The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

What's Up: Skirts for Domenica, Teaching, Sticky Fingers, Sleeves

It is a lovely spring day here in Berwyn: the sun is shining and all is well.  AND Grandpa is coming to take the girls to the zoo shortly so I can have a few extra sewing hours, so my cup overfloweth indeed.

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!):

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Vogue 8787

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!
1 comment on "What's Up: Skirts for Domenica, Teaching, Sticky Fingers, Sleeves"
  1. I love the yellow skirt :)Its very nice.. Somehow i feel these days i got a fond for light yellow shade!!