I’ve recently returned to sewing clothes after quite a long hiatus. Except for one pattern (which you’ll see in a minute) I’ve never felt entirely satisfied with the clothes I’ve made and so I’ve tended to avoid clothes and concentrate on other things. However when I buy handmade, the items are always beautifully finished, so I know it is achievable and that some perseverance is required.
The one pattern I have suceeded with many times is Made By Rae’s Parlsey Pants Shorts. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made these shorts for Theo and on each occasion the result is slightly better. I now sew the elastic directly on to the waist rather than threading it through which gives a great finish.
Theo was recently invited to a 6th birthday party with a pirate theme and when some pirate themed fabric popped up on facebook in the Eternal Maker’s sale, I decided to buy a metre of it and make a pair of shorts for the birthday boy (left) and a slightly different pair for Theo. For Theo’s rather than turning the hem on the legs, I made some yellow bias tape and finished the legs with that. The resulting shorts are therefore also slightly longer than his friends.
Theo wanted another pair and when we were discussing fabrics he pulled out a couple of options with insufficient meterage (it takes about half a metre to make these shorts in age 6) rather than being deterred, he asked whether we could use both fabrics together and thus his “half and half” shorts were born. He happened to pick two fanrics from the same line, so they work rather well together.
These shorts have seams turned up on them unlike the pirate shorts above so they sit just above the knee. The t-shirt he is wearing is one I screenprinted and the rucksack was made by my sister.
For Alice I decided to try an A-Line dress similar to a style I’ve bought for her before. For my first attempt I upcycled the fabric I used to make a skirt I made for myself 10 years ago. Despite closely sticking to the pattern, I went wrong and ended up unpicking it all before starting again and getting a good result on the second attempt. I hate unpicking and hate resewing even more, but getting the right result really makes it worth while.
The dress is completely reversible (the photos below are two sides of the same dress) with poppers to do it up, though I need to seek better poppers as the cheap ones I bought on eBay are rubbish! And if I’m going to be really critical of this pattern it’s not quite A-Line enough for my liking.
I also used the same pattern to use up the remainder of a vintage tablecloth I bought years ago, which I have already made shorts for Theo from. You may spot that it has a slight stain on it, it may come out with repeated washing, it may not, but it wasn’t a good enough reason to discard the fabric.
I’m now on the look out for a different dress pattern for Alice and something for me (perhaps this?) and after years of dithering I have decided to finally tackle my greatest sewing fear… jersey! I’m booked on to a jersey dress making course at the Eternal Maker in December, though I’m hoping I might get to have a go before then…
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