Tag Archives: By Syo

Syo Sews

Syo sewed so well. Also she's wearing a shirt I made her.

While I’ve been dithering over the hubs’ coat, Syo seized the opportunity to sneak onto an unattended machine and whip up a little purse. Her being extremely proud of her creation, she asked me to blog about it. Me being putty in her cute little fingers, immediately snapped some photos and set to.

Look! It opens!

Look! Not only does it have a strap (thankfully using up the last of that trim!), but there’s even something approaching a seam-finish on the end of the fold-over flap!

Ok, so I may be a little bit exuberant. Here’s the thing. She sewed this on her own. The only thing she asked me was whether she could use the machine (yes, dear, just don’t sew through your fingers, k?). No hovering, no planning, no supervising every seam-allowance and pivot and backtack.

People, this is how I learnt to sew (when I was probably right around Syo’s age, maybe a smidge older). Grab fabric, think (or don’t), and go. Doesn’t work? Try again. Something you never thought of goes wrong? Oops, that was a learning experience!

I’m not knocking anyone who learnt to sew properly—it’s probably a much faster, more efficient way to learn. But it’s not how I learnt, and trying to teach my kids feels… forced. Weird. Stressful.

This wasn’t stressful. This was great.

Shot with tree.

In other news, I traced out the size F(2, but in length G/3) and size H(4) of the Jalie 2908 jeans, to make up for my nieces, possibly even for Christmas. I’m still in limbo over a shirt for my Dad… I have the fabric picked out, but the Negroni pattern I ordered at the beginning of the month (yes, I caved, finally) still hasn’t arrived. I have printed out a custom size (as far as I can figure going on my mom’s recollection of his measurements and some gentle prodding over the phone) of this pattern, but I’m a little worried that it’s going to fit like a tent, which is not really what I want to create. I’m planning a backup gift on that front, either way. On the subject of Mr. Isis (every time I type that I think I should just put “Osiris”)’s jacket, I did a second muslin, with a much fuller back and wider sleeves, after he very instructively flexed while wearing the first muslin and ripped the back seam open clear to the waist. We are having some issues over fit vs. freedom of motion; like many hard-to-fit people, he’s used to wearing knits or vastly oversized wovens. Anyway, the second muslin had a very curved back seam, a lot of ease rotated into the shoulders (basically I rotated some of the curve from the neck into a shoulder-dart, but I don’t plan on sewing the dart, just easing the fabric in), and has some big folds under the arm, all of which disappear completely when he crosses his arms. I tried to suggest (as I seem to recall reading somewhere) that a suit-jacket should lie smooth when the hands are clasped in front. He doesn’t consider this adequate. I think he’s on glue. The debate continues. Anyway, I think I can shave off a bit of the excess and get something that doesn’t look completely grotesque when he’s standing naturally.  Fitting muscles is weird. It’s almost like an FBA for the back, in an area that doesn’t happen to have any darts. (Boy has a drop of almost 12″ from chest to waist right now. That’s not only more than mine, that’s more than twice mine. The jerk.). At least widening the sleeves went well. I’d be tempted to try a larger size, but the shoulders fit beautifully.

Now if I could just find my roll of craft paper to make the rest of the pattern pieces… (I’m trying to save the wrapping paper for the presents…)

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Syo’s Sewing

Syo's First Project

No sewing today—I am moving sewing spaces! Yes, the found table has been wrangled down the stairs (my poor walls) to the basement, and installed in my “sewing room”, so my excuse for keeping my machines on the computer desk in the kitchen—that I had no sewing-room furniture—has evaporated. My long-suffering neat-freak of a husband has issued an ultimatum—all sewing paraphernalia is to be removed from the kitchen before nightfall. The entire process is really highlighting just how MUCH sewing stuff there was crammed in the kitchen… I guess I really can’t blame him for wanting it out.

Pooh.

Ah, well. It’ll be all right for the summer. I may have to invest in another space heater come winter, though.

Strap, with rick-rack and topstitching

Anyway, with the absence of sewing on my part, I thought I’d show off Syo’s “first machine-sewn project”, made up last week. This isn’t her first sewing project—she’s been hand-sewing little cushions and things (although she was not very good at knots), and the shirt/dress/thing she’s wearing in the top photo is actually her own creation, too, although I did the actual (minimal) serging at her direction.

Lined interior

But this little purse was several steps up. We measured out the length and breadth of the strap. We used a pattern for the purse body (actually a sheet of standard paper). I helped with the pinning but she did all the cutting herself. She also chose the fabrics. The exterior is a cream cotton damask, a remnant from this pair of bellydance pantaloons I made a couple of years pre-blog. The interior is a remnant of cream synthetic something that I had at one point started making a shirt for the hubby out of  (the vastly inferior prototype to this shirt, frankly). It was a costume pattern, not full and blousy enough for the look it was trying for, the lace-up front placket instructions thoroughly defeated me at the time, and to put the icing on the cake, I melted the back of the neck ironing just as the shirt was almost finished. Anyway, I was a little hesitant when Syo selected it… while it’s not the worst to work with, it ain’t no cotton, shall we say. But it was the right colour and this project would pretty much take care of the last shreds of that painful memory, so I agreed.

I won’t say I didn’t hover nervously. I also helped with some tugging where the layers required taut sewing (a walking foot would be great for a project like this). Syo has a particularly alarming habit of accidentally pressing down on the foot pedal while attempting to re-position or maneuver the fabric with the presser foot up. But she distinctly improved over the course of the project, and managed not to puncture either of our fingers.

1/4" Edge-Stitching Foot

Also, I think it was Marie-Christine who made the comment once that technology will trump skill in most cases. I must (again) concede th truth of this. This little fellow is a 1/4″ edge-stitching foot that I bought on a whim when I got my marvelous new zipper foot. It set me back a whole five dollars or so. I won’t say it’s revolutionized my topstitching—I’ve gotten halfway decent over the last year—but it certainly makes some things that took a bit of concentration before almost effortless. More importantly, it made it possible for Syo, who can barely sew a straight line, to do almost-perfect topstitching. She also did a really darn good job sewing down her rick-rack, even in the centre of the strap, so it’s not all the little gadget, but anyway. All in all I’m a pretty proud Mama, and Syo is excited to try many future projects…

In Me-Made June News…

My back yard. Oh, and my outfit for June 5

Here’s a slightly more panoramic shot of my back yard than usual, just because we finally mowed the jungle lawn, and the crab-apple trees are absolutely gorgeous right now. This is, of course, Simplicity  6023, the 70s dress pattern I won off MPB. Possibly I shouldn’t’ve worn such a nice dress on a day that included a fair bit of sweating and yard work (yay, heat!), but ah well. It’s washable.

Also, I was a little sad that I missed the twirling on Friday, so I decided to twirl today.

Twirling

It’s supposed to be rainy and cool again tomorrow, but at least we had one truly glorious day! Now, back to the sewing-room-moving…

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