Tuesday, May 04, 2010

so far, 'sew' good

Oh, I love me a lame blog post title, don't you?

I finally got around to photographing and posting the summer sewing thus far...both kids are taking a nap due to a super active morning, so I am taking advantage!

Let's get right to it then.

For Daughter:

3 pairs of shorts, all from Butterick 4176. Cute pattern, very easy to execute, but kind of a high rise on these. However, that might be good for playing outside in the summer...she won't be constantly tugging them up as she plays. We haven't found many storebought shorts that actually fit in the waist for my skinny girl, so hopefully these will work out. The cottons are two really old cuts that I used for sundresses when she was, I believe, 2 years old. I had about 1/2 yard left of each, just enough for these shorts. And the denim is quite a nice weight, purchased from W*Mart when the fabric department closed a couple months back.

#3 (of 4) using Simplicity 5489. Oh, how I love this pattern! It is so easy, and gives such a satisfying result. On the others I made, I used the bias band that the pattern calls for, but on this I simply lengthened the main dress piece by about 5 inches. I only bought a yard of this totally awesome fabric, and when I got home I realized that the design ran from selvage to selvage. Whoops! Not enough fabric to cut all the pieces properly, so I used batiste and a lightweight interfacing for the facing pieces. The buttons are just white plastic, but I didn't want to take away from the print. LOVE this fabric! (Daughter says she hates it, but I think she'll come around.) The 4th dress (from this pattern) is cut out and awaits assembly. That will be sundress #7 total for this summer, so I think I can lay off the sundresses now!

For AJ:

I bought a 1-yard cut of this buttery soft linen in a lovely brownish color, intending to make AJ some little lightweight pants for this summer. Unfortunately I grabbed the size 2 pattern pieces rather than size 1, and as my kids tend to run one size behind their ages, these are too big for this year. Hopefully next Spring they will be the right size. I'm not even sure which pattern I used for these...any basic pull-on pants pattern would give the same result.

And for me:

Really, really basic pull-on skirt to run errands in all summer long...made from a really old cut of ugly purple-gray linen I got on clearance at Hancock fabrics. I know we were in our first apartment when I bought it, and it predates Daughter by at least a year. The pattern I used is ancient, too: McCall's 3199, "quick & easy drawstring skirts in 5 lengths." I cut the XS in the shortest length, and it fits perfectly, hitting just above the knee. This pattern obviously runs HUGE, as I'm never an XS in anything. I'm not even an S, and often not an M. So yeah, it's got a lot of ease.

Wrap skirt using another cut of fabric and pattern that have been around forever - the pattern is New Look 6637 (long and short wrap skirts, drawstring pants and shorts). I made this pattern about 10 years ago, I'm guessing, and it was a disaster. I didn't really know what I was doing, so I'm betting my darts were awful, and I used ties as called for in the pattern. Now, seriously ladies, who would ever want bulky ties right at their waistline? It just looked awful...made me look frumpy and lumpy and fat around my middle. Ugh!

But then I saw a blog post somewhere about wrap skirts that button, and I thought, eureka! I could totally modify this!

I used a pretty piece of pique, donated to my stash by my mom, who intended it for a sundress for herself, oh, probably about 15 years ago now. The problem is, it is white, and who wants their underpants showing under a white skirt? Not me. So I chose to make another entire skirt out of white batiste, and I simply sewed them together, all the way around, leaving an opening in one of the lining seams. Then I turned it right sides out, pressed, measured carefully for one inner and two outer buttons, and voila! I now have a cute, just above-the-knee skirt that is really quite flattering. And my underpants do not show.

I plan to make at least one more of these, as they are so easy and very comfortable!

And finally, a linen top. I took major liberties with the colors here so the lint on my bathroom mirror wouldn't show up in the picture. The actual color matches the fuchsia in the wrap skirt. It looks seriously awful on the hanger, so I had to take a modeled photo. This is some linen I bought about 3 or 4 years ago at Joann's, meaning to make a long-sleeved blouse from it. And I remember buying it, too, because it was another incident of rudeness at the Joann's cutting counter...I was also purchasing featherweight interfacing that day for another project, and the woman haughtily told me I was buying the wrong interfacing for this linen and my project would never work out.


This is another somewhat old pattern, New Look 6483, which I have used in the past with great success. The only change I made to the pattern was to lower the dart by about 1 inch. I can never understand whose bust these patterns are drafted for. Are your boobs up under your chin? Cause mine sure aren't, but the dart in this pattern points way, way too high. Lowered slightly, it works out just perfectly. I cut the 12 and made no further modifications, and I find the top fits exactly how I like, with slight ease for movement, but no gapping. I LOVE linen, so will probably make a few more of these if I can find enough scrap linen in my stash.

Well, those are the finished garments as of today. I have a few more things cut for Daughter, and then she should be just about done for the summer. AJ isn't really getting anything handmade this year due to his physical needs (turns out they make onesies all the way up to 5T, hallelujah). I still need more summer things because my wardrobe hasn't been updated since before I had children. At least a sundress and a couple more skirts and tops are needed. Maybe some capri pants. I also placed a recent order with fabric.com for several cuts of lawn and dotted swiss to make summer nightgowns/pajamas for Daughter and myself. Now that I've tossed all the breastmilk-stained summer PJs, there isn't much left in my drawer!

I'll keep plugging away at it, a little at a time, until we all have what we need. But really, despite the enjoyment I get out of sewing, I cannot imagine having to make a wardrobe for a large family completely by hand as they did in the old days. I know people had only a few garments each, but still...to make everything, including underthings and linens, all by hand and by candle/oil lamp light? Sheesh. I tip my hat to those frontier women who did it all (with no electricity nor running water, and a baby on their hip).

So, what are you making?


HangerMom said...

Wowzer. You've been very busy! I love the dress that daughter hates. I do hope she changes her mind.

Have you seen the reversible wrap skirt that Kristi just posted a link to on webgoddess? It's adorable, and has a button option if you're opposed to the big ribbon. Once I'm not pregnant, I'm going to give that one a try for myself. For now, I'm sticking with sundresses and skirts for the girls.

Karen said...

Your machine must be smoking! Great stuff! When are you going to break out the new pj pattern? It'll be great in a summer weight lawn.