It’s been one of those (2) weeks

It always feels like just when I get the ball rolling, the ball spontaneously combusts. We’ve had a major outbreak of long-lasting fevers running through the house. The kind where you know there is no chance you’ll get more than a few hours sleep for the foreseeable future. Mix that with the potty training of two opinionated 2 year-olds and it’s a recipe for disaster.

So I’ve got all these projects cut out and ready to sew and they’re just sitting there on my table, taunting me. I’ve got a memory card full of pictures I need to go through and lists of pictures that I still need to take and it’s just not happening. And I keep thinking, “oh! I’ll do it this weekend,” but then I remember we’ve got family coming so it’s not going to happen then either.

I find I’m easily frustrated by things like this, but it’s out of my control (HAHAHA THAT’S EXACTLY WHY IT’S FRUSTRATING, HAVE I MENTIONED I’M A CONTROL-FREAK?), so I just have to take another step back and pick it up again when things settle. Will things ever settle?

In the meantime, is anyone else as obsessed as I am about what a puff of steam does for your seams? I get really excited and I take pictures every dang time. Which might be absurd.

<3

Aviator Pants – Children’s and Women’s Versions

I’ve had the Aviator Pants pattern for awhile now, but only just got around to making them. I love how the kids’ pants turned out, but I’m not too jazzed about how mine look. I think this has to do with the fabric I used. I love it, but it doesn’t have great recovery.

The paper pieces for this one were alright – I found them a bit lacking in cutting instructions, but it wasn’t too hard to figure out. I got done cutting and then realized I had to measure a bunch more pieces on my own and then cut them, which can get frustrating after awhile, especially if you think you’re done, put the fabric away, and then have to pull it out again.

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The only way to get them to turn to the side is to tell them to give each other a kiss.
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I hardly even recognize them when they’re not engaged in war over a toy.

I thought it would be fun to make them opposite versions, and I think they turned out great, but I sized up because I’m so tired of things fitting for such a short time, and these are definitely a bit big. That’s okay, they’ll just wear them for longer, right?

Anyhow, I liked making these. I liked the top-stitching, I liked the slash pockets, I liked putting them together. I think the instructions, both for the kid’s and the women’s version could REALLY (really, very, really) use zoomed out photos. Every photo is very zoomed in on a small part, which makes it really hard to visualize what you’re supposed to be doing where. I think photos are a great instruction tool, but either use both zoomed in and zoomed out, or have small line-drawings to use for reference.

I didn't get a great picture of mine.  But the fabric was reversible, so it was nice to have something I knew would match!
I didn’t get a great picture of mine. But the fabric was reversible, so it was nice to have something I knew would match!

I do wish, in retrospect, that the elastic had been added as a part of the process, rather than slitting open the band at the end. I think it would look nicer, and I would be much more inclined to actually put it in, instead of looking at the pants and thinking, “they just look so done,” and being too lazy to do it.

For the girls, the green fabric was from fabric.com and the gray jersey, which I wrote about previously was from a seller on Etsy. The green doesn’t have much stretch, but is a really durable fabric. The gray jersey hasn’t worn very well, which is too bad because I just love how it looks. The fabric used for mine is from Fabric Place Basement in Natick. If you’re in the area, I’d recommend checking it out. Most fabric stores don’t carry a ton of knits, but they have a big selection and it’s so nice to be able to feel it before buying it (I buy most of my fabric online). It’s not super nearby, but I always stop there if I’m anywhere close…

I recommend taking someone with you to carry all of your items.
I recommend taking someone with you to carry all of your items.

I’ve learned a lot about buying fabric in the last year. I think I’m starting to make better choices, but it’s just so tempting to like a print and jump on it without looking at the content and the stretch.

I have some fabric sitting around (the second one down in that last picture) and I can’t decide whether to give these another try, or to branch out and try the Hudson pant. Any advice?

The Finlayson Sweater Pattern by Thread Theory

It took me a very long time to make something for Mike. Because he’s picky. And he’s a perfectionist. It’s hard to want to make something for someone you think will critique every stitch. But first we looked for the perfect fabric, and then the perfect pattern, and finally we found the Finlayson.

Pretty!
Pretty! But the hood construction definitely gave me some trouble. I think my serger/lining added to much bulk to the seams.

