Thursday, 27 March 2014

sewing for children ??? yes please :-)

Every now and then I come across boggers who speak vehemently against sewing for children. It is usually from people without children, who occasionally or once have been asked or suggested or decided to sew for children of family and friends.

One of the frequent complaints seems to be 'ungratefulness' of the recipient (either child or parent thereof ), but I have to say both my children are over the moon when I sew something for them. They usually want to wear it RIGHT AWAY and tell everyone they meet that  'my mummy made it' with this wide smile. The joy I get from seeing the happiness in their little (or not so little in the case of my son) face is unmeasurable. True happiness :-)

Usually their items are simple and don't require much thought at all .... and their gratefulness is lasting. They are very reluctant to stop wearing something that I made for them. In fact, my son still wears his pyjamas I made 2 years ago, despite having seriously outgrown them. He even wanted to bring them to camp this year. In that spirit I used some of the jersey mountain to make him 2 pairs of jersey sleep shorts and one long pair.

The shorts only take about 50cms of fabric, so those 2 pieces of fabric were remnants from Spotlight at a dollar each.

The pattern itself is my self drafted shorts pattern for my son, very loose and roomy. Hopefully they'll last another 2 years :-)

The air plane jersey he picked out 2 years ago and I thought if I don't sew with it soon he'll be a teenager and just arch his eyebrow at the thought of air plane shorts/pants. Though I am only assuming this, having had no teenagers myself yet, it might well be that my kids will surprise me again.

Don't get me wrong if you spend hours upon hours creating an appliqued, multi-layered princess dress or similar, a piece of art you have poured your heart into ... I actually found an Alabama Chanin Style dress for a toddler in the Oliver &S flickr stream once ... anyway, chances are you are going to be disappointed with the thanks that you get. It is very hard for kids (and adults who don't sew) to put in the appropriate gratitude for something like this since they don't know the effort involved, but these shorts/pants are nowhere near this level :-)

Monday, 17 March 2014

to the Max(i skirts)

I keep writing posts in my head, but never actually get around to posting them, instead I post rushed pictures of things I sewed with some waffling accompanying it :-)

Well, as part of managing the stash monster I thought I do an inventory, but realistically I am a little frightened of it, because it means facing the whole extend of my hoarding. Some self-help book that I browsed through years ago suggested breaking daunting tasks down into smaller tasks so I thought just inventory my knit fabrics ... well, I have a lot.

The inventory didn't go so well, as in I didn't actually do it (I realised I have over 20 meters of fabric there and nearly cried), but looking at the fabric was inspiring, so I whipped up - hah ... I never get to say that ... even super easy projects take me hours - 2 maxi skirts. All the Gabriola skirts around made me want to have a Maxi skirt too, but I am saving money to go to my sisters wedding in Germany, soooooooooooo ... instead of spending 16 dollars on a skirt pattern, I investigated free patterns around the interwebs.

Even though I started with blogs in the world of crafting I soon moved to sewing blogs once I started sewing simply in order to learn it better. As I entered the colourful and joyful world of the crafting blogs again, things like seam allowances, grain lines and seam finishes were a thing of the past. It is good for me to occasionally sew by the seat of my pants though, all too often I overthink each seam through to the max thus losing all joy, because my own perfectionism stops me from just getting on with it, dragging each project out for days or weeks.

Eventually I settled on the Mismatched Maxi as a starting point from iCandy. I took it in over the knee to be a bit more fitting, because I am rather short and I can easily be swamped under a lot of fabric. I absolutely love the result, not seriously, they are fabulous.

Each fabric was originally bought for something else, but as it always is, once it is in the stash I lost interest. The seagreen jersey above was actually bought as a muslin fabric really recently. The stripey fabric below has been in my stash for maybe 2 years and it was meant to be a top, but I was always worried about stripe matching, so I never made the top.

It has a yoga pants top / waistband bit, so it is really comfortable and nice to wear. The 1 meter I had just covered the skirt and recycled the waistband bit from a pair of pants that I haven't work in a long time.

Onwards and upwards ... Happy St Patrick's Day :-)

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

more Lorax presents

It's Lorax time again. We love the Lorax in our house, adults and children. I made my husband some Lorax boxers last year for his birthday and this year he wanted more (how is that for a ringing endorsement) ... he even ordered the fabric (it's some organic quilting cotton available on when it was on special.

So ... we have a bright green version with little Loraxes all over it.

It's the same pattern from the Sew Everything Workshop book with the same modifications as before, namely lengthened the legs by 2 inches and added 1/2 inch to the waist band.

Next we have a bright orange version with the thneed factory on it.

The pocket blends in perfectly :-)

The boxers are actually really lovely and easy to sew, so it really is the perfect beginners pattern - it's the pattern Peter Lappin first sewed and look where he is now :-)

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

UFO #4 - the check mate skirt

FINALLY ... my last UFO, my very last, whoooohoooo.

I had been thinking about this skirt for a long time. It's is what would happen if Tilly's Picnic Blanket skirt would have a baby with Julia's elastic fantastic skirt :-) I would have done Tilly's skirt just as is, but it is a gathered skirt and I don't think this particularly suits me. Gathered skirts make my bottom look HUGE and cause disproportionate envy at Tilly's lithe body. I do love the idea of using belt elastic as a waist band, just to have that extra stretch, and it was very easy to do.

The fabric was a birthday present from my sister and it's a loosely woven cotton with quite a bit of drape. So when Sewaholic's Hollyburn skirt came out I thought I would be able to make something. That something turned out to be slightly more involved then I had originally thought.

This skirt put me into check a couple of time, in fact, at some point I thought I was in check mate and put it to the side for maybe 9 months (invisible zipper into the bias cut back with the matching of the chevrons). It was started for the Hollyburn Sew-along in Jan/Feb last year ... sigh.

I cut the skirt in a size 10 rather then a size 6-8 for me and then stretched the shorter elastic slightly as I attached it. It just gives it that extra bit of space as the elastic stretches to adjust to my waist. Time will tell whether it is as good as I imagine, but so far I have been quite happy. It does give the skirt a distinctly vintage look :-)

It's cut on the bias for the chevron effect with plenty of hand-basting to make sure it all lines up correctly ... all seams where basted at least twice, because I kept stretching it accidentally.

I even matched the sides ... mostly

The back was the hardest to get to match up with the zipper and everything, and it is where I stopped back in February last year out of fear for doing it wrong. In the end I just told myself that having it slightly mismatched is better then no skirt at all and you know, it is not too bad actually. I interfaced the area where the zipper is to stop it from stretching, but the insertion was still nerve wrecking.

I can tell that it is not perfect where the zipper is, but overall it is not that noticeable.

I left it to hang for 4 weeks and it relaxed quite a bit (2 inches in some places). I evened it all out and  finished it off by hand-stitching the hem with a little bit of purple lace I had laying around.

I am a little scared to wash it now, what if the relaxed hem shrinks back and leaves the hem really uneven ... ahhhhh :-)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

a birthday dress for the birthday girl

Happy Birthday little one :-)

We love you lots, my little one, in fact, your mummy loves you so much that she stayed up half the night to draft a quick little jersey dress for this piece of cotton interlock with owls that has been sitting in my stash for a while.

The fabric had a big 12in stripe running along one side, so I used that as the binding for the arms and neck. It's got kimono sleeves and a simple A-line shape, just right for dancing in it.

Hope you keep that joy, ickle one :-)