Expecting Sun Overalls

I came back from vacation with a renewed sense of creativity. It’s odd how we can grow from holding back sometimes.

When we arrived home I immediately organized my precious stash of fabric and circled it like a famished shark. I have recently acquired new material; some from the remnant piles of stores, a little from homes being cleaned out for rentals or selling, and some off the tarps of the flea market (my newest find was an entire bolt of blue fabric for $10!!…yes people were hounding my husband as he carried it around for me). This fresh blood, so to speak, has given all the cottons and knits colorfully folded a new vibrant feel. I plunged in .This was the result:

WP_20150426_11_31_01_ProWeirdly enough I made a template for this in one pattern piece…that’s right, these overalls are just one cut into the material. It is the longest, most misshaped pattern you’ve ever seen, but it worked. I paired a favorite pants pattern with the front and back shirt bodice, with loose measurements I made the straps extra long so they could fold on themselves to allow extra growth.

I did decide to make a lining. In hindsight I would have the lining extend almost to the crotch so that the awkward center seam does not irritate baby skin. I stitched the lining and overalls together at the waist in two rows and put a cute drawstring in for detail and because I didn’t know how loose it would be on her. A couple button holes worked perfect in the outer material to let the ribbon through. One other detail I put extra time into is a folded cuff, I think it adds a little charm since there is not a lot of visual design to this outfit.

Overall these came out great. I am taking into consideration that there were no fittings or clear cut way to do this; however that center seam is probably going to have me rethinking the top piece. This outfit will work for the season.

WP_20150426_18_27_55_Pro  WP_20150426_18_27_27_ProWP_20150426_11_30_52_Pro

What gives you a rush of inspiration?

Advertisements

Derailed

I have so many plans, but sometimes things go another way. I’ve managed to get a project done, and it was delivered to the little baby who it was meant for. I hope she likes it.

There are 3 pieces; a gold jacket, gold pants and a silver top. Of course it wasn’t meant to be paired at the same time otherwise the baby will look like a golden egg. The pants came about because there was enough material left over.

Here are some of the details: pleats in the pants and the same matching knit stripped fabric as the bias tape.

May all your plans and projects come to life!

Family Threads From The Past – Recreating Clothes & Attitudes From Old Photos

To start the series I wanted to begin with a fabulous family picture of my Mom from the 1970’s. Here they are side by side.


When I started to think about the design it was so simple, however now I realize the original was shorts and my version is just a dress. Anyway I think it came out great and I’m happy with the result. I do hope it will still fit for the 4th of July. It seems a natural.


The construction was smooth. I started out with a bodice pattern piece and sleeve I know fits and built it from there. I cut a special small blue patch for the center.

I did do an extra few steps which I know see aren’t necessary. Basically it’s just a matter of sewing the blue swatch to the front skirt. It’s really important to hem the blue at this point and luckily I remembered!

These pockets are just fun!

 This was a fun way to connect to with the past. Its a unique style that i surely will not find in the stores! I hope your projects are just as rewarding this week!

Check out the intro, Threads From The Past HERE

Cost of Clothing: Penny Pinching

Penny Pinching:

In an effort to find the true cost of clothes, from economical to emotional, I sewed in the penny pinching fashion.

“Sewing is a really expensive hobby,” used to be my response to anyone who commented on the subject. But is this true? Must we have a special shopping trip for every project?

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last year it’s that sewing does not have to be this perfect mechanical process. It can be fun and more importantly it can be cheap!

Method 1:    Discount Store

Cost        Supplies    $0.50

         Time        2 Hours

Political    Very Shady

        Emotional    Disappointed but inspired to try it again

Designing:    I found a lonely yard of purple floral at Wal-Mart for $0.50. I couldn’t believe my eyes and almost burst from joy that new fabric could be this inexpensive; never mind the print is not my favorite or the feel is very stiff, almost brittle, to the touch. I went online right away to find a wallet friendly tutorial and like magic a free pattern popped onto my screen without even touching the keyboard…it wass meant to be!


Execution:    This Carolina Dress pattern is just adorable, from Schwinn&Schwinn, and I printed it right away trying to make sure all the settings were accurate. Somewhere along the way I thought the pattern looked a bit small, but I quickly denied it since everything was cut out and I kept sewing. It turns out it is small, the final product measures around 6 months. Oh well, there is always Christmas gifts. I’ll definitely be tying the same style on another outfit soon, but perhaps I’ll have a tape measure and measurements on hand next time.


Result:        Material at a discount store can be incredibly inexpensive, but also poor quality. Obviously cheap labor is used (horrible images came to my mind), so I did some casual research and was surprised to find China’s minimum wages are on the rise (still at a low $300.00 usd monthly in Beijing) and because of this and a few other factors, many textile companies have moved off to other countries where factory work can be easily and quickly set up at lower costs. Basically the problem isn’t solved, just relocating and “Made In China” is no longer the bottom rung. Of course there are other ways to shop such as thrift stores, swap meets, or trading with friends.

