This past summer, Tyo fell in love with boxers. Less as underwear than as PJ/lougewear bottoms, but anyway. When Peter of Male Pattern Boldness announced his Boxer Sewalong, I thought it was the perfect thing for her to try out. After all, boxers are one of those classic beginner projects! And a sewalong could get her motivated, interested, and above all, reading!
So when Peter started earlier this week, I gleefully shoved my Steve Jobs Memorial Handheld Device* in her face to read his posts, dreaming of after-school idylls of mother-daughter time spent peacefully together in the sewing room.
Tyo being Tyo, glanced over the posts, complained that she had a headache (she always has a headache when she gets home from school. Unfortunately, the combination of not eating well during the day** with the long bus ride home means she usually arrives home with nausea and cratering blood sugar), and went off to watch “Good Luck Charlie.”
But finally on Saturday (Thanksgiving long weekend! Yay! We’re not having a turkey! Cry!), she had the time/energy/interest/desire to get Mom to stop hassling her about cleaning up, so we headed downstairs.
Pretty much all of Peter’s clever, fine details went out the window almost right away. Flat felling? I think not. Fly? Meh. It’s not like she’s going to be using it. Stitching elastic directly to the fabric? Um… let’s not even go there… (I did make one grave error, when I flippantly mentioned that boxers are the perfect beginner project. Tyo informed me that she is absolutely NOT a beginner.)
After some rummaging, Tyo selected this fabric, which is a red and white striped, lightweight polyester from the stuff my Grandma gave me last summer. In real life it’s not nearly as shiny as it looks in these photos, although it’s still fairly obnoxious. For the pattern we went with Simplicity 9495, which she also used to make Syo’s birthday present earlier this summer. She also traced off the pattern (YAY one-piece patterns!). I made one alteration, which was to lengthen the crotch-height (or is it depth? I always get those mixed up. I added vertical height) in the back portion. This was a Good Idea, as the rise in the back is just about perfect. The rise in the front, on the other hand, is way too much and bubbles out—I will probably lower it almost two inches when/if she makes another pair. Which probably means that the whole thing is meant to have a waist-level rise and Tyo’s wearing them low-rise, it’s just that her wonderfully round bottom (I might just be a tad jealous) is eating up the extra rise in the back…
Tyo cut them out and did all of the stitching herself, including serging the seams to finish them. I did most of the pressing. We discovered that hems are easier to stitch without pins (which is how I always do them, but we all know that I don’t always or even often do things the “right” way). I made some pretense of trying to get her to read the instructions, but a) they were making no sense to her, and b) they were stupid, so we winged it. I’m not a big fan of the pants-construction method where you sew the inseam first, THEN the crotch seams. It just seems awkward. Especially when the inseam is only 2″ long.
Then Then Tyo went upstairs and made an oil painting. First she made her canvas (by gluing some white paper to cardboard). Then she pulled out the oil-paint set a friend gave me eons ago (like, pre-child) that I only ever dared use once because the whole canvas+cleanup thing completely terrified and overwhelmed me.
Since we don’t have the products on hand for cleaning up the oils, she used some disposable makeup brushes and a paintbrush that was probably on the way out anyway.
And I gotta tell you, it’s probably one of my favourite things she’s ever made…
There’s a lot to be said for not knowing you can’t do something.
*iPad. Thanks, Little Hunting Creek! (Oh, Hunting Creek is still popping that Malware alert that’s been stalking the blogosphere very annoyingly this week. As far as I can tell the original problem’s been resolved, and a scan before and after visiting it didn’t reveal any malware or viruses on my computer, but now you’re warned.)
**Just to cover my ass in the parenting department, I pack both my kids a healthy and nutritious lunch including whole-grain bread, low-fat lunch meat, and several servings of fruits and vegetables every day. She just never eats it. SOP is that she finishes it when she gets home, but of course this doesn’t help with the after-school crash.