22 July 2009

coming home

Well... I started sewing again, and creating things again (outside of work projects) since my boys were born.
I've missed it more than I had even realized. 
It felt like coming home.

So... here's my first old beginning that I have to share. These hoodies for my boys were made from polo shirts given to me by my mother-in-law. They were too big for my husband, but a bulb went on when I saw them. The XL shirts had enough fabric to do something long-sleeved (in a 2-3T size) - and with a bit of finagling I squeezed  in a hood. I'm a sucker for hoodies on my little guys!

The before of one of the shirts (they're both the same except for color) ...

It all started with careful deconstruction, keeping intact the front button placket to use and carefully removing all other details that would be reused, but altered. Some elements were not used again here, but saved for future use. It's amazing how useful all the parts can be once you get into that mindset.

I loosely used Kwik Sew pattern# 3150 - and I say loosely because I almost, pretty much, never follow any pattern or even recipe to the letter. Just can't do it. There are too many tweeks & ideas running around in my head for that. The pattern is also too simple for the results I wanted so lots of details were added. (like covering the back neck seam with twill tape) Besides, one size fits all is not my style. It all has to be better fit for the intended use/person. Also, when you are repurposing fabrics or any materials, really - there are limitations that you have to work with. 

It's about getting the best you can from what you have, and rising to the challenges that the item or project presents.

In laying out the pieces, I used the hem of the shirt for the sleeve ends, but couldn't do that for the body because I used the button placket at the top. And matching up the stripes at seams was not really possible, either - but I've learned to live with that. (my two year olds aren't that fussy yet!) In sewing these I learned something interesting - my machines didn't like stitching through the printed-on stripes of the grey shirt. The multi-color shirt was fine since the stripes are woven, not printed. The serger did ok, but mainly the issue was with topstitching on my straight machine. I had to topstitch upside down on half the hem, not really fun. And only a little bit better.

I realize that the finished item is not the same one as from the before & during pics... that's what happens when your main focus is two energetic little boys! I will post pics of both. These have been great - our go to cover-up for the beach or cool evenings. We've had plenty of cool temps here in the northeast this summer! They were such fun to work on, it sparked a slew of other wearables for my boys. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Love the blog! :-)

Your Favorite Niece said...

I just found this page open on the computer and was like, woah, those pants look familiar. Anyways, considering your computer was probably being attacked by a pair of two year olds while you made this, nice job ^^ This is borderline random, but I was working on /attempting/ to make something that resembled one of those handy-dandy little dog treat bags (been trying forever to get JenJen into agility, am finally making progress. Mom called and they said the next class will start in August) out of the hem of some unattracrively colored green dress and one of those zippered plastic bags that sheets come in for the liner. I have the edges of the green part sewn so it slightly resembles a bagish thing, but as soon as I flipped it inside out to attatch the plastic, things got ugly. The sewing machine didn't really like the plastic and it got all bunched up and confused. Mom doesn't really have any suggestions besides putting her hands on her hips and saying "well..." What now? (I'll probably talk to you in person but for the time being it's 9:30 something and I'm too lazy at this hour to find a phone.)
But do I really have to hand sew it? Is this actually going to work at all or am I wasting my time?

Karen Meirs said...

actually, YFN, it sounds like a great project... I'll help you fix it & maybe we can post the results. Good upcycling!

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