Saturday, June 30, 2012

One-Yard Wonders Flannel Boxer shorts

I am SO FAR BEHIND this month.  There has been quite a bit of chaos here in the peachyseam household (good chaos!), but I am not posting as much as I'd like.  So, here is my quick entry for Africankelli's May/June Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders sew along!

I decided to make these shorts because I happened to have about a yard of Flannel left over from backing my owl quilt, and I really wanted a cozy pair of shorts for sleeping.  It's been 90+ degrees here for the past week, so flannel really isn't the best fabric to be using, but oh well.
I really don't have many notes to make about this pattern, it was very good, but I didn't follow it exactly.  For example, I didn't leave the front flap open, you know, just because.  I also sewed some of the seams in a slightly different order than they directed in the book, and this didn't cause any problems.  Finally, I used a different size elastic.  

Mostly, I was trying to be thrifty and use the fabric that I already had on hand.  I love them.

The Joshua Henry Shirt

Have I ever mentioned that Josh's middle name is Henry?  Probably not.  Moving on...

I was feeling really inept for not understanding all of the steps in the Henry Shirt pattern, but I did feel better once I read the posts written by other somewhat frustrated folks (Stacey at Boy, Oh, Boy, Oh Boy! for one).  This is the first advanced pattern from 'Sewing for Boys' that we've done for Stacey's sew along, so some tears and seam ripping are to be expected, I suppose.

To be honest, I didn't have many problems with the actual sewing of the shirt, I was just really anxious that I was doing something wrong the whole time.  I'd read the instructions, look at some online photos, then second guess myself and put it aside until I felt brave enough to attempt what I THOUGHT was the proper step.  To be fair, the written instructions for the book are very good, but I really, really wish there were more diagrams.  I think I've said this before, but it's worth repeating.  Some of the more complex steps, I think, would really be simpler for folks to complete if there were either more drawings or actual photos of some of these things.  There are diagrams, of course, but just not enough, in my humble opinion.

Ok, now for the actual shirt.  This was an exercise in stash busting for me, so I didn't actually go to the store to buy anything for this project.  I just happened to have some Tammis Keefe owl fabric, green polka dots and charcoal gray Kona cotton that I think look swell together.  I also just happened to have sew in snaps.  So there you are.  I hope ya'll like it - he's a handsome guy.  In the future, I'll make deeper pockets and worry less.

And just for fun, here's a picture of Josh wearing the shirt while holding an origami Starship Enterprise.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Busy Time

I haven't been posting here as much as I'd like - it's been a bit crazy lately.  Good things are happening.  I'm in the process of switching jobs - this has involved lots of time interviewing, performing requirements for the new job, and also trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible at the old job.  It's tiring, but really exciting.    Related to this - don't you love the mugs and pitcher that my boss gave me as a going away gift?  She spends about as much time with pottery as I do with sewing.

That being said, I've been still been sewing, just not posting.  So, in the next few days, I hope to have some brand new posts on the projects I've been working on.  I've made a THIRD Meringue skirt (love this pattern!), a Peony dress, and I'm working on a Hazel dress.  I'm on a bit of a Colette kick right now, if you hadn't already noticed this.  I've also decided that I need to sew some basic separates for myself to coordinate with all of the lovely patterned clothes that I make.  I have the fabric but not the time!

So, my apologies for being a bit lax in my publishing for the past couple weeks.  I'll make it up to you, I swear.  :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tiered Rainbow Skirt

When Joanna picks out fabric for a skirt, her first question is usually "Can you start making it tonight?"  Her next question is usually "Will it be done by tomorrow?"  This was the case with her much anticipated tiered skirt.

The style for this skirt is a combination of Tanya Whelan's Tiered Skirt from 'Sew What You Love' and this blog post from Sew to Speak.  Joanna loved the tiers, but also liked the waistband of the Sew to Speak skirt that we saw on a recent visit to the shoppe.  I was a bit more generous with the widths for each tier - other patterns that I have used from 'Sew What You Love' have seemed a little less gathered than I prefer them to be.

I really love that we alternated the stripe direction for the tiers - I think it works pretty well, and the skirt has an interesting shape/appearance because of it.  The fabric is by Robert Kaufman (I think), and will be perfect for summer.  

And just a side note, Joanna is standing in front of our beloved elementary school for these photos.  Yesterday was her last day, and now she is moving on to bigger and better things (sniffle).

Friday, June 1, 2012

First Draft: Colette Iris Shorts

At first, I wasn't really sure Colette's Iris shorts were quite my thing.  I don't wear shorts all that often, and didn't feel that I was missing out much.  But then, over Memorial Day weekend, I found myself really wishing I had some great shorts, and my gym shorts weren't cutting it.  So the next time I was at Sew to Speak, I decided I should just go ahead and buy it.

