yikes.

  3. Thanks for sharing that TED talk. I needed to hear that this week. Sewing not going at all this New Year but hopefully that will change in the future. Life is what happens while you are making all your plans.

    1. I confess that I cried while watching that TED talk, but I’m sappy that way. Glad you liked it, Karen! Too true on life happening whilst list-making!

  4. Those will be super-fun to grow in to! I think you did a great job with them. I haven’t tried jeggings with pockets for the kids. I have slumped a little the past few days and sewn nothing! 🙂 I do have a quilt to finish up… so we’ll see if I get to that later today. But I wore my new pants two days straight. Here’s the link if you want to check them out.
    if you scroll before there are a couple more detail shots. I top-stitched the heck out of them!

    1. Cool jeans!! Love them, Kristi! The fit looks fantastic and that’s quite an achievement with pants! You deserve a little break from sewing since it sounds like you’ve been very productive!

      The fabric I used for K is actually a denim so not quite jeggings but the fabric is surprisingly stretchy 🙂

  5. I love this outfit! I have admired the fabric of the top so many times and here it is looking perfect–such a nice choice.

    1. Thank you, Greta! The fabric is divine. It’s definitely apparel-quality, so the drape is beautiful and I love that it’s organic. I hear that Rashida Coleman-Hale won’t be designing fabric for Cloud Nine anymore, so this Koi line will be out of stock soon…

  6. I totally agree, such an outfit will be fun to grow into! It has everything I like, grey, yellow, tunic… The fabric is so fun – I love the little smiles between the waves, so mischievous, just like K in the pictures!
    For pretty perfect topstiching I can only recommend an edge-stiching foot, makes it so much easier and faster! Feels a bit like cheating, though… 😉
    The video was very inspiring and humbling. A good reminder to focus on the good things. Thank´s for sharing!

    1. I love the little smiles too, Ute! It adds such a subtle and fun visual texture to the fabric, it’s great. Ah, an edge-stitching foot would be awesome. I’m hankering for one of those teflon feet that I hear is great for top-stitching, knits, oilcloths AND leather.

  7. Trust me, Sanae – from where I stand, your sewing looks impeccable! And I always comfort myself with less-than-perfect results by reminding myself that I wasn’t after the factory-made look anyway:) And better too big than too small – room to grow! I think those pants will become a great basic addition to her wardrobe.

    1. You’re being generous, Lucinda! You would be a little horrified if you saw the facing up close… Yep, those pants will be a staple for sure. K loves how comfortable they are!

  8. The colours are beautiful together – love that yellow and grey. And when you put a tee under the top, it looks that the bigger size was a deliberate choice anyway!

    1. That tee was K’s idea! She’s so good at styling. Without the tee though, it looked like she was trying to wear one of my tops 🙂 Thanks for the sweet comment, Fiona!

  9. I’ve had those moments. lol. Am I actually getting worse at sewing?……These kids change all the time in all different directions. Fitting them is pretty crazy!

  10. The clothes do look beautiful and you’re right; kids grow and clothes don’t go off. Just wait a bit and your sewing will be rewarded.
    Best wishes to K for the ordeal that is wearing braces. I do NOT remember it fondly but it’s absolutely worth it in the end.

    1. So far so good with the braces! I think all the preliminary stuff hurt her way more than the actual braces themselves. She’s a trooper, my little K!

  11. Hi Sanae,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while as I enjoy your writing, life stories, photos, drawings and the honesty that shines through. The outfit you created for your daughter is lovely — the colors and shapes are beautiful and I don’t see any of the errors that you pointed out — and I doubt anyone else will either!

    Having resumed sewing after a 20 year hiatus, I feel that I don’t sew as well as I used to but it doesn’t matter. I am no longer the perfectionist I needed to be and sometimes errors are endearing. I remember the patchwork blanket my grandmother gave me which had an inside out patch in the corner that she didn’t bother to fix, or maybe didn’t even notice. I liked that little patch and that is about all I remember about that blanket!

    I can see that K enjoys wearing the love you surround her with and what a lovely gift that is!

    1. How wonderful, thank you for your comment Kay! I love to hear about resurrected hobbies, and it sounds like you have just the right attitude toward sewing and imperfection. Very inspiring!

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