I had a good week although it was not without it's pitfalls. My main focus was completing Domenica's skirts as she wanted them for a vacation this week. The first skirt came together well: straightforward fitting and no sewing mishaps. Domenica chose a fun print from Sherri Berry Designs called Mod Tod Gears in Green. The shorter length and flirty ruffle work well with this fun print:
The second skirt should have been easy as it was almost the same style as the first; I just wanted to move the zipper from the center back to the side and add a lining. Easy peasy. But you know when you are trying to parallel park your car into an easy spot but you just can't seem to get the angle right? That's how I felt mid-way through making this skirt. I felt like the skirt was cursed. (Sorry Domenica, it really isn't.) At almost every step I made some dumb mistake that was completely fixable but still annoying and time-consuming. Like: I almost ran out of fabric while cutting it out (I had to piece together the inside back waistband), I sewed my label onto the front of the waistband instead of the back, I completely sewed up (and SERGED) both side seams of the lining so there was no opening to put it on, I turned around one part of the waistband while sewing it together. My seam ripper got a good workout on this skirt as did my patience. I finally walked away and came back to it later in the evening after relaxing for a bit. The last few steps went smoothly so I guess the poltergeist had moved on from my sewing room. I hope she didn't come to yours.
Here is the cursed skirt, looking very cheerful and obedient:
Domenica chose Happy Mochi Yum Yum India in Lemon (isn't that a lovely name?) for the main fabric. I added teal topstitching to the pockets and waistband and a teal button for the closure. And please notice how I matched the print on the pocket and pocket facing - nice, huh?! I'll be making a reversible wrap skirt for Domenica a little later this summer. She even found the tutorial for me!
Cora, my 4.5-year-old, has been practicing her hand sewing with a plastic needle and felt (little holes punched out). I decided that it was time for her to try the real thing (thread, sharp needle). This decision was mostly based on need - I wanted to keep working on something and needed to give Cora something novel to do. And it turns out that she's ready! Here's what she made:
If you can't tell, it's a Tooth Fairy pillow. She wanted to put the eye drops in the pocket for the picture so that everyone could tell that the pillow has a pocket. And she's super happy that she now has a handmade creation on my blog. Ah, kids!
And speaking of kids, I think I can now say that I have taught sewing. Teaching is not new for me - I spent 13 years as a teacher and teacher supervisor at a supplementary reading program - but I haven't yet taught sewing. Liita, who runs Little Bits Workshop, invited me to come work with one of her students who was having trouble with a pleated skirt. I jumped at the chance and had a lot of fun. It was rewarding to work with someone new to sewing and L, the student, did a great job. She got frustrated/bored/tired of the skirt at one point but pushed through until she got to a good stopping point. So now she's got one more experience with the rewards of perserverance under her belt. And Liita offered me a more regular teaching job going forward. You can't see my smile but I hope you can feel it coming through the screen!
I decided to try to produce 4-5 clutch wallets for the Urban Trunk Show at Little Bits Workshop on May 12. This item fits best with the upcycling/recycling emphasis at Little Bits and Liita thinks that they will sell well. It usually takes me about 4 hours to make one, so I'll need to find a way to shave off some time. One way to do this is to go into factory line mode, as I'm often faster when I am doing the same thing over and over again. This weekend I did the work of selecting about 70 swatches to use for the wallets and then removed all of their backings. I had to stop a couple of times to wash my hands as they kept getting sticky from the backing and the residue left on the fabric. But here are 6 (including one for Jen) packs of wallet fabric, all ready for the cutting table (I'll try to squeeze that in somehow this week).
And, finally, I managed to find a small amount of time to sew some tops. I fixed the Dolman Sleeve top (tutorial from Make It Love It) from last week by cutting 6 inches off the length and attaching a 5 inch band at the bottom. I used the too-small version of the top to make the band so I still have a bit of fabric left (maybe a little shirt for Cora or Maisey or their bears?). I also re-did the neck band and I'm much happier with it. I don't know that this is ever going to be my favorite top, but I like it more. And surprisingly, Devon went out of his way to say that he liked it and his usual response is a perfunctory "nice, good work," when I beg for a compliment on something that I've made.
Oh! And check out the chevron on the sleeves. This was a bit of a happy accident. I wanted to make sure that the stripes matched at the side seams so I laid the cut-out front on the fabric so that I could match the stripes before cutting out the back. I didn't even think about the fact that this would make a chevron along the shoulder seam, but it did!
I was feeling a little unfulfilled on Sunday afternoon because all I'd managed to do sewing-wise was getting all that backing off the swatches. So while Devon took Cora to the store and Maisey was still napping, I whipped up another cowl neck top. I wanted to try putting a short sleeve on it so I flipped through my patterns to find one that I liked. I stole the cap sleeve from Vogue 8787 (which is a great dress - I need to make this soon!):
I didn't really spend much time thinking about how this would work. I cut out a size and pulled the armsyce while I sewed in the sleeve to give it a curve. And it worked! Have I said yet how much I love sewing with jersey? So in less than an hour I had this new top:
So this week I will finish Bryn's skirts and start working on Marides' skirts. And then there's all that cutting to do. Maybe I can borrow some of L's perseverance.
Have a great week!