Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Spate of Sewing

I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized that this is the last week of my summer! How is it the end of July already? Teachers go back for inservice next Monday, so no more sewing every naptime...boo! I've been quite productive this last month, even if none of it made it to the blog; my hair had gotten ridiculously long and straggly, so every time I looked at myself in the mirror I just hated how it looked and couldn't get up the wherewithal to take photos. But! I finally got a haircut and put on my big girl panties (literally) and took pictures of everything. They're not the best photos, but I need to just record everything before I forget what the sewing process was like. At least I'm not the only one who has trouble with the photo documentation part of sewing...

Outfit #1: Real Housewives of San Lorenzo
I got this pair of leopard-print pants in a clothing exchange when I still lived in TCOCC, but they were flared at the bottom. Since the top fit well, I figured I could just skinnify the legs. It only took three years to get around to it, but hey, at least I finally did it (and miraculously they still fit, even after a baby!), and it really only took an hour. Unfortunately, I never know what to pair with prints, so I went with the ever-safe black top. I've got plenty of black tees, but no warmer tops, so I whipped up a dolman-sleeve black sweatshirt with my own trusty pattern. This is oh, top #6 using this pattern?

Anyway, I'm still waiting for 1) the weather to cool down enough to wear long pants and a sweatshirt, and 2) the courage to step out of the house in leopard-print pants (for some reason they just read cougar to me and make me feel like one of those trashy people on reality TV). We'll see when that happens...

Outfit #2: Me-Made Slob
The polar opposite of the previous outfit, here we have my lounge-around-the-house-with-all-stretch-fabrics combination. I love all the Lindens and Hudsons floating around out there in the SBC, but rather than pay $16 and $10 respectively, I went the indie-4-less route as inspired by Sew Sorry Sew Fat and used McCall's 6992 and Simplicity 1428 instead, both purchased on sale at Joann's for a total of less than three dollars. I cut a size bigger than my normal for the pants, and then forgot that seam allowance was 5/8" instead of 1/4", so they turned out rather huge, but hey, I can always use more Aladdin pants in my wardrobe. The sweatshirt has a little wider neckline than the $3-at-Walgreens crewnecked stranglers of my childhood, which pleases me to no end. I love my collarbones, and prefer to display them when I can, even if they're all covered with tiny scabs these days, thanks to SHB's wicked daggers-for-fingernails. I've already worn this sweatshirt multiple times and am even contemplating making an identical backup. Or maybe I'll just invert the colors so as to not be quite so silly?

Outfit #3: Paisley, the Official Print of Biology Majors
Because you know, it looks like paramecia. Unfortunately, these microbes were printed slightly off-grain, so a straight hem results in a crooked line of paramecia/paisleys. I bought this rayon challis in Seattle last year while hanging out with Amy, Morgan, and Meris, and it only took me a year and change to sew it up...

I wanted more tunic-length tops to go with leggings, since post-pregnancy, there are days when I prefer to wear leggings rather than real pants. To accomplish this, I merely lengthened my old standby, OOP Simplicity 8986, and added a casing for an elastic waist.

Outfit #4: The Simplest Tunic Top
Another tunic to go with leggings, this top is so easy it's ridiculous. I just cut a square of this burnout rayon jersey and sewed two inches on either side of the top for shoulder seams, then sewed two straight lines down the sides. The excess fabric on either side makes it look fancier than it is really is. It's very similar to this top I made four years ago, but even easier since knit edge don't need to be finished and I didn't even have to cut a neckhole or round off the side "wings." Incidentally, I still wear that top -- it's survived several progressions of my sewing and subsequent closet purges -- which surprises me, considering how simple it was to make.

Outfit #5: Bowing to Peer Pressure Top
Everyone in the SBC has made a Kirsten Kimono Top it seems, and everyone in my house (all the humans, at least) have a gray shirt with stripes on it. To kill two birds with one stone, I made a stripy Kirsten. The fabric was from the Michael Levine Loft, purchased a year ago when I went to LA for our babymoon. And now here I am wearing the fabric in garment form with said baby!

Whew, that was quite a backlog of projects!

Fabric: All of it was stash at least a year old, so I'm pretty pleased with myself. All in all, I used up eight yards of various cuts.
Hours: Ten-ish, over the course of the last month.
Total cost: The materials for outfits #1-2 were free, since they were all inherited from other people's stashes. The rest of the garments probably cost about $10.
Will you make it again? Many of these patterns are TNTs for me, so undoubtedly yes, and the Kirsten could become one. The only one that's a maybe is the Simplicity pants pattern.
Final thoughts: Outfits #2 and 5, while not very impressive-looking, are actually really important to me in that I'm finally venturing into sewing comfy-wear. Previously, I got all excited to sew pretty dresses and fun costumes, while my RTW lounge-about-and-run-errands wear got rattier and rattier. Now I'm finally making headway into replacing that category with me-mades!

I also managed to make a pretty epic baby quilt for a dear friend during the past month, but somehow I managed to not take any photos of it! And now that she's had the baby, I'm pretty sure the last thing she needs is a request to go take a picture of the quilt, so do your best to imagine something like this in pink, gray, and turquoise prints, with a Little Miss Hug applique on a gray and white polka dot backing. I think that's the first time photos have totally slipped my mind like that, but that might also be because I was working on it until the night before we flew out to San Diego to deliver it. This has not been such a good month for sewing+photos! Have you ever forgotten to take any pictures of a gifted me-made?


  1. No, don't go back to work! stay home and give us more pics of the so cute SHB. :-)

    1. Lol! I only work part-time, so SHB pics can still happen.

  2. Wow, very productive! I especially like the tunic top. And those pics of SHB are also quite adorable! Hope all goes well with starting up the school year!

    1. Thanks! And go you, managing to be productive with such a small human being too!

  3. I love that Kirsten Kimono Top, I think I will need to download it (peer pressure?) The pictures of you three wearing grey stripey tops is adorable!

    1. It's really such a quick and easy project to sew, and flattering to boot!

  4. You've been busy!!! All great makes! And I love the picture of SHB flopping on your tummy. So typical for babies.

    1. Yes, those babies, so floppy even after they're learned to sit and control their torsos!

  5. Wow, this is fantastic. I might keep some of my old dresses to do this type ofclothing patterns when i finally get around to clearing my wardrobe out lol.

    1. Refashioning is definitely funner than just donating clothes!


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