Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Little Polo Shirts

My nephew and grandcousin (first cousin once removed) have birthdays two weeks apart, and they turned two at the beginning of the summer.  By luck, we were visiting my family in Europe for my grandcousin's birthday, and we were able to attend his birthday party.

I made two identical little polo shirts for little boy second birthday gifts.  They're size 2T Oliver + S Parachute Polos.  They went together pretty smoothly and I was happy with how they turned out, but I don't quite like this pattern as much as I like the Sketchbook Shirt.  Part of it was that I fought with my machine hemming the knits.  I ended up using a twin needle on the sleeve hems and a triple stretch stitch on the shirt hems, and wasn't 100% happy with either one.
I also think the inside of the side vent could be a little cleaner.
I did like how the inside of the collar and plackets looked, though.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A shirt for me!

In service of my goal to make some shirts for myself, I tried out a woven t-shirt pattern: McCall's M7285.  I made it out of a quilting cotton I got at the Hancock's going out of business sale last summer, and I'm thinking of it as a nice wearable muslin.  I was able to cut this and the Roller Skate dress I made for my cousin's daughter out of a 2-yard cut of fabric.
I measured the bust of an old sleeveless blouse with a similar fit and closure and then cut a straight size 10 using the A/B cup front pattern piece.  It's a little snug in the hips, even though I narrowed the seam allowances by 1/4" at the bottom of each side.  The back is also a little tight across the shoulders.
The bust darts are in the right place, but as you can see in the next picture, after I lift my arms I get a fold of fabric stuck above my bust.  I'm not sure whether that has to do with the non-drapiness of the quilting cotton, or because I made a size that is too small, or what.
It's not very visible in the pictures, but I'm also getting a little bit of gaping at the front neckline.

Even though it's not perfect, I'm planning to make at least two more of these, and I have some ideas for what I'm going to change:

  • lowering the front neckline by about an inch and eliminating the button closure at the back neck.  I don't need the button to get this one over my head, and when I wear my hair in a braid it gets knotted around the button, which is no fun.
  • adding a back yoke.  I'll make the seam between the yoke and the back piece about half-way down the armscyes, and put some gathers in the center of the back piece.   This should give me some extra room at the back shoulders, so I can move more easily.  I'm also hoping it will fix the fabric getting stuck above my bust problem.  I'll cut both the back and back yoke pieces on the fold.
  • shortening the sleeves by at least two inches.
I'm excited for the next version, but in the meantime I've been wearing this one a lot!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tiny Roller Skate Dress

I made this tiny Oliver + S Roller Skate dress for my cousin's baby.  It's the 6-12 month size, since I didn't make it until she was almost six months old.  It was pretty easy to sew, didn't take too much fabric, and turned out pretty cute.  I would definitely make it again, maybe with pockets if it was for an older child.  Next time, to save even more fabric and make it lighter for summer, I might try using bias binding for the elastic casing and to finish the sleeve/armhole edges.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Me-made-May: the last few days

What I wore:

  • Monday, May 29: Blue jeans (RTW), green long-sleeved henley (RTW), handknit socks, Geneva undies. In the evening I changed my shirt to my floral woven t-shirt and put on my maroon fleece (RTW)
  • Tuesday, May 30: Blue jeans (RTW), floral woven t-shirt, gradient shawl, maroon fleece (RTW), Geneva undies
  • Wednesday, May 31: Blue jeans (RTW), black long-sleeved t-shir (RTW)t, Lofoten sweater, Geneva undies
What I made:

I finished the blue lace shawl I've been working on for a year!

What I thought:

I felt good about me-made-may this year.  It wasn't too hare or too easy to do the challenge, and I have some Ideas for what I want to make to fill out my wardrobe.  I have hardly any me-made shirts, and if I had been teaching, I would have had a really hard time with it (our spring semester ends at the end of April).  I have plans to make more shirts/blouses, including work appropriate ones (I bought some lovely Liberty of London lawn for a blouse ...).  I also want to change the way I think about my projects, maybe shifting to an actions list in the style of David Allen's Getting Things Done system than a list of things I'd like to eventually do.  I think doing that would help me avoid some of the decision paralysis sewing procrastination that I tend towards, and help me enjoy my limited crafting time more (and help me move though projects more quickly - I'm at the point of finishing up a spinning project that I've had on the wheel for almost two years, which is just embarrassing).

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Me-Made-May Week 4

What I wore:
  • Monday, May 22: Black slacks (RTW), floral t-shirt, yellow cardigan (RTW)
  • Tuesday, May 23: Blue tiered skirt, brown long-sleeved t-shirt (RTW)
  • Wednesday and Thursday, May 24-25: Jeans (RTW), green long-sleeved henley (RTW), Lofoten sweater, pink socks 
  • Friday, May 26: Jeans skirt, J. Crew button-down shirt (RTW)
  • Satuday, May 27: spotted Adelaide dress, Lofoten sweater
  • Sunday, May 28: Jeans (RTW),  floral woven t-shirt, gradient shawlette, maroon fleece jacket (RTW), handknit socks
What I made:
I finished the two little polo shirts for my nephew and grandcousin!

