A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pascha finery

Pascha (Orthodox Easter) was May 1 this year, which gave me a lot of time to sew festive clothing.  I did not have to make anything for my daughters, as they were gifted luxurious hand-sewn silk Fairytale dresses by our sewing fairy godmother (photos to come tomorrow).

For Gabriel, what else but another Art Museum set?

Having learned that the vest runs very short for my taste, I sized up to a 4 and added 2" of length. This time, I slashed the pattern at the side notch and spread it 2" to add the length. I did not alter the dart or the welt pocket placement.  I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  As cute as this vest is on the little guys, I really love to see it with a long row of buttons.  I managed to fit five onto this one.

I had been salivating over some light gray pinstriped suiting at Mood.com, but in the end frugality won out and I decided to make the ensemble from stash fabric.  For the vest front, I used a gingham linen/cotton that has been in my stash a couple years.  The back is a lovely Japanese shirting from FabricMart.  It had been earmarked for a Negroni for my husband, but it was a) much darker than it appeared in the photo and b) it is a cross-weave fabric, like shot cotton, and gorgeously iridescent.  J thought it was way too shiny.  So it was back on the market.

I have never stitched down my welts before, but they didn't stay put very well on last year's linen ensemble.  This time, I tried stitching in the ditch around the welts but I just could not get my stitches to be truly invisible.  Finally I decided to just stitch down the sides of the welts, and take a couple of tacks in the ditch at the bottom of the welt.  It's not visible, and hopefully it will help them stay put.

We've been going through a bit of a sulky phase lately ...

So, the pants. Blarg.  They are made out of a stashed cotton pique.  I realized after I sewed the two pant legs together that my back welt pockets, while executed to my satisfaction, are completely uneven.  They are uneven from the back seam, from the waistband seam, and they aren't even set in at the same angle.  I have no idea how this happened, and by the time I noticed it, I had put too much time in to start over.  I was pot-committed.

While contemplating the lopsided pockets, I reflected on what kind of seamstress I am.  I know many would have thrown those pants straight into the bin.  But that's not me.  I think I'm much more a practical crafter than a perfectionist.  There is the occasional garment that I will slave over, but I am one who will often deem something to be "good enough" even with glaring errors.  G needed Easter pants.  He needed lightweight summer church pants.  My sewing time is limited.  And it would be quite a rarity for him to stay still long enough for anyone to notice his lopsided pockets anyway.  I hope.

The pants are crazy long.  I chopped 2" off the hem and still had to sew a 2" deep hem.  Because of the taper of the pants, my blind hem is a little puckery in the back.  I decided to leave it that way because I know I'm going to need that extra length if these pants are to last until it gets cold again.  Last year's Easter Art Museums also had a 2" hem and they were high-water by September.  This kid tends to grow a lot in the sunshine.

I sewed a little bow tie using this tutorial.  I altered the main bow piece dimensions a little bit from the tutorial because I thought it was kind of big (instead of 8.5"x6.5" I cut it 7.5"x6.5").  Other than that I did it as written.

For Niko, I sewed a pair of Oliver+S Lullaby Layette pants using a stashed remnant of cotton sateen from Joann's.  I sewed the size 6-12 months but they are a bit baggy; I should have sewn a lengthened 3-6 months.  He wore them with a thrifted shirt and a 6-12 month corduroy Art Museum vest that I actually sewed for my nephew two years ago, which was handed back down to us.

I took dozens of photos of him but the weather has been awful and the light correspondingly terrible, so these are the best I could do.


  1. What gorgeous outfits on your snappy young men.
    Re the wonky pockets, I am making Hugo a sports coat and one of the welt pockets is quite wonky. I agonised over unpicking but was worried the fabric wouldn't cope, so i left it. Like you I figured if any one noticed one pocket they were looking too hard.
    Your boys are just lovely, bravo on your sewing.

  2. Beautiful boys in their Easter finery! Little boys in shirts and vests are just so freaking adorable. I am very much like you when it comes to sewing. Things have to be pretty bad before I'll toss something (unfortunately the swimsuits I tried to make for my kids recently were a case in point although if more fabric had been involved I might have picked them apart rather than tossing - with such a small amount of fabric, it seems easier to start over). Otherwise I make the best of it and move on. Like Julia Child said about cooking - "never apologize!"

  3. I have a mantra I mutter when sewing kids clothes "they will never stand still long enough for anyone to notice". With 4 kids I'm amazed you get any sewing done at all. These look fab.


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