Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sew unto others

Although I have just committed myself to making one quarter of my wardrobe, the last five things I have sewn have been for other people. It's good practice--both in the sense that I every stitch I sew brings me closer to proficiency and in that giving people items that you make is a good thing.

When I decided to start this blog I wanted to have a unique illustration for the header so I turned to one of my two renaissance sisters-in-law, this one being the wife of my brother (I will certainly talk about the other, the sister of my husband, at some point, too). Mylinda is an actress, singer, and dancer. She is also a visual artist, who works in pen and watercolor. I told her about this blog and its intention and, seriously, within hours she had created the amazing illustration you see above. As a thank you I wanted to make her something, so I turned to my new old friend, the Wiksten Tank. For this version I used my re-drafted pattern, left off the pocket, and lengthened it to 25" from under the arm to make it more of a tunic, but not quite a dress. This fabric was intended to be the muslin of the Darling Ranges dress, but in a washing mishap some of the yardage was lost. I think it looks great as this top and am excited to see how it fits.

Early last week, my mom came to visit and asked for a pair of sleep shorts like the ones I'd made myself. Using the pattern/recipe from the original One Yard Wonders I drafted a pattern for mom and managed to finish them before she left. These came out so much better than my first attempt. Unfortunately I forgot to snap a photo of them, but I used the same fabric as above.

Since I was mailing something to Mylinda, I decided to whip up a couple of little dresses for my nieces. I've tagged several projects in the new One Yard Wonders (OYW) and started with the Playday Frock. The smaller size is made in a darker orange quilting calico and the larger size is made in a white, orange, yellow, and brown vintage sheet. This is a cute pattern that is easy to sew up. I am a little unsure that it will be sufficient in length, especially for my older niece. I think that if it is too short it should work as a top and look really sweet with pants, leggings, or even shorts.

I didn't want to leave out my brother, so I sewed up one more project from the new OYW. Men's boxer shorts. They were basically like the sleep shorts and PJ bottoms that I have made, but with the complication of a fly. The directions in the book did not make sense to me (which is not to say they don't make sense, just I wasn't getting them) and I couldn't find anything useful online. Ultimately, I looked at a pair of John's boxers and realized that there was something wrong with the amount of overlap. Now this could have had something to do with that I made French seams so I may not have had the right amount of fabric to make overlap just right. That said, they look sharp and should work.

I got some practice at French seams, elastic, pattern adjusting, and being at the machine. I also got five points--one for each project!


  1. Wow, a full round of family gifts and it's not even Christmas! Very impressive. Is that a personalized label in the Wiksten tank?

    1. Yes! I have had them for years and rarely use them. I feel a little self-conscious every time I use them.