What I thought:
I'm beginning to feel like wearing me-made clothes every day is no big deal, but I simultaneously feel like there are a lot of ready-to-wear clothes that I'm not wearing , and I kind of want to wear them.  Towards the end of the week, I actually forgot that it was me-made-May. Luckily I wore something I had made anyway!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Me-Made-May Week 3

What I wore:
  • Monday, May 15: Adelaide dress, Geneva undies
  • Tuesday, May 16: Navy blue gathered skirt, red tank top (RTW), grey linen cardigan, Geneva undies
  • Wednesday, May 17: straight-leg jeans (RTW), floral woven tee, Geneva undies
  • Thursday, May 18: damask skirt, black long-sleeved t-shirt (RTW), striped cashmere sweater (RTW that I visibly mended), Geneva undies
  • Friday, May 19: my favorite thrifted jeans (RTW), mauve floral button-up (RTW - this is possibly my favorite shirt), my Lofoten sweater, stripy socks
  • Saturday, May 20: straight-leg jeans (RTW), flannel shirt (RTW), purple cable pullover sweater, Geneva undies
  • Sunday, May 21: Washi dress, Smartwool tights (RTW), half-slip, autumn leaves ankle socks, Geneva undies, burgundy cardigan (RTW)
What I made:
Unfortunately, I didn't spend much time making things this week.  I cut out the pieces for two size 2T Oliver + S Parachute Polos for my nephew and grandcousin - the deadline to finish these is Wednesday, May 24.  I'm not sure if I'm going to make it.  I also finished spinning the singles of the Hello Yarn merino top that I've been working on for over a year!

What I thought:
I want to change the way I do the Future Projects page on the blog.  I will organize it into one list of things I "need," like more cloth napkins, things for which I currently own fabric and have a pattern picked out, and another list of more nebulous sewing desires.  I want to reduce the waffling that results in procrastinating sewing that I really want to do and enjoy, because I feel like I have so many things I want to make that I can't possibly figure out the next step.

I also really enjoyed reading these two posts from the Whipstitch blog.  They really get at what I've been feeling with my sewing and wardrobe lately - I have a lot of clothes that I don't particularly love or feel comfortable or attractive in.  I want to build a practical wardrobe made up of clothes I love, that isn't over-full.  I don't want a large stash.  I don't have the money or storage space for it, and I don't like the feeling of greed or the impulse to hoard that comes with it.  I would rather buy high-quality fabric that I love and will use soon after I buy it.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Me-Made-May Week 2

What I wore:
  • Monday, May 8: My black and polka-dot Adelaide dress, yellow cardigan (RTW), and Geneva undies
  • Tuesday, May 9: Re-fashioned denim skirt, altered shirt, grad school hoodie (RTW), and Geneva undies
  • Wednesday, May 10: Damask skirt, long-sleeved t-shirt (RTW), striped cashmere sweater with visible mend (RTW, mended by me), mushroom socks
  • Thursday, May 11: Favorite thrifted jeans (RTW), newly finished woven t-shirt
  • Friday, May 12: Lady Skater dress, Blue shoulder-button sweater (RTW)
  • Saturday, May 13: In the morning I wore my brown and yellow floral skirt and an orange embroidered t-shirt (RTW).  In the afternoon I changed into jeans (RTW) and my new woven t-shirt
  • Sunday, May 14: My blue tiered skirt and a purple tank top (RTW)
What I made:
I finished up the top for myself that I mentioned last week.  It fits pretty well, and I'm happy with how it turned out.  I'll write a full post on it once I get some photos taken this week.  

What I thought:
I was going to say that Friday the 12th was the first day I wore a repeat, but then I realized that I wore my Lofoten sweater twice last week and I wore my mushroom socks for the second time on Wednesday the 10th ... but on those days I also wore me-mades that I hadn't previously worn this May.  I'm simultaneously surprised and not surprised that I made it 11 days with so few repeats - I have almost 20 pairs of hand-knitted socks, but not a ton of other me-made items.

The weather this week definitely shifted.  It's warm enough now that I can wear a skirt without tights or a t-shirt without a sweater and feel comfortable outside.  This is the weather that my me-made wardrobe is designed for, which reminds me that I want to work on sewing more cold-weather appropriate clothes for myself.  I traced out the long-sleeved version of the Lady Skater dress this weekend, and I have fabric washed and ready to get started sewing this week - of course, I also need to get started on birthday polo shirts for my soon-to-be-two-year-old nephew and grandcousin, so I might not get it done this week!