Loved Ones and Little Things

MMJ 17.

Today’s Me-Made June Friday Challenge was a photo with loved ones. I hereby submit my paltry effort. I spent the day at home taking care of a sick hubby (which is considerably more onerous a chore than taking care of sick children, I’ll add), which leads to less than glamorous photo-taking. I am limping along with my self-imposed 70s week, although the weather has not been cooperating so I may have to call it off early without wearing my two remaining (very summery) 70s dresses. Poop. For what it’s worth, I’m wearing the bellbottoms (again) with one of the several JJ blouses. Although a contemporary pattern, I think the JJ fits stylistically quite well with the 70s patterns I’ve been collecting, with the ruffles and little puffed sleeves.

Syo's Vest (waistcoat, not tank-top)

In between making toast, iced tea, and “just being there” (because apparently me sitting in the living room while he sleeps on the couch half the afternoon is much better than him sleeping on the couch while I’m off doing something, oh, productive), some little bits of sewing has gotten done. The finishing handwork on my niece’s little coat, of course, but also a little vest for Syo from this nefarious pattern, made from the scraps from my niece’s coat. This pattern is one of those depressingly dumbed-down patterns, the kind that makes you feel embarrassed about being a home sewist. Although the instructions are to line the vest, there’s no lining pieces or even facings. So of course the lining is bound to peek out. Especially when it’s a knit and the shell is a woven. I cut the shell a bit bigger to attempt to give it some turn of cloth allowance, and topstitched after, but the fleece still peeks out a bit. Naturally I could’ve drafted a lining and facings, but that would’ve been work, as well as probably used up more scraps that I actually had. Anyway, Syo is very pleased with it, despite putting it on the first time and declaring: “It’s a bit loose.”

I have concluded this is Syonese for “It’s not skin-tight.”

She sewed the shoulder-seams herself, but chickened out on the other, highly curved seams. Also, grading seams makes a big difference when your fabrics are this bulky. I should do it more consistently.

Tyo's Bear

Tyo, on the other hand, finally got back to work on her teddy-bear, which has been languishing as isolated head and arms since well before my sewing-room migration, and we finished it. She did fairly well, considering the 1/4″ seam allowances and sharp curves. I had to do more than I really wanted to (including hand-stitching all the bits together), but less than I had feared, so I guess it’s all right. It’s stuffed with rice, so it can be microwaved to serve as a hot-pad. It’s cute, in a rather floppy way.

I think I’m starting to wrap my head around the idea of actually teaching my kids to sew. Not having been actively taught myself, it’s hard to figure out what to teach. What needs to be said, what they’ll figure out on their own through trial and error. But progress is being made, and I guess that’s what matters.

Oh, coincidentally the girls are both wearing shirts I made, neither of which have been blogged, due to generally shoddy half-ass construction and lack of interesting or meaningful detail. I’ve noticed that I tend to make some pretty half-ass things for my kids. Mostly when they’re picking something I don’t much want to make, or I’m getting annoyed with the fabric of their choice. Both shirts are getting worn a fair bit, though, despite their inferior construction. My children have not yet learnt the stigma of “home made”. Tyo gets more flack, apparently, for wearing her (very expensive) Harley Davidson jacket. Go figure.

70s blouse pattern

I did get started on a 70s blouse (well, more of a tunic, View C on the left) for me, out of some white cotton gauze. I hope to get it done this weekend,  if I can wrest control of the sewing machine away from my children long enough. Although probably not in time to save 70s week. I’m sad to say I think there’s probably more kids’ sewing in the immediate future, too. Tyo has fabric and pattern for a shirt picked out, and I got some really cute sundress patterns I’ll talk about another day…

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Loved Ones and Little Things

  1. Sick husbands are so difficult! They always think they’re dying, then the next day they’re fine :p

    My mom taught me to sew in the same way you’re doing with your kids. As an adult I knew how to use a machine, had practice on curved seams, and no fear. Except when cutting. Teaching children how to learn is the biggest job.

  2. Oh, dear I must be a terrible wife. If my husband is sick then he goes to bed (well, I don’t want for me or one of the kids to catch whatever it is, so absolutely no sleeping out in the living room) and I will only pop in occasionally to make sure he’s still with us. Well, he’s the doctor so I assume if it was life-threatening he would be the one to know. I’m a lot more vigilant with the children…
    You are a very good wife indeed!

  3. Rockin the bellbottoms makes all good. I have mine muslined and hopefully will get nice denim soon.
    Bummer about the sick hubby. They take up so much space when they are un-well.

  4. Cute picture. 🙂 You’re so lovely to teach your kids how to sew, I can’t tell you how many people I get in my beginners classes who tell me what a great seamstress their mother is (was) but how she never let them near the machine. Sad.

    You get top prizes for wifeliness. My husband’s been taking good care of me, lately, since I’m disgustingly sick. It’s nice to be looked after sometimes.

