The littlest sweatshop, I mean, seamstress.

Dresses for nieces

The children have decided (however temporarily) that hanging out in the sewing room is their new favourite way to spend time with mom. This may just be because it’s easier to get me to pay attention to them when we’re making something together. We have all kinds of projects planned—dresses for my nieces, zippered pouches for their teachers—all of which need to be completed in the next week or so. I foresee evenings of toil and drudgeryI mean bonding and quality time.

Shh! It's a secret!

This would be work enough (especially since we have the massive birthday party from hell on Saturday: both kids’ parties at once, so roughly 20 kids aged 8-11 running around the house and yard for five hours while my husband is at work. Probably water-balloons and the lawn sprinkler will be involved at some point), but Tyo also wants to make Syo a dress for her birthday. That is a surprise. As in, it can only be worked on when Syo isn’t in the sewing room. See the first sentence as to why this is a problem. Out of the leftover fabric from my 70s tunic, which of course requires lining and nice seam finishes and stuff. I’m not 100% convinced she knows what she’s in for. For those of you to whom kid-related sewing is absolutely mind-numbing and irrelevant, I apologize. This may not be a good week for you.

Teacher-present fabrics

Also, the hunt for teacher-present-fabrics led to spending a dangerous amount of time in the quilting section, something I generally avoid like the plague. Apparently this is where they keep all the nice prints (I’m much more favourable about prints when I’m not trying to imagine myself wearing them, I guess). This is especially dangerous as I have twee-little-sundresses on the brain. For which quilting cottons could actually be appropriate.

So what did I do yesterday?

Lekala sailor shorts

I decided, on a whim, to take a stab at Lekala  5465, a set of sailor-buttoned shorts.

I haven’t tried making sailor shorts, so I can’t really compare various methods, but I really don’t like this one. It doesn’t help that I didn’t really do it right, but basically there’s a point of weakness at the bottom of the slash that I don’t think anything is really going to fix.

The shorts (in progress)

I tried to compensate with excessive bar-tacking.

Depending on how incompetent I feel when I finish these, I may go into the construction process and how I screwed up. Or I may just throw them in the wadder-bin. I did take a lot of in-progress photos, though.

In Me-Made June news,

June 22

Yesterday was easily the nicest day of the year yet. The high was 25C (that’s like almost 80 F!), which since we’re still inured to barely-double-digits felt like heaven (or hell, to hear Syo tell it… that child does not like being hot.) I took the opportunity to wear my lace T-shirt dress



Filed under Sewing

12 responses to “The littlest sweatshop, I mean, seamstress.

  1. Wow! Sounds like an intense but fun week! I love that your kids sew! And those shorts look amazing….what a fun pattern!

  2. The shorts do look cute — perhaps wearing them after you finish will help you like them more?

    I love quilt fabrics for sewing (so easy!) and started sewing clothing with them. However, I’ve gone off them a bit because they just don’t hold up well to the wash and wear abuse. Fine for kid clothes because they outgrow them so quickly anyway, not so great for mine.

    I have a sewing room, but the kids avoid it like the plague. I suppose they think of it like my lair, and I might eat them if they venture in. It’s kind of out of the way also, tucked in behind the kitchen and cramped.

  3. I just tried on some Navy 13 button pants and should have snoop shopped better! I believe the there’s a dart just where the overlap is slashed, so you’re not dealing with hair-thin seam allowances. The underlaps may have been separate pieces instead.

    You could ask Casey, her hubby’s in the Navy and should have a pair of Cracker Jack’s hanging around.

  4. JillyBean

    I’m loving the little seamstress sweatshop :). You must have the patience of a saint teaching both girls at once. My newly 10 yo DD is learning to sew as well, and it has amazed me how much time it takes to instruct her, and then allow her to make mistakes, and then untangle the mistakes so she can start again. My sewing effectively comes to a stand still when she is in the room, but I’m excited that she wants to learn.

    • Yeah, it definitely doesn’t make for efficient sewing. Also Tyo is very reluctant to make use of the seam-ripper. As far as she’s concerned if the right pieces are together, it’s good enough. Which I suppose is better for a beginner than perfectionism…

  5. Bummer about those shorts, I have that same pattern languishing on my laptop waiting to be printed out. Was it bad drafting or a lack of instructions or something?

    LOL @ wanting to make a surprise dress for her sis. I have no idea how to make that work.

    • I don’t think it’s a drafting problem so much as an instruction translation problem and a “me just not liking how that particular design feature has to be executed” problem. I don’t really know if there’s a better way to include this kind of feature. I’ll have some more on the fit and finishing tomorrow… the fit wound up being fine.

  6. The fact that you are wearing that adorable little dress on a 25C day shows you are made from far tougher stuff than I (see earlier comment about weather wusses, ahem, me…I would be popping on a cardi, or two) You look gorgeous!
    Re your parties; I was going to say something about wait until they’re 18, or I think the legal drinking age is 19 in Canada, right? For me, those have been the definitive parties from hell… (dealing with a drunken, miniature-dress-wearing 19yr old girl who thinks you’re too old to be worth noticing…fun, not) but I guess it’s been a while since I had to cope with tonnes of littlies racing around and maybe I’ve forgotten!
    I hope it all goes well!

    • I’m in Seattle and 25C/77F is hot! We’re wearing sleeveless tops at that temp. Shorts and sundresses come out anytime it breaks 20C/70F.

      • Hehe! Another reason not to live on the west coast (the whole earthquake thing scares the pants off me, BTW) :). 25 is pretty darn fine out here, too.

        I think living on the Northern Plains does strange things to your brain. I psychologically NEED scorching hot summers (at least several weeks of days above 30C, I know, not scorching by Australian standards) to prepare myself for the winter. And having somewhat warmer winters here, while pleasant, doesn’t seem to make up for the cooler summers.

  7. I’m sewing FOR the kids, my little girl hasn’t really wanted to sew anything. She’s much more into her crochet. But hopefully I’ll have cute pictures soon.

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