A couple months ago, my aunt gave me a bag of fabrics that she wasn't using, and this berry print fabric was one of them.  It's the right weight for shorts, and was free, the perfect combination for a first try.

As this is a first try, I'm a bit on the fence about the fit.  Just based on the slight wrinkles on the front, I think I need just a bit more give through the hips.  It's a little easier to see in the photo below:

Joanna was being artistic with camera angles when she took this one!
I have a ton of this berry fabric, so perhaps I'll alter the fit just a bit before making it with fabric that actually costs money. For this particular pair, I only paid $2 for a zipper and used Lotta Jansdotter fabric to line the pockets.  I already had this blue and white stuff in my stash.

Side view
The side view is a little bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.  I like the fit from this angle.  Aside from wanting to alter the fit a little, the zipper was the only bit that caused a couple problems, mostly because the seams at the waist are so thick, it's hard to zip past this part.  I may rip this out and fiddle with it a bit.  On the one hand, I want the zipper to be invisible, but on the other hand, I don't want it to get stuck in the very thick fabric.  This is obviously not my strong suit, even though I follow Colette's very helpful tutorial. (And this one!)  I'm a bit annoyed, because the zippers for my Meringue skirts have been going in like a dream.  The problem that I'm having is not really the zipper itself, but the way the zipper fits in the place where the waist pieces meet the body of the shorts.

Lotta Jansdotter in my pocket!
I'll certainly be making more of these shorts.  Once I play with the fit a bit, I could see myself wearing these all summer.  Also, Joanna loves this pattern too, so I want to make a couple pairs for her.  She's so thin - I think I'll have to cut a size 2 for the waist and grade down to a 0 in the hips.  You'll certainly hear about it when I try it!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

'Sewing for Boys' May Sew-along

I can't believe how quickly May has gotten away from me.  School is ending, the sun is shining, and I very nearly didn't finish the May 'Sewing for Boys' Sew-along.  I pulled it together just in time.

I abso-freakin'-lutely  love the Mimi's boy suspender shorts, but they are too little for my Josh.  So, I settled for making the hat and belt combo - I may make some suspender shorts for my nephew in the not-too-distant future (he is only 4 months old, so he is still too little for them!).

Let's start with the positive, shall we?  Josh loves his Going Fishing Hat!

The unfinished look of the hat was a good thing for me, since I was rushing a bit to finish.  I used two woven fabrics - Alexander Henry Osteology and a Lotta Jansdotter print.  I wish the hat was just a bit bigger on him, but it will fit for the summer, which is the important thing.  I'll have to say, I didn't follow the directions very closely - I cut out the pattern, skimmed the instructions, then sewed up the hat a couple days later without looking at the directions again.  Josh likes hats, so I hope he'll get a lot of wear out of this one.  Too bad he can't wear this hat and his bike helmet at the same time!

Now the not-so-fantastic.  I felt that the Hold 'Em Up Belt didn't come together as well as it could have.  The thing that seemed most problematic was the length that was suggested in the instructions - adding 6 inches to your child's waist measurement didn't seem to be enough.  Josh was wearing jean shorts when he tried it on, and it barely fit.  Perhaps it would be more helpful to measure the circumference of the pants that your child will wear the belt with, rather than his or her actual waist.  Next time I make a belt, I'll probably make it with 10 inches added to his waist measurement.  The other problem was entirely my own - I think it would be nicer with a heavier interfacing than the one I used.  Not such a big deal.  Next time I may just do a double layer of interfacing.

The final problem had very little to do with the belt - Josh was in a terrible mood and didn't want to be photographed wearing it.  So here's a picture of him starting to cry while holding it:

Poor guy!  I am planning to make another, longer, heavier version to hopefully make him happy.  Really, I don't think the belt was the problem - we had a long, tiring Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scallops and Scallops

I have been a bad, bad blogger lately.  How can it be that I haven't posted since the 22nd?  Some craziness at work and the holiday weekend made me lose track of time.  Luckily, just because I haven't been posting doesn't mean I haven't been sewing!

Here is my second Colette Meringue (the first was a wearable muslin, blogged here):

Can you believe it?  It's the first thing in the morning and I'm already all rumpled!  This is my fault, rather than the fabric's fault.  The fabric is a really lovely Annette Tatum Sateen that actually doesn't wrinkle much (I bought the fabric locally at Sew to Speak, but it isn't up on their website yet).  The name of this print is Scallop, so I think it is perfect for this little Scalloped hem skirt.

I didn't really make any other changes to the pattern, other than being more fastidious with my seam finishing and seam allowance clipping on this version.  I really love this pattern, so there will be a third in my near future.  After that, I promise I'll take a break from Meringues.