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
Wombat Diary – Jumper (Sweater) and Shorts
I ADORE Diary of a Wombat. I first read it when I was teaching Year One on prac and I laughed so much I had trouble finishing the book. It’s the Diary of Mothball, a hungry and persistent wombat who ‘befriends’ a family and demands a lot of carrots. After looking through the book I knew exactly what I wanted to make . . .
I wanted a cuddly, but vaguely vintage look for this one. There’s lots of great photos around from earlier times of young boys wearing jumpers (sweaters for those who think jumpers are dresses) and shorts. And it’s quite practical in Queensland where our winters are kind of a joke to those from colder climates. For the jumper, I wanted to recreate the boarded up door which Mothball begs in front of. I wanted the shorts to be the dark brown of the wombat, but with appliqued carrots poking out of the pocket.
I used two old jumpers from the op shops for this, plus material from a men’s shirt to line the shorts. For the patterns, I used my old favourite, the Beachy Boatneck, but went up a size to make a roomier jumper. For the shorts I used the KID Shorts pattern, but with cut down pockets and adding a waistband. (Plus, did I mention that I lined them? This was pretty advanced for me!)
To do the front of the jumper, I arranged and then sewed the ‘planks’ onto the front piece, then made use of my inability to sew in a straight line to add detail lines.
I might yet add ‘nails’ to it, but I’m pretty happy with how it looks for the moment. I then made up the Beachy Boatneck as in the pattern (I love this pattern), but was able to use the pre existing hems for the waist and the sleeves (yay!)
To make the shorts, I actually made two pairs – the outer and the lining – but without the waist or hemming. I waited until I’d made them up to add the pockets, which was a bit trickier on sewing, but meant I got better placement than I have been getting. I also sewed the carrots on at the same time.
I attached the two pairs of shorts together at the bottom of the legs, which was a process fraught with fear and concern and I have no way to explain it to you, except to let you know that it worked, and that there must be an easier way!
I then turned them into each other, added a tag and then sewed on the waist. And then I had some shorts!
The waist band actually sits too high on Squirm, so I’ll end up folding it down and sewing it, but they look wonderful and were actually a lot easier than I thought they’d be. They’ll look even better after an iron, but the light and my model were fading, so we ventured into the wild backyard for some more glamour shots.
I am really proud of this outfit – it fits well, looks great and will work well with other outfits. It was also really fun to make, which is just an added bonus!