Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Week of Apparel Sewing, part one; leftovers

Last week I went on vacation with my family,  and I of course brought my sewing machine (actually I brought two, in case anyone had the urge to join in) and I brought several apparel projects because unlike quilts, they are fairly self contained; only the fabric, interfacing, fastenings, thread, and patterns, oh wait that sounds like a lot! but with quilts, it's all that (except the fastenings) and much more of it. And it requires space to lay things out, which one is not always assured on a family vacation.

So, in the mornings, we went off to the beach, and after lunch, I sewed. And also after dinner! And also after the kids were in bed.

I made two dresses for a child, two pairs of pants for the other child, a dress for me, and revamped a skirt I'd made earlier and made shorts from knit fabric, which was a first for me. And I didn't even get to all the projects I brought. (And I only had to run out once, for single fold binding tape.)

But first, let's talk about leftovers, by which I mean, I guess, two things.

You buy a yard of knit fabric to make a pair of pants, say:

The pants require four long columns of fabric, and the waistband is cut from the remainder.  And what do you do with that square of fabric left over? I guess I've been saving them for I don't know what, but here's an idea:

Tiny shorts for a smaller sibling? And unlike pants there's no horribly long side seams, so they take very little time. The only issue is that one side has to be cut upside down because of how little fabric there is, but what of that?

I worked these up from a Simplicity pattern for woven shorts for wearing under dresses (the idea of which makes  me vaguely upset, but anyway) but it's another case of adding fabric to the bottom and shortening the rise, and the waistband is altered completely, so there is very little point in pointing anyone to the pattern. Just as I'm not going to talk about my pants pattern, though it is a knit pants pattern from Maccalls, with the rise shortened, and the waistband altered, and the bells and whistles all left off.

I kind of like the fabric to do the talking, not the extra stuff.

This is my second wearable muslin for the shorts, the first being large enough for my older child.  But, hey, still wearable! And it uses very little fabric, on account of the fabric being stretchy and the subject being tiny.

The other kind of leftover is the perennial favorite, the fabric shop remnant. My local quilt shop, Pink Castle Fabrics, had a sale on their apparel remnants, which sit on a shelf near the cutting table. I looked through one day and found three pieces of this Cotton + Steel print in two colorways. So, I conceived this Flip Flop dress to use them. The long skinny remnant became the contrast hem, the skirt was cut from the larger blue piece, in a 30" column (then split in half), the bodice was cut out laying sideways (thankfully it was not a directional print!) and the larger red violet piece provided both the bow/sash and the bodice lining. And it's cotton lawn, so it looks fancy but feels super soft.

I'm probably going to skip over showing you every pair of pants and shorts (though you can see them in my instagram feed), but I've been taking pictures of dresses today, so you'll see those up soon! The skirt has it's own saga, so it may get it's own post, or maybe not. Maybe I will finish a quilt sometime soon instead!

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