sewing & needlework
…spring sewing progress…

…spring sewing progress…

With the weather warming up, and everything opening up and restarting post-iso, it’s time I need to pretend I am a functional adult with a decent wardrobe. In reality, my summer wardrobe leans very heavily towards my standard mum-uniform of leggings and nerd tees, which is fine for the days when my biggest event is rolling up to the school table, but not so ideal for doing the mum-circuit, or catching up with friends. I had fabric sitting in my cupboard from a spotlight visit during our last homeschool excursion, and school break coming up, so I figured it was as good a chance as any to get stuck in and actually follow through on my sewing plans.

The biggest hole in my collection is a lack of decent going out shirts, so I started with the Sagebrush Top. The pattern was well written and easy to follow, and once I got going, the top came together quickly. I’m a size 8 in Aussie sizes, and went with the size S/2-4 in the pattern, which fits well. I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern, aside from making the bottom hem slightly longer – between the mum tum and the iso tum, cropped length tops are not my friend! I am happy with the end result, even if the sleeves don’t drape quite as much as expected. Every now and then the elastic rides up and the sleeve puffs enough to make Anne Shirley weep with envy, so I’m still tossing up what to do with that. Maybe I just live with it, though every now and then I consider unpicking the sleeve and adding a box pleat to the shoulder to reduce the gather and flatten the shoulders a bit.

I got it finished the Saturday of school break, so that I could take it away on a little trip the children and I were taking for a couple of days. As a sign of how happy I was with the pattern, I picked up more fabric while I was away with the idea of using it as another sagebrush, with a few modifications. For my next one, I plan to slim down the sleeves, possibly replacing the elastic with a folded cuff. The back tie closure, I will replace with a button. And for the final adjustment, I will add a small piping in place of the ruffle. That’s the theory anyway. Since then, I have been poking around on Pinterest and in my pattern box, and am thinking of maybe sewing a dress instead.

When we got home from our trip, we still had a couple of days of school break left. The children were happy rampaging outside creating their own games, leaving me free to sew. The next garment on my to-sew list was a pair of shorts that I’d bought a mustard drill for. I chose the Thurlow Trousers, in view B. They are designed to be a low-waisted short, so when I measured myself, I went with the size that would fit my hip measurement, rather than my waist. I picked the size 2, and got busy cutting and sewing. Like the Sagebrush, I found the pattern clear and easy to follow. I did come unstuck at the end though, as I worked through the fit of the waist band. Silly me didn’t consider the part of the pattern description that noted “designed for curvy hips, fuller thighs and a narrow waist”. Sounds great, except my figure is closer to a surfboard than an hourglass. Curvy hips? What even are hips? Narrow waist? Never even heard of a waist, even before the iso tum moved in. As a result, there was quite a bit of fiddling letting out the back waist extension to get the fit just right.

It was worth it though! The Thurlow is a super cute pattern that has resulted in a sweet pair of dressy shorts that I adore. I did hit a roadblock at a couple of points – the biggest being the welt pockets. Aboslutely not the pattern’s fault, I’m just a wuss who starts overthinking the tricky bits. Welt pockets will fire up my overthinking every single time! They worked out fine in the end, and are much neater than a patch pocket.

I’ve worn the shorts a few times now, generally without the ribbon belt, unless I’m feeling fancy. I normally wear them cuffed, but the hem is also a great length to wear them uncuffed when I do need a bit of extra length. If I was to wear them to dinner with my nan, for instance, or to a church bbq, I would go the uncuffed length. But for things like taking Miss10 to touch, or running errands around town, I love the extra detail of the cuff. The fit is almost right, but I do think I am going to come back and alter it slightly. I plan to remove the waistband, let out the waist extension by another half inch, and then recut the waistband in a size four and refinish. It won’t be a huge change, but it should take them from almost-right, to perfect comfy fit.

Of course, what would a new me made outfit be, without some me made accessories? I hit up the gemstone collection, but it turns out I was sadly lacking in browns and mustards, so I jumped online to order some more. They were waiting for me when I got home, though I didn’t get time to pull them out until Monday, when Mr7 needed beads for a school handwork project. If he got to play with beads, then so should I…that’s how this works, right? So while he finger knitted and beaded, I got stuck in and whipped up three diffuser bracelets to coordinate with my new clothes. One is all mustards and browns and wood, for when I’m wearing the shorts. One is varying shades of blues, for when I’m wearing the top. And the third is a mix of mustards and browns and blues, for when I’m wearing the whole outfit.

How well do those colours match in? It was super fun to put the whole outfit together for the first time yesterday! I’d bought the fabrics to work together as an outfit, and it was awesome to see it in real life. The colours worked. I like the way the looser top works in with the slimmer fit shorts. Both patterns were a fun sew, that I would work through again. And who can resist new beads? Tick, tick, tick… all three elements count as a win in my books!

Today, we are heading out for a day with friends. Bushwalking, picnicking, chatting and playing. I have my stitchery packed for working on while the children all play together. By the time we get home this afternoon, it will almost be time to start dinner, but I might have time to start tracing off a pattern for my next make, if I can decide what to do first. Maybe a pair of Harper shorts in a dark denim? Maybe a vintage dress in a sage green crinkle I picked up on holidays? Either would be a good addition to my summer capsule wardrobe. It’s a drizzly old day, though, so if this rain settles in, I might just skip the sewing and snuggle under my mandala and add a few rounds. All the big decisions on a Friday around here!

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