Happy 5th Birthday, My Froo!

Froo & Boo Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
Froo's 5th Birthday
My daughter turns 5 today! The bunnies were my handmade gift to Froo. They were a big surprise, even though I had prototype bunnies and spare bunny limbs all over my desk. The bunnies were sitting on Froo’s kitchen chair, waiting for her to wake up this morning. Froo loves her new bunnies! She’s already named them “Fringle & Stu”. I don’t know where she comes up with these things. Fringle & Stu will be outfiitted with new handmade wardrobes, so please excuse their current state of nakedness! You will see more of them soon, but for now, we are going to celebrate!

We had bunny Rice Krispies treats on a stick to share with Froo’s Kindergarten friends. Initially, I wrapped a shoebox and used an x-acto knife to slit a small “X” for the sticks to poke through. Some of the bunnies started to fall off, so I transferred the bunnies to a big tray instead. Oh well. I made one Rice Krispies treat with a cupcake cookie cutter for Froo’s breakfast.

This morning, Froo woke up to me poking her tummy. The kids were exhausted–we took a spontaneous trip to the Exploratorium the day before, where we got the giant spirograph-ish drawing. We surprised Froo with the bunnies, a scooter, a handmade card from the hubs and the oh so healthy birthday breakfast. I asked Froo what she liked the most–this is what she said, “I love you the best.” Today is full of warm fuzzies! The birthday festivities are ongoing–dinner, cake, FaceTime dates and more hugs & kisses to share. I may have to sit in a refrigerator at the end of the day to prevent my heart from melting. XOXO.

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Experimental Strawberry Knit Mini Tova

I’ve been experimenting again–this time for Froo. On Labour Day, we visited Hart’s Fabric, where I purchased a lush jersey knit in Lilac Strawberry from the Briar Rose collection, by Heather Ross. I’ve seen the collection all over the Internet, but it wasn’t until I saw it in person that I fell for the print. It reminds me of a happy childhood summer.

Doesn’t this shirt look like it smells good?
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
I based this shirt on the Flashback Skinny Tee in size 5T (which is the best pattern ever for kids tees: the excellent instructions & photos for sewing with knits, the perfect fit and the versatility for modification make it a staple in my pattern collection). Then I went nutty with my alterations to make it look like my scoop neck tova.

I managed to get a full pleat in the center front of the shirt by adding 4 inches of extra width to the front piece. I drafted the inset piece and tried to get it to look like a continuous scoop, but it’s looking a little disjointed. I’ll just call this one a square neck shirt instead. The strawberry buttons are from Daiso.
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
The neck opening doesn’t require stretch since there are buttonholes in the inset, so I decided to bind the neck opening with bias tape. Besides, I had oodles of aqua dot bias tape leftover from my Datura blouse. Here’s a look at the inside of the shirt:
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
I shortened and widened the sleeves to use the same “Wiksten Tova” method of gathering the sleeves and putting in cuffs. Since the cuffs are narrow, I used a stretch tricot stitch to attach the cuffs and a double-needle to finish it on the outside to ensure that there is still a bit of stretch.
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
To reduce bulk in the sleeve cuffs, the edge is only folded once, making it exposed on the inside. I serged the edges to give it a finished look. This cotton jersey knit fabric is a bit thicker and the edges curl like crazy–it really helps to use a serger to stabilize the edges.
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
The hem is finished with a serger and a double needle:
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
Froo loves strawberries, the buttons and the shirt! But she scratched her foot on her bed a moment before taking photos and didn’t feel like wearing her new shirt. Her unhappy first pose:
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
She is covering up most of the shirt with her bunny, so let’s focus on the next best thing: pinkish taupe suede boots. Recently acquired hand-me-downs from Froo’s second cousins. How awesome are they?
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
I had a couple of head-scratching, perplexed moments while making the strawberry knit mini tova, but I’m so happy with how it turned out! I think it’ll be a great go-to shirt for school as the weather gets cooler. I lengthened the shirt by 2 1/2″, which provides extended coverage and the pleat makes it comfortable for Froo to run around in. I love this look for Froo.
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
Although, I’m not sure Froo is convinced:
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
Finally, a couple of photos of Froo & me in our new knit tovas:
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
Strawberry Knit Shirt for Froo
A couple of happy shirts for a couple of happy girls. Similar, yet different. Just like the two of us.

