Thursday, September 30, 2010

Self-Stitched September: This Is It

First, thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments on my last post! I'm taking away to be glad he (still) lets me sew for him, and to be receptive to whether or not he will want me to continue.

This September has been a bit rough on me. Both of my children came down with pneumonia, DS is having a tough start in first grade, my thoughts and energies were not on sewing, blogging, documenting.

(Self-stitched: skirt, blouse, lounge pants, skirt, skirt)

I stopped taking pictures halfway through the month. Above are the last ones I took; I also took one (on the far right) today for closure. When taking my picture (and choosing picture-worthy outfits; not necessarily successfully) became more of a chore than anything else I decided to drop the picture-taking. I kept my pledge of wearing at least one self-stitched garment every day, however!

I couldn't keep it up all the time, but a few weeks of getting out the Self-Stitched garments and really putting them to the test has been worth it, again. One surprising discovery: I really do love the navy polka-dot blouse! I just needed SSS to make me get out my skinny jeans (the only bottom this blouse really goes with) from the depths of the closet so I could successfully wear it.

So again, thank you Zoe for initiating this! And thank you to everyone who followed this, and thank you to all the other Self-Stitchers this September who inspired me with their wardrobes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sewings for Kids and Peer Pressure

(Adults', mostly...)

It was brought to my attention recently how much the style of my homesewn kids' garments differs from what children "normally" wear.

I honestly hadn't thought about this in a long time, and certainly not considered it when choosing what (style) to sew next.

Now the situation is a bit different from two years ago when I started sewing more, and started sewing for my children. DS was four then; he is now six years old and has started first grade.

He likes what I'm sewing and is, funnily, more self-conscious when he wears RTW garments which he is given sometimes which "look like adult clothes" (his words, when refusing to wear something).

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I setting DS apart through his homesewn clothes? Should I care?

I'm sure everyone has a story to share on this from their own childhood. Mine's this: My parents refused to buy me "brand name clothes". I'm not sure whether I was treated differently, but I would have loved to fit in. Now, ironically (or not), I'm glad I had this training of being different/doing my own thing.

What do you think? How have you handled this with your kids if you sewed for them?

Thanks for weighing in, and happy sewing!

(Parting shot: decidedly unfashionable appliqué for DS's new pants.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Girl's Coat "St-Germain" Ottobre 4/2010

The coat is finished, and if it's all I do for Kids Clothes Week I'll be quite satisfied (though I have more plans, of course).

It's supposed to be a fall jacket; while fall temperatures can vary quite widely here (right now it's like summer), I thought a corduroy jacket with rayon lining alone wouldn't cut it. So I went looking for a quilted lining in pink or purple. When I didn't find one I just bought some cotton fleece and made it myself!

(The fleece cost about as much as all the other coat materials together; these are department store prices and fabric market prices for you!) Quilting was quite fun, but also more time consuming than expected. DD was a bit disappointed the fleece side wouldn't show in the finished coat!

The sleeves are lined with regular lining fabric. I did NOT understand Ottobre's instructions for machine sewing lining and sleeve shell together ("sew sleeves hand in hand". Huh?) but figured it out by pinning them together, turning them through the gap between lining and shell, and sewing. Oh, for a three-dimensional imagination! (I'll order one next time around.)

Details: I'm quite proud of the well-rolling collar. Unfortunately the colors don't show truly; the buttons are the same color as the coat, and sewn on with the same pink embroidery floss as the "poinsettia flower".

Happy (little girl's) sewing!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

Kids Clothes Week is upon us, and just as well, since I'm still working on the girl's coat. My mojo is low, so little girls' garments are definitely the way to go if I want to have any hope of finishing!

(I also have a navy blue suit cut out. Spend two weeks working on navy blue fabric in grown-up dimensions? Not a flower, polka dot, playful detail in sight? No-o, at least not until the endless rows of PTA meetings and the endless succession of flu in this household have subsided. Then, I might reconsider.)

Have a look what some motivated moms finish in a week's worth of sewing kid's clothes for an hour a day! Me, I hope to finish the coat. Also, I'm toying with sewing some cyclamen pink corduroy cropped pants to go with it. Not that DD needs pants!

(The coat in yesterday's state.)
Funny how I love sewing kids' pants and have put off sewing mine for about half a year by now... I just realized. Might be the lack of cyclamen pink in my wardrobe.

I'm still following Self-Stitched September, I'm just not motivated to put up the row of blurry mirror pictures right now... Or to take better pictures! (And I love taking pictures! Just not of myself, apparently.)

For lack of anything else, here's some of my coat progress so far:

In the lower right you see the dotted poplin lining peeking through the welt pocket. DD was a bit disappointed in my color choice, so I decided to try a little decorative hand embroidery on the lapel facing. It looks like a poinsettia, doesn't it? Completely unintentional.
Not pictured: Shell and lining are done, now onwards to the finishing.
Happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Self-Stitched September 7-9

(Self-stitched: blouse, skirt, blouse.)

There is sewing going on here, really.

But first, there were some festivities to get out of the way. Dear company, fun parties, my 40th birthday. I hadn't been looking forward to it, exactly, but I had a fun time and got spoiled. And, as they say, getting to 40 sure beats the alternative!

While I'm glad I have a life, and people in it, that take up my time, I'm always happy to be through with the hoopla, clear off the dining room table, and get back to sewing. Anybody else feel this way?

I meant to get to the Trench Sew-Along, finally. Then I was struck by Trench Fear. Then I decided to cheat a little and get started on this:

Trench style girl's jacket from the current Ottobre issue.

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Self-Stitched September Days 1-6

The delightful Zoe has gotten me off my behind and into self-stitched clothes again. Me-Made May was a lot of fun and gave my homesewn wardrobe a good workout, so I'm hoping for similar results this Self-Stitched September.

(Days 1-3. Recurrent theme: Skinny jeans. Self-Stitched: Top (under cardigan), blouse, blouse.)

Like last time, I feel the month could have gotten off to a better start. Sick child - check. Lots of non-sewing commitments stealing my time - check. Hardly any preparatory sewing - check.

(Days 4-6. Recurrent theme: Coral color. Self-Stitched: Blouse, jacket, blouse/skirt.)

So there. I may have no more energy than to drag out the first self-stitched thing in the morning, but at least I've done that, and it's been fun so far. And I'm proud of my handmade clothes. I'm even finding outfits in my closet with more than one self-stitched item in them!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sewing Ballet Clothes (?)

... or: Creating a wardrobe hole, then sewing to fill it.

I'm terrible with exercise, too boring, too sweaty, too... I'd rather sew. The only exercise I ever really enjoyed were ballet classes, but I stopped 20 years ago. I'm turning 40 now, so I thought now or never and took my first class on Tuesday. I'm satisfyingly sore and think I'll stick with it.

Now what? You know the answer. Here's the pattern:

I planned to make it up in navy blue with white accents, but now I'm thinking b-o-r-i-n-g, and have been eyeing the pretty muted colors on the Sewy website.

Also, I've been surfing the dance wear manufacturers' sites, and oohing and aahing. It would be very possible to buy something pretty. And it's not like all my fall sewing will get done, take or leave a ballet outfit on top of it.

What do you think? Have you sewn exercise wear? Any feedback on the pattern? Your remedy when you think you have to make it all yourself (but know you can't)?

Happy sewing!


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