You know those City Gym Shorts that everyone and their sister has pinned to Pinterest? I made them. And they are awesome. And you want to make them, too. Gym shorts for everyone! Even those of us who haven’t been inside a gym in years. I used an unknown cotton lawn that has been in my stash forever, some red lawn I found in the remnants bin, and a thin red double fold bias tape. The whole thing took just a few hours and I love, love them. I plan to wear them on the beach in Hawaii next month (oh yeah, we’re going to Hawaii next month).
See the cuteness.
Check out the detail!
I will admit I didn’t really plan to participate in KCW this summer. I have a bunch of other projects going on, some I am super behind on and the boy has been lukewarm on hand-mades. Then I saw Miss Mucho’s post and I wanted to play along. She always convinces me to do things thinking mine will turn out as great as hers. That never happens.
For this project I used a light chambray for the main fabric and touches of some Star Wars quilting cotton I picked up at Beverly’s awhile ago. The pattern is Bobby’s Bathers – a boys swim trucks pattern – in Sewing For Boys. I have made so many things from that book, it nearly justifies all the sewing books I have bought and never made a thing.
The biggest issue I have seen so far is the fabric wrinkles very easily. I ironed last night to take photos in the morning. Just sitting on the dresser overnight put in that crease under Darth Vader’s pocket.
Did you see the pockets? The are fussy cuts of Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper. Each has a velcro closure sewn in to keep important valuables (read: lego Star Wars mini-figs) inside.
Since theses were originally a swimsuit pattern, the waist has a tabbed tie closure. I liked the pop of color. I had a difficult time figuring out where the tabs were supposed to go and ended up ripping them out and adding them back on after the shorts were sewn together, just before making the elastic casing.
There isn’t a good picture in the book of what they are supposed to look like, so I just did what made sense to me. All the ripping and repositioning (and that my machine only wanted to make one button hole for whatever reason) resulted in a little funky sewing here but that is the joy of sewing for kids. They really don’t care.
Pros: Fast, cute, might actually be worn, Star Wars
Cons: Wrinkled fabric, funky tabs
Back in the spring, our family took a little trip to Palm Springs. I wanted to make something light and fun and somewhat retro for the trip. My fantasy involved sipping cocktails on the patio like a modern lady in my desert oasis [the Ace Hotel – I would live here if I could]. This simple dirndl skirt (I used Gertie’s basic pattern here) seemed just about right. The fabric is a basic cotton and I think I had about 2 1/4 yards. I used every last bit of the length – I like my skirts full – and used the extra from the width to make the waist band.
All I need is my pearls and I’m ready to be a good ’50s homemaker.
I really like the deep hem. This one is about 2 1/2 inches and I think it would be even better in a heavier fabric. I want to try this in some other fabric. The gathers at the waist poof a bit in this cotton. I think a little weight would give it a bit more structure. I did end up wearing this to work today (with less crazy shoes) and a cardigan so I guess it does double duty – Palm Springs starlet and code monkey… what more could you ask out of skirt.
The Good: cute fabric, easy sewing
The Bad: cotton needs to be ironed every time, I didn’t do the best job with the gathers.
I’m not a fan of making muslins. I really don’t have enough time to make two versions of everything I want so… yeah… I just don’t do that. In this case, I found 1.5 yards of a basic blue cotton voile in the remnants bin at Stone Mountain and Daughter and decided to make a “first attempt” muslin with it. I full intended to (and have) worn this out and about.
The pattern is the Portrait Blouse from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I made a small adjustment to increase the bust size but otherwise followed the pattern. I think for round two I will lengthen the blouse a bit. I don’t often tuck my shirts in and I need a bit more wiggle room between the top of my pants and the bottom of my top to avoid accidental tummy showing (see photo – thank you retouch tool).
Why am I about to laugh?
oh, that’s why
I am in love with Colette Pattern’s Mabel skirt. I even love the model they use for in that link – camera loves that girl and the feeling appears to be mutual. Mabel is a quick sew -about 1 hour – knit skirt project. I have a heavier knit I plan to use next but for the first time out I used some jersey I had bought for Kids Clothing Week. It’s a Volcom print of monsters. The fabric is a bit lighter than what you would normally use for a skirt, think an H&M or Forever 21 level of thin. I made a standard Large (my measurements were close enough for knit) and am happy with the fit.
The color is a bit weird in this shot. The skirt is more like a brick red than a fuchsia but you can see the basic shape.
You can wear it to get the car washed with leggings and pink sneakers.
or in the backyard. Note – it seems I can’t smile while taking my own picture. I will work on it (I’m not really pissed here – just concentrating).
Lately I’ve been sewing a lot for myself. I guess people call it selfish sewing, although I’m not sure why. Sewing for myself is sewing for my most demanding, least forgiving, difficult recipient ever. Adding to that, I’ve mostly been sewing clothes… which means I then need to photograph those clothes on me if I want it on the blog. I am not photogenic. I did make one big step forward though. I bought myself one of these – a little $10 bluetooth key fob that let’s me take pictures from my iPhone remotely. It’s awesome. It doesn’t automatically make me look good in those pictures (I’m guessing magic is more than $10) but at least I don’t have to try to make my arm longer while getting a non-whack-a-doo picture of my own skirt. With that said I’m queuing up a number of post from projects over the last couple of months all featuring slightly less whack-a-doo pictures of me wearing stuff.
Is this thing working??
At least my hair looked good.