For less than a dollar it was worth a try. The dress is still adorable despite everything.

Method 2: Up-Cycle

Cost        Supplies    Free

        Time        1 ½ hours

        Political    Gold Star

        Emotional    Fantastic

Designing:     I had an old sweater in my closet that was sacrificed to the ‘Baby Needs Pants’ fund. Knits are great because they are very forgiving on a sewer’s skills. Given the previous project’s results I decided to draft my own pattern from a pair of pants that she has just outgrown.


Execution:    I folded and traced around an old pair of pajama bottoms, giving an extra 1 ½ inches birth. There was just barely enough sweater material for the pattern I made, but it worked and it was quick to sew up. A small pocket was positioned on the back of the pants and I love how this random detail worked out.



Result:        I love these pants! They fit perfect, even over the giant cloth diaper. I’m so glad I made a template because I will be making half a dozen more for the winter. Up-cycling is wonderful for kids clothes since not very much material is needed and it’s a great way to give a favorite garment new life. It’s best to use articles with simple lines, few seams, and no darts or yokes. And don’t forget sheets, blankets, or anything else around the house.



Overall penny pinching can be a gamble, but there’s no harm in trying!!!

Original Cost of Clothing Post

Cost Of Clothing: The Middle Way

Cost Of Clothing: Special Occasion

Thanksgiving Attitude & Attire

If you told me a year ago that I would soon be spending my days watching the children grow and sewing their wardrobes in off hours I would have ignored you. I would have solemnly gone off on my own and grieved for a normal I might not know again. My perspective has been altered forever having almost lost my daughter as a baby. The word grateful has grown some very deep roots in my understanding; I cannot even think of wishes for the birthday candles anymore because the most important wish of my life has already been given.

Reflection always seems to creep up on us this time of year and this time it is a big one for myself. I have also promised that I would not constantly bring up hard times to strangers, but it does happen. So with a very thankful heart I put Lillian’s Thanksgiving outfit together.

I bought two patterns from a store and found them very exciting. (Yes sewing can be exciting!) The dress I followed directions exactly and finished in a day or two. The jacket, however, was a mind bender. I changed everything and had to really think all the steps out, but it is fabulous! An incredibly warm, quilted coat, lets get on with the pictures:


 



    It’s all about the details, am I right! I added piping to the collar in the red fabric as well as using it in the cross decoration. I think it accents lovely. The jacket was originally a short sleeved, one layer, long coat. I hacked this pattern up….Shortening the overall length and curving the two front panels up to show more of the dress underneath. The sleeves were lengthened and I quilted with cotton batting and a blue material I had on hand (confession, the blue is an old bed sheet). I was inventing my way through this project and I’m super proud. My favorite thing is the stitch-less appearing seam, from quilted blue to red lining, by hand sewing an invisible stitch. I ran into many problems, namely I hadn’t considered how to attach the batting to the top layer of coat…several hours later I had hand stitched everything in place. The punch those brass buttons bring is the last great touch.

Well that is my current completed project. I’m repeating myself here, but it truly is the perfect time to enjoy indoor projects and reflect on all the good that is in our lives. I would love to hear of any your projects, attitudes, or thoughts.

Farewell!

City Sweater Design

I made a first fitting for my upcoming pattern City Sweater in size 12 months. It’s a short-waisted sweater with slim arms meant for cool mornings and the upcoming fall weather.


I love the overall fit and curved edges; such a nice break from all bulky sweaters my daughter currently has. However this will not do well with many layers underneath I realized.



I up-cycled the material from a red argyle shirt so the material is a very light weight knit. The red stitching around the edge was a bad idea since my stitches aren’t the straightest. In the future I’ll only stitch in contrasting color with cotton; lesson learned.


Of course comfort is the most important thing to babies and I think this passes the test. She was right at home in the sand pit.

Thanks for taking a look!

VEST (Very Exacerbating….SomeTimes)

I recall making my son a vest a few months back, and apparently I had forgotten the mess I created trying to sew up the sleeves. So when I attempted to make a baby vest, with oh-so-small areas to work with, I almost gave up on the project. This is not a tutorial because I took the darn thing apart so many times…there is no way I would want to guide anyone through that.

In the end it took me 2 days to make and with a few hours of hand stitching, I think it came out pretty darn cute; very “Woodsman”. In fact it is looks perfect for an upcoming reunion auction.

My lessons were:

Don’t throw things out; it might turn around in the next few steps.

Sew armholes before turning right side out while leaving side seams open.

 

So the only thing left to do now is make many more vests until I have it hammered out. I’m planning another vest project in the next week or so and that will be a tutorial because I feel more confident. It seems like there a few different ways to go about this project…

 

I had a fast moving model this morning, but she illustrates how small the Woodsman Vest is.