  5. Elle C

    My father was the worst sick person in the world, Seriously. When she had had enough my Mom killed him with kindness. He had a cold (which meant of course he felt worse than any human being since the beginning of time and she just didn’t understand, blah blah blah), so she started. In the middle of summer, she made him a mustard plaster for his chest and made him lay under wool blankets and make him drink hot lemon and water, hot soup, etc. She wouldn’t let him get up or remove blankets, and she may have made him wear long underwear, to you know, sweat out the cold. The next morning he bounced out of bed declaring he felt fine, and never complained about being sick ever again. If he ever sounded like he had a cold, she would ask him if he was getting sick and he would very quickly deny it. One day of torture, or treatment, whatever, saved her a marriage of trouble. Might be worth a try.

  6. I love that your girls are sewing!! That’s so fun! ( avoiding the obvious “sew” here)

    Sick husbands are the worst. When I’m sick, the world has to still go around, but when he’s sick, all must stop and tend to him. I have stuff to do! Man up! (Which expression I think really ought to be “Woman up.” Yes?)

  7. Haha, oh yeah, sick men, don’t get me started about it. My husband is a doll when I am sick myself though, so I won’t complain that hard, but why oh why is he always almost dying because of his soar throat? 😉

    Anyway, funny that you are writing about teaching your girls to sew. I just started sewing with my little girl today and posted about that. She had been asking for it for a while now and I thought I’d start with something simple, a present for her baby nephew. Now I only have to figure out how to get her to reach the pedal 🙂

  8. I love the photos with the girls. They are darling.

    I used to get sooo mad at my husband for being such a baby (the laying in bed and having to have movies blaring because he can’t hear–while sleeping) Then I saw some sitcom that was entirely about the sick husband and I realized it is rather universal. So now I just do my best to understand that his sicknesses are a gazillion times more intense and life threatening than mine. 😉

    Thanks for the tip about the Alison swimsuit–I had forgotten all about it. I may have to butcher another Burdastyle pattern to get what I want…

  9. Ugh! Sick men are the biggest babies ever! I can totally sympathize with you on that.

    I think Tyo did a great job with the bear, and Syo’s “waistcoat” is very cute. And we can afford to goof up kids clothes–they outgrow them so fast that the flaws don’t have time to work themselves out!

  10. Sewista Fashionista

    Tea and toast! I remember that remedy from childhood. My husband won’t drink hot or cold tea when ill. He wants me to use my great-grandmother’s ginger tea recipe which since my great-grandmother was born in 1887 is of the medicinal potent variety. Another family favorite is dubbed “lemon, liquor and honey.” Just the name pretty much gives the recipe. I notice that this concoction tends to induce deep sleep, which means I can go about the stuff I had planned for the day.

    Hope your husband feels better soon. You are doing so well keeping up with MMJ.

    • Hehe! My kids love the hot lemonade (lemon juice, hot water, honey), but the hubby won’t drink it. (Our house is sadly lacking in liqueurs that would be appropriate.) Probably the ginger would be great for his upset tummy right now, but I’m sure he wouldn’t drink that either (picky, he is). So toast it is, sigh.

  11. Hah, I guess I got lucky. The Hubs and I both approach sickness with the “leave me alone and let me die” attitude of passive aggressive misery. We’ll each get the other food, drinks, medicine and the remote but that’s as far as either of us needs or wants to be pampered.

    My MIL does all the kid sewing around here, by which I mean dress shirts since we’re an all-boy household. I might take on some quick summer shorts for Youngest, since I have the twill scraps, but I can buy things so cheaply on clearance it’s hardly worth the bother. None of the kids has shown the remotest interest in sewing, although I plan to teach them to sew on a button and do mending before they leave home. Come to think of it, I really should make Oldest sew on his own Scout patches. I guess I’m a bit afraid to let them around the machines, LOL.

    • Yeah, see, that’s about my attitude when sick.

      I definitely think you should make sure your boys can do basic mending :). My hubby can’t (or rather, thinks he can’t) and it’s somewhat ridiculous. Especially when my mother-in-law still has the treadle sewing machine her grandfather used to sew on.

      It’s possible the garment range for girls are a bit more interesting than that for boys ;). Although boys’ casual pants (the ones inspired by combats) have a lot of neat features. I certainly don’t sew for them to save money, not when we live spitting distance from a Value Village. But it is fun, and doesn’t take huge amounts of fabric.

  12. Yes sick hubbies are a handful! LOL

    I have to admit I would not really know how to teach a little person to sew either. Since I took am self taught. I started sewing as a kid just odd little things then in 4-H I did sew a real pair of shorts and top! Mercy that was a million years ago. I am sure they learn something every time they sew. So how can you go wrong :O)

  13. Pingback: 70s Week | Tanit-Isis Sews

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