Sunday, 25 October 2009

sew on and on

D woke up right as rain this morning which was fortunate since I feel as crap as ever and none too happy about it. My daily disappointment for a week now is waking up to realise I feel the same as yesterday. Anyway my new strategy is just to take a shit load of panadol. No surrender.

And to prove my point I did some more sewing today. The rest of the clan went out to ride bikes and I got the jump on another long standing project, some new boardshorts for D. My ma and sister brought the fabric back from Vietnam for exactly this purpose a few years ago (and he thanks you yet again) and for reasons I am at a loss to explain it has taken me this long to get around to it.

Since big boy patterns do not make it into any of the usual sources, I had to draft a pattern from an old pair of shorts I made D back in the mists of time. (garage sale chenille bedspread. now with all the pile worn off the butt.)

Sewing the fabric - I don't even know what you call this boardshort stuff, except, well, boardshort stuff - was a complete nightmare. It kept skipping stitches, sometimes in whole long runs so I had to sew some bits over and over again. What a mess. And so frustrating! And all the stitches pull on the seams, making it look like it isn't properly sewn which couldn't be further from the truth in terms of effort.

Anyway, the fit is good, the pocket just like a real one and they met with approval from the owner who hates cotton boardies that weight too much when wet and take forever to dry and who finds most bought boardies baggy in the butt department. So you know, all's well that ends well.

And while I was snapping his pic, I got him to return the favour so I could show you the linen shirt reno from yesterday. I do think the pictures aren't ideal but you get the general idea.

The shirt started life as a classic dull shirt, identical in fact to one I extensively renovated in November last year. A cheap shapeless big girl sack shirt. This time instead of trying to improve it as a shirt, I went in a different direction.

I took the sleeves off, narrowed the shirt and sleeve widths, raised the shoulders a couple of centimetres and re attached the sleeves. I then cut the sleeves very short and gave them a really narrow hem (this is how far I got a few weeks ago before we went to Darwin).

I also radically shortened the shirt. Next I reversed the closing order of the front pieces, so the left side with the buttons was on top and sewed it down, with just the edge of the button stand from the right side poking out. I put some waist darts in back, but I couldn't get too fitted since the shirt doesn't open any more and has to slip on over my head and bust.

I cut the collar off, widened and lowered the neckline. Using all the scrap pieces of fabric I cut out a tonne of small circles, sewed them together slightly overlapping and then used them to edge the neckline and trail off to one side over the bust. I sewed them down with several rounds of stitching to keep them secure knowing they will fray a bit with wear.

Lastly instead of a front dart, I made small box pleats at the waist and secured them flat with another circle sewed down with lots of stitches.

A really major improvement!

Next up something for the littlest one, who never seems to score much of anything (except the odd bit of cake). And he's going through such a stage at the moment. Endearing as always but the language is continuing to build, as is his memory (he can now get pretty much every word that finishes a line in his favourite tough trucks book, which makes us all smile and laugh) and his delight in a new level of complexity. He's started singing at last and when we drove home in the dark on Friday night and Amy slipped into sleep in the back seat and D and I silently watched the landscape slip by he suddenly piped up Bob the builder blah blah fix it, Bob the builder blah blah. D and I could barely contain ourselves but Wil was utterly unselfconscious and it was so sweet. I do love him so.


Anonymous said... are amazing.

Can I please come to live at your house? I could bring all the crap, baggy stuff that makes me look like shite and you could make me over with darts and things that seem to completely alter your shape and just might do the same for me.

Get well soon.

thornberry said...

My goodness, that's superb. What a renovation! I'd have just sent it off to the oppie - now you've got me looking at all my baggy stuff with new eyes. Hope that you're feeling better soon too.

Kate said...

Absolutely fantastic. I am such a chicken with renos, I always think I can't do much... well, I couldn't make them much worse, most of the time, so I may as well have a go!

And Wil continues to charm. Adorabubble.

Here's hoping you feel better. Don't let them win!

Stitching At Stone Cottage said...

you are so talented...i love all you sew and design...fabulous

trashalou said...

And this is what you can achieve when you are unwell? I am so impressed. Again. I shouldn't be.

Nikki said...


frog said...

That is such a fabulous reno. Thanks for going through it 'cos I get ideas about how to do with imagination rather than 'just' getting the fit right.

And Wil is adorable. Perhaps he should release an album of covers?

LissyLouLou said...

What an amazing transformation!

Lori Kay said...

I love the box pleats. I may borrow the idea for a shirt that's a bit boxy on me!

DanainDFW said...

The shorts turned out great, but I'm really impressed with your re-do of the shirt. Much more flattering now!

kim at allconsuming said...

Somehow I missed the bottom of this post, only getting as far as the fact you made a pair of boardies for your Man. This shirt is awesome. Love it.