Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Jacket Story

So here's the story. I bought this jacket pattern when it was on sale, half price, a couple of weeks ago. And then I decided my girls needed rain jackets, and since this one doesn't have a hood and I'm not sure I'm talented enough yet to modify, I bought the matching hat pattern. Then I thought "Hmm, how can I do this cheaply?" 

Enter the Walmart clearance tablecloth. 

Yes, I am making my children wear tablecloths. To be fair, they will be lined with cozy flannel, and (I hope!) be very cute. It's perfect material, and so far (even though all I have done are the sleeve tabs) it actually cooperates quite well. 

I'm using a solid red for my toddler, and using a 3T so (hopefully) she can wear it for more than a few months. Although how long she'll need it, I don't know...depends on how warm or cold the winter gets! I'm planning to applique a little duck to it, but I'll definitely be testing that ahead of time - I am not experienced with appliques, and this fabric, well...I just don't know how it'll work. We'll see!
For the baby I'm making a 12 month, in a blue that has sea shells and coral all over it. She's 4 months old and in 6 month clothing, and between the 6 month and 12 month patterns, I guess I'd rather go big. 

Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop does actually have a raincoat pattern as well, and maybe I'll resort to that and spending a few more dollars on some "real" fabric if this doesn't work...but I'm determined that it's going to. 

Last night I had some fun (haha) cutting pattern pieces, and since this is a PDF pattern, I could just print it multiple times to get my different sizes - but instead, I took the extra time (and saved the extra printer ink!) to trace the pieces onto tracing paper, which I then taped down to plain old computer paper and cut out, so now I have my own patterns and I didn't have to cut the original. It takes some extra time, but printer ink is SO expensive, and that part of the process really wasn't as bad as it sounds. There's something soothing about it, and anyway, anything is better than actually cutting the pieces. I hate cutting. But it's a necessary evil.

And now some unedited (because I don't know how yet) uncooperative (because I haven't figured out the HTML-alignment-fiddly-business completely yet) pictures for you! I am going to post and run, so I can get back to my coffee, Pavarotti, and humming sewing machine!

Top 2: Original pattern, alongside tracing and my own cutout pattern piece; the tissue paper is taped around the edges, outside the traced line, so it comes right off when cut out, and I don't have any tape sticking to my pattern to deal with!

Middle 2: My two sets of patterns - 12 m. and 3T! and the beautiful ;) red tablecloth from Walmart!

Last 3: Finally finished cutting pattern pieces from the outer fabric, now for the liner and the rectangles I have yet to measure for the bottom of the jacket!; Finally done. I had just enough yellow flannel for a liner - that tiny pile of scraps is all that was left. I made it work.

Now for my coffee, Pavarotti, and getting started!

UPDATE: The jacket story was a short one. The following night, I had it finished and had tried it on my toddler. It fit, but sadly, the fabric didn't want to cooperate, and the seams were just too weak. The first time she scraped it on something (and that WOULD happen, as she's only 2.5), it would be ripped apart. Not worth my time! I will make another jacket, in something user-friendly. A nice corduroy, maybe!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I am an addict.

Shhhhh. Don't tell my husband, but I bought nine patterns in the last four days. NINE. (To be fair, three of them were in a bundle pack, so it was really like only buying one...right?) 

Just kidding, anyway. He knows. Nine patterns, two shopping trips for fabric, and all he says is "Don't spend a million dollars." Don't worry, honey. I didn't get close to a million. A hundred, maybe. But not a million.

Actually, I didn't do too badly at all. I make a point of buying patterns when they're on sale, or at crazy bundle pack prices, so I save a lot that way. And most of my fabric comes from remnants or red tag bolts at JoAnn, so I save a lot there, too. I don't know what I'm going to do when my girls are bigger and I can't get a dress out of a fat quarter or two - probably stop sewing for them and either hope I have more babies to sew for or borrow someone else's. ;) I can't help it. I love sewing baby/toddler clothes.

I missed my "Five Things" post, since it's just after midnight now. But I'm thinking to move it to Monday anyway - just because I never seem to be around much on Sunday, and it's a day off, anyway. So, for today - Five Things that made me happy today. (Er, yesterday.)

1. Going visiting. Dave and I and the girls went to his parents' house for a few hours, and with assorted family and friends around, it really was a fun day. We didn't even do much of anything, aside from a quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics. Just being around other people was something we really needed after a week of it being just the four of us. 

2. New patterns and fabrics. Of course. I only bought things I have an actual plan for, thank goodness, so I came out not a whole lot poorer. I only buy the cheap stuff, as I said, and thanks to some quality remnants (today was a good day!) I have some decent material to work with. And JUST enough of it, too, thanks to the small sizes I deal with. (I have piles of fabric downstairs. But there's just something about buying a new piece, and seeing the finished product it will make in your head...)

3. Nat's speech. My toddler is talking more and more, and it is the cutest. thing. ever. Some of the words she comes out with are surprising, especially when it's in an (almost) proper sentence - like tonight in the car, when the baby was crying. "Quiet, Sam! Shh! Ok? (asking if Sam's okay.) Shush, baby!" She was reading parts of "Go, Dog. Go!" to herself - "Hewwo! Hewwo! Ike a hat? No, not! Buh-bye! Buh-bye!" (Hello! Hello! Do you like my hat? I do not like it! Goodbye! Goodbye!) She sings "Wees ona bus, rounanrounanroun!" (Wheels on the Bus). She's my favorite. Toddler.

4. Sam's rolling is improving. She got herself from her back to her front today and actually got her arms out in front of her, so she wasn't stuck bobbing her head up and down, frantically trying to keep it off the floor while her arm is stuck underneath. I can't believe she's four months old already. 

5. I know I already mentioned the fabric, but one piece in particular I'm very excited about. It's almost 3/4 of a yard of brown crushed taffeta, and it's going to play a part in Nat and Sam's Christmas dresses. Provided I don't screw them up, but I won't, because I'm so ridiculously excited about them. Actually, thinking about Christmas in general is making me very happy - the dresses, Sam's stocking, my ornaments, and a myriad of small projects that I'm keeping in mind for gifts. I am going to be very busy for the next few months. I love it.