Scoop Neck Wiksten Tova

If my last knit+voile Wiksten Tova was on the masculine side–being grey, with men’s striped shirting fabric and matching Boo’s shirt, this one is oozing with feminine features: florals, swiss dots, rounded corners and pintucks. I’ve become so familiar with this pattern that I took some dramatic liberties with this version–completely altering the inset.

Presenting the scoop neck knit+voile tova!
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
I added pintucks to the front inset based on another shirt that I have with swiss dots. I originally tried to make buttonholes, but my first one went askew and took forever to unpick, so I sewed the buttons through both layers. Although I’m not loving the little white flower buttons, they are inconspicuous and blend in with the white fabric.
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
I omitted the gathered front and intended to put a nice box pleat in the centre of the shirt instead. What I ended up with is a microscopic pleat with a gap in the middle! Hardly noticeable. At all. Boogers.
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
To explain why that happened, I need to describe what I did to draft a new inset. After creating a scoop neck curve, I lengthened the end of the inset where the placket is attached, to account for the extra width of the pintucks. After making my pintucks, I realized that I didn’t leave enough room for the placket. I had to narrow down the placket, ending up with a wider-than-original inset.
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
To achieve a rounded corner, I traced a small bowl over the corner of the inset, cut it off and taped it to the front pattern piece. When sewing the inset to the front of the shirt, I used a lot of pins on the corners to avoid any puckering. I love the look of the rounded corners!Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
I used store-bought 1/4″ double-fold bias tape to finish the inside of the inset.
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
For the back collar, I shortened one collar piece and attached it the same way as the cuffs, except the ends are tucked in, similar to the application of a bias tape finished hem.
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
While I love the floral printed knit, it has very little stretch and it’s not as soft as my grey tova–I have a feeling that it’s not going to hold up so well in the wash. I’m guessing that the fabric is more poly than cotton, which will start pilling with lint balls. I’ll have to remind the hubs not to put it in the dryer when he does the laundry!

Finally, a couple of photos of me in my latest tova. I had Froo take some outside, but it was rather windy:
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
We tried once more before going back inside. This is what Froo’s photos look like, when they haven’t been rotated and cropped:
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
I tried taking some photos inside, to escape the elements. These ones are a classic example of my “I’m trying to look focussed, yet at ease” pose:
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
This next pose is “how I really feel when I take these types of photos”:
Scoop Neck Knit+Voile Wiksten Tova
I think my latest tova is dramatically different! I don’t have to worry about flashing a bit of bra here and there with this inset–it is staying shut. The scoop could be a little scoopier, but overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! This is my 7th Wiksten Tova (my 3rd one in knit fabric) and I’ve finally had the courage to alter the pattern. I’m still sewing them up, at least one more–a round-up post will surely ensue.

I’m also drafting a mini version for Froo. I was going to use the same fabric, but then we took a trip to Santa Cruz on Labour Day and stopped by Hart’s Fabric for what seemed like 5 minutes, although the hubs was convinced it was an hour. I was drooling over the fabric selection!

When we finally got to the beach, Froo & Boo had a great time playing in the water. They had absolutely no interest in the boardwalk. The hubs tried a funnel cake for the first time. Boo ate most of my soft serve pineapple icecream. There was a crowded bunch of people trying to savour the last bits of summer. Oh hello, September!
Santa Cruz on Labour Day
Santa Cruz on Labour Day
Santa Cruz on Labour Day