This week, we’re participating in the Kids’ Clothes Week Challenge led by Meg of elsiemarley.com. We’ll be back to our regular posting schedule next week.
Tonight I made a skirt. But more about that later. I also had what I believe Oprah calls an ‘A-Ha’ moment. I’m not sure, I don’t watch the show, but anyway…
When Wendy originally posted our intention to do this challenge, she talked about how I would ‘show her up’. Here’s what she meant – I have been a professional seamstress since high school. I went to college to get my degree in Costume Design and Production, where I learned all sorts of fantastically complicated ways to make clothing. Then I moved to New York and started building clothes for Broadway.
So… I kinda know how to sew. But other than diapers, Christmas dresses, and Halloween costumes, I don’t make a lot of things for my daughters. I’ve done a lot of stitching at work since they’ve been born, and I’ve done a fair bit of freelance work for friends and co-workers, but I haven’t done much for my babies. Weird, right?
So tonight I’m staring at this skirt I’m making for Scooter. I don’t really like it, but I’m determined to finish it. After fifteen minutes of listening to me mutter and fidget, Husband walks over and asks me what I’m making. I tell him it’s a skirt, but I don’t like the way it looks. “Well,” he says, “how do you want it to look?” I stared at him blankly. Twenty years of working for demanding (talented, but demanding) designers had bred out of me the urge to, you know, design!
Sitting in front of a sewing machine puts me in work mode. Every project becomes a race against the clock, and I’ve forgotten how to give garments finishing touches that are uniquely mine. Add to that the already-stressful schedule of parenting and homemaking, and sewing becomes one more chore.
So tonight, for the first time in ages, I actually had fun sewing for my kids!
I found this skirt half-finished in a pile of fabric. I’m not sure if it was originally going to be a top or a skirt – it could have been a ruffle top with wide ribbon straps, but today I went for skirt. I added a waistband made from some leftover T-shirt, but I was finding the ruffle-on-ruffle a bit monotonous. I added some machine embroidery, a flower pattern that echoes the tulip print on the fabric. This has the added bonus of stiffening the edge of the ruffle, which keeps the skirt from looking too heavy.
I can’t wait to show it to Scooter in the morning – I’m hoping she’ll model it for us!
Although I am nowhere near where I need to be to complete everything on my list, I feel good about the progress that I’ve made and that (with one exception) I managed to put my hour in at the end of each day. It hasn’t been easy, but it has done wonders for my sewing project momentum and I intend to find a way to fit two to three hours of sewing in each week. I’ve done much more mending than sewing in the last couple of years, and while mending is necessary and rewarding, I don’t derive quite the same sense of satisfaction from the hours spent patching jeans as I do from the hours spent on a completely new garment.
Tonight, I finished the green pants and the pajama pants and finished cutting the pieces for the pajama shirt. I was ready to finish the shirt this evening, but then realized that I didn’t have the necessary interfacing on hand. I’ll save the shirt for next week and focus on the hoodie tomorrow. I confess that I am a little nervous about the pajama shirt because it has been a long time since I made buttonholes with any regularity, and I was never that great at them to begin with. Like it or not, I will be making buttonholes within the next few days because someone is already impatient for me to finish his new pajamas.