Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fleece for the blizzard

I was pretty well prepared for the blizzard that hit us this weekend - we had food, water, gas in the car and the snowblower, rock salt and a new shovel.  But just as the snow began to start on Friday afternoon, I realized that my kids were a little lacking in layers to wear under their brand-new snow pants.  So I sewed three pairs of leggings and three pairs of socks from some stashed polyester fleece.  


The pattern is, of course, my beloved Playtime Leggings.  I sewed a size 5 with the length of a 7 for Natasha (and they are just barely long enough!) and a slightly lengthened 6 for Zoia.  


Gabriel's were a size 5 with a 1/2" seam allowance as I had pulled out my larger size range and was trying to save time.  


I noticed that the rise is a little short when layered over tights (which blew my mind, because the rise on this pattern has always seemed really long to me - but maybe that is a feature of the smaller size range, for increased room over diapers). - so when I make more of these for next winter I will add an inch or so.


I drew my own pattern for the socks - the pattern piece is just an oblong for the bottom of the foot, and two rectangles with one rounded end for the front and the back.  They sew up very quickly and kept the kids' feet warm through hours of playing in the snow.  


And there was a lot of snow. We got at least two feet.  The snowplow is stuck in it right outside my driveway as I type this.






That is my husband operating the snowblower! He is walking really, really well now. His left hand is not doing much, but it is really not obvious to the casual observer that there is anything wrong with him.  He will be returning to work part-time next week, which is both hugely exciting and a tiny bit scary.


They are calling for temperatures well above freezing in a few days, so all this snow will be gone by next week. It is going to be a slushy mess!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Plantain, again

My parents-in-law have doubled their grandchildren in the past 13 months. So when the whole family got together over New Year's, a family photo was high on the agenda.  Earlier in the year, my sisters-in-law and I agreed on a navy, gray and mustard yellow color scheme.  I was very tempted to wear yellow on top - it is my favorite color and looks reasonably well on me - but a savvy friend, knowing that I was not feeling excellent about my weight, advised me to wear dark colors on top.  


After a browse or two through the thrift store racks (because I refuse to pay retail prices for what I hope will only be "transition" clothes) it became clear that I was going to have to make something.  Luckily I had this great navy and white striped cotton/lycra in my stash (purchased from Fabric Mart back in the fall).  I decided to go back to my selfish sewing roots and make a Plantain.


I messed up a bit while cutting the top.  I had intended to cut a 40 shoulder widening to a 44 in the bust and continuing the 44 to the hem.  But somehow I ended up widening only to a 42.  It feels a little tight on, but I actually like how it looks in the photos.  I do think I could have used that extra room in the bust.  On the positive side, it should fit even after more of the baby weight comes off.


I didn't try to match stripes on the sleeves - no excuse other than that I was tired when I cut and sewed this.


Man I look tired.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dotted Chambray Class Picnic

Although my girls are sizing out of my original Oliver+S pattern stash, I am lucky to have two baby nieces to sew for.  When deciding what to make my one-year-old niece, P, for Christmas, I remembered that I had really enjoyed making Class Picnics in the past.  I also had four yards of Lisette chambray in the stash.  P lives in a warm climate, so this is a seasonally appropriate sew, too.


I  sewed up the 12-18 month size.  As I was cutting, I decided to extend the blouse into a dress.  I don't even remember how much length I added.  Proportions look about right though.

When I got to the part where you hem the sleeves, I realized that I had never actually been successful hemming the sleeves of this blouse (the pattern calls for a 1.5" hem).  The first time I made the blouse, I hemmed the sleeves by hand.   On subsequent makes (six of them), I hemmed the sleeves flat, before sewing up the side seams.  I really don't like how that looks, though, so this time around I went looking for a better way.  I took a gander at the O+S discussion forums and found a suggestion to hem the sleeve from the inside.  I tried it.  Still fiddly, but it did work!


After I took these pictures, I realized I'd forgotten to remove the gathering stitches.  


I made a couple of quilting cotton rosettes and put one on an FOE headband.  I've since learned that P may not keep a headband on her head.  We'll see.


I fashioned an arrow-shaped tag out of some stash ribbon.  I could have sewn it on a big straighter.  Anyone else notice mistakes in their blog photos that they didn't notice on the live garment?

Anyway, I am very happy with how it turned out.  Hope they like it!