Self-drafted shirts

26 03 2011

Even though I kind of ran out of steam for CTB, all-boy, all the time, I picked up sewing for myself with even greater enthusiasm.  If my posts have been sparse, it is only because my free time has been completely consumed by going through the Design-it-Yourself Clothes book and working on projects from it.  And combing the web looking for ideas for more projects.  Here they are, in all their glory, the first 3 shirts I made from self-drafted patterns!  They are just muslins (like practice shirts), made from a jersey sheet, nothing fancy.  I’m really happy with the fit though, so I might cut into some nicer fabric soon.  The basic T pattern:


The next variation, the Charlotte T:


(Please forgive the goofy pictures, these are the best I could do with the self timer.)  And finally, a V-neck T, my first attempt at altering a pattern, based on instructions at Sew Chicken:


Heehee, still need to hem that one, oops!  I was too excited to try it on.  Actually I made it largely to practice my hand at ruffle-making for another project, to come another day!  I am having a great time sewing for myself, having decided that if I want to sew anything “girly”, this is essentially my only choice.  Plus, I hate clothes shopping and I love fabric shopping, so it should be a lot of fun making some of my own clothes!  And I figure even if they’re not perfect that (1) in the 9 months of winter we have here, nobody will notice the imperfect clothing underneath my fleece jacket, which I am never without, and (2) really, it would be hard for my handmade (not homemade) clothes to be much worse than what I already wear.  I am thankful every day that the people of “What Not to Wear” do not stop me on the street.  So, a fun new set of projects are piling up in my mind faster than I can complete them, or even start on them!  Hopefully I will get a few more done to show off in the coming weeks.  Thanks for visiting!

A little something different

12 03 2011

I guess maybe it was inevitable that making so many boy items I got a little burned out.  So a few days ago I got the itch to try making something for myself.  Just as last year I watched from the sidelines as Celebrate the Boy month went on, I also watched Rae’s Spring Top Week with admiration, wishing I had those kinds of mad skills.  This year I’ve decided I can do it, or at least try, and my goal is to make something presentable enough to submit for the competition (assuming it happens this year, I guess).  I picked up a copy of Cal Patch’s book, Design-it-Yourself Clothing at the library and I’m working through it, but I started by making a pattern from a shirt I had and making a muslin in another $5/bolt Wal-Mart find.  (Seriously, somebody tell me to stop buying those.)  I finished it last night and it’s nothing special but I was thrilled to find that it fit, and it doesn’t even look that bad!  (And if it does, please tell me now to spare me the embarrassment later!)  Here it is, my first attempt at making something for me:


So, like with the “pirate” fabric, this stuff is terrible.  I mean, it’s see through!  It’s fine for layering, I guess, but I don’t like to layer, I like to put on a shirt and be done.  Still, it’s cheaper than muslin, and I have some cute rib knit that I will be trying next, so this made a good sample, since it’s similarly stretchy.  I thought about doing something with a fancy neckline to break up the plain-ness of the solid yellow.  But, that’s not really my style, so I decided to do just a simple binding instead. 

NecklineFalling apart hem

I did a blind hem on my serger but it’s already falling apart.  I think this material is too stretchy—it’s very stretchy.  I need to go over it again to keep it from falling apart. 

So if anyone is reading this, let me ask you a few questions.  Do you make clothes for yourself?  Where do you find good fabric/patterns?  This is all new to me since I’ve only ever looked at kids’ fabric and patterns.  Still, I look forward to this new adventure!  I can never find clothes I like (you know, suitably frumpy), so this opens up a whole new realm of possibilities….

Arrrrr, Matey!

9 03 2011

I asked BB at the start of my sewing spree, “If you could have anything on a shirt, what would it be?”  And he said “A Pirate!”  So I started work on this shirt.  It’s been in progress for a while; first I made the shirt, then he saw it and wanted to wear it, so it went into the laundry and out of circulation for a while.  Then I got back on task, drew a little pirate for it, and did a freezer paper stencil onto some matching interlock.  It was finished last night and I didn’t even get a picture of it before he saw it and wanted to wear it!  I wasn’t going to argue.  He went through a phase where he wouldn’t wear things I made him, so it was incredibly rewarding to hear “Wow, a pirate!  Thanks for this cool shirt, mom!”  (Hug).  OK, OK, twist my arm, you can wear it right now. 


The fabric is this $5/bolt stuff I got at Wal-Mart (used to make LB’s baby prisoner outfit) and in retrospect it’s pretty awful.  Why, why, why, did I buy this?  It reminds me of the joke about how the food at this place is awful but the portions are huge.  Well, this fabric makes me nuts now but I still have a ton of it left.  But, I feel like it manages to pull off the pirate look pretty well. 

The pirate fascination is kind of a funny thing.  He has asked me what wicked pirates are, and what scurvy pirates are, and why pirates have swords, and what the cannonballs are for.  These are hard questions!  (Although today he asked, out of the blue, if Santa is real or pretend, and that was harder.)  And it’s hilarious because most of what he knows about pirates comes from The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, and he goes around singing about stealing wheat and barley, and just in general has a very, very skewed idea of what pirates are.  It’s a very cute song, though, and we listen to it many times a day.  Maybe a matching shirt for LB should be next?  Coincidentally, there was a great pirate shirt on MADE today too!  Popular theme!


7 03 2011

I was browsing through Michael’s the other day and came across these cool iron-on transfers on clearance.  I thought it would be a fun way for BB to design his own shirt, and sure enough, he really enjoyed it!  I have yet more and more and more raglans coming out of my old t-shirt pile, so we took the plain shirt, the transfers, and BB picked the biggest eye, the biggest mouth, and put the arms as legs…hey, there are no wrong ways to make a monster, right?  He placed everything on, and then I ironed it on:


He is so excited about this shirt!  He can’t keep his hands off it!  “Mike!”, he says.  “I haven’t seen you in years!”  Mike, of course, being the monster from Monsters, Inc.  We did the transfers on Friday (onto the front piece of the shirt) and I finished sewing the shirts last night, so I guess he has been missing his monster friend.  I thought one of the best things about making our own shirts was avoiding the commercialism of store-bought ones, but I guess there is no escaping the Disney juggernaut.  He’s never even seen the movie!  I made a monster for LB using extra features from the kit (there was only one iron-on monster body so I sewed on a piece of green fabric to make his) . 


BB was very disappointed that this one didn’t look like Sulley.  I gave him horns, but when he starts out as a green blob, there is just no way he is going to look like Sulley.  LB, of course, doesn’t care about it one way or the other.  He looked at it and said “car!” which I guess is approval, since that’s his favorite word.  My little models workin’ those new shirts:


Bottom left is LB having a fit because he can’t play with BB’s cool spelling toy.  Upper right is BB “posing” for me.  He’s getting to be a real ham for pictures!  And LB sees the camera and says “cheese!” (middle shot); he’s a great little model!  LB’s pants are new too, I’ll be posting more about them soon….