I used a sweater knit that I found at a local fabric store (Fabric Place Basement in Natick if you’re local), and instead of just lining the hood, I lined the whole thing with a gray quilted jersey I found on Etsy. I loved this jersey, until I saw how it wore after I made a bunch of things with it. It just hasn’t held up all that well.

Anyhow, this is one of the few projects that I made a full muslin for because I’m pretty lazy, but I knew he would be really particular. I was glad I did. I didn’t change much, but I got some extra practice with attaching the hood, and I knew I’d need to take in the sides a tiny bit – he likes slimmer fitting arms and sides.

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Man, I loved that gray quilted jersey.

The pattern made me nervous – I hadn’t done too many hoods or kangaroo pockets, but they have a great sewalong and I used that even more than I used the instructions. I love sewalongs. I had a bit of trouble with the hood still – I think it had to do with having extra bulk, and also the sweater knit was a bit stretchy and slippery. And I don’t love how it lays, but it’s 90% for show anyways – he doesn’t really ever put the hood on. The kangaroo pocket instructions were great, and I’ve actually used it to modify other patterns with kangaroo pockets because this way just makes more sense.

If I made it again, I’d also make the cuffs and waistband a bit wider – just personal preference.

All in all, I was really pleased with it – and he wears it! Well, he wore it a lot at first, and then randomly bought a ton of hoodies, but it’s still in the rotation, which is an accomplishment.

I like Thread Theory patterns a lot. I’ve also made the Strathcona Henley and the Camas Blouse. Their patterns always go together very neatly during the paper construction and the instructions are well-written (although I cannot recommend the sewalongs enough – please make one for the Camas ASAP!).

Once in awhile I make something not for me.

I like to sew for myself. Ever since having the girls, I have had a tough time buying clothes (besides athleta yoga pants). Things just don’t fit well. 

But I start to feel guilty after awhile, so I’ll throw something together for them and it’s so easy that I chastise myself for not doing it more often. 

A couple weeks ago, I found this free pattern for a racerback dress from Crafterhours. It took no time at all to sew, and I think they look pretty great. 

imageThere was a spot on my camera that day and I didn’t realize – it’s driving me crazy.

Anyhow, this was really good practice for sewing neck and arm bands. They took less than 20 minutes to throw together and the girls immediately got strawberry juice all over them.

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Flutter skirts

I found the Figgy’s flutter skirt pattern a long time ago and was totally perplexed. Not because I didn’t like it, just because I kind of felt dumb when I went to draft the pattern onto tracing paper. I used the instructions provided and was being neurotic (I am quick to say that math isn’t my thing, but really, I’m perfectly capable) and it was just not working. Anyhow, I enlisted the help of Mike because I just didn’t feel like trying anymore, but I wanted the skirt! His first comment was, “well this wasn’t written by an engineer.” Anyhow, he figured out where the equation was poorly constructed and got it all together for me. (No real complaints – it was a free pattern…)

With only two seams to sew, once the fabric was cut, it was unbelievably quick to throw together. Like, within a couple of minutes my kids were wearing them. I think my fabric may have been a bit stretchier than called for because the sizing was a little big and they sort of hang awkwardly, but they’ll definitely grow into them. I really like them and since the pattern goes up through adult sizes, and now I know how to do it, it will get a lot of use.

I made some with reversible fabric, because why not!?

Julia Cardigan

I’ve been wanting to make the Julia Cardigan for awhile. I am cardigan obsessed. I have this insanely beautiful orange sweater fabric that I got just for it, but didn’t want to risk screwing it up (the fabric is out of stock), so I decided to do a test version.

I love it! I love it I love it I love it!

I wasn’t a huge fan of putting the paper pieces together for the pattern – I’m super picky about those. Every pattern-maker does it differently, and this way seemed to waste some paper/time (probably related to the size I chose), but the instructions were good, and the sewing was lightening fast. My serger and I seemed to have settled into a reasonable relationship and I even made Mike look at the inside seams for what must have seemed like forever to him.

It looks a little small, but I’m about 7 months pregnant, and I am not wasting time making things just for being pregnant, since I only plan on being pregnant for a few more months. It is unbelievably comfortable and I can’t wait to make the “real” one! In the meantime, I will totally be wearing this one every damn day.

(Mike made me pose belly-out so you could see the bottom panel on the back. I think know he just likes it when I look ridiculous.)