Posted on 20 Comments

Sewing and unplugging

New shirt

On a whim, I laid out my Simplicity 3835 pattern pieces on one of the swap sheets. To my delight, all of the parts fit! Allow me to present my new shirt, made from the very soft, perfectly drapey, sheet piece that was sent in by Liz. This material is perfect for a shirt. In fact, of the entirely too many shirts that I’ve made, this is the best by far. It comes closest to the look & feel I’ve been trying to achieve every time I’ve made the pattern. I’m a total convert now to using sheets for this, the older, softer, and more broken-in the better!

New shirt

I have to say, though, the construction of this garment was fraught with strife. I whipped through the first half of it in 25 minutes. The rest, which should have only taken me another 25 minutes at most, took up a completely frustrating hour and a half. I had problems threading the elastic through the casing. I had problems sewing the elastic together. I had problems with the thread bunching up. And when I’d finally solved all of these issues and had invested all afternoon in the construction of this garment, I discovered a small hole in the fabric. I have to admit I nearly lost my mind over that, but a cooler head soon prevailed and I got an idea. I have iron-on labels that I put on the inside of all of my handmade clothes, and instead of placing it at the collar as is traditional, I just ironed it about 6 inches down and 3 inches to the left, right over the hole. Elegant? No. Is anybody likely to notice? No. Problem solved.

We have some special family time planned for this weekend. We’re surprising the boys with it. I’m going to attempt to stay unplugged as much as I can, so this may be the last you hear from me until Sunday night or Monday. Have a great weekend!

Posted on 20 Comments

20 thoughts on “Sewing and unplugging

  1. Hi Lisa,

    The trick with elastic is to thread it onto a safety pin, and feed it through the casing that way. I also pin the other end to the garment so I don’t pull it through by mistake.

    Do ya’ll belong to the Catholic church in Stirling? The one with the magnificent fireworks display on the 4th? I used to go to them when I lived in Bound Brook (now live in Seattle).

    Love your blog!


    1. You know, actually, my biggest problem with the elastic was trying to *find* a safety pin of the appropriate size. I had one that was too big (it got stuck), so then I tried a paper clip (bad idea) and then I finally scrounged a safety pin the right size. At which point I should have followed your other advice and put something on the other end of the elastic so that it wouldn’t get pulled into the casing. With the miserable time I had with the elastic today you’d think it was the first time I’d done it instead of the, oh, 25th, LOL!

      I do belong to one of the Catholic churches in Stirling, but they haven’t done any fireworks as long as I’ve been here. Maybe they used to do it more than ten years ago?

      Nice to “meet” you!

  2. Your shirt is soooooo adorable!

    1. Thanks! I really love it myself. I feel like I finally got that pattern right (on my eighth try!)

  3. SO cool for summer–and pretty too! I hope others in the swap will make some tops after your example. I don’t think I’m quite up to it, skillwise, but I’d love to see others do it!

    1. Well, it definitely is a jump in skill-level from the simple skirts we’ve been making, but it’s not all that bad. I had that pattern for a few weeks last summer before I finally got the guts to sit down and interpret it. It was tricky the first time, but it got easier. I think that every time I’ve made it I improve upon it in some way to make it more perfect for me. A few of the early ones I made are probably destined for Goodwill because I either don’t find them flattering or comfortable, but this one is a keeper.

  4. oh, i’m so sorry about that hole that caused such frustration. i shoul d have examined the fabric more closely.
    but your shirt is lovely and i’m JELAOUS that it takes me three months to finish any sort of clothing project (i’m still working on a pair of amy butler lounge pants i started in december).

    1. Oh, don’t worry about the hole! Seriously, it wouldn’t have bothered me at all if I’d been having a normal day. After all of my difficulties making the shirt, though, it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back, LOL!

      The Amy Butler lounge pants that are in In Stitches? I love the look of those, but I find her patterns intimidating. At least, I did a year ago when I first started sewing. Maybe I need to give them another look now that I have some experience under my belt!

      1. yes – it’s that pattern! and honestly? it was hard for me. because i’ve only been sewing for just under a year myself. i found it hard to copy the pattern to the freezer paper, and the directions were a bit confusing at times. i didn’t even attempt the drawstring and buttonhole so i just sewed an elastic in. i should take a picture of the finished pattern (finally finished it last week!) and give you the “good, the bad, and the ugly” of the pattern. 🙂

  5. Looks great! I have made several shirts from that pattern and the casing gets easier with each one.

    1. I agree – and if I hadn’t lost all of my safety pins in some abyss of crafty supplies somewhere, I would have found it pretty simple. This experience was a great argument for having the right tools for the job! I really need to go safety pin shopping before I attempt another one of these…

  6. Well that does it! I’m going to have to give that shirt a whirl. It looks so cute!

    1. Thanks! I can’t believe how much better it looks/feels with a vintage sheet than it has with some of the other fabrics I’ve tried.

  7. I love your shirt! I’m going to buy the pattern. I wonder if it’d be hard to size it for my daughters??? Looks easy enough…but they wear a size 12 month. lol! That’s pretty small.

    1. Thanks! And 12 months? Well, I’m the wrong one to ask – I know nothing about altering patterns, aside from tweaking here and there to fit myself. And even then, I’m just guessing. I’ll bet there are similar patterns already available for little girls that could save you some of the trouble…

  8. OOh. I have a nice, soft sheet. And a similar pattern. You are a bad influence, but THANK YOU.

    1. My pleasure. Bad Influence seems to be my middle name (or names!) these days. Ever since I started welcoming those darn vintage sheets into my home, LOL!

  9. Great idea Lisa. Those vintage sheets are the softest fabric around. I want to make one now.

    1. It’s really comfy. I wore it so much this past weekend when I was away – I am eager to make another one, if I can find an equally soft sheet.

  10. I love that top! You did a great job! One of these days, I’ll sew one for myself. Need. More. Time…

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