First up thank you to all those who have emailed me to RSVP to the Sydney sewists high tea - I'll be in touch shortly with paypal details (once I remember my password and work out how to accept payments). Commiserations to all those who don't live in Sydney and can't make it, but don't worry - if you're a blogger we'll probably be talking about you anyway! In the nicest of terms of course.....
We spent last weekend in Canberra with a group of friends doing the rounds of the usual kids attractions such as the National Science Museum, Cockington Green gardens, the National Dinosaur Museum - so much fun. Australians love to deride Canberra as boring and sterile, and it's probably because of the town planner in me but I really love Canberra, it's so beautifully landscaped, spacious and logically set out (well it is masterplanned by the great Walter Burley Griffin after all).
But for some reason I always think that it's really really cold in Canberra, except in summer when it's really really hot. And even though last weekend the weather turned out to be perfect autumn weather with really warm and sunny days and cooler nights, I had a mini panic attack last week thinking that Toby didn't have enough warm clothes. Especially since he's gone through a growth spurt and has pretty much outgrown the winter hand-me-down clothes from his sister even though she was three months older at the time she wore them.
So I decided to make some simple elastic waist pants for him using fabrics from the stash of course. Since I do all my sewing when the kids are asleep I can't get them to try on things I'm making before I finish them, which quite often results in ill fitting clothes that need fixing. This time was no different! I used McCalls 5962, which is now OOP (perhaps that should have been a clue) and some black fleece from the stash to make two pairs of track suit pants:
Ooops, way too big! The legs are very wide, the crotch is very low and the waistband too loose. Since doing the overlocker workshop at the last ASG meeting I've learnt that to lower the blades on my overlocker only needs a half turn of a nob, so I attached the elastic with the overlocker before turning it over and topstitching with a twin needle - that's a lot of stitching to undo (which I haven't yet done either....). And I sewed on some patch pockets on the front just to liven them up a little so I just can't run them in down the sides.
For the next pair I took out 3cm width of each leg both front and back from the waistband to the cuff to reduce the width of the leg and seat area, which means I took out a whopping 12cm all around. You'd think that would be enough wouldn't you? Well you'd be wrong! I made a pair from some stretch corduroy in a lovely caramel colour, cut out from a straight skirt that I'd made for myself years ago that didn't turn out so great and had been sitting in the UFO/refashion box ever since. Since this only had a little bit of stretch I was being a bit cautious about how much I narrowed the pattern pieces, but I need not have worried at all:
Plenty of room still! Seriously, what size babies are those pattern companies drafting these patterns on? Toby isn't a huge baby, but he's not a skinny one either and even though his body measurements were a little bit bigger than the largest size in this pattern the pants absolutely swim on him. I think I'll do what I should have done in the first place - draft a pattern from a pair of RTW pants that do fit him.
To jazz up the corduroy version I topstitched faux pockets and zipper fly and sewed on some knee patches from cotton. I used a pattern piece from another kids pattern for the oval shape which is also way too big, and clearly I placed it too low on the leg because they are more like shin patches rather than knee patches, but it's still a cute touch.
The fabric for the knee patches is actually a piece I purged from my fabric stash during my still ongoing clean out, that was sitting in a pile of folded fabric on the floor waiting to be donated. Actually it's the third piece to be put back in to the stash from the discards pile after Anna latched on to two other pieces that I was going to ditch. So now I'm having second thoughts of getting rid of any fabric! And there's no real urgency now to clean out my stash since it's looking like we may not sell our house this year after all - it all hinges on the lives of two dogs. Which would sound funny to non dog lovers, but our plan is to move into an apartment after we sell our house so obviously our dog can't come with us. He was going to live with my inlaws, but since my MIL has her hands full looking after my FIL we didn't want to burden her with the responsibility of the dog too. And our dog does not get along my with parents dog either, so we're waiting for one of them to go to the big dog park in the sky before we make any move. Both dogs are pretty old so it could be any time in the near future (not that I want that to happen of course). Watch this space, as they say!
I've already started on the Stylearc Marni jacket pattern that I posted in the last post, using a cheap ponte that I had in the stash bought on sale from Spotlight a few years back that I'm hoping will be a wearable trial version before I cut into my beautiful blueberry Tessuti ponte. I must be growing up and getting sensible - I never used to do practice versions because I was always too impatient and lazy!