Friday, July 29, 2011

the boy's version

Still loving this pattern for shorts - quick to make, and so cute on kids. I used leftover jersey for Milo's pair and put elastic around the whole waist (as opposed to Sadie's more stylish, flat front shorts). The green trim is the very last of a t-shirt I cut up and I just love the colour combo. Who knew Milo would have the perfect t-shirt to match?

It's also possible he thought our photo shoot was for the toy bus though. Oops.

Friday, July 22, 2011

apron skirt

A while back when I cut up an old maternity dress to make a tank top, I still had plenty of fabric left over from the skirt. The happy accident that led to this skirt's design was when I stepped into the bottom portion of the cut up dress and tightened the fabric around my waist just to see what shape skirt I could make. It turned out that I liked the shape when I tightened it; it was A-line, it flared nicely at the back, and it was pretty much the right length too. So I decided to go with it. I have always loved big, unnecessarily wide (or long) ties and that's pretty much all I had to add to it. In my ongoing clothing strategy known as "operation: hide belly" there is just no better feeling than tying fabric tightly around your waist. The jiggly parts all get held in place - awesome. The chambray is 100% cotton, but it has just enough stretch to make the wrap over parts fall nicely. I have tried to remake this with two other less flexible cottons and it just doesn't fall the same. But I like the skirt so much I'll continue to hunt for another fabric that will work (as if I need reasons to shop for fabric). Now that I look at the skirt in photos, it really reminds me of a cafe apron I made a few years back for Tie One On. I should have realized ages ago that a skirt could follow that design!

Sadie took these photos, so I may have figured out a new system for documenting the clothes I'm making for myself (I swear there is knitting happening too, but since I got the basement studio set up I can't seem to stop sewing). They aren't totally in focus yet - the camera is a bit heavy for her 38lb body - but she seemed to enjoy being a photographer. As long as she can choose what shoes I wear, that is.

And totally unrelated to sewing, but so worth exploring for all the inspiring images this designer has collected in one place, visit Stuff Avery Likes. I'm smitten with her "Cool Dwellings" category right now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

fat quarter shorts

I love these shorts, I mean LOVE them. I drafted the pattern from a pair we picked up at Value Village last summer and I've already scaled it down so that Milo has his own pattern (and a sewn pair too - I just need to get him to sit still for some photos). Not that they are super unique, but the bias tape edges curving up at the side seams remind me of the shorts I wore as a kid, and I'm a sucker for nostalgia. But the really great part is that I only need a fat quarter's worth of fabric to make them. It's such a small piece of fabric that I end up making more daring choices when I purchase them - which explains how I ended up with the fabric above. I wasn't sure if Sadie would go for it but when I held the square of fabric up she was smitten. The bias tape is the chocolate jersey I've been using which is a nice, soft edge to the heavier cotton. I only put elastic on the back so that the front lays flat, but that's only for Sadie's "girl" version (Milo's pattern uses elastic all the way around the waist). I've got an Amy Butler fat quarter and some gingham bias tape lined up for Sadie's second pair.

Not that she needs more shorts. I'll admit it - sewing clothes for my kids is mostly an anti-laundry tactic. An avid washerwoman I am not.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

comfy clothes

Sadly, the Fabricland across the street from where I work is closing. No more emergency sewing needs easily solved, no more lunch hour sprees on t-shirt jersey ends. But as I mourned this loss, I stocked up on their more expensive fabrics since everything was 50% off. Mainly activewear terry/jersey that would usually be $29/metre.

The fabric washed up wonderfully. It drapes well because it's heavier than t-shirt jersey so I decided to make a skirt. I used an old American Apparel skirt I have as a guide, but I put a 5" waistband on it that I can wear either up or folded over (so far, I've only been wearing it up). Then I took my boatneck pattern from Wendy Mullin's Sew U Home Stretch to make a tank top. I finished the armholes but left the hem and neckline raw because the fabric curls nicely, and I had already left the skirt hem raw too. All in all, both garments took under 90 minutes to make and I've pretty much had them on ever since. In hot weather they are super comfortable, though as I looked through the photos Sadie took of me (we're testing out Sadie with the camera) I'm not sure that they're very flattering. Not that I care much - comfort is way more important in this weather and chocolate brown is a nice break from the usual black.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

the reds

There is one problem I have when sewing for myself: I get stuck at the picture-taking phase. Luckily my friend Catherine has let me off the hook - she claims that photos of the garments by themselves are completely acceptable. So here is another tank and a sundress using the same pattern I've been using for a few months now. Although adjusting the strap style changes each piece a little bit, I may be nearing the end of using this pattern - I still have two other garments to that's 6 in total from one basic shape. Probably enough.

The tank is made from chambray I bought last year to make the tie-front style Mociun dress from, but it never really worked. I think the tank will get much more use, plus I had enough fabric to also make a wrap skirt (again, not photographed yet). The sundress is from a second batch of Anna Maria Horner's voile I bought. I love the pattern, but boy, it's expensive fabric. And so far, I haven't even worn the dress. It's almost too lightweight for me, but I haven't figured out what else to do with it. Now that I think of it, I should have tried the Mociun style dress out of this fabric, it's exactly the right weight.

Oh well.