KCW: Summer 2013 (Winter): Outfit One: Donaldson’s Dairy

For this Kids Clothes Week I am aiming to create outfits which are inspired by picture books and movies. As I finish the outfits, I’ll share my inspiration and the process

Donaldson’s Dairy – Shirt, Shorts and Cardigan


One of our favourite picture books is Hairy Maclary of Donaldson’s Dairy. This lovely, rhyme-filled book introduces a number of dogs who head out on a walk together. The main dog is Hairy Maclary.

I was inspired by two different images from the book – the one above and the last image in the book. I decided to sew a blue shirt with railings painted on (like the railings in the above image). For shorts, I was inspired by the last image, where Hairy Maclary hides underneath a checked blanket. Finally I decided to make a black cardigan (black for Hairy Maclary) with an image of the mail box on the back.

Donaldson Dairy Shirt Shorts and Cardigan02

My original sketch

I sourced my material at a couple of op shops – a woman’s t-shirt, a women’s sweater and a men’s business shirt. (I forgot to photograph the t-shirt before I started cutting)

Donaldson Dairy Shirt Shorts and Cardigan04 Donaldson Dairy Shirt Shorts and Cardigan03

I partly made the shirt and the shorts at the same time this morning while I was waiting for the shops to open to buy a new iron. The shirt was the Beachy Boatneck pattern from Blank Slate Patterns. It’s one of my favourite patterns and I didn’t even need to refer to the instructions to make it this time. The material of the shirt was my main difficulty – it’s an incredibly fine rib which has caused me problems before, and I think I’ll avoid it as much as I can in the future. I find that simple seams and hems often stretch despite my best attempts, so because of this, I left the shirt sleeves unhemmed. I might do something about it later, but for now it’s fine.

Donaldson Dairy Shirt and Shorts1 Donaldson Dairy Shirt and Shorts3

The shorts were made to a slightly adapted KID Shorts pattern. Because Squirm has big cloth nappies, I needed to add a bit extra in a few places – I tend to cut to a bigger size, then add an inch to the waist. I’ve used this adapted pattern a couple of times now and I really like it.

I had the worst time cutting these shorts. I did it way too late at night and ended up cutting four front pieces. Then I cut two back images, but not mirrored. Luckily I had enough fabric to finally get the pieces I needed! I used the shorts template as well, and added a little strip of fabric as a detail to the pocket.

Donaldson Dairy Shirt and Shorts2
Donaldson Dairy Shirt and Shorts5

Fully covered nappy bum!

The cardigan was also from Blank Slate Patterns – Cool Cardigan. My version was incredibly basic – no cuffs (I used the ones from the sweater), no pocket, no waistband. I haven’t put buttons on it yet, and I’m thinking I may not. I appliqued a letterbox on the back of the cardigan – a simple white rectangle with a cut out and a green strip for the top – but otherwise kept it very basic.

I had a couple of problems with the thickness of the material, so I might try a different needle next time I use this kind of material. However, although the cardigan isn’t perfect, it does fit him really well and looks pretty cute. Luckily he woke up from his nap and the rain held off for us so we could get some photos of the whole outfit together.

Donaldson Dairy Shirt Shorts and Cardigan11 Donaldson Dairy Shirt Shorts and Cardigan10 Donaldson Dairy Shirt Shorts and Cardigan13 Donaldson Dairy Shirt Shorts and Cardigan12 Donaldson Dairy Model Shots3 Donaldson Dairy Model Shots2 Donaldson Dairy Model Shots1 Donaldson Dairy Model Shots5 Donaldson Dairy Model Shots4 Donaldson Dairy Model Shots7

Have you made anything for Kids Clothes Week this week? Are you a Hairy Maclary fan?

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