7.28.2014

Shorts On The Line: Puppet Show Shorts

Can I just say how excited I am to be back for another year of Shorts on The Line?  Because I am.

And I'm even more excited this time around because it's been hot, hot, hot around here lately which makes for some perfect shorts-wearing weather.  Now, when it cam time to pick a pattern to make this time around I have to say that I came very close to picking one of the many new (or new-to-me) patterns that are out there, but in the end I remembered that I'm trying to hard to sew with what I have on hand this year and that includes patterns.  Because if you're anything like me you have an embarrassing number of patterns at home that you've never even made (please tell me I'm not the only one who has this problem).


Like this Oliver and S Puppet Show Shorts pattern.  I actually bought this pattern almost two years ago specifically to make the shorts, but somehow I never got around to making them (although I did use the dress part of the pattern to make this dress, so it wasn't a total waste I guess).  I love that Shorts on the Line provided me with the kick in the rump that I needed to finally make a pair of these ridiculously cute shorts.


And they are ridiculously cute (or maybe it's just the chubby toddler legs in them that make them so cute).  For the fabric, I decided to go with some dark gray and white seersucker because 1) nothing says summer like seersucker and 2) I love the way that you can make different design elements on a pattern pop simply by changing the orientation of the stripes on seersucker.

Shorts? Vertical stripes
Waistband and pockets? Horizontal stripes
Bindings? Diagonal stripes.

Easy peasy.


Oh, and a little flat piping on the pockets for good measure (and because I cannot resist piping).  And a completely non-functional button on the front because, well, because I wanted to.  I kind of love the way that these shorts turned out, but more important I really loved making them.  I've had a spate of sewing failures around here lately and this project was a much-needed win.


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to dig through my patterns to find out what other little treasures I have buried in there!  Hopefully it'll include some more shorts patterns!


PS - And here's my PSA message of the day.  When your child does this pose, run - don't walk - to the nearest bathroom.  Someone (who shall remain nameless) may have peed all over her new shorts about two minutes after I put them on her.  Lesson learned.

This post is part of the Shorts on the Line sewalong.  Shorts on the Line 2014 is sponsored by: Britex FabricsHawthorne Threadsmiss matatabi, and Soak Wash.  Hosted by imagine gnatssmall + friendly, and Kollabora.

7.21.2014

Just Like The Old Days


When I first started sewing, I sewed dresses almost exclusively.

Fitted dresses.  Flared dresses.  Long dresses.  Short dresses.

You name it, I spent all night sewing it.


But overtime I kind of lost my love of sewing dresses.  Possibly because I really don't wear a ton of dresses in everyday life.  Probably because nowadays I tend to be drawn to simpler projects and fitting clothes kind of gives me a headache.  And honestly, I'm not particularly good at fitting clothes to my body.  I totally use cheater methods and anybody who knows anything about proper fitting techniques would no doubt shake their head at my lack of skills.

But despite all this, I did it anyway.  Sew a dress, that is.


Don't be too impressed, though, because I basically sewed this dress (New Look 6557) once already -although that dress died an unfortunate death at the hands of my serger.  Knowing that it fit fairly well the first time around, though, gave me the motivation to try my hand at sewing dresses once again.  Plus, once I decided to make this dress, I found that I had the perfect amount of an ombre batik fabric in my stash.  It's almost like it was meant to be.

Just like last time the dress came together fairly easily although I did find myself scratching my head at the point where I was supposed to sew on the back facings.  In the end, I'm pretty sure that I didn't do it right but I've come to realize that pattern instructions are not the end all, be all and if I can figure out an alternative method that works just as well, then good for me.  In making the dress I also opted to interface the front of the midriff and I added a facing for that piece as well to cover the interfacing.  Also, I took off about three and a half inches in the length of the skirt after it was all sewn up because it hit at a weird point on my leg and I like the look of a knee-length skirt better.  I also hand-sewed the hem because I wanted to avoid a visible hem, but it ended up being a fortuitous decision because it helped with easing in the flared skirt at the hem.


As for fitting modifications, I used my cheater methods once again and took about an inch off of the upper back through the placement of the invisible zipper.  And because you fit the straps at the very end of making the dress I was able to make sure that the dress fit around the bust by adjusting the length of the straps.  Part of me wonders if I should have fit the dress better around the bust, but another part of me knows that I tend to over-fit dresses which makes them fit perfectly when you're standing straight up, but makes them way too tight when you do anything else (like bend, or walk, or engage in anything that requires even a small range of motion).


In any case, it's done.  I sewed a dress.  It's just like the old days.

Only with a few more wrinkles and gray hairs.

7.13.2014

You Biked 200 Miles? Well, I Sewed A Dress. It Looks Like We're Even.

A wonderful thing happened this weekend.


I found my sewing mojo.

Because while Ben spent all day Saturday biking the STP, (in his handmade jersey, thank you very much) I spent all day Saturday holed up in my basement sewing like a machine.


First up in my weekend creations - a Popover Dress by Oliver and S (which just so happens to be a free pattern on their website).  You see, O's all-time favorite dress is a super-simple sundress that her grandma brought back for her from Cambodia.  She started wearing it several years ago when it was way too long but now it's almost too short for her so I figured that it was time to attempt to create a replacement.  Fortunately, the Popover Dress is pretty similar in design to O's current favorite dress, making it the perfect pattern for operation "dress replacement."


I really didn't make many any big changes to the pattern except that I added 6 inches of width to both the front and back panels because I knew that I wanted the dress to be nice and flowy.  I just gathered up the extra fabric when sewing the pieces together and it worked out perfectly.  I kind of wish that the straps were a bit thinner but I'll just have to remember that for next time around.  And like most Oliver and S patterns, the dress came together like a dream.


But let's talk about this fabric because that's what I'm most excited about.  You see, quite a while ago my sister brought me a packet of fabric from Pakistan with three different cotton lawns in it.  One fabric was a solid color and the others had two different patterns on them.  According to the picture on the packet I guess I was supposed to use the fabric to sew this...


...but I didn't because I'm a total rebel.  I used the super soft plain cotton to line these shorts last year and I've been scheming about what to make with the other fabrics ever since.  And if I'm being completely honest, I was also greedily holding onto the fabrics because I wanted to make myself something with them.


In the end, though, I knew that a fabric with such a beautiful border print would make a kick-ass sundress (and sadly the fabric piece wasn't big enough to make a sundress for me).  So in an attempt to be a good mom, I cut into my beautiful fabric and made this little sundress for O.


Fortunately, O is a really great recipient of handmade goods.   Every time I make something for her, she always asks if she can wear it the rest of the day.  My other one, however, is a less grateful recipient and often has to be bribed to even try on handmade clothes.  If it were up to her she'd wear polyester clothes with Disney princesses and My Little Ponies on them all day.

You win some, you lose some.

7.10.2014

What To Title Your Post When You Have So Little Motivation That You Can't Even Come Up With A Title


Well, it appears that I've lost the ability to do two things recently:

1) Get anything done and
2) Put together a semi-complete sentence.

I had high hopes of being a master of productivity in my time off between school quarters but I seem to have lost all motivation to do anything that requires a modicum of brain power.  If anybody happens to find my missing motivation, let me know.  But in the meantime, just know that we are loving the beginning of summer around here and are looking forward to the months to come.


You hear that summer?

Bring it.

And by "it" I mean ice cream.

Okay, glad we cleared that up.



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